Tristan Wirfs Discusses Robert Hainsey

August 1st, 2022

Says Bucs center in good spot.

Joe already wrote a story on how, if Robert Hainsey has to be prepped to start in the wake of Ryan Jensen’s knee injury, the backup center cannot be in a better position to learn and grow.

Joe noted how when the Bucs drafted right tackle Tristan Wirfs in 2020, Bucs officials and coaches told Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul to go after Wirfs with everything they had. No let up. Wirfs had to be ready when the Bucs faced Cam Jordan and the slimy Saints.

The result of Wirfs’ crash course into the NFL? He neutralized Jordan in Week 1 and Wirfs went on to have one of the best rookie seasons for a Bucs player in a long, long time.

So Hainsey will be going against what many believe is the best defensive tackle duo in the NFL on a daily basis, Vita Vea and Akiem Hicks. No center could be get better preparation.

Joe asked Wirfs about how getting thrown into the fire in training camp like he was as a rookie will help Hainsey. Wirfs said there is no question iron will sharpen iron.

“I think it is going to be huge,” Wirfs said. “Still, for me, going against Shaq every day, Shaq is an incredible edge rusher. I’m seeing all of his moves every day. He gets me [some plays] and I get him [some plays].

“With Hainsey seeing Hicks and Vea, you are not going to find two bigger. better interior guys in the league. So he is getting the best work he can possibly get. It’s just going to help him be prepared for when that time comes.”

As far as Hainsey starting with so few snaps at center under his belt, Joe asked Wirfs what impresses him about Hainsey. Wirfs broke out into a big smile.

“His love for the game,” Wirfs said. “And how smart he is. He put in a lot of time last year [and during the offseason and spring workouts] learning our playbook inside and out. I think at center, you have to know everything about everything, what all five guys are doing and make the calls and everything.

“I love Hainsey to death. He just works his butt off. I’m excited for him.”

This sort of backs up what A.Q. Shipley said about Hainsey. The former Bucs offensive lineman and offensive line coach, Shipley worked with Hainsey as the Notre Dame product’s personal coach for a total of eight weeks through the offseason. Shipley said Hainsey has worked enough to be able to answer the bell if his name is called.

Hainsey now has 41 days to be Dallas-Ready.

21 Responses to “Tristan Wirfs Discusses Robert Hainsey”

  1. SlyPirate Says:

    0 concerns with Hainsey starting

  2. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Not concerned about Hainsey per se, but I am concerned about depth after him. Didn’t he also back up at guard a bit too?

  3. GOB Says:

    Jack, The bucs line had been remarkably healthy for two straight seasons. That doesn’t often happen. I’m a little worried about depth too, but, like you not Hainsey. I’ve followed the kid pretty closely. He was the #1 guard recruit in the nation coming out of highschool. He’s incredibly smart and his work ethic is A++.

  4. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Bucs have 4 guys competing for Center- the Cream will rise.
    Goedeke is “learning” according to Leverett- I wouldn’t be surprised if Wirfs moves to Left Tackle in 2024 and Goedeke becomes RT at that time.

  5. Goatfarmer Says:

    Please put Wirfs in bubble wrap. Please.

  6. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    If Wirfs is ok with him, that should tell us all something.
    I was unaware Hainsey was the top guard recruit in the Nation.
    Hainsey must be Catholic, because instead of going to Alabama, he went to Notre Dame.
    Notre dame is like Michigan in it’s refusal to drop it’s academic standards, just because you play football.

  7. Darin Says:

    The best center remaining will play. Quit being scared of injuries it’s football. Not sure why fans are more scared than players. Grab your bags and scream

  8. captivajim Says:

    executing the job of the position is certainly Very important–but setting the tone as Jensen did may be more difficult …

  9. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Alan Bucs

    My dream is Wirfs at LT and to deal Durable Donnie.

  10. Alanbucsfan Says:

    It all depends on when Goedeke is ready- Bucs won’t trade D Smith with Jensen out, but re-signing him when his contract ends in 2023 is another story.

  11. Kody Says:

    Hey, I hope Hainsey has vastly improved since last season and can protect Brady from the likes of the Ram’s DL. But what if he can’t? And what if we find out too late? Why risk it when there’s free agent centers like Tretter available. I’m not saying start Tretter. Hainsey can still start. But have a seasoned vet as backup.

  12. DoooshLaRue Says:


    Agree we keep DD this year.

