“Their Center Is A Major Problem”

April 8th, 2024

Duke OL Graham Barton.

This makes Joe think that maybe Bucs center Robert Hainsey is in serious trouble.

Joe has never heard from folks at One Buc Palace that the team is urgently trying to run off starting center Robert Hainsey, who has quickly become Enemy No. 1 with the loud crowd that perpetually and habitually stomps their feet about the offensive line.

If anything, Joe has had Bucs assistant coaches react angrily when asked if Hainsey isn’t getting the job done. Joe knows he point blank asked Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht to his face in Indianapolis on the “Ira Kaufman Podcast” if the problem with the running game was Rachaad White and his miserable YAC, or was it Hainsey.

Licht mentioned White’s name in discussing the running game’s woes. Licht did not mention Hainsey.

Over at CBS, a guy who is very plugged-in throughout league circles, prickly Pete Prisco, lashed out at Hainsey in a CBS draft preview of the Bucs.

In fact, Prisco believes job No. 1 for the Bucs is not to get a pass rusher, but to replace Hainsey.

“I think Hainsey, their center, is a major problem,” Prisco said. “So which center is available? The kid from Oregon, is he available there [at No. 26]?

“I’ll take Graham Barton. I’ll take Graham Barton. Because he can compete at left guard and at center. That would be a great pick for the Bucs.”

Well, wait a minute. Is it left guard that is horrible or is it center? If Hainsey is this bad, as Prisco suggests, then why would they draft a guy who may play left guard and not center?

Joe doesn’t know if the Bucs want to unload Hainsey or not, and Joe doesn’t care. Yeah, Joe likes the guy personally but that doesn’t mean squat when it comes to football.

Joe still maintains it is irresponsible to draft a center with a first-round pick, especially when the Bucs don’t yet have a proven edge rusher, the most important position on the defense.

Besides, the past few years, the highest-paid centers (which you figure if a guy is getting paid well he’s worth it or they would cut the guy or restructure his contract) are typically drafted in later rounds.

First-round picks are for playmakers or offensive tackles. Joe has never seen a guard or center make a game-changing play late in the game when his team needs a touchdown in the final seconds.

Unless we’re talking about a center falling on a fumble in the end zone.

69 Responses to ““Their Center Is A Major Problem””

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Much too melodramatic Joe. Hainsey isn’t ‘Enemy #1’ by any means; he’s a very valuable piece of the OLine puzzle, it’s just that many if not most don’t see him as a starting Center. There are several excellent prospects available via the draft this year, and it’ll almost surely take a Rnd 1 or Rnd 2 pick to snare one. When a position of NEED meets BPA, hey, it’s a beautiful thing. Go for it.

  2. Bucs Guy Says:

    You need to get over it. Your philosophy is wrong. Impact players are more important than playmakers because impact players includes more than playmakers. Impact players address the entire game — not just scoring.
    1) It’s irresponsible not to pick any player in the first round that can make an immediate impact. When you have a weakness and an impact player is available, you draft them.
    2) Don’t reach for an Edge in the 1st rd if one of the top 3 isn’t available. There are no other Edge rushers worthy of a first round pick. Selecting one in the first would be irresponsible.
    3) The Bucs don’t want an average center so they need to consider drafting one in the 1st or 2nd round.
    4) You don’t see them making the play because you are watching the ball — not the block allowing the QB to make the pass or the RB to run free.

  3. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Would I be okay with the Bucs drafting JPJ or Barton in the 1st Round? Yes, I think either one of those guys would be an improvement from what they already have. Do I want Hainsey ran off? No. If the Bucs can do better at C, he can be a backup at C/G/RT (RT in a pinch).

  4. Capt.Tim Says:

    Starting NFL CENTERS

    Frank Ragnow- Detroit Lions- round one
    Tyler Linderbaum- Baltimore Ravens- round one
    Creed Humphries- Kansas City Chiefs- round 2
    Ethan Pocic- Cleveland Browns- round 2
    Connor Williams-Miami Dolphins- Round 2
    Cody Whitehair- Chicago Bears- round2

    What do they have in Common?
    All listed In PFF top 12 NFL centers
    And none of their rushing attacks are ranked 32nd in the league.

