Byron Leftwich: Nobody Could Be A Better Replacement For Ryan Jensen

September 22nd, 2022

Center Robert Hainsey.

The Robert Hainsey love at One Buc Palace seems to have reached a new height.

When Super Bowl/Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen blew out his knee early in training camp, most Bucs fans were barking for the team to sign a replacement center with experience. Instead, the Bucs rolled with second-year man Robert Hainsey, who had never started a regular-season game at the position.

So how is Hainsey doing?

Well, he’s been so successful, playcaller Byron Leftwich says no player could have come in to replace Jensen and done a better all-around job.

The moments have not been too big for Hainsey or rookie left guard Luke Goedeke, Leftwich said.

“We felt that, but we had to see it. And I think everybody sees it,” Leftwich said. “The job that Hainsey’s done since he’s come in, communicating with Tom, making sure we’re all on the same page, has been excellent. You couldn’t get better from anybody that’s coming trying to replace Ryan Jensen. Right? We lose an All-Pro guy and then we got a guy come in and still plays at a high level.”

Joe is impressed by what Hainsey and Goedeke have delivered. Even more impressive was first-timer, third-stringer Brandon Walton stepping in against the Saints at left tackle and holding down the fort.

As Leftwich said, a third-string left tackle usually means “disaster” is forthcoming, but he was more than solid in pass protection.

General manager Jason Licht has proven to be an elite O-line builder.

27 Responses to “Byron Leftwich: Nobody Could Be A Better Replacement For Ryan Jensen”

  1. Bob in valrico Says:

    Ya, he’s pretty good at being an elite O line rebuilder too!

  2. Todd Says:

    Whatup with Jensen’s knee? They can’t possibly “still” be waiting for the swelling to go down before having it x-rayed, can they? Will he need surgery or not?

  3. 2022 Year of the GOAT RETURN Says:

    General manager Jason Licht has proven to be an elite O-line builder…… !!!

    YES that is a understatement…. the results speak for themselves

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Hope he stays healthy…….so far, so good

  5. BucU Says:

    Jensen’s 2nd day of training camp injury was an omen of things to come if I’ve ever seen one.

  6. Panhandle Buc Says:

    Yet our offense is struggling big time…

  7. geno711 Says:

    The O-line coaching really has been the biggest difference between this coaching staff and Koetters coaching staff.

  8. Lakeland Steve Says:

    That’s what’s odd, Bowles was asked in his presser yesterday if there was an update on Jensen knee and he said no. Wtf are the Bucs hiding?

  9. Hodad Says:

    Yeah, what is the story with Jensen’s knee? Joe loves reporting gossip about Brady’s life, or speculation about Gronk, but this is one story he doesn’t seem to want to touch. I listen to Bowles pressers, Joe ain’t alone, no reporter asks what’s going on with Jensen anymore. If there was a rumor Jensen was going to be on the masked singer, Joe, and the rest of the beat reporters would be all over it.

  10. An Erection for Sacks Says:

    “BucU Says:
    September 22nd, 2022 at 7:05 am
    Jensen’s 2nd day of training camp injury was an omen of things to come if I’ve ever seen one.”


    Omens, and superstition in general, are merely tools of ignorance.

  11. SteveK Says:

    Agree, Joe, the big uglies are playing sexy football.

    And, mr. Walton looks like a player, I believe he becomes a fixture on our line. Reminds me of when we struck gold with Donald Penn.

  12. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Jason Licht is a great draft evaluator for the Oline and Joe Gilbert is proving to be a top Offensive Line coach.

  13. SteveK Says:

    I feel that the Bucs are so, so blessed to have TB12 back for one more dance. The young guys are benefiting like crazy from seeing the master.

