Now This Is Class

May 2nd, 2024

Display of team unity.

Even the Robert Hainsey-is-Lucifer crowd ought to be impressed with this.

The drumbeat grew louder as the draft neared: ‘The Bucs must replace Robert Hainsey.’

The lazy narrative was that Hainsey, the Bucs’ starting center the past two seasons, is the sole player fully responsible for a rotten run game and unrest in the Middle East, among other international crises.

“He must go!” the loud crowd stomped and hollered.

So when the Bucs drafted Duke offensive lineman Graham Barton with the 26th overall pick, immediately the Bucs made it clear: Barton is a center.

(The Bucs have since waffled publicly and stated, well, maybe Barton is a guard.)

Joe can only imagine what goes through the mind of an NFL starter when fans are screaming for his head, and then he learns his team just drafted a first-round pick at his position.

No on would be surprised if Hainsey was bummed out. In fact, some might have expected Hainsey to be downright PO’ed.

So maybe 15 hours after being drafted, Barton shows up at One Buc Palace. And who was in the building and making a point to seek out Barton, introduce himself, slap skin and welcome him to the Bucs?


See for yourself in this Bucs-produced video at the 7:11 mark. Tristan Wirfs was with Hainsey, too.

To Joe, that is complete class. Barton likely was drafted to replace Hainsey. And there was Hainsey welcoming Barton to the Bucs.

Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht likes to quietly brag, humble-brag, that he seeks good men to play for the Bucs. Joe thinks Hainsey’s display of camaraderie is a perfect example.

That was an excellent gesture of unselfishness and putting the team first.

Joe is impressed.

68 Responses to “Now This Is Class”

  1. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Very classy gesture. Not really surprising either, with the culture that Licht has built. Long gone are the Swaggy Baker/Mesean Jackson days. I really like what Jason has built. That being said, and I know others have felt this way, at least on this lovely site, that Hainsey is, serviceable, but would be best suited for anything other than starting center.

  2. Brian in St Pete Says:

    The hyperbole surrounding the fact that fans recognized our need to upgrade at center continues to be both fictional and cringy.

  3. OHBucFan Says:

    The question is whether Hainsey is one of the best three interior linemen for the Bucs. I think he is. Center? Maybe not. RG or LG? There’s a good chance. Maybe backup numero uno as well for all three interior positions. Regardless, he’s a member of the roster for 2024.

  4. Hodad Says:

    Even Hainsey can see the writing on the wall, Barton is the Bucs new starting center. The guy graded out a perfect 10, out of 10 as a center. The thought of him playing guard, and Hainsey staying at center is just nuts. Barton is the head of the spear.

  5. heyjude Says:

    Thank you for the YouTube video. I cried along with them, so exciting. Barton seems like a humble guy and I can’t wait to see what he does. Love the Dirt Devil nickname! Hainsey is all class. Impressive team work.

  6. UGotRobbed Says:

    Two thumbs up for Robert!! Tuff competition makes everyone better!

  7. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I don’t have anything against Hainsey, I think that’s probably the same with the majority of Bucs fans, but I (we?) just want the Bucs to get better.

    As for the “Hainsey is a starting Guard” crowd, I don’t see why the Bucs would do that, unless he proves to be the best of the bunch (which I doubt he is). He’ll probably be the backup Center, IMHO.

  8. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I had high hope for Robert Hainsey when he was drafted, It is a tough position to learn and no telling how much he will improve this year. Not quite yet giving up on the guy.

  9. JA Says:


    Fictional hyperbole? Kinda like made up exaggeration? Kinda threw me with that one, but that’s me. And you cringe because people get on Hainsey’s case? Warranted or not, that’s what NFL diehard fans do. They support their favorite players and blame others for their team’s loss. If you love a QB his line sucks when he doesn’t play well. If you hate your QB it’s all his fault. He holds onto the ball too long. My guess is the casual fan has no idea who Robert Hainsey is …

    In defense of Hainsey: As did Jensen and Barton, Hainsey came from Notre Dame as a Tackle (did anybody play center in college?). He wasn’t pining for Jensen’s job upon arrival in Tampa. He was forced into it after Jensen’s career ending injury. That considered, yet far from spectacular, he’s still done an adequate job.
    The crowd that loathes his play makes no sense. You don’t let an average to above average O—lineman, who plays multiple positions, walk.
    He’s going nowhere.

  10. Capt.Tim Says:

    Noone thought anything bad about Hainsey.
    Hes just not an NfL starter. That wasnt what he was drafted to be.
    Hes a backup.
    He makes millions being a backup. No shame in that.

