Zuttah Believes Bucs Wanted Him At Guard

March 25th, 2014

Joe’s already documented the woefully thin Bucs’ offensive line corps. Thankfully, it’s only March, but the lack of depth and starting experience is still somewhat alarming.

An interesting nugget to come from the mouth of versatile former Bucs guard/center Jeremy Zuttah today makes Joe wonder what the Bucs have planned.

Zuttah, who is an extremely intelligent, level-headed guy, never a negative word surrounding his six seasons with the Bucs, told SiriusXM NFL Radio today that he believed the Bucs wanted him to play guard but shopped him around the league as a center after signing Evan Dietrich-Smith.

Zuttah, now pegged as the starting center for the Ravens, said that’s where he’s most comfortable and prefers to play.

“[The Lovie Smith regime] said they really liked me as a player, just depending on where they were going in free agency would just change their plans for me. So I guess when they signed a center, I think their plan was they wanted me to play guard,” Zuttah said. “But they gave me the opportunity to see if another team wanted me as a center. And Baltimore really wanted me and they were able to get something done.”

That sounds like a roll of the dice by the Bucs — and a nice gesture, too. Zuttah was appreciative that the Bucs approached him about continuing his career elsewhere at his preferred position. Zuttah noted that he’s never had a chance to settle into one position.

Tampa Bay valued Zuttah and learned he had market value. Factoring in his contract, $4 million+ for 2014, Lovie and Jason Licht opted for the extra spending money and the potential of a fifth-round pick. It was a true “value” call. But Joe can’t imagine a Bucs fan saying the trade improved the team, given Zuttah’s diverse game and youth.

If nothing changes, Joe’s sure the Bucs will draft a couple of offensive linemen come May.

As for the crumbling of the New Schiano Order Buccaneers, Zuttah said of the “personal attacks” on Greg Schiano and the turmoil surrounding the team: “It’s hard to imagine it not affecting you.”

26 Responses to “Zuttah Believes Bucs Wanted Him At Guard”

  1. buccanAy Says:

    hey Joe..(Hendrix shout-out)…thanks for giving us a brief respite from the Glennon/Manziel hate/love stories, and posting some ‘other’ Buc stuff, for a change.

  2. snook Says:

    He’s a better guard than he is a center.

  3. Harry Says:

    The O-line is scaring the hell out of me. This was Lovie’s achilles heal in CHI, so its not like it wouldn’t be a concern even if L&L had not made any changes to the O-line. Now they have, what, one player (Dotson) that has a full year as a “starter” in the lineup? Not good, not good.

  4. Beeric Says:

    I hope Licht is able to find great UFAs…not many picks, not many options.

  5. Mr. Patrick Says:

    Don’t panic guys, long way to go yet

  6. Arealbucsfan Says:

    I wouldve liked to have kept Zuttah. He couldve been our RG this year

  7. SAMCRO Says:

    I personally, besides trading Zuttah, think we got better on the o-line. Just a change in attitude can make this oline better. Penn, Zuttah, and Joseph were part of too many losing seasons (modern day Jonah’s) and it had become apparent this frontline needed a transfusion. If anything just to change our luck and get an influx of fresh new faces. Somehow we need to turn the corner and put our losing ways (culture) into the rear view mirror. There is no pre-determined destiny that says we have to continue our history of being one of the worst franchises since our inception. We need to bring a winning spirit here and do away with all the complacent attitudes.

  8. phattitudes Says:

    It’s still March. There are more Free Agent moves to be made. The will sign a starting quality veteran guard as rosters get adjusted for cap space. Heck they may still cut loose of Nicks pending their assessment of his physical readiness. I would not doubt the Bucs may draft 2 linemen but I don’t believe they will christen either a starter on draft day. There will be starting quality veterans in camp. Any rookie will have to win the right to start. The O-line was cap heavy and unproductive. Change was required and it is being addressed. All their moves so far have been calculated. Up to now the Bucs have brought in younger talent with both more ability and potential. They are also adjusting their lineup to accommodate their new “unknown” offensive philosophy. This is not the time to panic.

  9. Architek Says:

    I’m glad everyone has a victim mentality except our actual team. Schiano is a victim, Mike Williams is a victim, Joseph, Penn, and Dominik.

    Can’t wait to start playing football…

  10. Lou. Says:

    @phattitudes —

    Your post sums up the situation. No further comment needed.

    Not just on o-line but across the whole team Lovie will be reluctant to start rookies.

  11. Kevin Says:

    I think he was better at center than guard…but either way he could play both. I thought it was a bad trade but a nice move by the staff. I’m sure that fifth rounder will be used to trade up next season…or this season. Then we’ll see how it pans out.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    There was a reason & a plan behind trading Zuttah….I’d bet they would have cut him if they couldn’t trade….so there is definately a plan. Don’t panic…..we still have cap space and a draft….we will bring in a couple of “value” free agents before the season starts………RELAX!!!

