Buccaneers’ Robert Hainsey – ‘Love’ that Tom Brady chewed out O-line

TAMPA, Fla. — Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was shown on TV directing an expletive-laden tirade at his offensive line in last Sunday’s 20-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but center Robert Hainsey said Wednesday that it’s what he wants, and it’s what their unit wants.

“Everyone can call it what they want, but I want nothing else from a quarterback than that — than the guy who’s wanting to tell us what we need to do and step up,” said Hainsey, who is in his first year as the starting center and second season in the NFL. “If he was just sitting over there and not get us going and not try to help us — he wouldn’t be who he is today.”

“I love that from him. I know we all love that from him. It might look weird on TV, but that’s football. That’s what you want from great teammates and great leaders, and he’s the best there is.”

The outburst happened with :46 to go in the first half, after an unsuccessful two-minute drill. Brady was sack-forced fumbled for a 9-yard loss by Alex Highsmith on first down, pushing them back to second-and-19 — 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 went over to the offensive line, shouting, “You’re so much better than the way you’re f—ing playing!”

On his “Let’s Go!” podcast with Jim Gray and Larry Fitzgerald, Brady said of the tirade Monday, “I don’t know if it’s motivation, but I do think that it’s a bad day when there’s more f-bombs than touchdowns. So, that was not one of my better days. But F-bombs, they used to kind of keep from showing you in those moments but now it’s kind of for the world to see. So that’s just the way it is.”

“If I don’t feel like we’re living up to the expectations and playing up to the expectations that we’re capable of, then that’s my job,” Brady said. “I’m a quarterback. I’m not expecting the right tackle to do it. I’m not expecting the running back to do it. I’m not expecting the receiver to do it. I’m expecting myself to do it. I’m the one out there speaking in the huddle, calling the plays.”

“That’s what my job is. To try to get us going and to try to rally us. And there’s a lot of ways to do it. And sometimes it’s some positive encouragement, which you do a lot.

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

“I love that from him. I know we all love that from him. It might look weird on TV, but that’s football. That’s what you want from great teammates and great leaders, and he’s the best there is.”

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

Hainsey, who took over the starting role after Pro Bowler Ryan Jensen suffered a knee injury at the beginning of training camp, indicated that there are no hard feelings and he welcomes the feedback because it’s what they need to improve.

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

The Bucs had three of 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 alternate, signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in free agency. Not only is Hainsey, a converted right tackle out of Notre Dame, seeing his first NFL action, but so is rookie left guard Luke Goedeke, also a converted right tackle, out of Central Michigan. The Bucs did trade for right guard Shaq Mason, who played with Brady previously.

The Bucs’ pass blocking win rate has gone from 57.9% in 2021 to 49.7% in 2022, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Brady has only been sacked nine times this year — tied for third-fewest in the NFL — but he’s having to get the ball out even quicker than in the past to protect himself.

If there has been a weakness for Brady throughout his career, it’s handling pressure up the middle, which only magnifies the Bucs’ offensive line struggles this year. Goedeke has surrendered five sacks, tied for third-most in the NFL among guards. His 32 first pressures are the most given up at his position and his 78.2% pass block win rate is second-worst among guards. Hainsey has also had some difficult moments. He’s only surrendered one sack, but his six first pressures given up are tied for second-most among centers and his 88.2% pass blocking win rate is tied for fifth-lowest among centers.

Coach Todd Bowles was asked Monday if the coaching staff was considering making personnel changes, but he indicated that it would be on 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 play-wise,” Bowles said. “We’ve got to execute better. It’s always a guy here and a guy there — whether it’s Luke or somebody else on the offensive line, or a ball outside and we miss a block here and there, or somebody swims us and gets by and makes it look worse than it is. It’s a different guy every play.

“We’ve got to be more detailed as coaches. We’ve got to be better execution-wise as players. It’s a group effort. If we’ve got to change some things from an offensive scheme standpoint, we’ll do that. If we have to do something from a player standpoint, we’ll take a look at that, as well. We’re trying to find the best solution, how we can get better in those areas.”

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