TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Versatility is key on the offensive line, being able to play multiple positions. That can save a line if there are injuries and players need to be shuffled around.
For Buccaneers rookie Robert Hainsey, he’s up for the challenge of learning all the positions. He only played offensive tackle in college, and now he’s taking nearly all his reps at center and a few at guard.
“It’s awesome,” Hainsey said. “I really enjoy it. It’s definitely new for me. I mean it was new, but after a couple months of a lot of reps, I’m enjoying it. With all the older guys here, now I get to learn a lot from all those guys. I’m having a great time.”
The third-round selection out of Notre Dame went on to explain why he believes he’ll excel anywhere he’s plugged into the Bucs’ offensive line.
“One thing is I’m a pretty good size for all three (positions),” Hainsey said. “I can kick out to tackle. I know I can play tackle if I need to. Moving inside is obviously something I’ve done just starting this past year and I’m enjoying that. Just physically I know I can do all three. Especially playing center, I’m learning all the positions. I have to know everyone’s jobs. That’s been something I’ve been trying to learn a lot and focus on a lot. So now if I did have to play any guard or tackle then I know exactly what I need to do.”
Each position has its own nuances and techniques, which Hainsey has been diligently working to hone since rookie minicamp in the spring.
“I’d say for me the biggest difference is moving in and out of my stance and having a parallel stance,” Hainsey said. “Especially coming from tackle, you’re used to a pretty large stagger whichever way you need to go, so that’s the biggest thing for me.”