    I bet 100% of your posters wish they had the skill to be an NFL backup
    Jensen retired. Time to replace him.

    Or perhaps Joe believes our vaunted 32nd ranked rushing offense is the key to our next SuperBowl.

    Hainsey is a backup. Stennie was a backup. Opeta is a backup. Bredeson is a backup.
    If we wanna have a playoff team, we need starters on the Oline.
    Then our offense improves. Not until then

  11. Ha-Ha-Ha Says:

    Watch out for the guy from UTEP.

  12. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Barton will be a left guard. Hainsey will remain center. Wirfs will remain left tackle. It simply makes best sense to me. Less moving changes, is more stability. That’s my story and im sticking to it.

  13. Bucs Guy Says:

    Agree with JA and Capt Tim. Hainsey is a below average starter and above average back up. Prior to needing to take over at C, Hainsey was to compete for the starting G job. Let him do so this year. If he’s the best then great. If not he’s a back up. Bucs should consider re-signing him regardless. Teams always need good backups.

  14. garro Says:

    I give him alot of credit for this and how he has handled himself for the last two years Joe.

    Ask TB12 if he ever felt secure in the pocket behind Hainsey and company! Did Hainsey’s good buddy Baker look clean and serine to you last year Joe? The Bucs coaches were for sure hoping Jensen would heal up prior to last season.

    I have nothing against Hainsey. He has undoubtedly done his best. In fact I commend him for stepping in to a very difficult situation. Many of us have enough football smarts to know what our center and guards are supposed to look like and the last two years have not been it.

    Ask yourself if the number of times Bucs RBs where hit almost immediately or had to avoid a tackler upon taking the hand off and if that percentage was at all acceptable.

    Not at all saying White was, or will be an All Pro, but come on man. We need better play at center and both guards.

    Go Bucs!

  15. BucU Says:

    Hainsey is a class act. Always has been. He’s just not a great center and we need great.

  16. Zoocomics Says:

    I think it’s simply having a mature perspective. You are in the NFL, making damn good money playing a sport… and sadly not every player is like this, but Hainsey knows his talent and that he has value whether he’s with Tampa or another team, being a team player I think goes a long way in a pro’s career. Gholston is the shining example of that. Hainsey will be a part of a 53 man roster, just not sure if he’s a starter moving forward, I hope he stays in Tampa.

    I’ve already written before that one could argue that Hainsey wasn’t thrown into the best of circumstance as a starting center, his supporting castmates didn’t help much, though we did give him time develop under the expertise of a damn good center in Jensen. The point is, the Bucs brass aren’t listening to the fans to replace Hainsey. If Barton upends Hainsey at center, they must have not liked what they saw either, especially using a premium pick to improve the position.

    Most of the conversation on these boards have been about the run game, what about the last 2 years of pass protection? Brady certainly didn’t trust his Oline during his last season with us, as he was breaking records with how fast he was getting rid of the football. And yeah, I get that Baker had a career season in passing, but against the better teams, I felt pass protection wasn’t great. Would Baker have thrown the pick at the end of the playoff game vs the Lions if not for the duress he felt during most of that game? He had a pretty clean pocket on that last play and yet he rushed read/throw and made the fatal mistake. Sean Peyton is big on his interior Oline even more so than his tackles, not sure if was having the 6ft Brees at QB for a decade, but given how similar Brees and Baker are, they are something to be said for have a stout interior for an undersized pocket passing QB.

  17. adam from ny Says:

    barton looks like a big dude…he’s a sizable dude in wirf’s presence…

    good to see us gathering up behemoths

  18. adam from ny Says:

    i’m always intrigued to watch sports people, players and personnel have to give hugs to sweat ridden athletes, and get their beauteous clothes caked in perspiration…

    luckily most of them are paid in full and the clean up means nothing to them…

    but i see sweaty bro-hugs happen all the time in sports, as the fine haberdashery acts as a towel or sop rag

  19. darengibo Says:

    I can’t believe how chiseled Wirfs is at 360! What a beast

  20. Bucfan Says:

    Come on fans! The running game was a dud even when Jenson was the center. Play calling is a LARGE part of the problem. The Bucs no longer have Alstott so running it up the gut on 1st & 2nd down just does not work! SET UP the run with the PASS.

  21. Pewter Power Says:

    Nothing against Hainsey, it’s not your fault it’s Jensens fault for being a beast. You just aren’t him, not a horrible player but just not Jensen. I never questioned his character

  22. SB~LV Says:

    There really is something off with the Joes

  23. Chris Says:

    Hey Joe, wanting a player to be upgraded doesn’t mean we hate him. Otherwise we could say that you’ve hated Rachaad White for the last two offseasons.

