No Competition For Faine

July 25th, 2011

Joe’s a Jeremy Zuttah fan. Joe doesn’t hide it, and didn’t last year when Joe was standing on the roof pounding the drum in the preseason for Zuttah to play over Keydrick Vincent.

Remember him?

For the life of Joe, he can’t understand why some fans aren’t high on 25-year-old Zuttah, who has performed well at three positions on the offensive line in his first three seasons — and can also play a fourth position, tackle, where he played at Rutgers.

Last year, it just so happened that the Bucs offense didn’t miss a beat — and improved — when Zuttah took over for injured center Jeff Faine after eight games.

But don’t expect Faine to lose his starting center job to Zuttah, said former Bucs guard Ian Beckles during the Ron and Ian Show today on WDAE-AM 620.

“When are they going to battle, really? You can’t wear Jeff Faine out in training camp for the sake [of competition,]” Beckles said. “Sometimes you’re so valuable as a backup you won’t start. … It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is. I’ve seen that before.”

Beckles went on to make the point that Zuttah is so versatile that he allows the Bucs to dress eight offensive linemen instead of nine, which is a huge benefit and allows for another active special teams specialist.

Joe would prefer to see Faine and Zuttah slug it out and let the best man win, but if Zuttah’s not in the Bucs long term plan at center, then maybe they’re best off with him backing up Faine until they can perhaps grab the center of the future in the 2012 draft.

16 Responses to “No Competition For Faine”

  1. Gary Says:

    Faine should start the first few games. If he isn’t in top form zuttah should come in.

  2. Travis Says:

    Zuttah was not good as a LG Joe…
    He got spanked in fact…. He was good replacing Davin at RG, but underachieved heavily as a LG. Although he was great as a Center, which seems to be his best position.
    I do agree he should start center.

  3. the_buc_realist Says:

    Faine as only played a full 16 game season twice in his 8 year career. Odds are that at some point Zuttah will be snapping the ball. Might as well let him take some snaps during training camp and start two of the preseason games.

  4. Mauha Deeb Says:

    Ever since I saw Zuttah smashing guys from the Center position, I have been calling for him to stay at that spot permanently. The guy is a wrecking ball from that position in the run game. Far more than Faine ever was.

  5. chargedcbh Says:

    Zuttah HAS to work on his snaps, there to soft, they take forever to get to Josh. Watch some game tape….

  6. Theodore Says:

    No worker competition? Typical union extortion disguised as “collective bargaining”.

  7. Tom Says:

    Zuttah was so good that Tim Larson a rookie cut after training camp by the Pats beat him out for the LG position after Keydrick Vincent who was out of football a few weeks later beat him out in preseason. But apparently Zuttah “performed well at three positions.” Oh to live in the delusional world of Joe….

  8. Capt.Tim Says:

    I like Zuttah too. As A center, RG,or Meybe RT.
    He plays badly on the Left side. Kendrick was our LG, then Ted Larsen took the Job

    Sadly, Larsen is a center. He also will be our Center soon. Think Zuttah’s versatility will doom him to a versatile backup

  9. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Tom — Let’s not re-write history. The Bucs cut Vincent while Zuttah was filling in at center for Faine. …And just because someone plays over someone else doesn’t mean they’re better. …Joe will return to the “delusional world” you say he lives in.

  10. Brandon Says:

    There is no better athlete on the OLine than Zuttah and he is likely the ONLY player that could potentially play all 5 positions (he was a LT at Rutgers). I agree that he should be playing somewhere, even RT. I’m not sold on his snapping, he has to work on it, but if he gets that down then there should be no competition between him and Faine. Considering Faine will likely miss between 4 and 8 games this season, why not just save us the trouble and get Zuttah or Larsen ready to play OC when camp starts?

  11. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    BTW, to the few who still think the Bucs will have to spend $70 million or some insane figure, the new CBA has a salary cap of $120.375 million and the minimum any team in the league has to spend in cash in any year is 89%. That puts the floor at $107.134 million.

    According to the Altius directory the Bucs have a 2011 payroll currently of $59.7 million. To reach the floor in the new CBA the Bucs will have to spend $47.43 million. That’s a far, far cry from the $60-$70 million figure some nimrods were throwing around here.

    Re-sign most or all of our own free agents, extend a few players who are eligible to be extended, and add a couple mid-level free agents and that money is all gone. See ya.

    Don’t cry, but the Bucs will not be big players in free agency unless they plan to let at least several of their own free agents leave.

  12. espo Says:

    Zuttah didn’t play very well at LG and I don’t see him starting over Faine or Joseph. I don’t think being on the left side of the ball made any difference. I think he got into a groove as the season went on. I say put him right back at LG and see how he does. His versatility will let him move if injuries dictate it.

    We are very deep on our OL folks and I love it.

  13. Tom Says:


    A washed up Keydrick Vincent started the first 6 games of the season before being put out to pasture while Zuttah rode the pine. Zuttah was drafted to play guard but Ted Larsen, a rookie college center, came off the street in-season to take the LG position. Even when Faine came back Zuttah again rode the pine until Joseph went down. These are facts. They do not speak well of Zuttah’s ability to “perform well at three positions.”

  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    That’s ridiculous, the whole premise behind it is too. Just kick Faine’s overpaid A$$ out the door. Somebody please name one good thing Faine has done one the field since he became a Buc. Nothing, that’s right, I can’t remember one splash play, pancake block, nothing. As Joe often says, Faine is out injured at least 40% of the time, and hurt in uniform another 40% of the time. The line is better with the youngsters playing, with the exception of Donald Penn, the Anchor. Davin is good but was clearly beat out by his replacement. I am anxious to see Brandon Carter and if he has improved as much as his dad says, there may not be a need to keep Faine, Joseph or Trueblood. They also get Dotson back and why cut a young player with promise than an old tired vet that sucks.

    Ellos tienen que jugar. Let the children play.

  15. tyotb Says:

    Admin says: “And just because someone plays over someone else doesn’t mean they’re better.”

    Well, I suppose that’s true. I guess the Bucs could have been throwing games and thought that playing a crappy Vincent over a stud like Zuttah would be the most effective way to do that.

    Or maybe they really thought that Vincent was the LG of the next decade and wanted to make sure he played through his growing pains because he was so young and impressionable. You’ve got to show patience with a young guy like that.

    Or maybe it was the fact that they had invested so much dough in Vincent in signing bonus and salary that they felt they had to start him for monetary reasons. After all, they sure weren’t about to cut Vincent after paying him all that money and would instead keep him on the team the entire year, amiright?

    Or maybe it’s just that Zuttah blew chunks at LG, was surprisingly good at center (interminably slow rainbow snaps aside), and we should stop trying to reinvent Zuttah’s history at LG in the debate of whether he should start at center over Faine.

    He did well playing center (absent his interminably slow rainbow snaps in shotgun) which was a great surprise, and I would absolutely put him head to head against Faine for the starting spot.

  16. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @tyotb — Welcome. Joe enjoys your venom, albeit misguided. Dont be a stranger.