The music was loud, the food was plentiful and smiles were all around as hundreds attended Donovan Smith’s charity bowling event at Pin Chasers on Monday night to raise money and awareness for autism.

Besides the numerous Bucs fans who paid to bowl, several Tampa Bay players were out in force to support their teammate’s worthy cause. Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Cam Brate  and others including almost the entire offensive line were bowling and taking pictures with fans. As the evening was wrapping up we caught with center Ryan Jensen who is entering his second season with the Buccaneers after coming over from the Ravens as a free agent prior to the 2018 season.

Jensen told he plans on stepping up as leader in his offensive line room and on the field.

“Yeah, definitely…It’s always hard coming into a new locker room, not really knowing anyone on the team, and demanding that respect,” Jensen said. “A little of that comes with what you’re getting paid, obviously, but this year it’s a little easier for me because I know the guys more on a personal level and how guys operate, so it’s definitely going to be a little bit easier for me this year.”

That will be welcomed news for offensive line coaches Joe Gilbert and Harold Goodwin. Gilbert talked about needing someone to emerge as a leader from his group recently to the local media.

“I think you have to have one head of the household,” Goodwin said. “But there can be a couple coming up behind him. I think right now, Ryan (Jensen) is. leader, Ali is a leader and I think Evan (Smith) is a leader in that room. I don’t really care who it is. But I think you have to have someone that is going to push everybody, hold everybody accountable.

Because at the end of the day, B.A. [Bruce Arians] has always preached, ‘It’s not my team, it’s your team.’ So with that being said, somebody has to be director of the O-line room, somebody has to be director of the running back room, someone has to be director of the whole offense. I see some potential in some guys. And I think once these guys come to the forefront it is going to help this team be that much better.”

The Buccaneers will look to improve on back-to-back 5-11 seasons and the play of the offensive line will be a huge part of a turnaround if one in fact takes place.

Jensen, a solid bowler, was proud of his teammate who’s event raised over $35,000 for autism awareness.

It’s an awesome event,” Jensen said from his lane. ” It’s the second year I’ve been here and it’s the second year I’ve been at this event. It’s just awesome what Donny’s doing for the community and bringing awareness to autism, it’s amazing.”

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]


  1. Love his fire. Enforcers are needed. Smash mouth. Leaders play to the whistle only though. He will fix that and year 2 will be better!

    Rating: +18. From 22 votes.
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  2. should be cut next year!

    Rating: -18. From 24 votes.
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  3. Jensen is going to have a bounce back year IMO. Limit his mental mistakes and focus on his technique and he will be fine.

    Rating: +14. From 14 votes.
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  4. Jensen will have a better year this year. Bruce Arians will hold him accountable if he acts out on the field.

    Rating: +12. From 12 votes.
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  5. Took Mankins a year to get adjusted as well.
    Hope this hold true and isn’t the same old Gerald McCoy babble we used to hear every year from him.

    Rating: +8. From 10 votes.
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  6. I always suspected that Jensen’s tough guy approach was a bit excessive last year because he was trying to live up to the persona that preceded his arrival. Now that he is more certain of his acceptance, he can focus on the game and not his role as enforcer. We need that badass attitude, just be smart about it.

    Rating: +5. From 5 votes.
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  7. Needs to keep the action and fire between the whistle.

    Rating: +2. From 2 votes.
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  8. Leadership role and Jensen don’t belong in the same sentence.

    Rating: -5. From 5 votes.
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  9. He also needs to be able to pull block in the power blocking and lead the way for Barber and the RBs to earn his excessive pay. He did not earn his pay last year but taking a leadership role and leading blocking will help this year.

    Rating: +1. From 1 vote.
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