  24. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Ha-Ha-Ha Says:
    May 2nd, 2024 at 6:09 am
    Watch out for the guy from UTEP.
    Probably needs a “redshirt” year, like Cappa did. If he’s ready this year, what a blessing that would be!

  25. Tony Marks Says:

    SB~LV Says:
    May 2nd, 2024 at 7:48 am
    There really is something off with the Joes

    Just some residual saltiness that the whole never pick a center in the first round claim didn’t age well. Hyperbole makes for a good distraction from being wrong.

  26. SB~LV Says:

    Yet it’s OK for the two running this joint to hang disparaging names on players who they don’t like and forever refer to them with the nickname.
    2 bitter old bachelor’s!

  27. Defense Rules Says:

    garro … ‘We need better play at center and both guards.’

    Aahh yes, the bottom line right there. Our 2 tackles, Wirfs & Goedeke, aren’t a problem. The middle of our OLine? For sure it needs to get significantly better. Can’t help but wonder though how much Hainsey is getting blamed for the poor performances of meh Guards on either side of him.

    Mauch played all 1103 offensive snaps last season; of course, he was a rookie & subject to the steep learning curve that all rookies go through (he was far from perfect IOW). Feiler got 386 offensive snaps before Bucs decided he sucked, then replaced him with Stinnie (718 offensive snaps) for the rest of the season. But in reality Stinnie, coming off an injury that cost him the entire 2022 season, sucked too.

    So again, how much Hainsey is getting blamed for the less-than-optimum Guard play on either side of him? I suspect it’ll become pretty clear by the end of training camp.

  28. Bojim Says:

    It wasnt Hainsey’s fault that White cant run through holes.

  29. SlyPirate Says:

    Barton was the 1st pick in the draft.

    Licht saw the problem and made a big statement.
    Fans saw the problem and wrote about it.
    Media saw the problem and mocked us taking a Center.
    Philly saw the problem and knocked Hainsey on his butt to cause a Safety.

    Joe is THE ONLY PERSON who didn’t see the problem?
    How? That’s the question you should be asking.

  30. catcard202 Says:

    Hainsey may be the best team mate & guy ever, but he knows his job is on the line & wasn’t at One Bucs Place to just play “meet & greet”… You always want to size up your competition before going to battle.

  31. Rick Says:

    Really wish this guy would hit the squat rack because he’s got everything else you want

  32. Tucker Says:

    I’m sure coaches see through all of that DR it’s kinda their job to do so and recognized they needed to upgrade the center as well as the guards and according to Jason in the middle of last season was when they decided this.

  33. Joe in Michigan Says:

    SB~LV Says:
    May 2nd, 2024 at 8:22 am
    Yet it’s OK for the two running this joint to hang disparaging names on players who they don’t like and forever refer to them with the nickname.
    2 bitter old bachelor’s!
    The guy who is always on a FREE website talking junk about the guys who run said quality website? It seems like if you were so offended by the “disparaging names” you would’ve just left and not come back.

  34. SB~LV Says:


  35. Alstott to Canton Says:

    Not sure where this big crowd of people that want Hainsey gone are, but he’s valuable depth if someone goes down. Need that in every position so he’s somewhat of an asset to the team even if he’s not a starter

  36. zzbucs Says:

    As always with new generations is a matter of great or awful, Love or Hate, black or White and saddly Joe or the Joe´s are no different, always looking for a scapegoat.

    I see Hainsey as an average center, not great not bad, I don´t blame him for the lack of running game, I would blame more on White, who as Hainsey is an average player, But guess who is avergare to, Mauch and Stinnie, but we need to crucify somebody, in this case is Hainsey….

    Getting bored of this polarizing analisis by most……….

  37. Bucnjim Says:

    Canales put things in perspective when he said we (The Bucs) couldn’t out-physically play ANYONE! There are only 5 players you could hold responsible and one of them is an all pro. We don’t have the tape the Bucs do but with the eye test, the entire middle was like a leaking dam. The draft was the first step in plugging the leaks.

  38. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Wirfs looks like he could compete as a bodybuilder.

  39. JimBobBuc Says:

    We need to get the best three guys into the IOL. I’m not sure that Hainsey was worse than Mauch. For me, Barton is a given to start as he’s too talented and too smart not to start. Then who are the other two? If Hainsey is one of them, then I can see Hainsey staying at C to call blocking assignments and let Barton to play G. If Hainsey is NOT in the top 3, then have Barton start at C. Barton can play G or C, but I want Carberry to settle the starting OL soon in camp to help communication and play in the entire OL.

