“They Like Their Guy Hainsey”

March 7th, 2022

Bucs center Robert Hainsey

Former Bucs tight end Anthony Becht worked at the NFL Scouting Combine last week as the official NFL mentor/guide/babysitter for tight ends in the 2022 NFL Draft class.

It wasn’t Becht’s first year in that role, which makes him a popular guy among agents and NFL front office people. They’ll ask Becht for more information about a tight end prospect’s behavior and demeanor, especially since Becht literally eats meals with the draft hopefuls and leads them around for days like a summer camp counselor.

As a result, Becht has a massive array of contacts, and Joe talked to him at the Combine last week. The JoeBucsFan Radio Row space was next to the New York Jets’ team media spot where Becht visited for an interview. He works on Jets preseason broadcasts and contributes to the team website.

Joe’s chat with Becht was off the record, but Becht did share on WDAE Radio that he had lunch with Bucs offensive line coach Joe Gilbert early last week.

Becht, per his radio chat, said of Tampa Bay, “they like their guy [Robert] Hainsey” in addition to the rest of their offensive line depth. So Becht does not expect the Bucs to draft an offensive lineman in Round 1, but he thinks they could draft an interior offensive lineman in Rounds 2 or 3.

Of course, the Bucs’ draft moves will depend on what shakes out in free agency with potential departures of center Ryan Jensen and guards Alex Cappa and Aaron Stinnie, among others. Pro Bowl guard Ali Marpet retired last week.

Joe talked about Hainsey, the second-year center out of Notre Dame, with a member of the Buccaneers staff last week in Indianapolis. Joe mentioned how former NFL offensive lineman Brian Baldinger came to Tampa last summer with NFL Network and was very critical of Hainsey. The Bucs official got intensely defensive of Hainsey and barked about how “Hainsey works his ass off” and has developed extremely well.

Yeah, as Becht said, “They like their guy Hainsey.” As Joe noted, history very strongly suggests Hainsey will be a capable starting center.

29 Responses to ““They Like Their Guy Hainsey””

  1. tampabuscsbro Says:

    I mean this makes sense tbh. To be a center you have to be able to have good run blocking prior and step up.

    He was a tackle for notre dame that was what they did there. Moving a notre dame tackle to center is actually a good idea.

  2. zzbuc Says:

    When you make a big party, sooner or later you have to pay for it……
    Seems to me is time to pay…..

    Situation was difficult since TB12 retired, and got worst with Ali Marpet following.

    Looks to me this will be a transitional year, draft accordingly, resign CG, and don’t overpay on free agency, will get the situation worst.

    BA is at the end of his career so is important JL doesn’t get influenced by Ba’s urgency.

  3. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    We may find out about him at center this year, because many teams will be targeting Ryan Jensen. Licht has done a great job drafting O Linemen!

  4. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Sobering take ZZ.

  5. geno711 Says:

    I had high hopes for Hainsey.

    But I ask what makes Joe Gilbert think he is capable of being one of our starting offensive lineman now when he was not at the end of the season.

    Things to note

    Hainsey played right tackle (besides guard) in college.
    After Wirf’s got injured Wells got exposed as the Buc’s right tackle. Even if the coaching staff wanted to go with the more experienced Well’s for the Ram’s game, they did not even put Hainsey on the active roster for that game.

    Instead, Nick Leverett got the nod over him Hainsey. Nick Leverett a 2020 undrafted free agent.

    That does not sound like Joe Gilbert had faith in him then. What changed in these last 2 months?

  6. Marine Buc Says:

    Smith, Marpet, Cappa, Jenson – all drafted after round one.

    We can definitely find starting caliber lineman in rounds 2-5…

    I would try to keep either Cappa or Jenson but we probably won’t be able to keep both.

    We should focus on Cappa (the younger of the two) and replace Jenson with Hainsey/Stinnie/draft pick…

  7. Posey99 Says:

    and also because Hainsey has been working with Trask the past year.

  8. sasquatch Says:

    From what I understand, Hainsey was only training at C… and he was a rookie. They went with Leverett, who they apparently really like, because he had a year more experience.

  9. Bruce Blahak Says:

    nope…gotta keep Jensen…Hainsey compete at LG with a rookie?

  10. SB~LV Says:

    Of course they will say that

  11. cover deuce Says:

    I like Hainsey too, and Stinnie for that matter. You don’t replace an All Pro like Marpet overnight but let’s not forget either that interior linemen aren’t necessarily a premium position. They can be had if you know who you’re looking for and how to use them and I’ll give Licht, Arians and Goodwin the benefit of the doubt there.

  12. Watson Says:

    Geno711 really need to pay better attention. Hainsey was active for every game last season. Why put him on field when Jensen is already playing with injuries and you have other options. Hainsey goes in and rolls an ankle you have just severely compromised options going forward.

