The Tampa Bay Buccaneers shook up their offensive line before their blowout victory over the Carolina Panthers, and some are suggesting Tom Brady prompted the move. The Buccaneers played AQ Shipley as the starting center moving Ryan Jensen out of his typical position to guard. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio believes Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians cleared the shakeup with Brady before the game.
“While Shipley may be a B.A. favorite, a change like this won’t be made unless TB12 wants it,” Florio explained.
Florio went on to suggest that Brady is likely “disillusioned” with Jensen. After the game, Brady quickly dismissed this idea when he was asked about his relationship with Jensen.
“And it’s entirely possible that Tom Brady has become disillusioned with Jensen,” Florio added. “Remember when Brady was throwing a fit in the second half of the Thursday night loss to the Bears? The guy on the receiving end of Brady’s wrath was Jensen.”
Brady on Jensen: ‘I Love Playing With Ryan’
Florio’s hypothesis does not factor in the reality that the Buccaneers were once again without guard Ali Marpet. After the Bucs decisive victory over the Panthers, Brady was asked to respond to Florio’s assertion that there is drama on the offensive line. Brady backed Jensen describing the offensive lineman as being a “rock for me” as he transitioned to the Buccaneers.
“I mean, I don’t want to respond to everybody that says everything,” Brady noted in his postgame press conference. I have no idea, I’ve never heard that. I love Ryan Jensen. He’s been one of the guys that has been a rock for me. Great teammate, great player, brings it every day. He’s got great energy and enthusiasm, and I love playing with Ryan. I’ve played with a lot of great centers over the years, and Ryan’s just a great player.”
Shipley Is Reportedly a Favorite of Arians
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the move before kickoff of the Bucs-Panthers matchup and noted Shipley is a “favorite” of Arians. Given how well the Buccaneers played against the Panthers, it will be worth watching to see if the shift could be permanent moving forward.
“After a frustrating offensive performance, the #Bucs are shaking up Tom Brady’s offensive line,” Rapoport explained on Twitter. “Sources say AQ Shipley will now start at center, while Ryan Jensen moves to guard. The hope is that communication increases across the line with a Bruce Arians favorite in Shipley.”
Rapoport added that Jensen has a lot more position versatility than Shipley which made the move possible.
“One more on this: While Ryan Jensen has played very well at center, he’s also versatile enough to play guard,” Rapoport tweeted. “AQ Shipley is only a center. That’s why this works.”
The Buccaneers were able to pull off a balanced offensive attack with 210 rushing yards. After shaky play against the Saints the previous week, Brady praised the offensive line for their performance in both the run and pass game in Week 10.
“They did a great job,” Brady said, per Buccaneers.com. “A.Q.’s done a great job since he got to us. He was prepared to go. He’s a tough, hard-nosed guy. Ryan did a great job of moving over to guard. Cap (Alex Cappa) hung in there; he always does. He’s as tough as they come. Tristan [Wirfs] is doing an incredible job. And Donnie [Smith] is doing a great job. We’re getting great protection, they’re doing great in the run game, blocking hard, playing really aggressive up front. It was definitely great to see them play physical.”