  13. DaBux Says:

    He’s a younger Jensen. I have no problem with him starting. He’s too smart to make the bad call.

  14. Robert Says:

    Shipley also said that Hainsey rooms with Wirfs an they’re close friends off the field. Wirfs can help Hainsey thru the entire season.

  15. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @Kody Totally agree! Are we gonna wait until Tom gets killed and then make a move? By then all available Cs that are good won’t be there. Here’s a list of the gauntlet of pass rushers we will see our first four games:

    Dallas:Parsons and Ware
    Saints: Jordan and Davenport
    Packers. Gary, Clark, and Smith
    Chiefs: Clark, Jones, and now Dunlap.

    We can’t start off slow! This is an allegedly all in year and we’re going with a developmental project at C and a below average LG. We need a vet on that interior OL. Wirfs is Hainsey’s best friend. What else did you expect him to say?

  16. Joe Says:

    @Kody Totally agree! Are we gonna wait until Tom gets killed and then make a move?

    If you think Jason Licht is going to pull a trigger on a move in the next few days, Joe has awful news for you. Sorry to be repetitive (Joe’s written this several times and spoke about this a few times on Ira’s pod) but after talking to several folks within the organization, Joe does not get the impression the Bucs are going to panic and make a trade (or sign JC Tretter). Part of this, Joe assumes, is that Licht knows if he tries to pull off a trade he will get taken to the cleaners. Teams know the Bucs are possibly in a need-mode.

    The Bucs are going to give Robert Hainsey a fair shot to win this which to Joe means a couple of preseason games. Now come Septerber when dudes are getting cut, then yeah, Joe could see a move.

    Joe understands a lot of folks don’t want to hear this but Joe is only the messenger here. If Joe had an idea the Bucs were panting to make a trade, he would write that.

  17. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @Joe Thanks for the explanation. I just can’t imagine on what’s to be an all in season that we’re going to roll with a converted tackle at C. The LG position is also unstable. This is a receiver-driven offense that runs a ton of long developing plays. If Brady’s under siege, it’s gonna be check down city. I can’t believe we invested all that money in receivers, and we can’t maximize their potential because our OL is a problem.

    Also, with these interceptions in practice I would like more detail if possible. Every pick isn’t the same. What was the route? Did the QB read it wrong? Did the WR read it wrong? Was there pressure that caused the mistake? I just think it’s useful to dig further.

    Thanks for the updates! I’m a Krewe member who can’t make it to the practices. I’m relying on different sources for information on practices.

  18. Joe Says:


    You are welcome!

    Joe is aiming to have a story this week, maybe as early as tomorrow if he can get a hold of a certain player, which may partially explain why the Bucs are willing to give Hainsey a shot.

  19. steele Says:

    Nobody on the team will breathe a word of criticism about Hainsey, or anyone else. They will wait as long as possible to make any moves for C/G, which means they will likely not get Tretter (there is a market for him, and he’ll probably be signed soon). If they make a move at all, I’d guess it would be a cheap low-key name purely for depth, who won’t even get much usage. Sounds like they’re all-in on Hainsey/Leverett/Stinnie/Goedeke. In other words, TB12 gets no special treatment, even in his last stand.

  20. Defy9Ordinary Says:

    The Bucs appear to hv one of the most ineffective, feeble & inconsistent front offices, if they’re not going to bring in a well established/proven NFL VETERAN CENTER, to help protect their FRANCHISE > the GOAT, Tom Brady!! Why even go all in on this Season (2022-23′)? TB12 only manged to turn around a dud of a franchise (no playoffs in 13 yrs), regardless of whom the Bucs had behind center or Coaching or as their GM > into a Superbowl Winning Team, the 1st Season he came to Tampa. But even though the interior of the O-line is going through basically an upheaval, we’re gonna make it even more difficult for you TB12!! “Oh that’s right Tommy, your 45th Birthday is August 3rd — to frickin bad.” If Licht can’t maneuver a FA signing like Tretter, maybe he’s no longer equipped to be an NFL General Manager? Please don’t pull that b.s. you pulled last yr. with not signing highly skilled DB’s that were definitely (reasonably) available. Because none were brought over, inevitably the Bucs Season was a failure and it certainly didn’t need to be. #ProtectTheGOAT #LFG

  21. teacherman777 Says:

    News Flash!

    Hainsey was a tackle in college!

    He’s never played center in his entire career!