  13. David Says:

    My guess is they would keep Jensen and one of the guards but if Jensen is chasing a massive paycheck then they go with Hainsey and try to keep both guards.

    I still have Marpet shock

  14. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Jensen AND Cappa HAVE to be signed or this group is depleted severely…

  15. Beeej Says:

    I’ve been wondering if they think Hainsey can replace Jensen, would save a ton of money

  16. Cobraboy Says:

    I’d rather shove $$$ into Cappa’s pocket than Jensen.

    Brady & Marpet retiring changes everything.

    Time to get younger and build a new legacy.

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    No Marpet & Jensen means signing Cappa and Stinnie is much more doable

  18. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    OT: So, what exactly was the deal with Godwin not wanting to sign a long term contract with the Bucs last year? Was he wanting more money than what the Bucs were offering? Hence last year’s franchise tag. I’m wondering now if he regrets that now that he is recovering from blowing out his knee.

  19. Rod Munch Says:

    Licht knows more about offensive lineman than you do.

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Forget Jensen….concentrate on signing Cappa & Stennie…….we have no guards as of now…..
    Hainsey can replace Jensen…..

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    Hainsey is going to start at one of these positions, center or guard, so they better “like” him! LOL!

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Mr Munch … ‘Licht knows more about offensive lineman than you do.’

    Undoubtedly true, but since 2014 he did draft Kevin Pamphile, Kadeem Edwards & Caleb Benenoch in addition to Marpet, Smith, Cappa & Wirfs. The 1st 3 were all drafted in Rnd 5. The last 4 were drafted in Rnds 1, 2 & 3. All that tells me is that you’ve gotta spend money (OK, Rnd 1-3 draft picks) to make money. It’s a lot easier to hit on a 1st Rounder than on a 5th Rounder.

  23. Bobby M. Says:

    I have faith in Licht’s ability to find linemen…..completely confident Hainey will deliver, just not sure what position. That’s the only thing that worries me…..we moved Marpet around a few times before letting him settle in on the left side. Ideally I think you put him in at the position he’s been playing or training for.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Hainsey & Leverett are both under contract (as are Donovan & Wirfs of course). We NEED at least 8 OLinemen, preferably 9 plus 1-2 on our Practice Squad. Right now we have 4 under contract who’ve been up to the 53-man roster before (plus we have Molchon, Hutcherson & Walton under contract, none of whom I’ve heard much about).

    So essentially we’ve got 8-9 slots to fill, with probably 4 of them filled (potentially 3 of our 5 starters). What could possibly go wrong in that picture?

    You don’t very often get a starting OLineman in Rnd 4 or below (even Rnd 3 is doubtful). They obviously can be developed, but that can take 1-2 or even 3 years. And this year, Bucs NEED their Top-3 picks for defense IMO (CB, DT & DE/OLB). And IF we don’t re-sign Godwin, we’ll most likely have to use one of those for a WR. Bummer.

    All that tells me is that Bucs MUST re-sign Cappa AND Stinnie. Re-signing Wells would be a good idea too (even though he’s over 30). But we can’t stop there (that only gets us up to 6-7). Bucs NEED to find at least 1 (preferably 2) more starter-capable FA OLinemen when the dinner bell rings AND draft another (preferably in Rnd 4). Time to earn your money JL.

  25. Hodad Says:

    Maybe the hope is Trask, and Hainsey have many future years together.

  26. SlyPirate Says:


    Hainsey’s downfield blocking that sprung Miller’s touchdown run against Carolina was arguably the best play of the season by any OL.

    So good in fact, Joe wrote an entire article about it.

    (I swear I remember Joe’s articles better than he does. At least one of us is paying attention.:-)

  27. geno711 Says:

    Watson Says:
    March 7th, 2022 at 10:23 am
    Geno711 really need to pay better attention. Hainsey was active for every game last season.

    Fair enough.

    I just went by snap counts and Leverett got 6 in the Rams game and Hainsey none.

    Looked it up and Hainsey got 31 offensive snaps thru the year. None of those snaps were in either of the playoff games when we had injuries in the offensive line. I remember Leverett and remember Wells and did not feel impressed with either of their ability during those games.

    I hope Leverett and Hainsey prove me wrong.

  28. Duane Says:

    It would be hard for most teams to replace Jensen at center. He is worth the money for what he brings to the table, but the team has to be all in. There was zero chance for Hainsey to get live snaps with the GOAT last season, so one guess is just as good as any other.

  29. Pewter Power Says:

    Cappa is not a must have he is an average dude and you don’t overpay for average. Young guys play this is what the draft is for. Can’t believe people are so scared so lose guys like him I mean seriously are you expecting a 22 Super Bowl run if we keep Jensen and cappa?