Despite many teams being interested, newly signed center Ryan Jensen picked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because they were the best fit.
Ryan Jensen is going to add a lot to the offensive line. Despite just his high level of play, Jensen’s signing will also move Ali Marpet back to his natural position of guard, bolstering the interior of the offensive line in one swoop. Not only that, but Jensen brings that certain level of “nasty” to the trenches that many have been clamoring for on both sides of the ball. All signs point to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers crushing it on this signing.
Jensen was able to speak with the media for the first time since joining the Bucs and dove in to why Tampa Bay was the right decision for him;
"“It was a whirlwind experience the last week now, almost. There were quite a few other teams that had come in and wanted me to sign with them and stuff like that. Ultimately I chose Tampa because I felt like it was the best fit for me and I’m excited looking at the roster and stuff like that. I’m excited where this team could go and where I’m excited to lead this team.I went to dinner with Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith on my trip and they seem like great guys. They’re on board with changing this thing and turning this thing around.”"
The fact that the first teammates he met were the other guys he’s going to battle with on the line speaks volumes to what he wants to do with the Buccaneers.
It’ll be up to Jensen, Marpet, Smith, as well as Demar Dotson and potentially – as of now – J.R. Sweezy to make sure that Jameis Winston is getting the protection he needs to make it through the season healthy, unlike last year.
Not only that, but this offensive line has to be able to help forge the turnaround in the run game, opening lanes for whatever back will be getting the bulk of the carries in 2018 and beyond. As it stands now, that guy is Peyton Barber. However, it seems more likely that the Bucs turn to the draft to find their primary back to put this offense over the top.
I can’t stress it enough. The “sexy” signings aren’t always the right ones. Given his attitude, work ethic, and drive to compete, Ryan Jensen was 100% one of the right players to sign. It was a big splash in terms of compensation for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but it’s hard to put a price on keeping your franchise quarterback upright and mauling the opposing defensive line in establishing the run and, in turn, controlling the game.