Todd Bowles Talks Center Battle

August 14th, 2023

Preparing to start.

After hearing Todd Bowles today, it’s looking more and more like center Ryan Jensen won’t start Week 1 of the regular season.

Jensen (bad knee) isn’t practicing with contact and Bowles said that means he’s not ready to play.

“When we go into the season, I don’t consider to have anybody [ready for Week 1] if they haven’t practiced. You always prepare if somebody gets hurt of if somebody’s going to stay hurt,” Bowles said.

Bowles said backup centers Robert Hainsey (last year’s 17-game starter) and Nick Leverett “are very good” and are “smart and quick.” He said their competition could come down to the final preseason game.

Joe would be stunned if Hainsey doesn’t get the starting call. He’s likely to get all the first-team work Wednesday when the starters scrimmage against the Jets in New Jersey.

30 Responses to “Todd Bowles Talks Center Battle”

  1. DS Says:

    Jensen played his last snap in the playoffs 🙁 great guy seems it’s over. #JustTank

  2. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    I got a bad feeling about this….

  3. Craig Says:

    Hainsey was pretty solid last season, so he should be the 1.

    Leverett missed a few snaps Friday so we get back to the same need of experience that keeps rearing its head up.

    Jensen was only a mediocre center for a couple of years, so experience matters. Preseason games don’t count anyway, so let Leverett get what he can.

  4. HC Grover Says:

    Well this makes getting rid of Mason and Smith even more brilliant. And moving Wirfs a Bowles genius move.

  5. Pewter Power Says:

    Please Jensen they need you in the worse way, I wish he had opted for surgery at his age he would have probably healed faster

  6. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    The fact that the bucs OL coach and ST coaches still have jobs speaks volumes

  7. Fansince76 Says:

    For me the jury is still out on Hainsey, he missed a few blocks in the steelers game, seemed to be bad on his run blocks and didn’t look that great. I think Leverett has a shot at beating him out for the starting center gig.

  8. Beej Says:

    Hainsey was great at pass blocking, less so at run blocking, same with Shaq. They traded him because they felt he wasn’t fast enough for scheme new OC wants to employ. Donnie… Isn’t worth $15 mil

  9. teacherman777 Says:

    Hainsey is awful.

    Y’all need to realize that.

    He’s slow and weak.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Not a fan of Hainsey at center. But that’s OK, not a fan of Leverett at center either. Neither one of them appears to be strong enough to kick ass in the center of the line like Jensen has done.

    Most of the FA centers have been spoken for, but did notice that Justin Britt (6’6″ & 315 lbs) is still available. No idea what’s been going on with him, but he did start at center for 5 years for Seattle, then played 2 years for Houston after that. Last year only got in 1 game, but was in 11 games in 2021 (spent the other time on IR apparently with knee problem). Kinda wondering now if he’s got anything left in the tank.

  11. fred Says:

    Hainsey is NOT good what are yall seeing! LOL

  12. SlyPirate Says:

    Bucs drafted Hainsey to be the future starting center. They’ve been grooming him for +2 years and he started 18 games. It’s disappointing we’re having this conversation.

    How the Bucs Draft 2024 is shaping up:
    Round 1: RT
    Round 2: C

  13. Boss Says:

    If the up the gut not working on the other 7000 attempts they either need different OL men or a different schem.

    neither have changed much. this will get ugly. trask will start after the bye weekand may lose a couple….but once he say F it, F the coaching and just balling for him…..we might see something.

    this coaching staff is a joke.

  14. Beej Says:

    Hainsey played every game last year. Did not give up a single sack, had two penalties. That being said, not the greatest run blocker

  15. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Hainsey spends more time blocking with his back. He’s constantly getting pushed back. He’s Licht’s golden child, so you’re not allowed to criticize him.

  16. Dave Pear Says:

    Without Jensen and Marpet, there’s nothing in the middle of the Bucs OL that screams “mauling” or even “physical” . But at least Goedeke is anchoring the right edge so to relieve pressure on the center and guards. Oh, wait.

  17. teacherman777 Says:

    We had the worst line in NFL history last year.

    It could actually be worse this year!

    We got worse at every position except LT.

    We are in trouble guys!

  18. geno711 Says:

    I go with whoever the coaches think is better, and Joe probably has the good eye that it will be Hainsey.

    I think Hainsey gives up that A gap too easily on run plays and so many of them get blown up. Will we ever be successful with him as center on a 3rd and 1 or 2 and trying to run the ball.

    Not so sure. Hope he gets some real NFL strength soon.

  19. BucU Says:

    I take back my predictions of the Bucs being the surprise team of the 23 NFL season based on Jensens status. We were led to believe he’d be ready to roll on game 1. What a bitter dissapointment.

  20. #99 the big fella Says:

    Hc Grover, Did mason or smith play center? No so your argument sucks!

  21. D-Rok Says:

    2 years in a row with huge question marks at center – before the season even begins.

    Look, I was one of the ones SCREAMING for Licht to do something, anything last year after Jensen went down. Licht could not or would not bring in another body, who knows why.

    One year later, we possibly have the exact same problem. We’ll see if Licht learned or not (presuming that Jensen cannot go for a few weeks or all year).

    I’m smelling deja vu all over again, and it’s not smelling great.


  22. Nybuccguy Says:

    Hainsey is a nice BACKUP. We need to draft a Center early next year

  23. geno711 Says:

    The Pittsburgh rookie DT, Benton, blew up Hainsey more than once.

  24. Guzzie Says:

    He’s not 2020 Jensen, it’s Haisneys now, with a full year experience we are fine, spend the rest of your time worrying about a rookie right side Goedeke is a 2nd year player in a first time RT starter, ATL doesn’t count, their pass rush is amongst the worst in the league

  25. Beej Says:

    1175 snaps, NO sacks, 2 penalties. There are plenty worse out there

  26. gotbbucs Says:

    Hainsey and Mauch got absolutely abused on that 4th down play at the 50 yard line.

    Hainsey has no meat in his legs or rear end. You can’t anchor the middle of the offensive line built like a lollipop.

  27. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    BucU Says:
    “We were led to believe he’d be ready to roll on game 1. What a bitter dissapointment.”

    I don’t remember if it was here on JBF, but somebody asked Jensen several weeks ago about his knee. He implied that he was healing fine, going so far to say that he was only wearing the knee brace as a precaution in practice. So yeah, I feel the disappointment also.

  28. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    I don’t hear much talk about Canales being the messiah any more, after 66 yards rushing total. Can he call plays? Remains to be seen.

  29. Proudbucsfan Says:

    I hate to say it but we are dead in the water without Jensen starting, stem cell treatment is usually stronger and no scar tissue but it’s taking him twice as long to heal or he had complications and that would cause his retirement.

  30. garro Says:

    Hainsey got pushed back into the QB at least once against the Steelers. We have to have a dependable center. He got better last year but was still giving up too much ground in the middle. Brady just could not step up in the pocket consistently. Leverett has had some snap issues with Mayfield. Not sure about him as a center.

    Go Bucs!