Zuttah Back Again At Left Guard

September 16th, 2011

Jeremy Zuttah was the man at left guard in 2009. Then Mark Dominik shot that down and bought a veteran free agent, Keydrick Vincent, to play the position in 2010.

Vincent was cut halfway through the season, while Zuttah was starting at center for Jeff Faine and Ted Larsen took over left guard.

Now Larsen is back on the bench following a heinous preseason and an opening day that saw the offensive line play below its pay grade. Per the Twitterings eye-RAH Kaufman, of The Tampa Tribune, Zuttah will replace Larsen against the Vikings on Sunday.

@TBO_Buccaneers: Bucs make a switch at left guard for Sunday’s game at Minnesota, with Jeremy Zuttah starting instead of Ted Larsen.

Longtime readers here know Joe has always been in Zuttah’s corner. The fourth-year Mr. Versatile on the Bucs’ O-line should do very well. After all, aren’t linemen supposed to fully mature only after a few years?

Interestingly, Zuttah is an unrestricted free agent after this season. A 2011 for Zuttah from here forward would put the Bucs in line for another huge payday along their high-price line.

29 Responses to “Zuttah Back Again At Left Guard”

  1. Kevin Says:

    This is excellent news… Larsen did a great job filling in last year but has not looked good at all this year (as stated in joe’s article). Zuttah certainly improve the line and has to take some pressure off Penn since we won’t be as concerned about what Larsen is up to.

    Now let’s see a running game this weekend!

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    Ah, it seems that everyone’s forgetting how badly Zuttah struggled at left Guard. Played well at Right guard, Played Great at center- struggled at left guard.

    They should rotate him at RG and RT. That would be an improvement.

    This is just another questionable decission in an offseason filled with bad decisions. I’m starting to think the” wonder twins” are losing it.

  3. Chris FWC Says:

    Yes! Good move!!

  4. rickster Says:

    YEESSSS, THANK YOU! I’ve been saying Larson sucked all week! Hopefully this helps that left side.

  5. Capt.Tim Says:

    How quickly everyone forgets. They signed Kendrick Vincent BECAUSE ? That’s right , Zuttah couldn’t play Left Guard. The postponed for awhile, then Vincent straight won the starting job. After discovering Vincent had lost his footspeed, the cut him and tried Zuttah again, ah, No. In comes Mr.Larsen- who is not a guard by trade, but a center( wish he was replacing Feign- a -block). Zuttah can play everposistion from center thru RT- and play them well. So why put him at Left Guard- the one place he struggled? It makes no sense- again. We already tried this . .

  6. Kevin Says:

    @Capt Tim – I seem to remember Vincent being signed to push Zuttah. I was also under the impression that they started Vincent because the coaching staff thinks of Zuttah as a super-backup that they like to keep in their back pocket in case of injury (see Joseph and Faine). Larsen started at LG because Zuttah was already filling in for an injured Faine at C, and I seem to remember Larsen was less than reliable in shotgun snaps when they worked him out at C.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that I disagree with your depiction of Zuttah’s play – it’s a lot more complicated than “we benched him cause he sucks”.

  7. Buddhaboy Says:

    just win baby…

  8. JorGhoti Says:

    Joe- I agree with you on this guy 100%. I’ve been thinking that if we didn’t get this guy in the starting line-up and give him a chance this year, then he would probably walk after the season.

    He was the lone bright spot in the Patriots game on the offensive line. I would much rather pay this guy then see him go. Should be interesting to see what happens with left guard position from here on out. Should also be interesting to see what plays out on the whole offensive line throughout the season and into the offseason…

  9. JorGhoti Says:

    Only drawback is…do we now have to keep an extra guy active on the offensive line during gameday?

  10. Architek Says:

    Another inconsistent player on this roster. No dominant players and as Capt. Tim stated an off-season of dead moves.

  11. Brandon Says:

    Capt Tim,

    OG play is OG play. For the most part, RGs and LGs are interchangeable. If Zuttah can play RG, then he can play LG, yeah, he got beat out by Vincent… supposedly… perhaps he wasn’t preparing the way he needed to prepare, perhaps he was hurt, whatever it was, he came out last season and played great at OC, played great at LG in the preseason, and IMO should have been starting at LG in week 1.

  12. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Zuttah has stepped up his play a ton since the Vincent move. Some people obviously don’t actually watch the games but just form opinions on what they think happened two years ago.

    Try watching the games from last year and this year in detail, focusing on Zuttah as compared to his performance in 2009. You might actually learn something and stop blathering unsubstantiated opinions.

    It seems obvious that Larsen belongs at center and Zuttah at guard. They’re just in a tough spot being unable or unwilling to go anything about demoting Faine at this time. Unfortunately.

  13. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    “do” anything about Faine, I meant

  14. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Capt.Tim Says:

    September 16th, 2011 at 2:16 pm
    Ah, it seems that everyone’s forgetting how badly Zuttah struggled at left Guard. Played well at Right guard, Played Great at center- struggled at left guard.

    You are 100% correct.

    And you watch…when…if…he does poorly, more people will jump off the wagon.

    I think the more accurate issue is that our Offensive Line is in trouble. Hopefully they will fix their issues, but we’ll just have to watch and see. That’s the only area I don’t feel good about on this team…well…that and CB after this year.

