Right Guard Robert Hainsey?

March 5th, 2023

Joe talked to many members of the Bucs contingent at the NFL Scouting Combine this week and walked away skeptical of right guard Shaq Mason’s future with the team.

Shaq is expensive, about to turn 30, only has one year remaining on his contract, and he still has trade value. Fair or not, that puts him in the spotlight as a potential player to be gone because the Bucs have to shave tens of millions off their salary cap in 10 days.

Joe doesn’t believe the Bucs want to cut Mason, but he may be one of the odd men out if Tampa Bay is able to re-sign/sign their priority free agents. Of course, the Bucs may not be able to sign any of them and Mason could stick.

Joe brings this up in the context of third-year offensive linemen Robert Hainsey, last year’s starting center who is beloved at One Buc Palace.

Hainsey was in line for the starting left guard job last season when Pro Bowl center went down with a brutal knee injury in July. That pushed Hainsey to center and he didn’t miss a game.

After attending the Combine, talking to Bucs coaches and hearing general manager Jason Licht talk about Luke Goedeke coming back for a strong second season at left guard, Joe is convinced the Bucs want Hainsey on the field this season.

While Hainsey was a right tackle in college and played center in 2022, he largely was projected as a guard coming out of the Notre Dame in the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s got enough size at about 6-5, 310 pounds, and he’s known as a super smart guy with a fierce work ethic.

Off the field, Hainsey is very close with Pro Bowl right tackle Tristan Wirfs (unless they had a recent falling out). So Joe could see the Bucs brass thinking Wirfs and Hainsey would have great chemistry alongside each other with Jensen helping bring along Hainsey, as well.

Again, the Combine-week takeaway here was that the Bucs want Hainsey on the field, and since Joe doesn’t think Hainsey has enough quickness for tackle, that only leaves guard.

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45 Responses to “Right Guard Robert Hainsey?”

  1. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Maybe Hainsey, maybe Goedeke.

  2. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Draft a long armed Right Tackle in the 3rd Round. Hainsey (32-1/8”) and Goedeke (32-1/4”) have short arms for Tackle, in NFL standards.

  3. Lewis Says:

    Hainsey didn’t allow a single sack last season, just saying… We all know Brady was a statue

  4. Duane Says:

    The Bucs need to fix the offensive line, period. How they do it is their call. But if the O-line doesn’t improve the offense won’t improve, period.

  5. Fire the Glazers Says:

    Nope. Move Whirfs to LT. Goedeke plays RT (he played great at tackle, more natural to him.) Hainsey plays LG and Leverette plays RG.

  6. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    and Joe says ” hearing general manager Jason Licht talk about Luke Goedeke coming back for a strong second season at left guard”. NO NO NO and HECK NO – Goedeke has a path to decency-put him back at RT where he was in College and move Wirfs to LT where he will quickly become the best LT in the league. Goedeke played like a fish out of water at LG- the learning curve was way too steep. Licht may well prove this draft and off season that he is not the GM to lead this team.

  7. Goatfarmer Says:

    Goedonkey was about as pitiful as I’ve seen. Not sure what’s redeeming about him. He can’t run block, but at least he’s a gifted matador on pass pro.

  8. teacherman777 Says:

    Hainsey gets zero push.

    Goedeke gets zero push.

    Jensen may not be the same guy he was.

    We could have an awful interior line again!

    No push? No running game! No wins!

  9. Redeemer Says:

    Mason is one of the better guards in the league. Of course he’s expensive. That being said, it doesn’t make sense to pay a guard that kind of money, with a team that’s going to suck.

  10. Voice of Truth Says:

    Moving to a zone scheme will help with the short arm issue – the movement creates space to wall block

    Could be a very different looking OLine for sure, but need to add more quality at G and T – we have 3 people that can play C if needed

    would love the G from FL at 19 – that keeps Jensen at C and allows you to move on from Mason

    Developmental T in 3/4th round behind Wirfs and Luke let’s us walk from DSmith

    Trading two rookie deals for about 18 mil in cap sounds very smart to me

  11. NEfan Says:

    Mason didn’t let up one sack all season. Great idea, trim the oline it worked out so well last season. Just think what you could get for Wirf?? Dump em all save some $$$, quarterbacks playing for the Bucs are tackling dummies. As an outsider, starting to feel real bad for Bucs fans, even the A-HOLES.

  12. Stebobucsfan Says:

    Sounds good to me but what do we do at RT and RG Joe?

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    WE need to get at least something for him…..perhaps a 5th or 6th rounder…..

    I’m good with getting rid of all older expensive players………except Evans.

  14. TOMMY MORDUE Says:


  15. Dooley Says:

    There’s should still be an open competition at LG with Hainsey & Goedeke. Assuming we get Leverett back add him, plus a rookie whether draftee or UDFA to the LG comp and depth behind Mason. Leave Wirfs at RT, keep Mason at RG, and add a swing T candidate to Walton, Niese, Hermanns, & Skule.

  16. Redeemer Says:

    Doesn’t matter anyway NE. They ain’t winning shat. You can find a mason in the draft. He was a fourth rounder if not mistaken. Until they find the next QB. It’s all moot

  17. HC Grover Says:

    If u cut Mason why keep Jensen?

  18. Rod Munch Says:

    Shaq is a solid player and you’d take on nearly a $5m cap hit to gain $5m, and you still have to pay a replacement player. It wouldn’t make any sense to cut him, plus, I think he’d have some trade value (probably along the lines of a 5th like the Bucs gave up to get him). If they did anything, it would likely be post-June 1st.

    As for Hainsey, he spent last offseason getting ready to compete at guard, and plus he played center, plus he as a college tackle. That’s a good guy to have around since you can play him anywhere in any emergency, and I thought he did quite well at center considering his experience level. If we keep Jensen and don’t trade him (which I’d do since he probably has some value and might get your a 3rd), then let Hainsey compete at LG, maybe even give some practice at LT as well.

  19. NEfan Says:

    So for arguments sake, Bucs trim up and put together a decent starting line, then what?? They have no depth.

  20. Rod Munch Says:

    NEfan – Last year you lost Marpet, Jensen, Cappa and Stinnie. If they keep Shaq, I think they’ll be just fine, and I disagree about depth. You need a new LT most likely, but Licht can find someone. If you do that, then you still have Luke, who should make a big jump in his second season. You got Hainsey you can play everywhere. If he’s healthy, you can bring back Stinnie. Nick Leverett was OK, would be a good depth if they resign him.

    I quite disagree on the offensive line depth. All the issues with the Bucs are going to be QB, and on defense, where every position lacks depth and starters.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    What positions guys place doesn’t matter a bit to me; that’s the coaches’ job to determine the best fit. All I care about is putting the best 5 on the field AND having decent DEPTH behind them for when injuries occur. And they do & they will.

  22. NEfan Says:

    Rod, how will you protect the QB/ run the ball if one or two of your starters go down without depth? Same as 2022 season.

  23. Rod Munch Says:

    NEfan – If you lose one guy, you’re still OK I think. If you lose two, you’re likely screwed. But that’s true for nearly every team in the NFL.

  24. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Still everyday

  25. ABucAway Says:

    The only right guard hainsey needs is the kind he uses after working out. He has no power which equates to no push at the snap. What’s the math: force x velocity=power? Hitting those Fast twitch fibers for velocity could help. What will also help is him being more comfortable and not in his own head.

  26. Mort Says:

    Cut Donnovan Smith, move Wirfs to LT, then Hainsey at LG, Jensen, Mason and Goedeke at RT.

    RE-sign Stinnie as your swing guard and Hainsey is your backup center as well. Need a backup tackle somewhere and then your O-line is basically done.

  27. Mike Johnson Says:

    Since this is a possible upcoming down season anyway, Our Bucs would be smart to fortify the trenches. There are some good O linemen coming out. Next would be a DB or a DE.

  28. BUCman Says:

    L to R: Wirfs, Hainsey, Jensen, Mason, Goedeke

  29. SlyPirate Says:

    Hainsey and Goedeke both need to hit the weight room and add strength.

  30. HC Grover Says:

    This is the sound of discombobulation. The Bowles Effect in full glory. How bad will they be? 0-17

  31. sasquatch Says:

    HC Grover Says:
    March 5th, 2023 at 2:20 pm

    If u cut Mason why keep Jensen?

    Uh, duuhhh… cuz Jensen’s a better player? Also, the undisputed leader and anchor of the O-line.

  32. cmurda Says:

    Nah. I am nowhere near HC Grover with regards to Mike Evans. I’m firmly in the corner of Mike retiring a Buc. The Ronde Barbers, John Lynches, and Mike Astotts of the world should retire a Buc after massive contributions. With all of that said, I completely agree with Grover that it makes little sense to unload some good players, have a rookie QB that has zero trust from the Head Coach, and a very suspect O line as it is. If you trade Shaq, you should trade Jensen. That frees up a few more bucks and there has to be a team that needs a Center to anchor the line. It’s all in on a rebuild or a reload. Can’t half step both.

  33. gotbbucs Says:

    I’d like to see Hainsey put on 10-15 lbs if he’s going to play inside. He can’t anchor against the big boys right now.

  34. steele Says:

    Hainsey was soft, no push, pressured (“giving up no sacks” doesn’t mean the pocket still didn’t collapse at his position), no leadership fire, but “technical”. He needs to add a lot of strength and weight, and learn from Jensen how to fight. If the OL is otherwise a great one, he could be a marginal starter, but if this were a better team, he would be a depth/backup. Goedeke, Leverett, marginal backups.
    Shaq is expensive and wasn’t great, but solid enough. D Smith, a disaster.

    It all depends on what Motivational Speaker Canales wants to do. If they go zone blocking scheme, which I think is likely, that changes a lot of things, from body type to spacing.

  35. SOEbuc Says:

    Serious size on the right side with Hainsey and Wirfs. People are idiots wanna mess with one of the top RT game and shift him to LT.

  36. Goatfarmer Says:


    Nothing more needs to be said.

    Big round red nose. Red hair tufts out of each temple. Make up. Frilly collared shirt.

  37. Aaron Says:

    Why the “falling out” comment Joe? Have you heard something?

  38. DJB Says:

    Wirfs – LT
    Stinnie – LG
    Jenkins – C
    Hainsey – RG
    Goedeke – RT

  39. Capt.Tim Says:

    Hainsey- RG

  40. BillyA Says:

    @steele do you really believe your own crap? You should pick a different team or sport because you have no knowledgeable info about the Bucs. Quit already. An armchair football player is the worst.

  41. Rod Munch Says:

    SOEbuc Says:
    March 5th, 2023 at 6:03 pm
    Serious size on the right side with Hainsey and Wirfs. People are idiots wanna mess with one of the top RT game and shift him to LT.


    Well the reason you’d do that is because a top LT is more valuable than top RT, because at LT you face better competition. Also, it’s generally easier to find a top RT than a top LT. Finally, there’s nothing that says you can’t just move Wirfs back to RT if he’s not a top LT. It’s not like Wirfs is gonna forget how to play RT if you try him at LT for bit. Remember, the team moved Marpet to center, and he was OK, but at guard, he was an all-pro, so they just moved him back. It’s not like the Bucs are going anywhere this year, so getting in some cross training isn’t a terrible idea.

  42. Zoocomics Says:

    This was all the talk on Joe’s latest podcast. What I didn’t hear mentioned at all was us trading Jensen, or releasing Jensen. We’re still in CAP hell, and Jensen has one of the more significant contracts left on the team, to include Shaq Mason’s contract.

    Hainsey did enough to stay at center, he should be better in year 2 and he’s cheap. We had other problems on the line other than Hainsey. Stinnie and Leverett can hold it down at Guard, and maybe Goedeke at RT?

    ALL THAT BEING SAID, yes, our offensive line was the problem last year, and I prefer Jensen at center, no question, but I just don’t see how we get below the cap, and still keep some of this roster without making tough decisions.

  43. Rob Hamada Says:

    All of you guys that want to move Wirfs to LT don’t know much about football. There are plenty of capable LT options in this year’s draft. This is the year to rebuild the offensive and defensive lines.

    RT Wirfs with Goedeke as backup
    RG Goedeke or Hainsey Trade Mason for pick
    C Jensen with Hainsey as backup
    RG Rookie Mayfield, Duncan or Hayes with Stinnie/Leverett as backup
    LT Rookie Mayfield, Duncan, or Hayes with backup already on roster.

  44. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    I don’t see how they can keep Mason at all. Even if they don’t re-sign any of their free agents.

    They need massive restructuring of deals and there just aren’t enough of them to get past that $55 million mark.

  45. 80forBrady Says:

    Great article and a fresh take, Joes. I like the idea though we would need to draft a lineman and sign another cheap FA for depth.

    C Jensen (unless we could trade him for a 2nd round pick then trade and start Hainsey)
    G Hainsey and either Stinnie or Leveritt
    T Wirfs and Goedecke (let training camp determine the side)

    Could Hainsey play Right tackle? Is Hainsey > Goedecke at tackle?