Let’s Get Physical

May 26th, 2020

Bucs center Ryan Jensen credits John Harbaugh for being “nasty.”

There is an old cliche in football that says a team takes on the personality of its coach.

In Baltimore, the Ravens year in and year out are one of the most physical teams in the NFL. Teams know that playing Baltimore means the next day they will be involuntarily wearing the Crows’ colors, black and purple. Because they will be bruised as hell.

Coincidence that year in and year out the Crows are among the best teams? Probably not.

Who has coached the Crows the past 12 years? John Harbaugh, an old school football mentality raised in the Rust Belt in a family of old school football guys.

Now take the last two Bucs head coaches, Dirk Koetter and Bucco Bruce Arians. One word that got both coaches downright angry in the snap of a finger was “fights.” Koetter would lash out at reporters for asking about fights.

The same word prompted the only time Joe has seen Arians get upset, with the lone exception being when Arians was asked last year about his “subpar running backs.”

It seems Harbaugh not only embraces fights but encourages them.

In a recent edition of the “Out Of Nowhere” podcast co-hosted by two former NFLers Danny Woodhead and Matt Slauson, Bucs center Jensen described how he built his playing style.

Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht can’t hide a smile when he describes Jensen as “nasty,” and it seems Jensen’s reputation around the league is just that: nasty.

“For me I think that comes from being a sixth-round pick,” Jensen said. “I think for me it even starts earlier than that, my college days. Because I was 6-3, 235 pounds. And I was the best tackle we had at CSU-Pueblo. The only way I could survive is playing that nasty, through-the-whistle uptempo game.

“Through my career, it has transitioned to that. For me, you have to have a guy on your o-line that sets the tone. That’s who I am.”

It was cemented, Jensen said, by a direct order from Harbaugh.

“I remember my rookie minicamp. I’m a sixth-round pick from a small school,” Jensen said. “You have these new guys from these Big Ten schools, Big XII schools, SEC, stuff like that. I was a little intimidated coming from a D-II school.

“I remember, the second day of rookie minicamp, I got into a shoving match with a linebacker. I remember [Harbaugh] is going, ‘Hey, we don’t have time for that sh!t! If you are going to kick his @ss, kick his @ss!’ That’s all I need to hear.”

A few plays later, Jensen put Harbaugh’s words into practice and curb-stomped the same linebacker.

“About three plays later, he hit me with the crown of his helmet, right under my [face mask] in my throat. So I just slammed him and it turned into this huge fight. That’s how I have always played.”

Jensen, who said he started at least once at every position on the line at Baltimore, admitted he has to be careful to not get too crazy playing center.

“That fine line from being that nasty @sshole but keep your composure so when that next play comes you are not in your own head,” Jensen said. “For me, that physicality… stuff like that matters and that’s what I try to bring, that intimidation factor.

“That if you are going to come in here, you are going to get jacked up. So you keep your @ss out on the edge.”

Joe absolutely loves this and after hearing Jensen, Joe wishes for two things:

1) Arians starts encouraging guys to get jacked up in practice if the situation calls for it — to learn to be physical.

2) Tristian Wirfs rooms with Jensen during training camp. Joe understands through his contacts at Iowa that Wirfs is the nicest guy in the world. Let’s hope that changes at least on Sunday afternoons and in five night games.

Hat tip: “knucknbuc.”

17 Responses to “Let’s Get Physical”

  1. Buddhaboy19 Says:

    Joe – Very cool 1 on 1 with Bruce Arians and Joe Madden. Did you catch it.

    My wife found it because she was on Joe madden’s wine enthusiast list. Ha


  2. Swampbuc Says:

    Love it. Great post, Joes!

  3. Joe Says:

    Thanks. Will look into it.

  4. AKicknTheBucNuts Says:

    Sort of like that game we played as kids called “Kill the guy with the ball”.

    Kill and be killed.

    We loved it!

  5. BringBucsBack Says:

    “…Through the whistle.” That goes for all Bucs!

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We don’t have an overly physical team…..some good athletes, players…..but not too tough overall…..My impression is that the physical players are Jensen and Cappa……JPP, Suh, Jamal Dean, Whitehead……perhaps a couple of others….

  7. Raging Brisket Says:

    If only all that talk translated into opening holes for running backs and not getting blown back 2out of 3 plays. This tough guy talk is completely laughable until they prove otherwise. Oline has been subpar since Jensen has been here so I don’t particularly want to hear him idealize a level of play that he does not meet himself.

  8. Joe Says:

    Oline has been subpar since Jensen has been here so I don’t particularly want to hear him idealize a level of play that he does not meet himself.

    There are several folks that argue Jensen may have been the best center in the league last year.

  9. Bucsfanman Says:

    Jensen was one of the few OL to actually FINISH plays last year.
    I thought the Bucs played more aggressive overall last year, especially on defense. It’s a trend that I would like to see continue and spread.

  10. Mike Says:

    The coach is old and sucks!!!!!!!!!!! Saved you some time el sucko

  11. gp Says:

    Physical play? Absolutely!
    Penalties that nullify big plays and increase the yardage needed for first down?
    I’d like to do without those!

  12. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Why do people come here to post demonstrably untrue comments about the OL?

    I’m serious…QB’s….skill players get a different kind of follower but OL? Why so much hatred. Oh that’s right it started with the “Blameless” fluffers…they needed all the scapegoats they could get and the OL made easy targets. Even when measured they are a top ten pass pro and bottom ten run blocking line. IE they do not suck but they need to improve their run blocking.

  13. Raging Brisket Says:

    “ There are several folks that argue Jensen may have been the best center in the league last year.”
    There are several folks that argue lots of things. So what? Most of these arguments are motivated by fragile egos that can’t stand the thought of being wrong so they go way overboard in protecting and carrying water for their favorite sacred cow, which in this case is the oline. As a unit they have been subpar since Jensen has been here (and a lot longer than that) and that’s an argument motivated solely by the football they have played. This is all quite obvious when the other motivations are removed from the equation.

  14. StonedBuc Says:

    Harbaugh is also the coach who has his team tackle all of camp and takes the fine…very few true football coaches left. Were entering the madden era… Where coaches will just know x and o rather then the small nuances and little secrets that the greats do.

  15. Stanglassman Says:

    Jensen fits BAs offense so much better than Koetter’s and it showed last year. Anyone bring objective and knew what they were watching had him as one of the top centers in football last year.

  16. PSL Bob Says:

    Buddhaboy, thanks for the link. Enjoyed it!

  17. teacherman777 Says:

    Jensen had to help Cappa all season!!

    We need a real RG!!!