Starting center Ryan Jensen appeared on the “Locked On Bucs” podcast on to discuss a number of topics, from looking back on the 2018 season, to how he plans to improve in the 2019 year, and of course, playing for the Bucs new head coach Bruce Arians.

With the stature and reputation of Arians, Jensen is optimistic about learning from him.

I’ve known a couple of guys who have played for him,” Jensen said. “They absolutely love him and say he’s a great competitor and a great coach. Everywhere he’s been he’s had guys that have played great and he’s done great things for several different teams throughout the league. I’m excited, I’m excited to get back to work here in early April and get this next season rolling and get this last one behind us.”

Jensen spent his first four years with the Baltimore Ravens before signing with the Bucs in 2018 offseason. His four-year, $42 million contract made him the highest paid center in the NFL. The plan in signing Jensen was to rebuild an offensive line that had struggled the year prior, but the results did not meet expectations. 

Bucs C Ryan Jensen and LG Ali Marpet
Bucs C Ryan Jensen and LG Ali Marpet – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

He committed 11 penalties during the year, with four of them coming from personal foul penalties. In comparison, he only committed nine penalties overall during his four years in Baltimore. Jensen believes that some of his penalties were calls that should not have been made, citing that the refs made some mistakes.

Jensen is known as a tough, hard nosed player that plays with an attitude during games. You can find him always sticking up for his teammates, but sometimes he goes over the line and turns that into getting into some skirmishes, which is followed up by those personal foul calls on him.

“I had a couple that were obvious and whatnot,” Jensen said. “And some of those personal fouls were stupid, but, that’s who I am. I’m an aggressive, attacking type of guy, and yeah, I got to cut those penalties down.”

Despite having a top five offense on the season, the entire offensive line came under much scrutiny in 2018, namely with the run game. While there are certainly things that they need to improve on, Jensen felt that some of the criticism is unwarranted.

“When things go downhill on offense and things aren’t happening, a lot of times the offensive line is the scapegoat.” Jensen said. “There’s things you look at and overall stats, and I said this at the end of the year after the last game of the season, I always say stats are for losers, and I kind of feel that way.”

One of his teammates on the offensive line that received the brunt of the blame was left tackle Donovan Smith. The way Jensen sees it, the criticism or Smith was unfair. Smith is a free agent this offseason, and Jensen would like to have him back on the Bucs.

I would love to see Donovan back here in Tampa,” Jensen said. “There’s things that every person has to work on, that’s what this league is about, it’s about continually getting better and not plateauing out. Donovan, from what I know, I mean, I had my rough patches, Ali (Marpet) had some rough patches, and Donovan I think towards the last nine games of the year really turned it on in pass protection and really started to shine.”

You can check out his entire interview here.

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  1. Jensen had 9 penalites TOTAL in his first 4 years in Baltimore. He comes to Tampa and under Warhop and Koetter, he has 11 penalties. That will change with Arians.

    I can’t wait to watch this offensive line smash people next year.

    Rating: +17. From 23 votes.
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    • The stat is extraordinarily misleading.

      In his first 3 seasons, he started only 9 games (due to injuries) and played (sparingly) in only 10 others…in 48 games.

      His final season, he started and played adjacent to two very good Guards (which augments Center play significantly and vice versa; Center play impacts Guard play). When he played (in Tampa) against a good Guard and a terrible Guard (which is the case for most Centers in the league…if they’re lucky to play adjacent to a good Guard), he was a bottom 5 Center…while being paid more than any Center in the league.

      This all came about because Licht made multiple opportunity cost errors in the past regarding Center play (including not putting the pedal to the floor on of the best Centers in the league who could have been had for relative pennies, and been elite, compared to Jensen who was dramatically overpaid).

      Ali Marpet shouldn’t have been moved from Center and we should have used our draft capital last year to draft one of the plethora of solid interior players that were available last year in the late 1st through mid 2nd (rather than wasting those picks, and obviously so when it happened) on a RB that had zero capability in the passing game and a Nickel CB who didn’t have the football speed to actually play Man in the NFL.

      Rating: +8. From 26 votes.
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      • commitment to losing, honestly they have gone out of their way to be dysfunctional. Nobody (lol) is this dumb. this long something like 35 years out of 43 years, between 2 different ownership families.

        Rating: -5. From 9 votes.
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      • Nobody- After looking at games played and starts, I understand your point better. Jensen didn’t start 64 games for Baltimore(4 seasons x 16 games), he actually started 25, while appearing in 10 additional games. So 9 penalties in 35 games. Still much better than last year. Arians and staff will hopefully clean up the technique and focus.

        I still like his fire and the only time I don’t mind the post whistle foul is if he’s protecting the QB and setting the tone after a cheap shot from the opposing defense. Those should happen rarely though, not 4 times in one season.

        Rating: +8. From 8 votes.
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        • And I’ll take the rare occasion to defend Jensen slightly; 2 of those “post-whistle” penalties were terrible. One was literally as the whistle was being blown and the other was so marginal that if it was orthodox to call it they would need to litter the field with yellow after virtually every play.

          Rating: +7. From 7 votes.
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  2. Play hard to the whistle. All the extra crap after that draws flags and is stupid, selfish, and hurts the team! Play like a top paid center and more disciplined next year!

    This O line wasn’t the scape goat most of the year they were the problem! Anyone could see that. They flat out sucked and could not run the ball period. Penalties and spotty pass protection as well. Like Pewter Report said any turn around on offense will happen only if this line plays at a high level this year.

    Rating: +13. From 13 votes.
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  3. I got the sense that Jensen was trying too hard to live up to his tough guy reputation to impress the fans and teammates. Being the “enforcer” is commendable, but not when it puts the offense back 15 yards. I suspect this coming season he’ll settle down a bit. Hopefully he retains the ‘tude before the whistle.

    Rating: +5. From 5 votes.
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  4. Jensen had a lot of penalties who played okay Jason was just bringing in a few people to make it look like he was doing something he really needed to go out and bring in a couple top offensive lineman mostly Jason was just filling roster spots without using a lot of Mind energy

    Rating: -5. From 7 votes.
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  5. I have to disagree with the moniker “Stats are for losers!” Simply because most losers don’t like looking at the stats because they know they’re bad. Those who desire to get better will look at stats to see where they can improve. So suck it Jensen and take a look at where you guys stumbled. The numbers don’t lie, and trying to excuse them away helps no one.

    Rating: -1. From 5 votes.
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