Excellent Offensive Line Depth

July 3rd, 2023

Robert Hainsey (left) and Nick Leverett.

Bucs fans easily could develop an irritable bowel upon looking at the projected right side of the Buccaneers’ offensive line, rookie Cody Mauch at right guard alongside one-game-wonder right tackle Luke Goedeke.

But that gastric distress shouldn’t happen to fans studying the Bucs’ offensive line depth.

Tampa Bay has legitimate depth and experience along the line, and Joe believes few teams can say that.

Consider that former Bucs scout and Jets personnel chief Pat Kirwan was ranting on SiriusXM NFL Radio last month about how strong center Robert Hainsey is as a player. Kirwan said Hainsey could start for many teams and he thinks the Bucs have perhaps the best No. 2 center in the NFL.

Hainsey started every game last season in place of injured Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen. Kirwan was quoting data saying Hainsey didn’t allow a sack. The number nerds at the PFF Tribe, Pro Football Focus, seem to agree. They ranked Hainsey as the 13th-best center in the NFL last season.

Joe wouldn’t give Hainsey that kind of grade, but he certainly seems like a legitimate starter at 24 years old.

Then there’s Nick Leverett and Aaron Stinnie as backup guards. Leverett got the first 10 starts of his career last season, and Stinnie proved himself during the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl run three seasons ago. Each is under 30.

The “swing” tackle appears to be Brandon Walton. An undrafted free agent out of Florida Atlantic in 2020, Walton landed on the Bucs 53-man roster to open last season and never lost his spot. He made multiple starts last season and nobody wanted to throw a tomato at him for putting Tom Brady’s life in danger.

Joe thinks about past Bucs offensive lines and while general manager Jason Licht often finds hidden gems off the street, Joe is impressed by Licht opening training camp with what appears to be top-quality depth.

24 Responses to “Excellent Offensive Line Depth”

  1. Ko Kiefer Says:

    I’ve read repeatedly that Fieler is already penciled in at LG. Hainsey will get a chance to compete for both guard spots. Bank on that, too young and talented to ride the pine on this developing squad.

  2. Infomeplease Says:

    Seeing is believing!! You are right Joe! There does appear to be plenty of depth! Let’s hope the starters pan out and stay healthy! The opposite of last year!

  3. CrackerBall Says:

    I would prefer some confirmed better starters in some positions – and fewer “depth” quality players.

  4. Ko Kiefer Says:


    Sounds like you’re just whining.

  5. geno711 Says:

    Not a Hainsey fan after last year. Hope he proves me wrong.

  6. stpetebucfan Says:

    What Ko Kiefer just said! I think this OL has the potential to be the surprise of the team. The left side from center out is actually very good. The RG and RT show the potential to also be very good and as pointed out here the depth is good.

    I expect the 2023 OL to be one of the Buc’s strengths and I think Canales knows how to use them far more effectively than Leftwich.

  7. Buc4evr Says:

    Think the pass blocking will improve but run blocking with this new line is still a question. Not sold on Goedeke at RT.

  8. David Says:

    There’s a big difference between experience and good experience.
    So far 3 of the starters have proven absolutely nothing.
    Then there’s Jensen at center, we have no idea how he is.
    The pro bowler, WIRFS, is playing a new position, so even that is a question.

  9. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Yeah Jose, I have to agree here. Depth looks good and that can only be beneficial. I am a little worried about the youth on the right side but preseason should sort that out.

  10. Rand Says:

    Moving Wirfs to LT is the best thing this team could have done, especially in the run game. This O-line will prove Joe Red wrong and vindicate me from Joe Reds spiteful verbal attack.

  11. PNW Buc Says:

    Considering the Bucs had the worst or 2nd worst Cap situation this off-season, the offensive front looks great and the potential for some young talent to step is there for them to take.
    If and’s or buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas.
    Let’s go Bucs!

  12. ATLBuc Says:

    Why don’t we move Jensen to right guard and put hainsey back at center

  13. Stanglassman Says:

    When the experts say that the Bucs have a lot of talent to have such a low (6.5) over/under wins. OL depth isn’t but should be one of the areas people recognize. I can’t remember having so many known commodities as quality OL backups. I like the young WRs but they do have a lot more to prove than the OL depth. I mention WR cause that’s what everyone thinks of when people say that Bucs still have a talented roster.

  14. Fred McNeil Says:

    It will definitely help if Jenson is all the way back. If not, Hainsey ain’t so bad. I’d call him average and not prone to glaring error. I see a lot of us are at least sort of concerned about the inexperience on the right side. I don’t see how they can definitely say at this way-too-early stage who the starters are.

  15. Dooley Says:

    Wouldn’t be too quick to cement the starting OL just yet. Anybody not named Tristan or Ryan has at least 2-3 healthy players at G & T spots respectively seeking work. I like Nick Leverett the most, but I’m curious to see how a Stinnie bounces back and as long as Hainsey is studying under AQ Shipley I will not count him out. We’ve also got some bodies at T to give Goedeke a fight in camp, and like some have stated the behind the depth probably has a chance to earn a job.

  16. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Cappa didn’t look great his first year then boom dude is a stud marpet was a stud Donny hung a round and played great during the Super Bowl run even tho fans hate on him and wirfs is a stud. Jason knows how to build a line. Not concerned about it

  17. garro Says:

    I agree Joe depth is key.

    If Kirwan said it you can take it to the bank.
    What he did not say is the gap between our depth guys and our starters last year was not great. Hainsey got better as the season progressed but was still giving up too much ground up the middle in pass pro. Goedeke got screwed by having to start out of position as a rookie. Got hurt/benched. Stinnie and Leverett are fine but Walton…I’m hoping Goedeke and Wirfs keep him on the bench.

    Go Bucs

  18. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Did he say Hainsey is the second best center in the league?! Has this guy been
    Smoking crack with Hunter Biden?! Hainsey is soft and got pushed back on many plays. He’s average at best

  19. Obvious Says:

    Pat Kirwan swears he’s even better than middle of the road. Hey man that’s not too shaby. Kirwan’s been around the block and doesn’t seem to talk too much jibberish. Kirwan has been fairly solid on his takes.
    Considering the projected ranking (subjective but solid) of 13th best out of at least 32 other pros, and an infinity of guys who want to play on an NFL roster, it would be fair to say we had THE BEST back up center in football with Jensen back in the line up…

    I’ve got to say that Hainsey didn’t stick out to me but I’m not a pro NFL scout. I will say that I didn’t hear a lot of complaints concerning him and if you consider that he a Mason had no chemistry from go and certainly with Geodeke being green as grass and in foreign territory (out of his normal position) Geodeke made the line look worse than it actually was. Geodeke was a bad call with ZERO experience. That round hole, square peg was FUBAR!

    Some genius that makes the big bucs finally figured that out. Every game past the second that he played in cost us DEARLY.

    Geodeke was the weak link last year. And by the time the super geniuses (mostly Licht’s fault) submitted, it was already late in the “moral” part of the season.
    It’s definitely not entirely on Geodeke. It was a desperate move and that peg Never fit that hole…. Made the guys on both sides of him look bad because it was almost as if Geodeke wasn’t there. Kinda like a ghost. You see it but it can’t seem to stop you from walking through it…

    Being a second round pick, Lichts instructions are TO PLAY HIM. I believe it was Licht’s plan all along to move Wirfs and play Geodeke. Otherwise it was a HUGE DRAFT DISASTER for Licht. So NO SURPRISE to me to see him at Right Guard.

    And Mauch? (Second Rounder) Same thing with fingers crossed that he will work out as a guard.

  20. Obvious Says:

    Sorry…. Right “Tackle” (Geodeke)

    Hey it’s still early for me.

    Happy Forth of July!

  21. FrontFour Says:

    We’ve got lots of linemen, depth, but legit starters is the question. Hainsey did ok I pass protection but not so much in run blocking. Really hoping for Jensen to come back.

  22. Beej Says:

    Hainsey played nearly 1200 snaps, has 2 penalties, NO sacks allowed. Not able to move the pile in the running game tho, no denying that. Weight room might be the answer there

  23. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @Obvious Amen! The Goedeke experiment was a disaster. That’s on Licht and Bowles. You can’t blame Leftwich. He was stuck with a guy who had no business being on the field. It was coaching malpractice putting him on the field. The line as a whole were terrible at picking up stunts and twists. The communication was awful. When I watch games, my main focus is the OL because that’s my favorite position group. The OL was below average and downright awful the whole season. I will say they improved when they replaced Goedeke. Please don’t be deceived by the low sack total. Brady rarely takes sacks. He will dirt the ball or just throw it away. The eyes don’t lie. We also had a historically bad run game! Yes, our back weren’t the best, but the OL wasn’t opening up holes. That’s not on Leftwich. I have my issues with Leftwich and Bowles, but I don’t think Licht is receiving enough heat.

  24. steele Says:

    Kirwan is consistently wrong. We veteran Bucs watchers know these OLmen, and last season proved in ugly fashion that JAGs and backups are what they are. Your depth is just backup depth, serviceable but not starting caliber. Despite the constant hype that he had taken over and “better than Jensen”, the “great” Hainsey proved soft, pushed around, and average. Brady feared for his life every week, rushed his throws, hated life.

    All you can say is that this season, with Jensen healthy (if), Wirfs flipping sides, and Feiler, you have a foundation that is immediately better. The rest is a wait and see. Mauch is a rook. Goedeke hasn’t proven himself.