“I Was Not Ready To Do That”

April 25th, 2024

Center revelations — about himself and Tom Brady.

An interesting draft-day reminder/lesson here from Bucs center Robert Hainsey, a man many Bucs fans hope is replaced before the stroke of midnight.

The popular Monroeville Times Express newspaper talked to Hainsey for a feature story and Hainsey, the Bucs’ late-third-round pick in 2021, noted how he was a project player coming out of Notre Dame.

In college, Hainsey was a tackle. He was planning to transition to guard and center like many college tackles do in the NFL. Some are ready for opening day.

Hainsey wasn’t, he said, “They didn’t draft me to play right away, and I was not ready to do that.”

Joe found that noteworthy because few NFL players would ever admit they weren’t ready.

It’s an important nugget to remember as the 2024 draft opens tonight and runs through Saturday. Plenty of successful players need time to develop — whether fans like it or not.

Hainsey started at center in 2022. Then Tom Brady retired and Hainsey started again last season with new quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Hainsey shared what sounded like a nod to Mayfield being more dedicated than Brady.

“Baker has been awesome,” he said. “I can’t say enough good things about him. We’ve gotten really close. We went on vacation together. He’s been an awesome friend, and an amazing teammate and player. Getting to play with him is a lot of fun. There was a difference in how Baker went about doing things from how Tom did things. He worked so hard to make sure we were on the same page every week. We got much better each week with that communication and with what each other is seeing.”


Big drafts tonight and Friday for Mr. Hainsey, who is in the final year of his rookie contract. Bucs fans will find out quickly if the team wants to replace him sooner rather than later.

Ira Kaufman Talks Bucs Picks In Rounds 2 Through 7, Final Round 1 Debate, Wild Cards And More

34 Responses to ““I Was Not Ready To Do That””

  1. drdneast Says:

    The fact that Hainsey wasn’t prepared to play in his first year wasn’t surprising considering the two players who were chosen before him weren’t either and still aren’t.

  2. AL121976 Says:

    That was horrendous draft

  3. ThatAintRight! Says:

    Let’s not get it twisted, Robert Hainsey may have not shown as a solid starting candidate in the NFL thus far, but he’s not a bust considering where he’s come from as an OT. Transitioning from that position to C/G is improbable and also impressive. I’ll give him some credit where it’s due. Also to be fair he not a bad backup he’s agile and versatile. I think he can eventually still maybe be a starter one day somewhere in the NFL I don’t know if we should be looking for that second chance right now though. His physical presence and speed just isn’t there. No tenacity. No elite skills that separate him from others. We need someone to come in and be the guy. If JPJ can’t be that guy then why would we want him either? Doesn’t make sense to me. I like the idea of Graham Barton at LG also but again he has to be able to come it and go day one or else why take him?

  4. Durango 95 Says:

    Not sure why Joe is lamenting the idea of replacing Hainsey. He is not a starting center nor a starting LG (wherever that misdirected notion came from). He does not have the anchor for a starting IOL. Wasn’t it Kirwan or someone that said the same thing a few weeks ago? Right here on this very website. Figured after that Joe might recalibrate.

  5. ModHairKen Says:

    He’s not a bust, true. But he’s also not a good player. Definitely not a good Center.

    Upgrade. Now.

  6. D Cone Says:

    Brady came in and didn’t have to do much with the line in 2020 because they had talent and did their jobs.

    As far as dedication when a guy is looking at crossing over to Back Up QB you would think he would be giving it all he’s got.

  7. ReturnGrudenToRing Says:

    He would still be a good backup as he knows the system.

  8. Olboy Says:

    Awww, what could be more wonderful than a new besty boo. Who cares. I’m sure they’ll still be friends after a new C is selected to be the new qb besty.

  9. Beeej Says:

    Jason Kelsey sucked his first few years

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    Hainsey has worked hard to try and improve his game. Working extensively the last 2 offseasons with AQ Shipley. He’s now started 37 NFL games at Center – including 3 playoff games…

    And he’s still lacking. He’s not good enough.

    Not good enough at run blocking, not good enough at pass blocking, no apparent leadership qualities, no ‘dog’ in him….

    After 3 years and 37 starts – its fairly obvious to most that Robert Hainsey does not have what it takes to be a starting NFL center. And he’s likely maxed out at this point.

    He’s a solid backup with all that experience – and there’s no shame in that. I’m sure he will be able to stay employed in the NFL a few more years on that basis.

    But most anyone with eyes that watches Tampa Bay football games sees that the Bucs very much need an upgrade at center.

    Its not just me or the majority who post here that think that – many talking heads that get paid to have and spout football opinions are saying the same thing and listing Center as a Bucs draft need…..

    The position needs to get filled with authority and we should all be hoping that somehow, the stars align tonight and JPJ falls into our lap at #26.

    Short of that – Frazier is the other option at Center that could step in and help this OLine and team be better from day 1 of rookie minicamp…..

    FIX THE OLINE Jason Licht!!

    I want to see 2 of the 4 top 100 picks go to OLine. Its a strength of this draft and we have the NEED. I would almost term it a desperate need…..

    Git – R – DONE GM.

  11. Buccos Says:

    From what people are saying Barton is the best Center in this draft. Followed by JPJ and Frazier. I would be happy if we got any one of those guys. I believe they would be an immediate upgrade. Hainsey will be a solid back up this year and then he’s a free agent and can do whatever he wants

  12. Esteban85 Says:

    Hainsey is a solid backup lineman and a decent pick as a late 3rd

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I have nothing against Hainsey……..we can & should do better…..tonight provides that opportunity.
    If we don’t go there, I would be happy with WR3…….

    We’ll probably end up with Chop……and will have to wait & see how he plays.

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    Barton likely plays Left Guard in year 1 if we draft him.

    If Verse, Latu and JPJ are off the board – then Barton should be the pick if he is available.

    Barton may well be the best OLine prospect in this draft – interior anyways – but he’s moving from LT so there will most likely be more of a transition period and more growing pains from him. Perhaps similar to what we saw from Goedeke and Mauch in their rookie years although Barton is certainly a higher quality prospect out the gate than either of those guys.

    I would be happy with JPJ or Barton at #26 – also be happy with Frazier but would hope for a trade down and extra draft pick before selecting him. Either that or trade up into the 2nd to go get him if he falls to the mid 2nd rd.

    That WOULD be something – actually.

    Barton in the 1st – then trade up for Frazier in the 2nd.

    BOOM – OLine FIXED! Big Time!

  15. First Name Greatest Says:

    Need to come away from this draft with 2 offensive linemen a WR and an edge player

    Don’t fail us Licht

  16. PSL Bob Says:

    Draft a killer center and move Hainsey to guard.

  17. Capt.Tim Says:

    Hainsey is a decent Backup. Hes ok to spell starters when they need a break, or fill in for an injured guy short term
    Back up. Not starter quality. Cheap and hard work keep him making big money.

    He isbt talented enough to start.

    We need a Center. Centers are the most productive first round picks. Huge success rate.

    But I dont care. Again, in any order
    Edge,Center,Guard, Rush Linebacker.
    That should be our first four picks.

    A Wr, TE, RB , or CB in the latter rounds.
    Thats a great draft, and Im pouring a drink of the good stuff!

  18. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Hainsey and Tom didn’t get along! They had a personality conflict. It was obvious.

  19. Cho Says:

    Good dude. Wish him luck and a long career. Great depth. But I feel we need a mauler, a dominant center. JPJ.

    If licht drafts him, I’d be ecstatic. Barton and Frazier would also do the trick.

  20. SlyPirate Says:

    Everyone player says the same thing about Baker – He’s a great guy.


    Didn’t Baker get run out of Cleveland because he talked bad about the other players? I’m 99% sure it was a major contributor. If so, cool that he’s growing up and into a trusted leader.

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    Hainsey is an OK player and it’s funny how we measure his success. People forget that Ryan Jensen didn’t come off the blocks an All-Pro. In fact he was released by the Ravens before making his first full time start in 2017, 4 years after being drafted!
    So in all fairness, Hainsey has met the challenge.
    Can we upgrade?
    ALL positions can be upgraded!

  22. Capt.Tim Says:

    We lost our starter and our backup at left Guard
    We desperately need a left Guard
    We lost our top pass rusher, and have no replacement
    We desperately need a pass rusher( LBer)
    JTS and Logan Hall are bust
    We desperately need a pass rushing edge(DE)
    Ryan Jensen retired. His back up is graded worst in the league
    We desperately need a Center

    Thats it. Thats the 4 positions that do not have a starter.
    We traded Carlton Davis, but he wasnt our starting CB. That was Zyon McCollum
    Zyon played more defensive snaps than Dean or Davis.
    We also have Jameel Dean, Christian Izen.
    Our starters are all returning

    We need depth at WR, but our starters are all back
    We need depth at RB, but our starter and backups are all back.
    Our TE room needs more talent, but our young starter and histop backups are back
    We do not need Offensive Tackles, Defensive Tackles, QBs, or Safeties.

    Its really that easy to figure.
    But Every year I call out at guys that are gonna bust. Absolute bad picks.
    Im 11 for 11. I said Kancey was too smallto hold up. Too early to call last years draft- but I think Kancey is gonna prove me wrong. Man, I hope so! I like that guy!
    Lets hope we replace the starters we need first. Then add depth.

  23. Larrd Says:

    I’d rather get a dominant guard to put next to Wirfs. Then maybe Van Pran or someone in the third to compete with Hainsey.

  24. Idroolpewter&red Says:

    I’d be happy if the Bucs just mived Hainsey to LG and draft a tone-setting massive human being at Center. Hainsey gets owned by bigger NTs too often. His size isn’t as much of an issue at LG.

  25. Simeon4HOF Says:

    Everything ougtta be OK Joe .. all ya have to do is change the position notation on your poster from a C to a G. Just takes a lil permanent marker. And you don’t have to change a thing on your #70 Jersey. Fact is the Bucs must draft an IOL. We already have 2 Guards to compete at a vacant spot .. Opeta and … Hainsey. It’s Ok Joe he just moving like Marpet did, just vice-versa. And He’s a valuable backup C. We have Brederson as well. Missing a natural stud Center. Weakness on OL is Hainsey playing out of position. We are basically rolling with the same Oline that ranked 32 in rushing. He is also at best an average pass blocking center. Slide Hainsey to G and go get JPJ Licht. He’s a beast. Please otherwise we’re gonna hear all season how bad our Running attack is watch Hainsey routinely hey handled by any Premium DT’s we fave. Slide Hainsey to C. Everything’s OK Joe .. as long as we draft a top C. You can still give Hainsey hugs whenever you want. Hainsey has a chance to earn a second real nice contract if you move him back into his position

  26. Simeon4HOF Says:

    If they don’t draft a top C and roll with the same Oline, shouldn’t be any complaining bout not running up the middle. Our line will be soooo much better if we move Hainsey to G and draft JPJ or Barton. Otherwise he will not be resigned as our C next year. How anyone can look at pur Offense and not see that biggest need is an IOL. Go get JPJ Licht!!!!!!!!!

  27. Capt.Tim Says:

    No way Hainsey has the talent to be a starting Guard.
    Sua is monster Strong. And Monster Slow.
    Think “Frankenstein”
    Both are high caliber, hard working guys.
    Who should be backups.

  28. CrackerBall Says:

    Hey, maybe we can just Draft a C to play C this time around – stop with the science experiments

  29. Beeej Says:

    Like THAT would work

  30. Haleywould Says:

    I was PISSED when we drafted Hainsey. It made no sense at the time and it still doesn’t now. He ended up being exactly what he’s looked like, which is an undersized, unathletic guy with no ability to anchor. “He was an OT?! Move him to C/G and he’ll be GREAT!” seems to be the consensus strategy at One Buc , which often works as OT’s are the most athletic of college OL, but that doesn’t mean every OT can play in the NFL. Also, why draft guys in the first if you don’t think they can start right away and be very successful?? That’s what I want in the first, preferably an EDGE bc what we have scares no one. If Watts, or Ramirez were going to start this year, or contribute meaningful snaps, then why weren’t they on the field last year for ANY snaps?? Watts.got some but then he played well, so of course you bench him.. I get he didn’t know the defense, but put him out there for the plays he does and get him some time if no one else is playing great, especially with a 23% pass rush win rate in limited time.

  31. TF Says:

    It just sounds like Hainsey was a little butt hurt with Brady. Everyone knows how Brady loved Jenson. Brady knowing it was his last year, He clearly KNEW Hainsey was a “project” at center. It’s not like Brady hadn’t evaluated Hainsey in practice for a couple years and knew exactly what he brought to the table. Nothing much! Brady knew he was screwed with that Oline. So it is convenient for Hainsey to take a small jab at Brady. He wasn’t in Brady’s Men’s club because he was on the bench and Brady SNIFFED out the self admitted weakness by Hainsey. “They didn’t draft me to play everyday….” With that attitude I can see why he wasn’t in”Brady’s Camp”.

    He clearly is in Bakers, as he SHOULD be. Baker just signed an extension so of course he is going to bond, Brady was on his last year and a little different obviously because of his wife, but the fact remains Brady knew the OL was green and hot mess and he had to adapt to a makeshift, band aid offensive line his last year. In hindsight we should have aggressively went after a OL to bind them together for Brady’s last stand. Wirfs wasn’t enough and noone stepped up INCLUDING Hainsey.

  32. Simeon4HOF Says:

    Could tell Brady was reluctant .. He kept deferring saying .. Well there’s alot in the organization that are think highly of him. Brady knew it was over. So did Giselle, she let juju Jody go to extra poundtown right after Brady got back from vacay. Convinced everytime he looked down he trained his mind to think that 7 on his Jersey was a 2 .. as in 2.0 .. as in I shall not let this pass play last longer than 2 seconds. Lol Brady kept saying, well they think highly of him, was always his answer in some form

  33. Simeon4HOF Says:


  34. Simeon4HOF Says:

    I am so happy