Buccaneers’ Robert Hainsey – “The Love” Tom Brady Chewed O-line

TAMPA, Fla. — Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was shown on TV directing a sweary tirade down his offensive line in last Sunday’s 20-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but center Robert Hainsey said Wednesday that’s what we want, and that’s what their unit wants.

“Anyone can call him what they want, but I don’t want anything more from a quarterback than that — than the guy who wants to tell us what we need to do and step up,” said Hainsey, who is in his first year as a starting center and second season in the NFL. “If he was just sitting there and not pushing us forward and trying to help us, he wouldn’t be who he is today.”

“I like that from him. I know we all like that from him. It may sound weird on TV, but that’s football. That’s what you expect from great teammates and great leaders, and he’s the best there is.”

The explosion occurred with: 46 to go in the first half, after an unsuccessful exercise of two minutes. Brady was fumbled with the sack for a 9-yard loss by Alex Highsmith on first down, fending them off on second and 19th – the second time in the first half he was sacked. Then on third-and-11, Brady failed to connect with wide receiver Breshad Perriman on a dig route with the ball thrown too low.

Brady got up from the bench and walked to the offensive line shouting, “You’re so much better than the fucking way you play!”

On his “Let’s go!” podcast with Jim Gray and Larry Fitzgerald, Brady said of the tirade on Monday, “I don’t know if it’s motivation, but I think it’s a bad day when there’s more F-bombs than of touchdowns. So it wasn’t one of my best days. But the F-bombs, they kind of got in the way of showing you in those times, but now it’s kind of for the world to see. So that’s how it is.

“If I feel like we’re not meeting expectations and we’re not meeting the expectations that we’re capable of, then that’s my job,” Brady said. “I’m a quarterback. I don’t expect the right tackle to do it. I don’t expect the running back to do it. I don’t expect the receiver to do it. I expect me to do it. I’m the one over there talking in the caucus, calling the plays.”

“That’s my job. Trying to move us forward and trying to rally us. And there’s a lot of ways to do that. And sometimes it’s positive encouragement, which you often do.

“Sometimes it’s, you know, going after people and trying to raise the level, the sense of urgency, and raising your voice and trying to create a different vibe for the whole offense. And that’s (ultimately) what you’re trying to do.”

“I like that from him. I know we all like that from him. It may sound weird on TV, but that’s football. That’s what you expect from great teammates and great leaders, and he’s the best there is.”

Robert Hainsey on Tom Brady’s tirade at the Bucs’ O line on Sunday

Hainsey, who took over the starting role after Pro Bowler Ryan Jensen injured his knee early in training camp, said there are no hard feelings and welcomes feedback because that’s what they need to improve.

“I love learning from him,” Hainsey said. “He has so much knowledge about the game that any time I can use his brain and figure out what he wants and how he sees things, that’s a really cool opportunity for me. I like that a lot.”

The Bucs had three of the five offensive linemen selected to go to the Pro Bowl last year — Jensen, left guard Ali Marpet and right tackle Tristan Wirfs — with the group considered the backbone of the team. Marpet retired this offseason. Their former right guard, Alex Cappa, who was named a Pro Bowl backup, signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in free agency. Not only is Hainsey, a converted right tackle from Notre Dame, seeing his first NFL action, but rookie left guard Luke Goedeke, also a converted right tackle, from central Michigan. The Bucs traded for right guard Shaq Mason, who played with Brady before.

The Bucs’ pass blocking success rate fell from 57.9% in 2021 to 49.7% in 2022, according to ESPN Statistics & Information research. Brady has only been sacked nine times this year — tied for third in the NFL — but he needs to get the ball out even faster than in the past to protect himself.

If there’s been one weakness for Brady throughout his career, it’s handling pressure down the middle, which only amplifies the struggles for the Bucs offensive line this year. Goedeke gave up five sacks, tied for third in the NFL among guards. His 32 first presses are the most dropped at his post and his pass block success rate of 78.2% is the second worst among guards. Hainsey also fell on hard times. He gave up just one sack, but his first six dropped presses are tied for second among centers and his 88.2% pass blocking success rate is tied for fifth among centers.

Coach Todd Bowles was asked on Monday if the coaching staff were considering making any personnel changes, but he said it would be up to the coaching staff to help their current group of five improve.

“Well, we’ve got the guys we’ve got and we’re happy with them. We just have to be better in terms of the game,” Bowles said. “We have to execute better. It’s always a guy here and a guy there – whether it’s Luke or someone else on the offensive line, or a ball outside and we miss a block here and there, or someone swims us in and gets by and makes him look worse than he is. He’s a different guy every play.

“We have to be more detailed as coaches. We have to be more efficient as players. It’s a group effort. If we have to change some things from an attacking point of view, we will. If we have to do something from the players’ point of view, we will also take a look at it. We try to find the best solution, how we can improve in these areas.”

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