    Seems like alot of 1st and 2nd round draft picks in the top 12
    Meybe its just me.

    Again- Connor Williams is a Free Agent. So is left Guard Dalton Risner.
    If Jason Licht signed those 2, we could focus on pass rush.

    Oh, by the Way- who was our starting Left Guard? Aaron Stennie.
    Where is he? No longer with the team.
    Who was his Backup? Matt Feiler.
    Wheres he? No longer with the team.

    We just might have a hole at Left Guard, since everyone who played there was not resigned.

    I sometimes wonder if anyone actually watches the team. How can anyone not know that we have noone at LG. The 34th ranked Center. The 32nd ranked rushing offense- and be a fan of the team?

    And looks like alot of the leagues best centers were 1st or 2nd round picks.
    Might wanna consider that, going in to the draft

  5. Pickgrin Says:

    Fix the Oline and this team improves.

    Don’t – and they won’t.

    Finding upgrades for both Center and LG is imperative.

    Need to draft 2 good interior OLinemen with those first 4 picks on days 1 & 2.

    Move up in the 1st for Latu with pick #89. Then on day 2- draft a center with pick #57 and a Guard with #92.

    Then pop the Champagne for landing a premier pass rusher and filling our 3 biggest needs with high draft picks.

  6. Leopold Stotch Says:


  7. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Disregard my test. That worked but nothing else is. Never mind I guess.

  8. darengibo Says:

    Hainsey played out of position wurst filling a need. Put him back at guard and get a true center. If they can do this view draft or WW post draft cuts, all good!

  9. RBUC Says:

    It doesn’t take a keen football eye to see starting Center is a problem AND RB1 is a problem on this current Bucs team. Every solid to good running NFL team has more than 1 quality RB getting regular touches and as a runner Rachaad White is blind as a bat plus he hesitates wayyyyyy too much for my taste. MAN-O-MAN I wish the Bucs could get their hands on Trey Benson and improve the Oline!!

  10. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Counter – the Bucs identity, toughness and running game production would’ve been night and day last yr with big red. They likely find themselves in San Fran playing that fake tough 49er defense in the NFC title game, or a higher playoff seeding from winning an extra game or two in the reg season. Seems to me that kind of impact is more profound than JTS getting 12 sacks instead of 4 or whatever it is he ended up with. If the Oregon center is there, you take the impact, more high regarded. Reaching for a chop Robinson who didn’t do much in college is kinda gross. There are no TJ Watts in this draft

  11. rrsrqnc Says:

    I dunno Joe, if you driving late in the game and can’t protect the QB cause defensive lineman is in your face and lap, then you may need an interior lineman. Remember we have a shorty at the QB spot

  12. Senor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Joe, don’t look or you will be drinking Bromosas all day, but CBS has the Bucs taking OT Graham Barton at 26 and passing on Latu who is chosen at 27 (they have Verse picked at #19 by the Rams). I guess CBS does not place as much value on pass rushers – “the most important position on defense” – as Joe does.

    Personally, I am in agreement with you. If this scenario played out I would lose my mind.

  13. BucU Says:

    This draft can’t get here fast enough.

  14. Bucben61 Says:

    Joe your takes are almost always way off the mark

    We don’t need to reach for a edge rusher and we don’t need to draft a QB

    I haven’t read to many comments asking to run Hainsey out of town… actually you are the only one to bring it up

    We need to fix the oline… period

  15. Bucben61 Says:

    Am I the only one that has confidence that Yaya an Kancey will get it done

    Fix the oline, fix the run game

    Protect Mayfield and watch this team soar

  16. BucsFan Says:

    Licht has said their are a couple of scenarios where he may trade up. JPJ would be worth a trade up to guarantee he is wearing Bucs colors next year.

  17. Boss Says:

    Anyone would be an improvement

  18. Lt. Dan Says:

    Simple. Draft Barton to be the center and cross train him at guard. Move Hainsey to guard – he’s already trained at center. Now you got two dues that can play both positions. D@mn I should have been a coach!

