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Rob Gronkowski has high praise for Travis Kelce

The all-time great tight end praised Kelce for what he has done for their position

Kansas City Chiefs v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

When the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet up in Super Bowl LV, it will also be a matchup between two of the most prolific tight ends in NFL history.

The Chiefs’ Travis Kelce and the Buccaneers’ Rob Gronkowski are the poster boys of the modern tight end position. For the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s, both Kelce and Gronkowski were chosen as representatives. There have been other great seasons by a tight end recently, but none have displayed the consistent dominance that these two have.

Kelce just broke the NFL’s single-season record for tight end yardage, while Gronkowski still holds the record for touchdown receptions in one season: 17 in 2011. Kelce earned his third first-team All-Pro accolade this year, while Gronkowski got his fourth in 2017.

Gronkowski used his time with Super Bowl reporters on Monday to praise Kelce for his impact on changing the reputation of their position.

Later on, Gronkowski talked about the respectful relationship between the two.

Kelce and Gronkowski are both pioneers at tight end for different reasons. Gronkowski’s ability to catch and run at his size was always impressive, but he’s special because he blocks like an extra offensive tackle. Kelce’s unique because of his elusiveness and route-running: the NFL has never seen a man of Kelce’s size run routes like a wide receiver.

Gronkowski may not be as fleet of foot, but he respects Kelce’s progressive play style.

Not only does he respect Kelce’s game, but he also believes that Kelce is the best the Chiefs have to offer on that side of the ball.

The two are pioneers for how tight ends are used on the field, but they’ve also increased the value of having an elite tight end — leading to higher salaries for the position.

The two have tons of respect for each other, but one of them is closer to their prime than the other. After multiple injuries, Gronkowski retired for the 2019 season before coming back to play with the Buccaneers. On the other hand, Kelce has continued to increase his production year-by-year. Gronkowski has noticed.

While they don’t line up across from each other, it will still be the second-consecutive Super Bowl featuring two opposing, great tight ends. Last year, Kelce and San Francisco 49ers’ tight end George Kittle were the big names. They sat down with Gronkowski and former Chiefs’ tight end Tony Gonzalez before the game to discuss the position’s progress on FOX.

On the big stage, both Kelce and Gronkowski will have a chance to strengthen their résumé as the greatest tight end to ever play. It’s fair to say that Kelce isn’t there yet — but contributing to another Super Bowl victory would only help his case.