The Hidden Factor In Prepping Robert Hainsey

July 31st, 2022

Key in preparing Robert Hainsey?

As Joe has stated, after speaking with several folks at One Buc Palace, Joe doesn’t sense that Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht is on his phone non-stop trying to obtain a veteran center to immediately replace injured star center Ryan Jensen.

Joe is of the mind that the Bucs are willing to give reserve center Robert Hainsey a fair shot to win the job. Of course, the unknown factor is, and the final say is, what does Tom Brady want?

(As you will hear in the next “Ira Kaufman Podcast,” Ira is already wanting to jump off a ledge over Jensen’s injury in an all-in Bucs season, and he doesn’t want to hear any chatter about how Hainsey has strong internal support.)

In speaking with the pen and mic club yesterday, head coach Todd Bowles spoke about Hainsey. And he lit a light bulb in Joe’s head when was asked how Hainsey practiced yesterday.

“Smart. He’s very smart,” Bowles said. “Going to the right places and doing the right things out of pads. When we go into pads, when he goes up against Vita [Vea] and Akiem [Hicks] he’ll get a lot of good work that way. But he did everything [well], and so did [Nick] Leverett.”

Remember when the Bucs drafted Tristan Wirfs? It was his job at right tackle to win or lose. However, he didn’t have an offseason because of The Sickness.

Licht and former Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians told Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul to give Wirfs everything they had in training camp. Don’t let up. Use your every move. It was almost as much their responsibility to get Wirfs ready for Week 1 against Cam Jordan and the Saints as it was Bucs coaches.

Shaq and JPP complied. And when Wirfs hit the field at the Superdome in New Orleans to open the 2020 season, he neutralized Jordan.

How many tackles would Hainsey potentially face this season significantly better than Akiem Hicks and Vita Vea? Outside of Aaron Donald, maybe Jeffery Simmons. Maybe. And Hainsey will face Hicks and Vea daily in training camp.

So if Shaq and JPP could help get Wirfs ready in a handful of weeks, couldn’t Hicks and Vea do the same for Hainsey?

35 Responses to “The Hidden Factor In Prepping Robert Hainsey”

  1. Todd Says:


    Ryan Jensen will be back by end of October.

    He will “will” it to happen and I, for one, would not bet against him.

    Love that dude. I searched for “GRIT” in Webster’s online dictionary and his photo popped up next to the definition.

    “I’ll be back!” comes to mind.

  2. Ausgust 1976 Buc Says:

    Whenever you post that pic of Vita, he looks like a walking fire hydrant lol
    I know Randy White of the Cowboys was “The Manster”
    But that is a great name for Vita.

    Hainsey battling Vita and Hicks daily is like a baptism by fire.
    Only going to help Hainsey.

    Games will be easier than practice sometimes this year for Hainsey after going against Vita and Hicks weekly in practice.

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  3. Bobby M. Says:

    Agree….and frankly if we invested a 2nd rd pick in a player that we had no confidence in playing by year two, our drafting and/or development is failing. Look at Trask, the team seems to have zero confidence in him as even a back up in yr two. That’s pretty disappointing. Personally I think o-line is a strength for Licht and Hainsey will be fine.

  4. Beeej Says:

    I expect we’ll need to find a competent backup

  5. David Says:

    If you have the right mentality and ability, going against guys like that in practice every day is either going to be absolutely great for you and make you a lot better a lot faster or it’s going to destroy you.
    I do not see that destroying Hainsey.

  6. 1#bucsfan Says:

    I remember that joe. Think it’s a great ideal to send the big dogs at hainsey n send them often to prepare him. To be great you have to go up against great players. Vea n hicks should are the guys for the job

  7. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Bobby M. Your sources of information apparently are limited.

  8. D-Rok Says:

    Just tell Vea to avoid fork-lifting Hainsey right into Brady’s lap, like Vea did to a center last year. Teach the young center, but don’t ragdoll him outta the club.

    Good insight in this article, Joe.

  9. K2 Says:

    What doesn’t kill Hainsey, will make him stronger. If he can survive Vea and Hicks…he will be good to go.

  10. SOEbuc Says:

    We need to pick up another center whether he be the starter or not. I want Hainsey to be the Wirfs type, but if we are in Brady’s last year win now mode, we can’t totally rely on Hainsey and Leverett for what is the unseen most important position on offense. Let’s get a proven vet, and this year we can have very good depth at center after a battle in camp and PS.