  19. Simeon4HOF Says:

    Smh. There is a Joe that says the same thing over and over often times on things he gets backwards. Sheesh

    The Brass at 1 Buc, especially JL, ain’t going to run around the building to find you and say they hate Hainsey and he needs to leave town. And The repetitive hyperboles that are inaccurate always get old .. fast.

    Hainsey could be a very good Guard. That’s his position. He is not a Center. That’s great you have seen him open a hole or 2 that White missed in practice. He is an adequate backup C if need be. Hainsey is an important part of our team. Nobody said to cut Hainsey and drop him off in another town. The Bucs need a C. Many many many fans realize this. I have heard this Joe cry constantly at times about our Run game, and cry about losing Jensen so many times.
    So why cry if the Bucs draft a 1st round C that’ll instantly transform our Oline to good and otw to one of the best in league by Season’s end once gelled. Mauch will be fine just watch.

    Barton is a projected as a C .. who can play guard. If my team has the worst rushing attack in the NFL .. and 1 player can likely perhaps atleast cut that in half off top, and change the whole Offenses dynamic.. I’m taking him. It’s common sense.

    If the Bucs trade up to get JPJ, it’ll be about as important a move as the one for Wirfs as far as impact. Why ya think so many fans are clamoring for it.

    Ira can you help this Joe understand the importance of a or the top C. Especially as it relates to our team presently. Please

    JL …. Wirfs, Hainsey/Opeta, JPJ or Barton, Mauch, Goedeke … Pretty Please

  20. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Well, wait a minute. Is it left guard that is horrible or center? If Hainsey is this bad as Prisco suggests, why would they draft a guy who may play left guard and not center?

    One very plausible reason is that Mauch is also a candidate to play C. Licht has already mentioned this in past interviews.

  21. Ugotrobbed Says:

    Keep Hainsey and let him compete for G/C and draft a pure center with a premium pick!

  22. Dave Pear Says:


    Maybe Hainsey can play edge. Rush the passer.

  23. Simeon4HOF Says:

    As for Diaby .. he’s already proven he can Rush the Passer .. as a non starting rookie he led our team in Sacks. Bucben61 .. no you are not the only one. You are absolutely right right right

  24. geno711 Says:

    Capitan Tim.

    Don’t forget if using that same rating system, it had Baker as the 19th rated QB.

  25. realistic-optimistic Says:

    First-round picks are for playmakers or offensive tackles. Joe has never seen a guard or center make a game-changing play late in the game when his team needs a touchdown in the final seconds.

    Joe, what are you talking about!? Did you not watch Jason Kelce making game-changing plays with that busted tush-push play?

  26. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Keep beating that imaginary dead horse Joe.
    You’re very good at it.

  27. Beeej Says:

    Has Hainsey ever HAD enough snaps at guard to see if he’s any good at it?

  28. Simeon4HOF Says:

    I know .. since Rd 1 is only for Tackles let’s just draft a new LT and move Wirfs to C, or a RT and move Goedeke to C. Lol smh .. will that make you happy Joe. Give Jensen or Kelce a call and see what they think

  29. Simeon4HOF Says:

    This article just begged for the overdue roast. Still love ya this Joe.

    I get it y’all, he is just playing around .. gotta be it

  30. Simeon4HOF Says:

    Maybe Hainsey can play G and C all at once … and then come off the Edge on 3rd down

  31. Usedtocould Says:

    It would be irresponsible to draft an edge in the first or second round with this regimes track record

  32. Conner50 Says:

    If JPJ is available at 26 you take him, his nastiness and how he finishes is what you want from an individual. Barton would be a good pick too although I like JPJ a littler better. This edge class isn’t too outstanding after Latu,Verse and Turner so I wouldn’t reach for one. Like it or not Joe a center in the first round would be a good pick

  33. BUCman Says:

    Joe, you sound like a broken record on this subject. Take your blinders off and stop being so stubborn. A Center is vital for keeping the pressure out of Mayfield’s face. What good is a Mike Evans or Chris Godwin if Baker is laying on his back 2 seconds after the snap. If you wait until a later round to draft a center you are not going to find an upgrade to Hainsey. The upgrade is in the first round!