  15. JorGhoti Says:

    FLBoy – I think you’re pretty much right on. And I think It will be interesting to see what happens with Faine as well.

  16. Capt.Tim Says:

    Ah, Flboyindallas, not to add to your already sizable confusion- but the Vincent replaces Zuttah, Larsen replaces Zuttah all happened LAST year.
    Brandon- Meybe in Madden football there is no Difference, but in Real life, it is extremely Rare for a lineman to play both sides. During Zuttah’s struggles and demotion last year, Steve White addressed it in one of his post. L

  17. Capt.Tim Says:

    Damn it!
    Pete is right! The biggest concern is that, after ONE game, the coaching staff is already scrambling to rework the O-line. That’s just pathetic!!
    I, along with others, have been saying since January that the O- line sucked, and needed new blood/Talent. The Draft came- nothing. Free agency comes- nothing. Preseason- nothing. Now. First game, panic ensues, and Zuttah gets shoved into a position he’s not good at at.

    And they just realized this???? And they also just realized that Hayes and Black are lousy???

    And they did nothing to adress either of these problems until now!!’

    This last Tuesday, they brought in a bunch Of FA linemen and tried them out. Now, after all the talent that changed teams this off season.

    It’s just inexcusable!

  18. gotbbucs Says:

    brandon, i’m assuming you’ve never play guard or tackle at atleast the college level so im not expecting you to know, but there is a pretty big difference when switching sides on the o-line. some guys can and some can’t.

  19. BigMacAttack Says:

    First, I’m glad Zuttah is back on the line, but he should be replacing Jeff Faine and the Bucs should see this very soon. I still hope this combination works well as it is, but I think we will see more tweaks to the line over the coming weeks until they find a true winning combo. I again hope it works now and if it doesn’t I hope they fix it quickly.

  20. gotbbucs Says:

    bigmac, i agree. problem is, the guys keep voting faine as a team captain. regardless, i think he’s in a contract year, so hopefully this is the last year we need to suffer through his subpar play.

  21. BigMacAttack Says:

    I also think they need to play Demar Dotson at TE for more needed blocking in the run game.

  22. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Capt.Tim, sounds like you’re the one who’s panicking with all the exclamation points and question marks. They obviously believed Larsen’s ankle was minor enough that he could play through it. It didn’t work out and he needs time to get back to 100% so he can play with full power. How hard is that to understand? Did you take your prozac this morning? Calm the f down, man.

  23. Stevek Says:

    Question, Joe:

    Do you see the Bucs drafting a cb or OL with the first pick in the draft?

  24. Stevek Says:

    Question, Joe:

    Do you see the Bucs drafting a cb or OL with the first our 1st pick in the draft?

  25. Stevek Says:

    Last time I checked zuttah was apart of the line when we were playing well. I hope he brings the unit together and open some lanes for Blount.

  26. Capt.Tim Says:

    SteveK- you are correct. Zuttah was part of the line in the last half of the season, when Caddy and Blount both averaged over 5 yards a carry, And Josh Posted his best QB Ratings. Zuttah was the starting Center- A job he does well. That line did NOT include Faine, Joseph, or Trueblood- all three were on IR
    Zuttah was also a rotational Player on the line in the first half of the season, when Caddy averaged 2.1 yards per carry. And, according to Pro Football Focus, we ranked 31 in pass protection. Allowing Josh Freeman to be hurried or rushed 48% of the time. The league average is 34%. Zuttah rotated at LG, and Struggled- first losing the job to Kendrick Vincent, then finally losing the Job to center Ted Larsen.

  27. Joe Says:


    Do you see the Bucs drafting a cb or OL with the first pick in the draft?

    Dominik usually targets whatever position is deep in the draft in the first round and Joe has to confess he has not studied the 2012 draft class yet.

    Linebacker seems to be of a more dire need. Historically the Bucs don’t draft corners high (Talib being the exception). Despite the howls from the masses, Joe does not believe the offensive line is as bad as people make it out to be. There were holes for Blount to run through (look at the link to the NFL video Joe has this morning) and the great Suh was dominated last week.

  28. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Agree with Joe for the most part, except I must say that if a premier center or right tackle prospect is there for the taking in round one when the Bucs pick I could see them easily going that direction. Faine is no longer even close to Pro Bowl material like he was in his prime and Trueblood is average and a stopgap (hence the two-year deal he received as opposed to Joseph’s seven years).

  29. Capt.Tim Says:

    I dunno, you know we love ya, Joe- but weren’t you calling our ” throw on at will” secondary a team strength?? Stafford just chewed that secondary to pieces.

    As I listed above, ProFootball focus listed our starting O-line at 31st in the league last year for Pass protection. And our Starting Lineup was allowing 2.3 yds average per carry. That would pretty much tell you they suck. The beginning of last you, everyone was saying our RBs were no good. Yet once we sit Faine,Joseph, And Trueblood down, those same backs doubled their averages. No science degree needed there! I’m tired of the excuses made for that bunch, just because Gruden wasted high draft picks on them. He wasted ALL of our high draft picks! We have fantastic talent at the skill positions. Dominick needs to quit screwing around with” da Plan”, and get us an offensive line that can do the damn Job!!

    Oh, and a couple LBers is a great idea too!