Dallas Goedert was on the Eagles’ COVID list the last time they faced the Buccaneers in Week 6, so this playoff game is special for a few reasons. It’s not just a chance to face the Bucs.
It’s a chance for him to see Gronk.
While Goedert has certainly watched film of Rob Gronkowski before, Sunday afternoon will be his first time watching Gronk play in real life.
“Doing it in person is a little bit different than in film. It’s really cool” Goedert said. “It’ll be the first time I get to see Gronk. Obviously, being a tight end in college and high school, watching him, he’s been great for a long time. Hopefully, our defense holds him in check and he doesn’t have a great game against them. But really excited to be on the same field as him.”
Gronkowski, 32, is a five-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro and four-time Super Bowl champion. He was already a future Hall of Famer before he came out of retirement and has since put together two more impressive seasons with the Bucs.
But there is one part of Gronk’s game that Goedert really admires, it’s his physicality.
“That’s probably my favorite thing, when he gets the ball in his hand, what he does with it,” Goedert said. “Defenders don’t want to tackle him. He’s looking to make the defenders punished. That’s something I feel I took out of his book into mine. And that’s kind of what I pride myself when I get the ball in my hand as well.”
Yeah, there are some similarities there. Gronkowski is listed at 6-6, 265 pounds and Goedert is listed at 6-5, 256, and they are both pretty tough to bring down.
In fact, they are tied for the league in broken tackles among tight ends with nine apiece, one more than George Kittle and Travis Kelce.
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While Gronk has played in three fewer games than Goedert this season, it’s also fair to point out that Goedert has been much better statistically since the Zach Ertz trade in mid-October. But their numbers came out very similar this season:
Gronk is widely considered one of the greatest tight ends to ever play and you won’t hear and disagreement from Goedert on that.
“For me, he’s definitely at the top of top 2, top 3, that I feel like has ever played the game,” Goedert said. “But he’s an all-around tight end, he’s a three-down tight end. He does a great job blocking, he does a great job running his routes. He’s fast, he’s physical.”