TAMPA, Fla. - Only one other tight end in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history has put up numbers better than Rob Gronkowski when it comes to yards per reception: Jimmie Giles, who played for the Bucs from 1978-86 and averaged over 16 yards per catch during an 8-year stretch.
In 9-years with the Patriots, Gronkowski averaged 15.1.
Giles, the first offensive player inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor, told FOX 13 Sports' Kevin O'Donnell he is ready for this new era of Tampa Bay football.
O'Donnell: Did you expect this move at all?
Giles: Well, you know I've played golf with coach [Arians] and sometimes you hear things and you say, 'No, that can't happen.' I kind of heard some conversations about things, but I was like, '[Gronkowski] is not going to come out of retirement. Tom Brady is not going to come here,' but all of a sudden, things start happening. I was really shocked when Tom signed with the Bucs. Then you heard the rumblings about Gronk coming out of retirement. I tell you what, the pieces just kind of fell into place.
O'Donnell: Even back in the Super Bowl year, the Bucs were relevant at the time. But they really weren't a Super Bowl favorite. The Rams were called 'The Greatest Show on Turf' [in the '90s], but Bruce Arians might have just put together the greatest show in the world.
Giles: You're absolutely right, back in 2002 I think we kind of surprised a lot of people. We had some good pieces. I think Sapp was a big thing along with Brooks on defense. We didn't have a lot of great players on offense. Maybe Keyshawn and a few solid players. They just played their butts off and exceeded themselves. Bruce has put together, assembled a great team and I think he's out to win it all.
O'Donnell: We're all excited about the season and we hope we have one.
Giles: I think people better get their season tickets before they get sold out because this is going to be one of those years.