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October 13, 2010 @ 6:35 am
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Zuttah Ready To Step In For Faine, Who Is Out 4-6 Weeks

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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Jeremy Zuttah, who started 16 games at left guard, is ready for the challenge of replacing Jeff Faine at center. Faine tore his quadriceps and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
Tampa Bay center Jeff Faine will miss the next 4-6 weeks due to a torn quadriceps in his right leg. The injury happened in the second quarter of Tampa Bay’s 24-21 comeback win in Cincinnati.

“It’s pretty sore,” Faine said. “It’s going to be a some time before it’s right. I tore the muscle.”

“It was pretty painful when it happened. The best way for me to describe it would be if you were ever cooking and you had to tear raw meat or raw chicken with your hands. That’s what it felt like when I tore my quad.”

Faine, who tore his triceps muscle last year and missed four games, said the quad injury will not require surgery but that he will miss over a month’s worth of action.

“It’s something that I’ll have to rehab and it’s something that can heal itself,” Faine said. “It’s difficult right now to really say – anywhere from four to six weeks. It’s going to be some time. It’s unfortunate that it happened, but it’s part of the game.”

Third-year offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah stepped in for Faine and finished the game. Zuttah, who started all 16 games at left guard last year and can also play center, will take over for Faine.

“The best way for me to help him is mentally to be in there with him just as if I was playing,” