Welcome to The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ryan Jensen!
So the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally have a signing of a free agent target.
Guess what? Ryan Jensen is also a free agent signing that makes sense for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Trench warfare and Mr. Jensen is a helluva soldier, folks.
So What are we Getting?
The overall bottom line on new Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen is that he a more than serviceable lineman with a bit of a nasty streak. He got the chance in 2017 to take over as a full time starter and boy did he not disappoint.
The numbers even suggest so. Jensen started every game last season, only at fault for two penalties and two sacks allowed. Think we don’t need that kind of consistency on our O-line?
You’d be wrong.
According to Pro Football Focus, he grades out as 2017’s ninth-best center. Folks, we now have a top ten center anchoring arguably the O-lines most important position protecting the franchise.
That’s juice ladies and gents.
Look. For. Work.
That’s the process for the best O-lineman in the NFL. Keep your head on a swivel and look for work. Now for the tape.
We can talk paper stats all day, but tape doesn’t lie. I wanted to see for myself just how ferocious Mr. Jensen could be. With limited options, I want to highlight a couple of plays and games of the Baltimore Ravens against the better defensive lines they faced.
Iron sharpens iron, right? Unfortunately, the NFL has blocked the use of it’s content on GIPHY. So I am unable to actually illustrate the plays I am going to reference. However, allow me the chance to be an artist and paint the picture for you.
The first play I want to review is a play during the Baltimore Ravens vs Jacksonville Jaguars game. “Sacksonville” if you will. One of the very first offensive plays of the game is a sack by Dante Fowler Jr.
In this play, Jensen recognizes that there is no immediate pressure coming right up the middle. So what does our boy do? He gives the field a quick scan and recognizes outside pressure. He then turns to his left and runs full speed to engage and negate a free-rushing Yannick Ngakowe who beat his man.
Had he not, Fowler and Ngakowe would’ve met at the QB to share a sack. To put this in perspective, Jensen did his job and then helped his fellow O-lineman by running five-yards to pop Ngakowe, who was running full-speed.
For this game there’s not many positives as the Ravens got “wally-pipped” to the tune of 44-7.
However, every single highlight in the review of the game contains Jensen mauling or stone-walling a defensive lineman. When Ravens RB Alex Collins actually broke off a good run, who was he running behind? Jensen. Who pulled outside and took on off-ball defenders? Jensen. I sense a theme here, guys.
The next game I reviewed was the Baltimore Ravens against The Minnesota Vikings.
First let me let you, my fellow readers, know that when the Baltimore Ravens took sacks, I did not see plays where the pressure came up the middle. Hey, here’s a hint, *whispers*, that’s where Ryan Jensen plays.
However, to Jensen’s detriment most of the pressure coming at Joe Flacco came from the outside. As a center in the NFL, that’s on you to recognize where the pressure may be coming from and to alert your QB and fellow offensive lineman of this.
Maybe some of this is due to the fact that 2017 was Jensen’s first year as a full-time start. You can’t rule out that it’s just something he will need to get better at.
Another thing I noticed is that the Ravens pulled Jensen a lot. He is deceptively quick for a mammoth human being. That’s probably part of the reason he’s a professional athlete and you and I are sitting on the couch.
He does very well in space, getting his hands on smaller players, and disrupting their pursuit of the ball carrier. Early in the second quarter, the Ravens run a screen to the right. This seems to be a delayed screen where the lineman have to engage their defender for slightly more time before pulling and running outside.
Not only does Jensen take on Pro-bowl nose tackle, Linval Joseph (Shout Out!! East Carolina University stand up!), directing him in the way the play is heading, he then pulls outside to look for action and take on defenders.
The result of the play is a first down, coming from Jensen’s chip on the first defender to be in position to stop the play.
Overall, I’d say the signing of Ryan Jensen to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a well placed fit. That’s probably why there were so many smoke and mirrors of a possible signing in the days leading up to free agency.
The Buccaneers have an anchor for a center for the next four years due to the four-year, $42 million dollar contract he signed just a couple days ago. Jensen brings the nasty, the tenacity, and the acumen of a true great center. The best thing about this signing is the fact that Ryan Jensen is just 26 years old!
His best football is still ahead of him. Not only will he get the chance to play out this contract, but he’ll also have a chance to earn another contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers if he continues his stellar play.
Can Jensen get better is some areas? Yeah, but who doesn’t have a few areas that need fixing? As of right now, I’d lay down cash to suggest he’s the first or second best lineman on the Buccaneers’ offensive line.
Ryan Jensen is a mauler. A true Road-Grader, and the last time I checked Tampa Bay has a real road that needs to be paved. The road to the Playoffs!
Welcome to Tampa, Mr. Jensen!
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