As a football rolled lazily through the Tampa air, perfectly illuminated by the state-of-the-art indoor training facilities, nothing seemed unusual if you were watching the football. In fact, you would have been watching something that happens hundreds of times on practice fields around the country.
What instantly changed this picture was Ryan Jensen, standing under the trajectory of the football.
Issued the challenge by Todd Bowles, catch a punt to end the day early, Jensen was more than up to the challenge. Carefully watching the flight of the ball and bringing in a comfortable catch. Flipping the ball away as he was mobbed by elated teammates. The veteran center made the catch look routine. (Video Here)
While some media have been jesting that the Buccaneers have found their new punt returner, it isn’t outside of Big Red’s wheelhouse.
In fact, Jensen was a standout baseball player throughout his childhood and into high school. Playing at catcher and first base, coaches would often praise the future NFL star for his ability to be able to consistently track picks and short hopping balls. Gaining MVP honors during his team’s run all the way to the Legion C, State Title.
Baltimore Ravens wouldn’t be surprised by any of this though. As a second-year offensive lineman, Jensen arrived at the Lardarius Webb Charity Softball Game and quickly showed his more famous teammates that he still knew how to swing a bat and flash leather.
For someone who is a pretty special talent at catching a smaller and faster ball, catching a football to end the day early shouldn’t have surprised anyone.