Gronkowski told reporters Tuesday he felt like a “rookie” trying to immerse himself into the game and a new locker room after having taken so much time off.
“I kind of felt like a rookie with experience at first. You gotta gain the trust of your teammates, you gotta gain the respect of your teammates, you gotta go out there and learn the system,” he said, according to FOX 13 Tampa Bay.
He added that he is getting back to loving the game.
“Just being there out on the field, that’s just me being me,” he said. “I’ve been kind of like that my whole career.”
The Buccaneers acquired Gronkowski in the offseason after signing Tom Brady to a two-year deal. Gronkowski sat out last season after winning a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots.
During his final season with the Patriots, Gronkowski had 47 receptions for 682 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He will now join an offense that includes wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, as well as fellow tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard.
There is no doubt about it that Gronkowski will be a key piece for the Buccaneers and their offense as they are primed for a Super Bowl run with Brady running the show under center.
Fox News’ Dan Canova contributed to this report.