How Jensen Bounced Back

June 3rd, 2020

Overcame soft play.

When the Bucs signed Ryan Jensen two years ago, he became the highest-paid center in the league.

And Jensen admitted, as a result, he got satisfied and soft.

Jensen did not have a strong 2018 season, bu he bounced back to be very good last year. Jensen credited getting his mind right as the key.

In appearing on the “Out of Nowhere” podcast with ex-NFLers Danny Woodhead and Matt Slauson, Jensen explained he got too content with his paycheck in 2018.

Jensen was discussing with Woodhead and Slauson that part of what made him a good player was he was running from the Fear of God. A sixth-round pick coming out of Colorado State-Pueblo, he knew he had virtually no safety net so he had to play and practice balls-to-the-wall football or he was likely back on his Colorado ranch involuntarily, maybe for good.

All of a sudden Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht calls and Jensen lost the fear factor.

“That was the weirdest thing when I signed my contract with Tampa,” Jensen explained. “I was like, ‘I’m not getting cut?’ It was really hard for me to wrap my head around. I relaxed too much in my first year in Tampa because of that.

“I was like, this is the first time in my career that one, I was a Day 1 starter. And two, there was zero, I mean absolutely zero chance I was getting cut unless something just crazy like me doing something just stupid off the field.

“It was the weirdest — I almost didn’t like it. It was weird. Then going into last year, I reverted back to who I was and not taking things for granted and work like I was going to get cut. That helped me elevate my play.”

That’s cool that Jensen figured out he had to readjust his head. Some guys never do figure that out.

But this goes to show when players say it isn’t about the money, it is always about the money. And regardless of whether it’s a nose-to-the-grindstone kind of guy like Jensen is, the big money will often going to screw with guys’ minds whether they may want to admit it or not.

Hat tip: knucknbuc.

16 Responses to “How Jensen Bounced Back”

  1. Pugs&Bucs Says:

    Rocky III syndrome.

  2. james west Says:

    one of my favorite players, the man is tough as nails, pancakes mofo’s, he protect’s the QB if there is a scrumb, don’t know how many times he saved winsome’s ass, down right nasty, glad we got him and worth every damn penny, imho

  3. james west Says:

    and the man loves grilling and BBQ how can you beat that?

  4. AKicknTheBucNuts Says:

    This is proof what happens when LightBulb overpays for players. And why they suck once they come to the Bucs, therefore, making us suck.

  5. AKicknTheBucNuts Says:

    I should say, thank God he realized what was happening and made a change, unlike most of the FA that have come and gone.

  6. Youngbucs Says:

    He never said anything about $. It was the fear of getting replaced u know competition. This is why ever position should be held accountable and have competition. Do your individual job or get replaced sorry folks this goes for QB also.

  7. theodore Says:

    Brings up a good dynamic: Sign players who have had to prove themselves or sign players who were always starters but still outperform other players.

    On the surface, signing players who have had to proves themselves looks good, but now we see it made Jensen soft for a year. We’ll see with Shaq Barett this year.

  8. Joe Says:

    He never said anything about $.

    Actually he did but Joe did not include that. Just before the quote Joe used Jensen discussed how happy he was to see a $12,000 check each week during the season and he was scared at any time he could get cut and those checks would stop.

    Didn’t think it was that relevant to the story (how Jensen admitted he got soft from feeling safe and changed his mindset to get better).

    It’s all in the podcast linked above.

  9. bojim Says:

    One of the very few who will admit to that. Kudos Ryan.

  10. Hodad Says:

    Better step his game up even more with Brady’s hands in his crack! Brady has always loved using the QB sneak even tho he’s Tom Brady. Jensen better not let him down.

  11. Iamabuc Says:

    I’m so glad he’s in our team….there isn’t many good Centers out there available, and I believe he’s the one that drives the rest Wich is great…in fact our complete OLine is nasty …..Oh, and don’t forget about “JohnyComeLately”(Wirfs)…💪💪

  12. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    This is good to read. I was very underwhelmed with his play in 2018. I thought he was better last year but he’s not pro bowl good. Maybe he gets better. I hope so.

  13. catcard202 Says:

    At least he’s man enough to admit it.

  14. kyle Says:

    Well he needed to do something, with that contract he signed he was looking like another “ghost Johnson” year 1.

  15. Onebucdaddy Says:

    A prime example of how a losing culture and be so contagious…

  16. Bucnjim Says:

    That’s why it’s so important when drafting or signing free agents to find out whether they are players or lottery winners. Players may have to check themselves back into reality but they always do. Lottery winners quit the second the check is cashed! Happens a lot these days because they aren’t smart enough to realize money without work runs out quickly!