  34. Simeon4HOF Says:

    Aaron Donald, ya know him Joe .. was recently quoted as saying Philly was the toughest t3am he played against, bcuz of Jason Kelce

  35. Simeon4HOF Says:

    Too much drama too much reach risk too much bust risk too much lack of talent in Rd1 for Edge. Bucs are going C .. buckle up Joe

  36. Simeon4HOF Says:

    Remember Ali Marpet. There was a team that moved him to C then back to G. The rest is delightful history

  37. Zman Says:

    Hainsey is and will be a decent backup. He was from jump with us. He has zero push and leg drive. Look at his legs. He does not have the thick tree trunk OL legs. Thus, no drive. He served us admirably, but I don’t see him getting better. Centers value has risen in the pastv10 plus years. Look what Jensen did for us.

  38. Joe Says:

    Impact players are more important than playmakers

    They are one in the same.

  39. Scott Says:

    We need to beef up the Obline to really see what Baker is capable of.

  40. Bucfan Says:

    Part of the problem is the play calling. Running up the gut on first & second down is too predicable. The running game was NOT that great when Jenson was the center. Mix up the play calling a bit.

  41. gotbbucs Says:

    “First-round picks are for playmakers or offensive tackles. Joe has never seen a guard or center make a game-changing play late in the game when his team needs a touchdown in the final seconds”

    Been covering the NFL for so long, and still so ignorant to the game. We are talking about pick #26, not pick #3.
    We can pick a guy like Barton at 26 that is a probably a 10 year starter at LG/C, or we can pick another smaller school right/left tackle and force him over to left/right guard and then piss and moan when he doesn’t immediately adapt to the NFL game.
    It’s all relative.

  42. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bucs Guy nailed it.

    Joe Says:
    April 8th, 2024 at 8:51 am
    Impact players are more important than playmakers

    “They are one in the same.”

    No…playmakers are flashy players. They make individual plays that sometimes make you stand up and yell with excitement.

    Impact players are guys that consistently do their jobs as part of a unit, and help lift the team to higher standards.

    No one wants to run Hainsey off. He’s just not strong or big enough to start at center. Move him to left guard, and he’d probably be decent. At worst, he’s depth.

    So far as Prico’s suggestion…he know Jason Licht likes guys who play more than one position.

    And going by the highest paid centers? Not really the way I would do it. Not when centers are actually ranked by ability.

  43. Scott Says:

    I want to see an immediate impact O line. Not one of the multiple year projects if possible. We need to get a run game going.

  44. Ryan Smith Says:

    Stay away from Pass Rusher’s in this draft. They all suck, well at least the one’s that will be available for us at pick 26. There was a reason last year’s pass rusher were the strongest position of the draft. Cause all the good underclassmen entered the draft last year. Chop Robinson would have been drafted after YaYa last year and now y’all want him in round 1?

  45. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Top NFL Centers according to PFF:

    1. Creed Humphrey (2nd Round)
    2. Jason Kelce (6th Roun)
    3. Corey Linsley (5th Round)
    4. Frank Ragnow (1st Round)
    5. Tyler Linderbaum (1st Round)

    So, 3 of the top five were taken in the first 2 rounds. We pick at 26, right? That’s basically a high 2nd rounder.

  46. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “First-round picks are for playmakers or offensive tackles. Joe has never seen a guard or center make a game-changing play late in the game when his team needs a touchdown in the final seconds.”

    Has an offensive tackle made a game-changing play lol?

    I’ve seen plenty of game changing plays where it was either a DE beating a tackle or a DT beating a C or OG, where if the OT or OG/C held up their block, then the game changing play doesn’t happen.

    Elite DT’s get paid more than DE’s.

    I think it’s easier to find AVERAGE interior OL than OT all day which is why OT is typically pushed higher up in drafts, but an ELITE / All Pro type offensive lineman is always worth a R1 pick- especially at #26.

