“Still Fiddling Around” At Left GuardDecember 26th, 2013
The leader of the New Schiano Order worked on Christmas Day honing the Bucs-Saints gameplan, but he didn’t settle on a starting left guard for Sunday.
Gabe Carimi, Carl Nicks, Ted Larsen, Jeremy Zuttah and Jamon Meredith have all gotten the call there this season.
Meredith was yanked in the first half last weekend in St. Louis after starting for half a season. Fourth-year man Larsen came in for the rest of the game, but Schiano didn’t see seen enough to be confident.
“Good chance [Larsen starts], I wouldn’t, you know, say that for sure yet,” Schiano said today at One Buc Palace. “I’m not sure we’re going to make [the change to Larsen]. That’s more speculation than anything.
“Obviously, no one has seized the position, otherwise it would be locked in. It would be done. Right? In week 17, the fact that we’re still fiddling around kind of speaks to that.”
Left guard/center definitely has been a failure for the Bucs this season. The team knew Carl Nicks had issues coming off major offseason surgery, but they couldn’t nail down a solid backup.
Reluctantly, the Bucs moved Zuttah to left guard earlier this year after Larsen and Carimi failed. Zuttah had played left guard successfully in previous years, including for about half a season in 2012. But it seemed the Bucs didn’t like what they had in Larsen at center, so they moved Zuttah back to his starting slot there.
The move to Meredith to left guard seemed to spark the running game for a few weeks, but now he’s out, and they’re back to Larsen.
There are changes coming to the Bucs offensive line. At the very least, Joe would be stunned if Meredith and Larsen wear pewter and red next season.
Nicks never did land on injured reserve. That means there’s debate swirling on how to classify his injury. Joe’s no expert on the NFL labor agreement, but if the Bucs claim Nicks has a non-football injury, that could greatly affect the terms of his potential release.