Can Robert Hainsey Win The Starting Center Job?

August 8th, 2023

Center/guard Robert Hainsey

A few things to know about Bucs center/guard Robert Hainsey:

First, the 2021 third-round pick is beloved at One Buc Palace for his work ethic.

Second, Hainsey has added at least eight pounds of muscle to his frame this offseason and is considered to be in excellent shape after his first full year starting at center.

Third, a chunk of folks out there think Hainsey is highly underrated as a starting center.

Enter recovering Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen. His bad knee still isn’t right even though he played a full playoff game seven months ago and came out of it healthy.

If Hainsey starts on Friday against Pittsburgh in the preseason opener and plays great — real football! — Joe suspects a lot of thought at One Buc Palace will turn to the possibility of starting Hainsey in Week 1 against Minnesota. And Joe suspects Hainsey crushing it in practices next week against the Jets would push that much closer to happening.

If Jensen needs more time and Hainsey has taken a clear leap, then why would the Bucs not play Hainsey?

Jensen is practicing but not at full contact. Reality says the Bucs owe Jensen a ton of guaranteed money and that’s why the 32-year-old warrior center is being given every opportunity to maintain his starting job. It’s not because the Bucs are sure he’ll be a great player again.

Joe isn’t doubting Jensen recovering, but Joe is doubting Jensen recovering for Week 1.

Hopefully, the all-in Todd Bowles mindset doesn’t stop at quarterback. Treat Week 1 like the Super Bowl and go from there.

20 Responses to “Can Robert Hainsey Win The Starting Center Job?”

  1. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Does he look any stronger this year in the run game? That was his biggest weakness last year. He’s got heart and brains. He just was not strong enough to get any push. Has that changed?

  2. LOL Says:

    well according to the 33rd team Hainsey is a better center than Whirfs is a right tackle. So apparently the Bucs would be crazy if they didnt start him???


  3. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Hainsey does have good work ethic. The problem is that he gets thrown around like a rag doll. He was below average last year

  4. zzbuc Says:

    I love Jensen to death, but if he is not 100%, I feel very comfortable with Hainsey….

  5. Larrd Says:

    They should put Jensen on IR and rub asparagus leaves on the knee for another year, or reach a retirement deal of some sort. Overall, guys who strike it rich and retire, a la Marpet, are doing it smart. Jensen has nothing to prove or accomplish. He only re-signed for Brady.

  6. ATLBuc Says:

    Joe, can Hainsey or Jensen play guard? If so, would that be an upgrade for the position?

  7. Nybuccguy Says:

    Jensens career ended when he avoided surgery.

    Hi knee is fried and anyone who thinks he will ever be back to form is delusional.

    Retire Ryan

  8. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @Nybuccguy -as many others have said, including Jensen, having surgery would have ended his career. The stem cell therapy gave him a shot, but it doesn’t seem to last very long. At least he tried.

  9. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Didn’t Jensen recently say that his knee is good to go, and that he is only wearing a brace in practice as a precaution? While I personally would recommend keeping the brace on full time, I have heard nothing to suggest that Big Red won’t be snapping the ball week one. He “don’t need no stinking practice.”

  10. Power Of Pewter Says:

    It appears he might, by default. Jensen is unable to practice, game status assumed to be questionable. He might begin the season on IR for all we know.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Wirfs (24), Hainsey (25), Mauch (24) & Goedeke (24) are obviously the future. Feiler is getting on in age (31), but it never hurts to have a ‘senior’ member on the OLine to provide ‘perspective’ for the youngsters (like Jensen, Mankins & others have done over the years?).

    I hope that Ryan Jensen can make it back because we seriously missed his LEADERSHIP last season. He set the tone, and others followed.

  12. 813bucboi Says:

    hainsey and goedeke got blown up in the middle time and time again….is goedeke playing RT now?….is mauch playing G?

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  13. Craig Says:

    Hainsey was solid last season, so he should be considered the starter until Jensen can prove he is at his best.

  14. adam from ny Says:

    omg here we go again with jensen…

    the mystery continues

  15. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    Playing on the turf in Minnesota should also be considered. Probably not wise to start Jensen there if there’s even a hint of a question mark about his knee. I guess we’ll see

  16. Rod Munch Says:

    If Hainsey is playing well, then you still start Jensen week 1, then trade him. I bet someone would give you at least a 4th rounder, and you might be able to get a 3rd out of a playoff team if they need someone on their line, in particular if there’s an injury.

  17. SlyPirate Says:

    Develop Hainsey. Let Jensen heal. Sounds like a good strategy.

  18. David Says:


  19. garro Says:

    If Hainsey is done getting pushed in to the QBs lap then let Jensen heal and get to 100% if possible. If not then I see alot of rollouts for us this year.

    Go Bucs!

  20. Rob Hamada Says:

    It’s a strong possibility that Jensen may start the year on IR. Let the guy heal. If he heals, he might be a trade option at the deadline.