  47. RustyRhinos Says:

    “Joe has never seen a guard or center make a game-changing play late in the game when his team needs a touchdown in the final seconds.”

    Those plays where the Center puts the ball over the head of the QB in the 4th quarter? Not a game-changing play? How about a Center who gets pushed back into the QB /RB G that causes a loss of several yards? Still not Game-changing plays? We have seen both by bad Center play, within the last few seasons, no?

    Haniesy is a good backup, his arse is just not big enough to stop bigger DL players when they bullrush him. He gets mauled by big DT’s. Draft a C round 1-2.


  48. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Those plays where the Center puts the ball over the head of the QB in the 4th quarter?”

    True! I’m having flashbacks to the Denver SB in 2014 where the first play was a bad snap where Manning wasn’t ready for it, and it resulted in a safety and then Seattle scored and it was the quickest 2 score lead built in SB history.

  49. Bojim Says:

    If Barton is there at 26 I would grab him. Then edge.

  50. SmoothBayRider Says:

    Draft Fautanu, stick him at LG between Wirfs and Hainsey, and watch how Hainsey develops into a Pro Bowl center. There aren’t many examples of a Pro Bowl C with crappy guys lined up next to him.

  51. MadMax Says:

    Powers will be the largest Center ever drafted….yall know where I am on this

    Talked us into trading up for Wirfs…talked us into trading up for Marpet, its in the archives.

  52. @Hands2theFace Says:

    Underselling the importance of the oline is shallow thinking. The oline is probably the most important unit on the field. It’s the only unit that truly affects the whole team. Without solid blocking it affects the run game, (we were bed). It affects the passing game. If it can’t do its job, the defense has to come back on the field. Too many three-and-outs wear out a defense.

  53. Cobraboy Says:

    I don’t want to run off Hainsey; I just want a big improvement in the position.

    Haonsey is fine as a flexible reserve.

  54. Bucem19 Says:

    Some of you guys makes no since at all. No time in nfl, college or high school football do an interior offensive lineman nake a difference in winning and losing. Drafting an interior lineman in the first round will get your coach fired. Especially when you’re pass rush is underwhelming bad. DRAFT A DAMN PASS RUSHER OR TODD WONT BE COACHING NEXT SEASON. HELL DRAFT A PASS RUSHER IN THE FIRST AND SECOND ROUND BECAUSE OUR PASS RUSH IS A JOKE.

  55. Bucem19 Says:

    Some of you guys makes no since at all. No time in nfl, college or high school football do an interior offensive lineman make a difference in winning and losing. Drafting an interior lineman in the first round will get your coach fired. Especially when you’re pass rush is underwhelming bad. DRAFT A DAMN PASS RUSHER OR TODD WONT BE COACHING NEXT SEASON. HELL DRAFT A PASS RUSHER IN THE FIRST AND SECOND ROUND BECAUSE OUR PASS RUSH IS A JOKE.

  56. SlyPirate Says:


    Inevitably teams will reach for R2 QBs and WRs. A top 10 talent (or two) will drop into the Bucs laps. Take the BPA or grab a trade haul and move down.

  57. Buc1987 Says:

    Bucem19 …gotcha soooo it’s center at 26.

  58. Ryan Smith Says:

    Hahahah IOL don’t make a difference?!?! Tell that to the 2022 Buccaneers. We lost both Guards and Center . We couldn’t run the ball and Brady had no time in the pocket cause of pressure in his face. I hate Sean Payton but 1st thing he always does is fit the IOL , cause QBs hate pressure from the Middle!

  59. TombsEN Says:

    Bucem19 thinks that no OL makes a difference between winning or losing….god some of you just started watching football and it shows. The game is won in the trenches, why reach for a DE when there is a stud OL available?? Need will meet BPA….let’s not over think this.

    Also I think it would be extremely irresponsible to spend a first-round pick on Latu….he has a neck injury that can be reaggravated for goodness sake.

  60. Thundersack Says:


    Sua Opeta, who will compete for the starting left guard job, and Ben Bredeson will compete at center and backup LG, was data you left out.

    Thanks for the statistics. I always like to see opinions backed up by something quanifiable.

