The Future Of Robert Hainsey

February 12th, 2024


You’ve likely heard the cliché, you don’t want to be the guy who follows a legend? This was thrown out quite a bit after Nick Saban retired last month.

And the way people kvetch and whine about Bucs center Robert Hainsey, Joe thinks that applies here.

Hainsey follows a legend. When Bucs fan favorite Ryan Jensen had his knee destroyed in July 2022, Hainsey was tasked with replacing him. Now Joe doesn’t know how the Bucs organization feels about Hainsey (Joe thought he was better this year) but in August 2022 when Hainsey took over for Jensen, the Bucs types from football operations to coaches to players were strongly and fully behind him.

In fact, coaches and players at that time met any negative implication about Hainsey with angry rancor and intense support. Joe experienced that first-hand.

Marcus Mosher of is of the mind Hainsey needs to be tossed with tomorrow morning’s coffee grounds.

Ryan Jensen officially announced his retirement, and it’s clear Robert Hainsey isn’t a starting-caliber center. The rest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive line is pretty good, but the team has to figure out the center position moving forward.

Joe doesn’t know that it’s “clear” Hainsey can’t start, unless, like way too many people, you expect pancake blocks each and every snap.

Hell, Jensen didn’t even do that.

Besides, Aaron Stinnie to Hainsey’s left wasn’t much of a pass blocker and to Hainsey’s right was a rookie. That could have dragged Hainsey down.

What hurts Hainsey in the public eye is he is not Jensen and never will be. Veteran Jensen got after people, was an enforcer and clearly got in defensive linemen’s heads (hi Cam Jordan!). That isn’t Hainsey.

And with a new offensive line coach this season, it’s anyone’s guess if he’ll be on board with Hainsey like the last coaching staff was.

61 Responses to “The Future Of Robert Hainsey”

  1. OlBoy Says:

    It’s clear to me. We would do well to get a more dominant center.

  2. Pickgrin Says:

    No – What hurts Hainsey in the public eye is getting visibly blown backwards on way too many pass protection “sets”. And his run blocking leaves a lot to be desired as well….

    But.. but.. he snaps the ball well…..

    If Bucs fans are fortunate – The future of Robert Hainsey = Swing backup for IOL

    Mauch will be fine but the Bucs need legit upgrades at Center and LG for 2024.

  3. elite bucs Says:

    There seems to be a few talented centers to be had in this draft. However, continuity isnt a bad thing at all. In my opinion, we have bigger concerns than center.

  4. Doolnutts Says:

    Hainsey Is serviceable at best but the LG position is definitely more critical. Stinnie is already going to be 30 and I doubt he improves much more. I’d love to see an early round pick at LG. And if a strong Center prospect also falls to us take him to. Let Hainey battle it out.

  5. Hopein1hand… Says:

    In a different offense Hainsey would be just fine but if one desires to run it up the gut on half of the offensive snaps a mauling center is requisite. Hainsey is too light in his bottom half to be that guy. I have been a fan of his from when he was drafted- he was a beast on that Benn’d around Scotty Miller TD as a back-up guard. He basically scored that TD. But a starting center he is not.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Ryan Jensen was not just an enforcer, he was also The Leader of the Pack. He set the tone, and the others tried their best to emulate that.

    That’s not Hainsey, and very possibly never will be. Doesn’t mean though that he can’t be an effective NFL center. He’s the same height as Jensen (6’4″) but gives away almost 15 lbs (306 vs 319 lbs). Probably not significant against many teams, but it might be against some. I’m hoping that Hainsey gets a lot stronger … and quicker … during this off-season, because like Pickgrin said, he was getting ‘blown backwards’ far too often.

    Reality though is that we’ll be paying for Jensen’s salary for 2024 & 2025, and most likely can’t afford an upgrade at center (unless we’re willing to use one of our top two picks this year). Can’t see that happening given our other NEEDS.

  7. Day 1-76 Says:

    Why don’t they just make him a guard like he played in college and either sign a center in free agency or in the draft?

  8. Davey Says:

    I agree Day 1. It worked with Goedeke, moving him back to right tackle. Maybe Hainsey would be better back at left guard. I’m sure we could pick up a good center on free agency. He still young.

  9. The Truth be Told Says:

    Yes it seems that we can stand for an upgrade at that position. What were his PFF stats?

  10. geno711 Says:

    Jason Kelce is a current legend at Center.
    Ryan Jensen is not.

    He was clearly much better than Hainsey. Does not mean a legend.

    Need an upgrade at Center. The biggest weakness to me in the run game is Hainsey.

    You keep drives going by at least sometimes winning the battle in third and short and 4th in short. Can you name 1 instance in the last two years where Hainsey won that battle.

  11. Usfbucs Says:

    I’m not sure what other needs we have other than edge rush that would be more important than upgrading our oline.

  12. Marine Buc Says:

    Draft a guard in rounds 2-3 and sign a mid-level starting G/C in free agency.

    The major weakness of the Bucs was and is their interior O-line.

    Robert Hainsey has slightly improved over the past two seasons but he will never be any better than below mediocre as a starting center.

    Then draft another RB in rounds 3-4 – one that can bang in through the tackles and complement R. White.

    The rest of the picks should be defense. OLB/ILB/S/DL

  13. Marine Buc Says:

    If Mike Evans leaves then use pick #1 on a WR.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We clearly need to invest some top picks on our offense….

    5 of our 7 last top picks have been defense.

    Pick a G/C in round 1…..TE or RB in 2 & 3……S in 4

  15. Lord Cornelius Says:

    It’s just gut / memory but I felt like he was getting knocked back way more than most the other C’s in the playoff teams or teams with good olines

  16. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    Hainsey isn’t big enough, strong enough or athletic enough.

    If you are going to be under-sized (like Jason Kelce) you better be very athletic and strong.

    He really needs to be replaced this off-season if the Bucs can afford it.

  17. LANshark Says:

    Unfortunately, there were games this season where Hainsey looked like he was on roller skates (Carolina both games, first Philly game, Detroit both times). He simply does not have the functional strength to win those battles. Buc’s surely know this, as he practices over Vita Vea… who can clearly dominate him.

    No idea if he can play left guard, but definitely NOT center.

  18. westernbuc Says:

    If we invest any draft capital in the line it should be for left guard. I’d give him another year. He definitely improved

  19. Buc4evr Says:

    Hainsey is horrible. If the Bucs keep Baker and Evans they better do something at center and guard in the draft. Hope Jason gets solid division 1 linemen and not a div 3 project like Mauch.

  20. Capt.Tim Says:

    Hainsey regressed at Center this year. He doesnt seem suited to center.
    Ive seem him take snaps at guard. He looks “ comfortable”, with more potential.
    He is not a good center. I dont care who he followed. He seemed to regress this year, imo.
    Stennie is a below average backup. Never should start. A decent run blocker, terrible at pass blocking.

    Both those positions need major upgrades. Priority 2 and 3.
    Although Id like to see Hainsey at guard.
    Mauch should be greatly improved,with an off season in the weight room.

  21. Pickgrin Says:

    The Truth be Told Says:
    What were his PFF stats?

    52.8 overall – not good…..

    Detroit’s Ragnow was graded 88.8 overall…

    Bucs need to get better up front. That has been obvious for 2 years…

    The loss of Marpet to retirement, Jensen to injury and Cappa to free agency was hard to overcome and there were few immediate answers to that gutting of our Super Bowl winning OLine

    Mauch is one piece of the puzzle inside and Goedeke solidifying the RT spot so nicely was a godsend – but the Bucs still need more talent at LG and Center.

    Perhaps Hainsey will surprise us and improve substantially in his contract year (how convenient…) but with 3 years, 2 full offseasons and 37 starts under his belt already – its likely he has largely maxed out and basically continues his NFL career as a low level starter/quality backup type talent…..

  22. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Hainsey isn’t strong enough to be a quality starting center in the NFL.

  23. Capt.Tim Says:

    My philosophy.
    You draft Pass rushers and linemen. Dont find those in free agency to often.
    Then you sign skill players in Free agency. At least the depth guys.
    Our best QBs? Mayfield, Brady, Garcia, Johnson- all free agents.
    Our Superbowl Running backs? Pittman and Fournette- free agents.
    Wrs? Well Keyshawn and Keenan were FAs. Evans and Godwin were drafted.
    But (hopefully) we have Evans and Godwin next year.

    Im still preaching. Draft a pass Rusher, Center, Guard. SS.
    We get our backup QB, RB , and WRs in FA.

    Then, if we signed Mayfield long term- the future is bright!

  24. D Cone Says:

    Jensen had 3 seasons as a back up practicing against a Raven Defense that was ranked better than 8th all three years. Then 5 full seasons of game action and again practicing against a pretty good defense.

    Anyone thinking that Hainsey should be anywhere close to a Jensen skill level after 1 back up season and two full seasons on an offense that couldn’t run to the toilet is crazy. Then again those same folks think the current starting QB on the current roster can take the Bucs past the Divisional Round. Perhaps if the teams are and Liberty.

  25. Derek Says:

    Draft powers Johnson and move Hainsey to guard. 2 fixes with 1 pick!

  26. ThatAintRight! Says:

    Yeah it’s time to move on. He’s not a bad backup but that’s where his career is pointing. Backup G/C. Reliable and maybe even dependable but he’s not the dominant physical brute force we need. We need someone who is gonna manhandle the opponent right off the snap and put them on their back. Only problem we probably won’t be finding one of those any time soon in the NFL either. Guys aren’t as talented as they used to be. Olineman not as physical

  27. BillyBucco Says:

    If you are gonna invest in Baker you gotta protect him.
    1st 2 rounds have to be trenches.
    We can afford to bring back Whitehead so I wouldn’t go SS in later rounds.
    We need FAs in the trenches too.
    I would double up actually.
    I agree skill players can be found on the cheap with our core.
    Trade Dean or David. Edge rush is more important.
    Todd Bowles sat on his arse Brady’s last year with O Line and it is still hurting the team.
    Hainsey was on the ground far too much.

  28. Lakeland Steve Says:

    I think Hainsey may be near his peak and at times it just wasn’t good enough. We seemed to get a lot of pressure up the middle especially with bull rushes. It would be nice if the Bucs can find an upgrade. Hainsey would be an excellent backup or maybe let him compete at left guard with Stinnie. Hainsey may be an improvement if he doesn’t have to worry about snapping the ball and making protection calls.

  29. SB~LV Says:

    Quality depth is his role next year

  30. Ben Says:

    Hainsey has to be relegated to back up or compete for a guard position if not addressed this offseason. He isnt strong enough, the Bucs want to run more, this guy cannot open lanes or even get to the next level to block down field. He just isnt as good as Licht thought he may have been when drafting him in the 3rd round. If the Bucs are insistant on running the ball up the gut, they will need a punisher in there, this years Draft has that guy in JPJ and the bucs should trade up to get him if they think he is a game wrecker like Jensen was. They traded up for Wirfs, howd that work out?

  31. Bucs Guy Says:

    Build the trenches. Need a C and G. Get one in FA and the other in the draft (2nd rd).

  32. I remember 21 Says:

    Very disappointed in these last 2 articles by the Joes. I’ll sum them both up for you: bowles & Hainsey are liked. Seriously, that’s what they boil down to. Now I know the off-season can be slow, but this is ridiculous. What happened to this being a MERIT based league?? While I don’t personally like bowles’ disposition, and I feel like it’s reflected by the team being soft, I could live with it if he: had the team ready to play on a consistent basis (currently NEVER ready to play), held players accountable (ie DW45), made timely personnel changes (ie start Stinnie, bench Neal), used timeouts, etc etc etc. Same with Hainsey. Him and Wirfs get along, all the coaches have faith in him, on and on. That’s worth about as much to me as a fart in the wind. He gets blown up on a regular basis (Joe: please don’t even mention pancake blocks in he same article as Hainsey), gets NO push EVER, and to my mind is a large part of our repeat league worst running game (along with poor scheme & play timing and subpar RB play). I care about RESULTS. And neither of these guys deliver them. A good team needs at least one player or coach (preferably one of each) that can hold the other players accountable. As far as I can tell, we don’t have either. While we do have a lot of guys worthy of wearing the C on their chest, for whatever reason none of them are what I would call leaders of men. More “lead by example” or “let their play do the talking” kind of guys. A lot of times that’s not enough. With the slight exception of Baker, which is why (IMO) the players seem to be drinking him up like men dying of thirst. But you can only lead and hold players to account so much when you’re on a one year deal barely making more than the kicker. All I’m saying is being liked isn’t indicative of a good player or coach. We’ve all heard the players gush about how much they loved Dungy; he couldn’t get the job done. And to my mind, neither can these two. So I don’t care how liked they are, it doesn’t matter in the least.

  33. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Bucs were last in rushing and Mayfield was hurried often- including the last play vs Lions when he threw the interception.
    If Bucs want to be contenders, an upgrade at C is imperative. Perhaps Hainsey would excel at G.

  34. JimBobBuc Says:

    I think Hainsey was much better this year than last year. He seemed stronger this year and I was really impressed with him on screens and getting down the field to block showing lots of hustle. I think he still needs to get stronger to be a top rated center. His new OL coach and the trainers need to decide if Hainsey has plateaued, or can he get better next year. I don’t see the Bucs affording a FA center, and I don’t see them drafting a guard or center until rd 3.

  35. Pryda…sec147 Says:

    Hainsey has got to GO

  36. beeej Says:

    Stat-wise, Hainsey was TONS better last year, but Brady got rid of the ball a lot faster, hard to gauge

  37. Defense Rules Says:

    At this point, Bucs could use about a dozen QUALITY bodies to be starters and/or key rotational players: a Safety, a CB, a ILB, a DE/OLB, a DT, a C, a LG, a TE, a WR, a RB and a QB. That’s 11 bodies, some of which will be filled in FA. Then of course we’ve got the draft, although typically only about 3 or so key players can start or rotate-in consistently their rookie season.

    Have no idea how the Bucs will prioritize those positions, but got a hunch that C won’t be at the top of the list. As a consequence, Hainsey will probably start at C again this year. Would be nice though to grab a C in FA (or draft one high), and slide Hainsey to LG to see if he’s more suited there.

  38. Hearty Dickerson Says:

    Why do people keep stating this false narrative that Hainsey played G in college? He was a Right Tackle.

    And just as bad, people keep thinking he’d be better at LG. He’s already relatively weak as a C, and had the luxury of double-teaming defensive tackles. Putting him at G would only exacerbate his shortcomings. Guards should be bigger and stronger than Centers and are often tasked with going one-on-one vs tackles. All this talk of moving Hainsey to Guard is asinine.

  39. Addb Says:

    He’s an average center who had a rough year in a new offense (new protection schemes, calls, etc)

    Or he’s an above average IOL backup.

    Either way we more need a LG, DL, TE, SS, LB…

  40. SlyPirate Says:

    Pickgrin Says:
    What hurts Hainsey in the public eye is getting visibly blown backwards


    Watch the Safety in game 1 against the Eagles. Hainsey go DESTROYED. He doesn’t’ have the strength to be a starter.


  41. Rod Munch Says:

    Hainsey can start at tackle, guard and center if needed. His future is very secure because of that, as offensive lineman that can play every position are extremely valuable.

  42. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    geno711 Says:
    February 12th, 2024 at 4:47 pm

    Jason Kelce is a current legend at Center.
    Ryan Jensen is not

    Jensen is a legend to me.
    The guy was epic.
    Best center the Bucs ever had imo.
    Thanks for the Superbowl!

  43. MadMax Says:

    Agreed Sly, i want powers too, but can we get him after grabbing Cooper DeJean….maybe, and we’ll have to trade up to pull it off.

  44. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    Hell I’d take 2020 Ryan Jensen over Jason Kelce any day of the week

  45. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    He was Bradys scary pet pittbull

  46. beeej Says:

    Hainsey only has 2 years in, where do O linemen usually peak?

  47. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    Agreed that Hainsey is great talented depth and able to play multiple positions but not a starting center for an entire season

  48. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    Hainsey isn’t going anywhere but using a high draft pick on a center would be advisable….or bring one in through FA

  49. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    All the Baker boys should be clamoring for this.
    Baker had a good year with undersized Hainsey at center.
    Imagine if he had a truly great center like Jensen?

  50. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    Do it.
    Do it.

  51. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    Licht is the Rembrandt of NFL Olines!

  52. MadMax Says:

    70 to 1 odds for a Bucs SB win next season….yeah, im throwing a 20 at it lol

  53. Tony Marks Says:

    Seems like a nice guy but give me

    Jackson Powers Johnson

    He’s within range projected to go round 20 maybe falls a bit more

  54. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Robert Hainsey is worth keeping on the team if he is cheap enough. He does need to be moved to Left Guard though.

    If we think back, Jason Licht likes guys who train at multiple positions on the oline. That’s how he built our Superbowl oline.

    Also, it took time to find Ryan Jensen. We went through multiple centers until Licht got one he liked.

    I would prefer our first pick go on a center.

    Defense has gottem a lot of attention the past few drafts. If we want ANY QB to succeed, we need a top offensive line.

    And yes, we need it more than any other group…because offense wins championships now. Times have changed.

  55. BucU Says:

    Robert is a super nice guy but….

  56. garro Says:

    Mosher…”The rest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive line is pretty good”

    Didn’t take him long to prove he doesn’t follow the team he is writing about. And doesn’t have a clue!

    Rookie to his right did not have a great year and Stinnie was not even close to good. Fieler was washed. So in one sentence I have let this so called expert know he needs to do his homework before coming with that BS!

    O line as a whole did well considering the guys they had and the situation with a new OC and offense.

    Go Bucs!

  57. geno711 Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:
    February 13th, 2024 at 1:22 am

    I would prefer our first pick go on a center.

    There are other positions of need for the Bucs, but I also agree that center could be one of the positions of great upgrade for us.

    If Jackson Powers-Johnson is there, I believe he can be a game changer for our offensive line for years to come and would have value as a 1st pick.

  58. Bigbucfan90 Says:

    Depending on the board it should be too edge rusher and if not that top center or guard available at 26th but I like lichts drafting of lineman he’s hit home a lot on these picks.

  59. IE Buc Says:

    Move Haisey to RG and move Mauch to LG. Then we can upgrade in the draft with a natural center who is athletic and strong.

  60. BakerBucs Says:

    Defense rules says u need to stick to u r name post & keep out of the offense cause u r not very good at defense analysis so stay out of offense u have no clue that is obvious!

  61. Donald G Says:

    Powers Johnson