    I believe the lasting impact on this franchise after TB12 hangs up his cleats will keep us elevated and on a path to glory. I believe this because the Bucs were smart enough to ditch their (losing) egos and give TB12 whatever he wants to make it happen. He’s earned that more than anyone. And, when the Bucs had a chance to add “Michael Jordan”, or “Wayne Gretzky” we were quick with the “ok! Name it”. Go Bucs! Go Brady! Win one more for the hell of it.

  14. SteveK Says:

    When you have a foundational piece, a transcending-level player, it affords the team so much more support. Couple that with the GOATs understanding of not taking up too much cap space, so they more resources can be signed. Look at the other QBs making more money, putting up less wins, and holy cow this old man can still sling it. It’s beautiful thing to see!

  15. SteveK Says:

    We need to do whatever it takes in the front office to go “all in” for this season. I mean, you trade future picks if need be to make our team better. If Brady wants OBJ, go get him. The GOAT is the best field general of all time, and the amount of respect he commands.

  16. Bucschamp Says:

    Our Oline did pretty good vs nasty saints bull rush. That task is not easy

  17. Dooley Says:


    Agreed, can’t forget Coach Goodwin either, he & coach Gilbert have been doing work keeping our OL depth prepared. 2022 is the first real test of our depth on the OL we’re seeing the fruits of that work not many see with depth OL players paying off. Hainsey looks good, Goedeke will only get better, and s/o to Spytek & Greenberg for keeping Brandon Walton on their radar and snatching him up off the waiver wire after being cut by the Bills & Steelers. They didn’t even let a day go before scooping him up.

  18. Cho Says:

    Man, times have changed. The Bucs have finally realized that football is won on both sides of the line.

    2018 draft: 1st round pick, Vita Vea; 3rd round pick, Alex Cappa.
    2020 draft: 1st round pick, Tristan Wirfs.
    2021 draft: 1st round pick, JTS (basically a lineman); 3rd round pick Robert Hainsey.
    2022 draft: 1st round pick Logan Hall; 2nd round pick Luke Goedke.

    Let’s keep building from the lines out.

  19. billybobbubba Says:

    We might want to start considering giving less love to general manager and a lot more love to the offencive line coaching staff

  20. Wild Bill Says:

    I don’t agree with sacrificing the future by trading next year or beyond draft picks for high mileage used cars. Quality drafts of young blood keep teams prepared for the long term. Obviously Licht has done a great job of hand picking low profile but high potential young players and that is how you maintain a consistent contender. Replacing Brady is the biggest concern. But a strong overall roster will keep the Bucs relevant until a competitive qb is developed or aquired.

  21. Goatfarmer Says:

    What happens if Walton goes down, heaven forbid? Is Donnie well enough to play if Walton goes down?

  22. Dooley Says:


    We Still have Fred Johnson on the roster, who also struggles against speed rushers, but is big as all of outside.

  23. Brandon Says:

    Walton played left tackle, not left guard, against the Saints, Joe.

  24. Rod Munch Says:

    If you believe PFF, Hainsey is the 5th best center in football so far this year.

    It’s almost like Licht knows what he’s doing.

  25. steele Says:

    What on earth is going on with Jensen’s knee? Bucs and Jensen himself (silent) are hiding something.

    As for Hainsey, you will not hear a negative word about the golden boy, even when he underperforms. A marginal preseason and two games is not a lot of evidence. Try December.

    D. Smith is being a warrior, Walton is a one-game surprise, but OL depth remains a red flag that they will continue to address with in-house JAG practice squad.

  26. Buczilla Says:

    Licht is the Lawrence Taylor of gm’s right now and no other gm comes close to this dude. Like Taylor with substance abuse, Licht has some weaknesses (no good drafted rb’s or outside pass rushers yet), but his overall body of work is unequaled among his current peers. He’s still young too, so he may be hof worthy someday. The hobbit from boston is a legendary coach, but his gm skills are closer to Chucky’s than Licht’s.

  27. MadMax Says:

    @Cho, thats how its done….we’re trying….if they just keep following me, we’re good. Might be going DT again next draft with our 1st.