  61. Ryan Smith Says:

    If Sua and Bredeson are both starting just go ahead and give us a top 5 pick. Also put Baker on IR.

  62. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Lock it in, Hainsey is not going anywhere. Perfect 6th man on the line, maybe not tge guy you want starting every game but break the glass and you’re not looking at 300# cab drivers. Prisco isn’t sure what he has for breakfast

  63. Jeffrey Becker Says:

    Captain Tim wins

  64. BelleGladeBuc Says:

    For those who say an IOL has no impact on the game, I give you Buc’s Center Robert Hainsey in the 4th Quarter of the playoff game against the Lions.

    1 timeout left.

    Down by 8 and the Bucs must drive the length of the field and score a TD and 2 point conversion to tie the game.

    2nd and 5, ball on the 15, 1st down is the 20.

    Ball is snapped with 1:39 to go.

    The Lions MLB blitzes up the A-Gap and Robert Hainsey matador blocks him and let’s Baker get hit by the MLB with 1:37 on the clock.

    Baker is standing on the 7 yard line in the pocket.

    If he throws it away it’s intentional grounding loss of down, and it’s 3rd and 13.

    If he takes the sack it’s now 3rd and 13 at the 7 if he holds onto the ball and the clock is still running.

    Baker is forced to make a throw as he’s being hit after 2 seconds in the pocket and the ball is intercepted.

    If you don’t think the atrocious interior line play of Robert Hainsey in a must score a touchdown in the last minutes of the 4th quarter or lose the game moment, and that it didn’t impact the Buc’s ability to win the playoff game against the Lions, then you simply don’t understand the importance of interior line play and how it greatly impacts a game.

  65. Capt. Tim Says:

    Poor Ben Bredeson.
    Such good technique. So strong.
    Cant ever be a quality Starter.
    Hes a T-Rex
    Only 2 other linemen have had shorter Arms, in the history of the NFL.
    Its just too big of a disadvantage. He can be a backup.
    Never a starter.
    Damn shame, but theres a reason T-Rex went extinct.

    Sua Opeta is a good guard. Not good enough to start for the Eagles.
    Then he shouldnt be good enough to start for the Bucs,
    We need starters starting. And back ups, well, backing up!

  66. Olboy Says:

    In an interview, JPJ said Ryan Jensen is the guy he wants to play like. Any rude that wants to play like Ryan Jensen has my vote.

  67. Olboy Says:


  68. William Says:

    @BelleGladeBucs someone who can’t see the protection coverage called at LOS should shut up.

  69. BelleGladeBuc Says:


    I watched the All 22 and it is worse than I previously stated.

    BTW, former D1 lineman and high school coach, so let me educate you.

    For those of us who know ball, all we need is to see the ALL 22 to tell you what the protection is.

    Sorry that you don’t understand line play at the level of those who are like me.

    It wasn’t a blitz pickup that Hainsey failed at. I was wrong about that. It was a DLINE stunt. That’s much worse.

    The Bucs were in half slide protection left. That’s a Gap blocking scheme on the back left side and man protection for the RG and RT.

    That means from Center to LT they are kicking back with their right leg a their post step is a hinge like step, anybody who comes into your gap is your man.

    It wasn’t the Blitzing linebacker who Hainsey matador blocked on that must score or you go home a loser drive against the Lions in the 4th quarter of their playoff game.

    The Lions were in a 3-4 formation. The DE was lined up in a 3 point stance wide off of Wirfs. The Nose was lined up heads up on Stinnie. The other DE was lined heads up on Mauch. The OLB was lined up outside of Goedeke in a 2 point stance.

    The Nose stunted inside to the A-Gap. The NG is who hit and put pressure on Baker. The Nose was Hainsey’s responsibility in half slide protection, and Hainsey failed.

    White picked up the blitz working to Wirfs’ side, as was his responsibility in half slide BOB. Big on Big. Back on Backer.

    Hainsey failed to pickup on inside stunt and that pressure up the middle is what created havoc on that play.

    Tape don’t lie, and the tape on Hainsey at center is atrocious.