Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Rob Gronkowski has just two catches for 11 yards and hasn't scored through two weeks this season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But coach Bruce Arians says he isn't concerned with the tight end's lack of production.
Gronkowski, 31, was targeted just once and did not have a catch in the Buccaneers' win over the Carolina Panthers Sunday in Tampa, Fla.
"We're not throwing the ball 50 times to tight ends -- that's what we have receivers for [and] that's the way our offense is built," Arians told reporters. "'Gronk' [had] great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I'm not concerned with his pass catches or his targets."
Gronkowski came out of retirement this off-season to join quarterback Tom Brady on the Buccaneers' new-look roster. He had 47 catches for 682 yards and three scores in 13 games during his final season with the New England Patriots in 2018 before he skipped the 2019 season.
The five-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro was the No. 1 option for Brady during most of his tenure in New England, but is much lower on the target priority list for the Buccaneers. His role is unlikely to increase going forward as Buccaneers wide receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are now healthy ahead of Week 3.
"I don't think they're paying that much attention to him," Arians said of opposing teams that defend Gronkowski. "Tom [Brady] has the ball [and] he decides where it's going, so he's reading the defenses and he's taking whatever they're giving him.
"We don't force passes to anybody."
The Buccaneers face the Denver Broncos in Week 3. Broncos linebacker Josey Jewell downplayed Tampa Bay's tight end talent when asked about the unit on Tuesday. The Buccaneers also have O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate at tight end on their depth chart.
Howard has five catches for 47 yards and a score despite being out-snapped by Gronkowski. Brate has yet to make a catch this season after a 36-catch, four-touchdown campaign in 2019.
"I think they're pretty good. I don't know about best," Jewell told reporters. "I'd have to really look back at that. 'Gronk' is good, really good. He's tall, a tall big guy.
"You have to get your hands on [them] and reroute and stuff like that. Looking into this week, we're really going to have to look into tight ends and how to defeat them with maybe getting more pressure on them or getting more physical with them and stuff like that. It's going to be a fun week. I'm excited for it."
The Buccaneers face the Broncos at 4:25 p.m. EDT Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver.