Potential Trouble Looming On Left Side Of Line

June 23rd, 2010

Reams of words have been typed and spoken about the Donald Penn mess. But so much attention has been focused on Penn that another area has all but been ignored.

Two years ago as a rookie, Jeremy Zuttah filled in early in the 2008 season for an injured Davin Joseph at right guard. Zuttah’s name was rarely mentioned during Joseph’s absence, which is the highest honor an offensive lineman can have.

But playing on the left side for Arron Sears, Zuttah’s name was called more than a few times. In short, he struggled. Apparently, per eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune, via the TBO.com Bucs Twitter feed, the Bucs are much more worried about Zuttah then they may be letting on publicly.

The Bucs are concerned about third-year pro Jeremy Zuttah, who struggled while filling in for Arron Sears at left guard last season.

This makes the contract issue of Penn all the more alarming. If Zuttah continues to struggle on the left side of the line, and the Bucs have to rely on a basketball player with limited football experience at left tackle, the Bucs better hope Freeman continues to be fleet of feet.

Or has a good healthcare plan.

26 Responses to “Potential Trouble Looming On Left Side Of Line”

  1. tampa2 Says:

    “the Bucs better hope Freeman continues to be fleet of feet.

    Or has a good healthcare plan.” Nothing more needs to be said!

  2. Louie Says:

    …and it gets even worse if Faine misses any time like happened last season. The OLine can be best described as a house of cards.

  3. RahDomDaBest Says:

    I wonder how tired the defense will get this year with all those 3 and outs.

  4. Patrick Says:

    Yeah I’m surprised no one got pissed when Raheem released Arron Sears. I don’t believe that he couldn’t get his depression issues under control. I kept hearing back in March how he had been in the facility working out, trying hard to get used to things again and was making progress. But Raheem wasn’t “convinced” that his issues were behind him. It seems like when a player is making progress, getting back to where they’re supposed to be, in the end Raheem or Dominik still don’t have confidence in them. Same goes for Penn. He’s lost 40 pounds so far, and Dominik is still not sold on him. What’s it gonna take?!?!

    The Sears situation was poorly handled by them. I mean we invested a 2nd round pick in Arron Sears just a few years ago. Played great and was a bright spot on our line and Raheem just jettisoned him, without having a Plan B of course. It’s one thing to get rid of a talent in Sears but it’s another thing to just release him and not even trade him and get anything in return!!!!

    Zuttah was a weak link on our line last year and will still be starting. Add that to Penn likely not playing and the awaiting Dotson disaster. Our offense will collapse this year. The line just got worse this offseason thanks to your majesty Raheem and Dominik and it could’ve easily been great if they just kept one player (Sears) and gave the other a contract (Penn).

    The Bucs have no business drafting a QB with so much talent and potential when they’re setting him up for failure.

    5-11 in 2010.

  5. Capt.Tim Says:

    Penn sitting out , Zuttah showing no improvement, Sears gone. Trueblood coming off a year where he struggled badly,No depth of any kind at any spot.
    Yup, The OL is unraveling faster than a cheap sweater.
    And if the OL sucks, our franchise QB, and talented rookie WRs , might as well sit out with Penn, cause they aren’t gonna have time to accomplish anything.
    Hey Mark,Raheem, you listening??

  6. RastaMon Says:

    GBoy’z……here’s the Visine….blink first
    I’m so encouraged by Penn….I may even wear his jersey next year
    finally cleats with attitude!

  7. jason Says:

    I can recall a time not to long ago when we were saying the o-line was one of our strong points. Flash forward and now it seems its one of our weakest! If we dont get Penn signed you can bet your as@ Rah will be gone by the end of the year. Thats the good part! LOL

  8. Patrick Says:

    Dotson’s size seems like the main reason, if not the only reason he’s here. So how about they bring Shaq over to One Buc Place and let him compete with Dotson for LT?? He’s another baskeball player with no football experience, but is even BIGGER. 7’1, 330 pounds. Our o-line will definitely be feared!!!! Haha!

  9. RahDomDaBest Says:

    And to think we drafted 2 defensive tackles and 2 WRs in the first 4 rounds while also trading away a 5th to move up 3 spots???

    They could have drafted 1 WR, saved the 5th and drafted 2 offensive lineman 1 in round 2 and the other in round…. or 4 and 5.

    Normally good teams are always drafting linemen for depth purposes at the very least every year.

    They should have tried to add a G in free agency then and re-sign Penn or replaced him by now…. at the very least.

  10. Bucnjim Says:

    Unfortunatly; Sears will never play again. His bi polar meds will keep him a teddy bear instead of a grizzly. That is just a sad case! The Defensive Line and the WR position had to be addressed and it was. There may be some offensive lineman that become available as teams have to cut down to 56 players. What will most likely happen is the Bucs use their first couple of draft picks on DE’s and OLineman. Then maybe trade for a Guard or Tackle as well. I hope this next draft is loaded with Lineman of all kinds.

  11. ZeroExpectations Says:

    Wow guys… I can not wait for the season! Let me just say, I have zero expectations this yea, for obvious reasons. I think that we will have a young team and they all will make their share of mistakes regardless of what happens. So this potential line situation, can become a strength while searching for solid lineman o the future. Give these young guys time to grow. Don’t worry too much about this years wins or loses, just look for growth and improvement. Besides, maybe a few more loses than wins will be enough to convince the Glazers to not re-sign Raheem Morris. Now Don’t get me wrong, I like Raheem and think he would have made a good defensive coordinator, but I think him being a head coach, well, he is not really a guy who I think s gonna take us to the promise land. But with all that said, I am excited about our team. Coaches and players and even management come and go, but the team always remains every fan’s favorite. Fans are fans of the team, all the people on the team are just members trying to play their part, but the wins really go to the team and the fans.

  12. Patrick Says:

    Maybe Sears did have problems, but why the hell did Raheem have to release him way back in the spring?? Give him the whole offseason to get his life straightened out before you decide to waste a 2nd round pick.

  13. gotbbucs Says:

    patrick, it takes years and years for bipolar people to get their disorder under control. sears is better off trying to get control of his problem away from football where his focus can be on getting better

  14. RahDomDaBest Says:

    The problem with Sears, is he is going to regret giving up football for the rest of his life…. that will be more than enough depression while holed up in Alabama….. poor guy.

  15. TJ Says:

    Nothing cna be more worse than are Stable of DE’s a combined 9 sacks last year

  16. Patrick Says:


    Agree. Our DE corps needs upgrading. Now at one end we have a good lineman in Stylez but on the other end we need help.

    I understand they’re trying to get younger, but I didn’t agree with them letting Wilkerson go. He’s a solid DE and did fine last year considering he had Sims and Hovan on the interior of the line. I didn’t see Kyle Moore do anything last year and when he hasn’t even proven himself at all, I don’t see why you don’t re-sign a good, experienced player in Wilkerson and at least let him compete. Let the best man win and let Moore earn his job against decent competition. I really don’t see what’s wrong with that. And another thing: who’s Kyle Moore currently competing with?? Crowder? that’s it?

    All I can say is I hope Kyle Moore produces next year. It’s stupid to let a guy go that will for sure produce sacks for the D and not have a sure replacement that’s already capable of starting. I know we’re rebuilding, but I still want to win! I kind of wonder if winning is even the #1 priority or if next year is supposed to just be another throw away “practice” season. Rebuilding or no rebuilding, you try to make it to where your team is competitive or at least has a chance of being competitive EVERY season.

    Some of you will say I’m having too much of a “win now” attitude. I’m in favor of building for the future, I just think our team could be much more competitive right now than Raheem and Dominik have made it, even during our rebuilding phase. Take the Lions for example. Now they’re definitely not a model franchise or anywhere close to it, but look at how they’re building their team. They’re getting a lot of young talent through the draft also, like we are. But they’re also balancing it out with proven free agents, that way they can still be or at least have a chance of being competitive while the rookies are taking time to come into their own.

  17. BamBamBuc Says:

    I guess my phone tap on One Buc must have gone dead, coz I didn’t hear the conversation the execs has saying “Hey, let’s just let Wilkerson go”. I don’t know if they had conversations or if they offered a deal. He may have liked the Saints offer better if he was offered one by us. I also didn’t hear the conversation that said “We think he’s completely recovered from his injury”, which may also be why he’s not with the team. They may (I don’t know, I lost my surveillance access) have decided the risk was too great with the injury.

    Same with Sears. I don’t know what they went through behind closed doors to make the decision they did. It’s too bad, he was a good LG. But I can only assume there were reasons for his release.

    It’s not a full disclosure business. We don’t know what the team knows. The decisions they make are based on information they have that we don’t. We’ll see if any of the players cut or gone through FA were good moves or hard losses only after the fact, when they play for other teams and succeed or fail.

  18. Mauha Deeb Says:

    I have been waiting for a more relevant post but I no longer can wait. According to ProFootbalFocus.com, Earnest Graham was the highest rated Running back in 2007(9.1) and also one of the highest rated Fullbacks in 2009(3.9). I still wonder if the ratings are worthwhile considering that Nnamdi Asomugha(5.0) has average ratings over the past 3 years while Charles Woodson(28.6) and Darrelle Revis(27.4) are both tops on the list. Aqib Talib had a 2009 rating of 3.1… Does that mean he deserves to be paid similar to the highest paid CB in the league(Asomugha) or am I simply paying too much attention to irrelevant statistics?

  19. Joe Says:

    Mauha Deeb :

    According to ProFootbalFocus.com, Earnest Graham was the highest rated Running back in 2007(9.1) and also one of the highest rated Fullbacks in 2009(3.9). I still wonder if the ratings are worthwhile…

    That’s just it. Who programs the spreadsheet? That’s what Joe hates about the spreadsheeters. They make up stats to justify whatever they are selling.

    Average yards a carry works for Joe, not to mention how a running back reads holes and gets to the hole.

  20. Capt.Tim Says:

    The Bucs have actually added some very servicable depth at OL this year. I think that Lee Grimes, Sergio Render, Derek Hardman, and Tow-Arnett can all become quality backups-given a year or two!! Add in Fulton, Dotson, and Compton, and we would be Ok- again, in a year or two.
    The problem , of course, is now. I posted a month ago that I was concerned about Left Guard, and several “insiders ” posted that Zuttah was progressing fine. Doesn’t sound like it now. Not every player can play either side of the line. While Zuttah played well at right guard, he struggles at left guard. While I would love to believe that Dotson is a probowler in the making., think that is a ways off.
    Penn needs to be signed, and we still should be looking for a left guard. I believe next year, that will be Sergio Renders spot. But don’t think it can be Zuttah’s spot this year.
    I think the draft went the way it needed to. We were horribly thin at DT and WR. I think we are just starting to realize how depleted of talent we really are. The horrible drafting, along with the flat refusal to develop young talent, has just skeletonized this franchise.
    I don’t see how any Buc ( or Raider!) fan can look at the aftermath of his regime, and still say Gruden was a good coach. We won the SuperBowl his first year here, but he spent the remainder of his time at One Buc Place dismantling our depth chart, in order to stay mediocre today.
    I’m just glad that the Glazers realized it as quick as they did, and started the rebuilt in full gear quickly. Poor Al Davis didn’t see how bad it was for a few years longer, and the Raiders have been doormats since we kicked their butts in the SuperBowl!

  21. Not a Rocket Surgeon Says:

    This line is the key to our success or failure this season. (Capt Obvious Statement)

    The sky isn’t falling IMHO…

    Getting away from the schizophrenic oline scheme will do wonders for our guys. These guys aren’t turnstyles… and we do have a rather LARGE QB that will run if needed…

    I’m not worried at this point.

  22. bucfanjeff Says:

    If I’m a DC, I load up my talented rushers on the left side of the DL, with average guys on the right, and collapse the pocket in a hurry providing no running room for the QB.

    Penn, get your ass in camp.

  23. bucfanjeff Says:

    If I’m a DC, I load up my talented rushers on the left side of the DL, with average guys on the right, and collapse the pocket in a hurry providing no running room for the QB.

    Penn, get your ass in camp.

  24. BigMacAttack Says:

    Tow Arnett was cut yesterday.

    If Penn decides not to play I think we will see the left side as the “Strong Side” more often than not with John Gimore over there helping out. I believe run blocking will be easier for Dotson than pass protecting on the left side, so again it’s time to “run the damn ball Greg”. K2 will surely get his so this would mean many 2TE sets which would limit WR options, but it does buy time for Dotson to gain experience. There is a lot of time left before the first real game so this will help and give other guys like Fulton a shot too. On the bright side of the blind side is this year’s schedule. We only face a handful of “Uberrecht DE’s” unlike last season where every team had premier DE pass rushers. Translation = this is a good year to break in new linemen. Dominick is a pretty savy guy and knows this. Greg Olson, now that’s a different story. Greg, run the damn ball.

  25. Louie Says:

    @BigMac: “Dominick is a pretty savy guy and knows this.” Yea, but not savy enough to know he couldn’t fine Penn. Oh, brother!

    It’s not just the DE’s they have to worry about. Teams will blitz the hell out of the left side.

  26. ZeroExpectations Says:

    I’m on board with whom ever we start. I am most interested in the games and the competition. Let’s see some action already. If we lose then we lose. We know we will have a losing season anyway. Freeman can use a lot of blitzes anyway. He needs to grow up and deal with adversity sometime. I think with Freeman’s arm and size, the sooner he figures out how to beat the blitz, the better off we will be as an offense. If Freeman can make defenses pay for blitzing, with solid intermediate throws then that will only turn into big plays for our offense.

    Guys, it’s a great time to be a Buc. I don’t expect us to win any games without solid play and consistency. We won’t be handed any wins. So this will be good year to measure the will of the team and the talent, while also developing the play for 2011 and beyond. As far as I’m concerned, even 0-16 is ok with me. I just want growth!