  40. 813bucboi Says:

    wonder if barton at LG and 1 of the FA OL’s can mask/hide hainsey…..consistentcy is always important and maybe TB & JL will give hainsey every opportunity to remain the starter….the kid from utep is intriguing…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  41. 813bucboi Says:

    actually keep mauch at RG….that would help with consistency….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  42. SB~LV Says:

    I am anxiously awaiting the first sighting of Cody Mauch to see if there are visible signs of offseason weight room and training table progress.
    Hainsey has given it all he has! I very much respect his efforts, sadly he has maxed out his size and strength along with ability playing the NFL center position. It’s simply the old saw.. a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

  43. Ol' Boy Says:

    hahaha, this joe just can’t help himself. You were wrong, me amigo. And , you are still trying to cover that up with a story headline that implies that oh hey they may have changed their mind about Barton to center so therefore, this Joe was right about hainsey not being the problem. I give this Joe props for sticking to his story, even in the face of facts that show otherwise.

    Look, the Bucs have not waffled from JL’s original day 1 statement that Barton will be center. His remarks in the linked story are not waffles, it merely shows what else could be IF Barton can’t handle the C position. If he can’t handle C, we’ll put him at guard is very clear to me. JL’s statement simple if/then function. Not going to look at putting him at tackle. Not going to look at putting him on the bench or the practice squad. It just seems your story is a bit misleading due to you not wanting to wrong about pounding the desk, punching holes in walls and screaming from mountain tops with hints and allegations that your boy Hainsey isn’t the problem on the I of the OL. JL told you about an hour after the first end pick was done where he saw the problem. Where we in the loud crowd saw the problem.
    Cool video though. It’ll be interesting to see how wirfs and Barton play nice together.

  44. Tucker Says:

    Pretty sure Joe is trolling with the hainsey comments for engagement. I haven’t met a fan that wanted hainsey run out of town, he is great depth, but Jason and the fans saw the need to upgrade the interior starting at center go bucs!

  45. Joe Says:

    Look, the Bucs have not waffled from JL’s original day 1 statement that Barton will be center. His remarks in the linked story are not waffles

    If they are not waffles, why even mention guard? If they are willing to state this publicly, as in thought-out comments, that tells Joe it’s very much on the table.

    It’s not just Licht but also his right-hand man. That’s not a coincidence. And Joe doesn’t believe in coincidences in football.

  46. Ugo Says:

    Not many are calling foe Hajnsey to be cast off, only the ignorant. Most of us want to keep Hainsey as a versatile backup/relief option, not as a starter.

  47. Ol' Boy Says:

    Thx for the reply, Joe. Man, I’m now hungry for waffles and maple syrup. It’s been awhile.

    I’m not sure why he would even mention guard. What is the context of the conversation and what was said 5 minutes prior and 5 minutes after the quote. Maybe he was speaking of Barton’s versatility? I don’t know, but it’s a sticky (mmmm, syrup) proposition to say he’s waffling (golden brown, crispy edges) when in just that small sample he states the focus is center.

  48. Joe Says:

    Thx for the reply, Joe. Man, I’m now hungry for waffles and maple syrup. It’s been awhile.

    Waffle House is calling Joe too! 🙂

  49. Cobraboy Says:

    When you draft or sign a rook, you are signing potential, not the player as-is.

    The Bucs saw potential in Hainsey. Everybody was fine with that.

    Hainsey was undersized when he was drafted.

    Fact is he did not develop into the player the team wanted.

    He is OK, but there are many other players available that can be a better C/G, and who also have potential.

    Hainsey has maxxed out and got bullied badly when it mattered most last season. The team will NOT be improved on offense if the C/G positions are not improved,

    There is no Hainsey hate, just Buc success love.

    Stop the hyperbole.

  50. BillyBucco Says:

    Just because so many people agreed that Hainsey was a weak link at Center, doesn’t mean we were banging our head and wanted him gone this is OVER THE TOP.
    I have always maintained he is a GREAT backup piece or even starting guard. Problem is, he hasn’t had a chance to get better at guard.
    Oh and the Bucs obviously agreed with our take by drafting Barton, so I don’t get the emphasis of the article.
    I hope Hainsey succeeds because that means the Bucs succeed.

  51. 1Gr8Buc Says:

    Joe talking about class is hilarious. We all know you know NOTHING about class

  52. Durango 95 Says:

    Last time Barton played center was his freshman year in college, right? So according to this “plan” the next time he snaps the ball will be on opening day in the NFL?

