Buccaneers Plan to Stay In-House to Replace Jensen

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ training camp got off to a rocky start with the injury to center Ryan Jensen. The injury has been reported as significant putting Jensen’s return date up in the air.

Filling A Buccaneers Void

So the obvious question is, what are the Buccaneers going to do to fill the void left by Jensen’s absence? Head Coach Todd Bowles spoke with the media recently about this.

“It will be between [Robert] Hainsey and Nick Leverett right now,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles stated Friday.

The two players Bowles mentioned don’t have a lot of experience at this level. In fact they have fewer than 100 NFL snaps between them combined.

You’re in Good Hainsey?

“Both of them have played it,” Bowles stated. “It will be a tough battle going in. Both of them are very smart, both are very tough. It’s better to happen now than in the middle of the season so these guys can get some practice reps and prepare for it. I think either one of them will be fine.”

No Easy Task

Replacing Jensen won’t be easy for the Bucs. He’s an iron-man and the anchor of this team’s offensive line. Comparatively, Leverett and Hainsey have no substantial experience at the center position in college or the NFL.

So are the Buccaneers really sold on finding Jensen’s replacement in-house? Bowles seems to think so, but wouldn’t rule our looking for help outside of the organization. But seems somewhat sold on Hainsey at the moment.

“His film study is outstanding,” Bowles said about Hainsey. “He’s been a tough guy. He comes from Notre Dame, he’s very smart, he can see defenses, he can help the quarterback that way. He can help the offensive line. He’s diligent about it and he wants to be good. There’s not a day he doesn’t come in and watch tape. So it’s just a matter of putting it on tape and getting a chance to play.”

Reading Tea Leaves

Reading between the lines here, Bowles seems focused on Hainsey being the guy. This might work if Hainsey and Tom Brady can craft the chemistry and trust needed. Brady isn’t a stranger to breaking in a new center. He went through roughly a half-dozen of them in his time in New England.

At the end of the day, the Buccaneers are a team built to win now, this year. If Bowles, Brady and general manager Jason Licht are satisfied, then we should be as well.

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