  11. BucsNoles Says:

    Im sure Jensen will be there in the room as a sounding board.
    It’s a little scary, but. . .

  12. Allbuccedup Says:

    You need to pick up another center/guard to fill Jensens spot on the roster wherher he starts or not.

  13. Goatfarmer Says:

    No sense in taking the risk. No margin for error, no degrees of freedom left. Todd apparently allows contact in his non contact practices so we will see more injuries. Also, no rush. In two weeks, Licht will pull the trigger on Tretter,.

  14. GOB Says:

    Hainsey is no scrub. He was the #1 guard recruit in the nation coming out of highschool. He’s not unfamiliar with the center position either. He played a bunch of snaps at center in the senior bowl, and blew the coaches away. The only drawback, is his lack of athleticism. Brady sets his own protections. So long as Hainsey doesn’t fall on his face, they’ll be just fine.

  15. WillieG Says:

    Excellent point Joe. Hainsey will go against the best interior lineman pair in the league. If that doesn’t prepare him, alone with stellar coaching, he needs to be cut. I think he will do just fine.

    I’m surprised that Ira doesn’t seem to have faith in Licht, Arians, and Bowles. If they all say Hainsey is ready, he’s ready!

  16. Mike Says:

    Honestly, I thought the Bucs should have just rolled with Hainsey in the offseason. He’s ready to become the starter.

  17. Tim Says:

    Despite what Irv might have to say about it, I respect Licht’s assessment when it comes to O-linemen. If Licht says he’s good, that’s good enough for me.

  18. lambeau Says:

    If Hainsey can’t handle Vita Vea, we’ll know by the end of the week.
    Then Licht can pick up the phone.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Do we even have a definitive answer on Jensen’s injury yet?…….I suspect it is bad by the way everyone is acting but it’s not over until Booger says it is.

  20. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    All of our weapons will literally self destruct, if we can’t protect Brady + Give him enough time to find the open receiver.
    We all WANT to believe that Hainsey can fill Jensen’s shoes, because we spent a second round pick for him.
    Tretter is a good center that is w/o a team right now.
    He might even be an upgrade over Jensen. PFF sure thinks so.
    I have faith in Jason Licht to make sure we are gonna be ok.

  21. Joe Says:

    Do we even have a definitive answer on Jensen’s injury yet?…

    No. Keep in mind it is not the regular season so there are no injury reports. Bucs are not under any NFL requirements to offer injury info in a timely manner. No industry in America short of Coke or Kentucky Fried Chicken is more paranoid than NFL coaches and teams.

  22. Kody Says:

    Can’t replace the pure “savagery in the trenches,” the leadership, the mind-games (psych warfare) and experience/knowledge that Jensen brings. Not with Hainsey. Not yet. May take him years to acquire those assets. But Tretter might be able to bring some of those things this year. I’ll be shocked if the Bucs don’t try to sign Tretter to a one year deal.

  23. BigMacAttack Says:

    Run the ball down their throats. Use tight ends to block. Let the defense know you’re running and then pound it down their throats. When they get tired, unleash TB12. Line will build confidence and continuity running the ball.

  24. Brazen Zebra Says:

    Big loss. Jensen is irreplaceable! When Robbins couldn’t play, the Raiders lost in the Super Bowl. Gannon threw 5 INTs. When Pouncey couldn’t play, the Steelers lost in the Super Bowl. Probably need to go outside the Bucs. It’s Brady’s call for sure. Maybe Brady could call his good buddy, and ask, “Hey Gronk, wanna play center?”. Sure Tom!

  25. steele Says:

    Having to practice vs. your own guys is a “Not so hidden” factor. It doesn’t matter if Hainsey is progressing, or even great already. Where’s the depth? It’s not just center, but Stinnie that I’m worried about.

    The expressway to flattening Tom Brady is protected by Hainsey/Stinnie/Leverett/Goedeke. Sorry, I’m not fully confident.

  26. Anthony Says:

    Im a big Jenson fan but I believe either one of theses guys will step up. Call it a hunch call it whatever you want. But they will do the job

  27. steele Says:

    It sounds like the entire org is unanimously mega-bullish on Hainsey. He will get every last chance, all the time in the world, and he would have to completely screw up (or TB12 gives up on him) in order for them to make an outside move. THey will resist making that move.