  13. Andrew 1 Says:

    Sounds like he preferred to play center even if was for another team, rather than be forced to play guard with the bucs. Hey, at least we got something for him. I also a agree with Joe that it was a nice gesture by the bucs to approach Zuttah about their plans. That kind of gesture completely contradicts Penn’s harsh words about the new regime. Makes him look like a whinny little bitch.

  14. JGM 2.0 Says:

    I don;t normally care for WalterFootball, but that site has been pretty on point with Bucs predictions the past 2 seasons. They have the Bucs going Evans, Garoppolo, Breeland in the draft.



    That would be AWESOME. Future WR star, possible franchise QB, and CB with huge upside. Let’s hope it comes true.

    JGM OUT!!!

  15. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Glad to see him gone.

  16. Cobraboy Says:

    “Versatile” to me means “meh.” Yeah, good for depth. Ted Larsen was “versatile” too.

    I thought Zuttah defined “average.”

    I’m beginning to think we’re about to see the first Buccaneer zone blocking scheme…

  17. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Joe or whoever has the answer wasn’t Zuttah drafted by Gruden? I only ask since I’m trying to understand how trading a guy drafted by Gruden is purging the roster of the New Schiano Order? I’m kind of surprised Joe doesn’t say the Zuttah move is getting rid of Rockstar’s guys since just like Schiano he inherited Zuttah from his predecessor.

  18. oldfart44 Says:

    Another Rutgers player bites the dust.

    Next, not from Rutgers, Mike Williams.

  19. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ Toesontheline

    Yes, he was drafted by Gruden, but he was resigned by Schiano and Dom. So it kinda works either way. At the end of the day though, all that Gruden’s players purging and Schiano’s players purging is balloney. We just purged a BUCS player and that is all.

  20. Joe Says:

    Joe or whoever has the answer wasn’t Zuttah drafted by Gruden?

    Yes, Zuttah was drafted by Chucky. But he was on the roster under Schiano (see: Joseph, Davin).

  21. Cmurda Says:

    I agree with Cobraboy. Versatile in the NFL means good depth. Zuttah was admirably equipped. A guy you like but his skill set is average as O Linemen in the NFL go. It’s like a hot chick saying you’re “nice and funny”. That means she’s not interested in a nicely put way.

  22. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Gotcha I guess if Lovie gives Martin, David, Barron, Glennon, Banks (you get where I’m going with this) then I will concede that the New Schiano purge is upon the team. As Andrew1 pointed out Bucs are getting cut not so much targeting any former coach’s draft picks

  23. WalkdaPlank Says:

    Nobody is a victim except for Williams of a stabbing and that’s it. Dom and Schiano dug their own graves. Joseph had tough luck and Penn just ran out of gas I guess.

    I still think trading Zuttah was a bad move. It’s nice and all that they gave him an opportunity to be a starting center elsewhere. But for the majority of his career, including college, he was a guard. And this team desperately needs a good guard. Damaged goods in Nicks and Jamon Meredith? It seems L&L are gambling big on Nicks, which hopefully means he is showing good signs. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn out like Dom and Schiano’s gamble on Da’Quan Bowers.

    Maybe the Zuttah trade gave us ammuniton for a trade in this year’s draft, but as of right now we have only 5 picks, and no 4th rounder. And a future 5th rounder isn’t exactly good trade bait, it’s practically a 6th rounder since it’s from the Ravens. The dust has settled in FA, not any good guards are left. It is only March, so fair judgement can only be passed after the draft. But first impressions are that the Ravens got the better end of this deal by a mile. And Licht doesn’t really look like he has a, ahem, poker face.

  24. SteveK (MGM) Says:

    I can’t wait to see the Licht Show, during the draft.

    BPAs, trades, already showing the value of future picks, etc.

  25. owlykat Says:

    When acquired Zutah was an outstanding LT for Rutgers but didn’t do his part to acquire NFL muscle to stop bull rushes but was the smartest lineman we had and good at calling blocking schemes and good speed to pull block and block at the second level and would have been valuable blocking for screens for Tedford, so Licht probably got caught up on his cap value and saw too many penalties from him on tape and saw his worth in a negative light, and didn’t appreciate our new coaches could have gotten him to put on more muscle and would have noticed at Guard when he didn’t have the pressure of calling blocking calls he didn’t have those penalties and he would have become a better Guard and would have learned the new scheme and would be a great backup at Center too, but that is all water over the dam. Larsen was awful last year at all positions and earned his cut just like Schiano did, but I believe we will still have a better line once everyone learns the system and they develop chemistry together–but it will take time to see so be patient fans.

  26. pick6 Says:

    talk about delayed gratification, a pick at the tail end of next years draft for a guy whose services you lose immediately. if the bucs have more than $4 mil left in cap room going into the season, this was an unnecessary move that hurts our 2014 depth with no payoff