Most would say Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady lost his cool on the offensive line during an in-game outburst on the sideline Sunday in a 20-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Buccaneers second-year center Robert Hainsey describes it differently, though, praising the legendary signal-caller for his passion.
In fact, Hainsey had no issue with Brady’s actions and actually preferred the vocal tongue lashing compared to if Brady just sulked on the bench given Tampa Bay’s abysmal offensive production.
“Everyone can call it what they want, but I want nothing else than a quarterback (like) that — a guy who’s willing to tell us what we need to do and step up, (as opposed to) just sitting over there and not getting us going and not trying to help us,” Hainsey said Wednesday, per a team-provided transcript. “He wouldn’t be who he is today (if not for that). I love that from him and I know we all love that from him. It might look weird on TV, but that’s football — it’s a team sport and that’s what you want from great teammates and great leaders and he’s the best there is.”
Hainsey added that while Brady lit into his offensive line after a failed drive in the final minute of the first half that included a strip-sack, the message he voiced was a positive one.
“Absolutely, always improve,” Hainsey said. “Always improve, do the best you can, give him time, let’s make plays, let’s go win the game.”
Hainsey, a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, is part of an inexperienced offensive line that Brady obviously hasn’t been happy with. Hainsey, who played right tackle at Notre Dame, is seeing his first NFL action at a position he converted to while playing alongside rookie left guard Luke Goedeke.
While it wouldn’t be surprising if Brady’s antics, including missing the team’s Saturday walkthrough practice prior to the game against the Steelers as he attended Robert Kraft’s wedding Friday, rubbed his teammates the wrong way, Hainsey doesn’t seem bothered by them.
“He’s an awesome dude and I love learning from him,” Hainsey said. “He’s got so much knowledge of the game so any time I can pick his brain and kind of figure out what he wants and how he sees things, it’s a really cool opportunity for me. I enjoy that a lot.”
Brady will look to get Tampa Bay’s offense, which is averaging 20.2 points per game, on track in Week 7 when they visit Carolina to take on the Panthers.