Jensen is a square peg in a square hole


So many fans, myself included, will tell you that the success of a football team begins in the trench. This off-season both lines have seen significant change in an attempt to get better and dominate on game day. Right now I’m looking at the offensive line which will be tasked with the responsibility of creating running lanes for the running backs and keeping Jameis Winston upright.

Purely from a stats point of view, this offensive line was one of the worst last year. The eye test was even worse, it was so the line needed a huge overhaul.

The needed change means that franchise QB Jameis Winston has a new starting Center again, for the third time in as many years. Third time is a charm, right?

Last year’s man, Ali Marpet performed admirably as the anchor of the offensive line, but that was more a case of Marpet’s pure football ability rather than being a natural Center.

Ryan Jensen will step into the role of starting Center after being acquired from the Baltimore Ravens via Free agency and is expected to bring his own particular brand of nastiness to the offensive line. In my opinion, this nastiness is needed after the pillow soft effort from last year!

Some naysayers may look at the revolving door that has previously been the hallmark of the offensive line and feel a sense of uncertainty, after all, the relationship between the QB and Center is probably one of the closest in football. Both players typically touch the football to start the play so the chemistry needs to be on point.

Jensen himself had something to say which will hopefully settle any anxiety about this; speaking on the developing chemistry between himself and Winston, Jensen said “Jameis takes a little bit more control of things … where I was used to doing everything. Getting that chemistry with Jameis is really starting to come along.”

Fans should also be encouraged by the developing relationship across the whole offensive line “Definitely, chemistry with the personalities and things like that, we’re all a younger group, and we can relate to each other very well, and we hang out together and stuff like that. So the chemistry is very big on the offensive line, and we’re really starting to click.” Jensen said when speaking of his teammates across the line. 

Things on the line needed to change after last year and hopefully this is the start of consistency between Jensen and Winston. Jensen is 27 years old and without a lot miles on him playing in just 35 games since he was drafted in the 6th round of the NFL draft in 2013 and while that’s only a small sample size the Buccaneers front office obviously saw enough to make him the highest paid Center in the league. One thing for now, it seems that the new face of the line is fitting in.