  53. rrsrqnc Says:

    I remember the story when Bucs drafted Booger McFarland to replace Brad Culpepper, and Culpepper goes to Sapp and tell him that the Bucs just drafted Sapp’s replacement . These players know how this thing works, they are living the dream

  54. Durango 95 Says:

    Barton at Center?

    If only there were another position along the offensive line where Barton could come in and start contributing immediately, have less responsibility on his mind and the Bucs could see an immediate return on their investment. If only such a position existed.

  55. Cho Says:

    Incredibly awkward interaction. Poor Hainsey

  56. Buc1987 Says:

    Durango 95 Says:

    “on opening day in the NFL?”

    Welp I would imagine in training camp and preseason too.

  57. gotbbucs Says:

    Nobody here hates Robert Hainsey, so don’t be ridiculous. Everybody here loves this football team and wants the best players on the field.
    The coaching staff and front office have admitted that they knew very early last season that they needed to beef up the interior of this offensive line. Cody Mauch was a rookie developing. The left guard position was an obvious sh!t show, and our starting center was a backup that was thrust into the starting role two years ago due to a bad injury and then last year had to continue starting because the team wronglyguessed that Jensen would recover from his injury.
    Hainsey has graded out as one of the worst starting center in the league the last two years. The front office drafted his replacement in the 1st round of this draft and openly said they drafted him to be a center.

  58. It's Corn Says:

    But Hainsey was just keeping the seat warm for Ryan Jensen… and league’s worst running game meant the two years he was center was not exactly a ringing endorsement for that position.

    And he was a tackle in college… center may not be his dream job anyway, he just stepped up when called upon.

  59. Mike Johnson Says:

    My grandmother use to say..People are like Flowers. Some bloom early, some late and some never bloom at all. Hainsey has shown slow steady improvement. You never know, he may yet bloom fully on this Bucs team. Its just taking time.

  60. infomeplease Says:

    In the Bucs video, you can tell TB didn’t want to use the first pick on the OL from that sourpuss he was sporting! Then later when they were in the hallway talking about the draft he mentioned he wanted a Corner Back. Something never change.

  61. Duane in Sanford Says:

    If Hainsey was such a serviceable option at center, we would not be drafting a rookie tackle with the 26th overall pick to replace him.

  62. Capt.Tim Says:

    Jason Licht has believed in Hainsey.
    After all, JL is a great judge of O line talent..
    But Hainsey hasnt developed. Hes been a weak link, and its hurt our O line 2 years in a row.
    That doesnt make Hainsey a bad guy. It makes him a backup NFL Center.
    Which is a great job, if you wanna be a millionaire by age 26.

    But Its time to get a starting Center in the lineup.
    Who knows, meybe we will be able to run the ball again, without DTs draped around our RBs ankles

    Cant win’em all Jason

  63. Usfbuc Says:

    Hainsey was never intended to be our starting center. Now hopefully we have a guy who can be that. Hainsey will get a shot just like everyone else.

  64. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    SB~LV Says:
    “There really is something off with the Joes”

    LOL. There’s something off with me, too. It’s all good.

  65. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Tony Marks Says:
    “Just some residual saltiness that the whole never pick a center in the first round claim didn’t age well.”

    I always say that, too, and yeah, they probably could have gotten a good player on the second day. But with how pedestrian our running game has usually been for years, and the position we were picking from (very late in the round), I can’t blame them for pulling the trigger.

    It’s not nearly as bad as taking an inside linebacker at #5 overall.

  66. 1#bucsfan Says:

    These are the same fans who said Donnie was trash yet he kept Brady upright and then was added to dynasty team in the chiefs. Andy is an offensive guru who has done a great job with 🤢 eagles and chiefs are by far the superior team. Donnie is good enough for them lol I like hainsey dude shows up for literally every game. Best ability is availability. He’s no road grader but he’s durable and has held up just fine in the passing game. Haters and people who have no clue what they talk will always do just that talk lol

  67. MadMax Says:

    Well I know for sure Hainsey isnt going anywhere. I never wanted him to….and from what Ive seen there may have been one or two here just trolling along.

    Wirfs at LT, Mauch at LG, Barton C, Klein at RG with rotations from the other two we signed (keeping Goedeke with fresh help) and Hainsey backs up the 3 positions. We’re gonna have one heck of an O line!

  68. Big Red Says:

    Barton hasn’t played center since he was a freshman. Another Licht playing madden when drafting linemen move. Hope it works out but I’d rather have Zach Frazier at center. Barton iirc was an OT the last 3 years at Duke.