    They seem to be willing to treat this as an ordinary season with any ordinary roster. Jensen’s out, fine, he’s back late season or next season. He’s signed for 3, don’t spend any more money, don’t sign a new starting veteran, see what the internal guys can do, be patient with young talent over a 2-3 year time frame. Ho hum. Deal with problems throughout the season. Ho hum.

    Sorry, Tom. It’s 2015 all over again.

  28. Wild Bill Says:

    Next man up. It’s what every team has to do. Sadly early retirements and big bucks elsewhere have left the Bucs thin in the line. I have been saying they have not given enough improvement to both the offensive and defensive lines. Some of the upgrade money should have been spent on a couple of decent line men instead of a ton of toys for Brady. Especially the o line where two starters (now 3) have been lost. Bucs were gambling they had enough and they got bit. Brady will be at much higher risk.

  29. Joe Says:

    Big loss. Jensen is irreplaceable! When Robbins couldn’t play, the Raiders lost in the Super Bowl. Gannon threw 5 INTs. When Pouncey couldn’t play, the Steelers lost in the Super Bowl.

    WWWAAAYYY different circumstances. The Raiders had less than 24 hours to prep Robbins’ backup. The Bucs have virtually all of training camp (including all padded practices), four days of controlled scrimmages with two decent teams and three preseason games to get Hainsey ready.

    Pouncey got hurt in AFC title game (which Steelers won). Rashard Mendenhall choked that Super Bowl game away with a fumble.

    Hainsey, Pouncey and Robbins’ situations are not even remotely comparable, other than they are all centers.

  30. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe Joe should learn more than one fact about Jason Licht, or at least not mention AC/DC every time his name comes up. The guy probably gets nothing but AC/DC stuff for every Xmas & birthday thanks to you! 1: His name is Jason Licht 2: He’s the general manager of the Bucs 3: He loves AC/DC That’s all we could find out about him. See how stupid that sounds?

  31. DoooshLaRue Says:


    And we knew their playbook!

  32. Joe Says:

    See how stupid that sounds?


    Joe sees his traffic numbers (you can too by going to and others’ who cover the Bucs. Apparently, not nearly as many folks are outraged by this as you may be. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Can’t please all the people all the time.”

    Thanks as always for reading… and caring. 👍

  33. GOB Says:

    Holy smokes!! Blocking a three technique, and single shade blocking are entirety different things. Hainsey isn’t going to be asked to block Donald 1 on 1. The guards will get that responsibility. The center snaps the ball and gives help on passing downs. When they run, it isn’t that imaginative anyway. Brady actually know WTF he’s doing. The kid will be fine. They haven’t even started practicing in shells. The sky is falling because Ryan Jensen maybe lost for the year, is completely absurd.

  34. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @GOB. I agree. The LG position is very much a big concern. Aaron Stinnie is not that guy and shouldn’t be gifted with first team snaps. After Hall beat him so badly that he fell into Jensen’s leg, he was disappeared to the backup RG on Friday. I know the company line that it was a freak play, but i promise you that are probably players who felt that play could’ve been prevented.

    To all those who think everything will be ok, I urge everyone to re-watch the Washington game last year.It was a complete disaster. Their DL wrecked havoc all game. After Allen laid Brady out, he checked it down to Lenny all game. Mind you, this is when we had our starting OL! Imagine what will happen with a re-tooled Left interior line. Teams are lining their chops this year. Matter of fact, during last season’s Hard Knocks, the Colts’ DC showed video of the defense of the game against Washington to prepare for us, and kept emphasizing to attack our interior line. He went as far as to say “pressure burts pipes.”

    I also bet if you ask Brady about the comparison that’s being made to 2015 with David Andrews, he won’t say it’s a similar situation. Andrews is his guy. It’s like when Gio was signed and people were comparing him to James White. Brady shut that comparison down. If Andrews was named the starter, Brady must have liked him. The jury is still out on Hainsey.

    I know the Joes do their research, and there is a video of Ross Tucker on the Dan Patrick Show and he tells this story about how particular about Brady is about his center. It went as fas as to call him a psycho. It was in the nicest way possible.

  35. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Brady completely controls any personnel decision he wants to control , because he holds the nuke option , if you do not give me what I want then I will retire again-and do not be foolish enough to think that has not already occurred and possibly more than once.