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 PewterReport.com 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.”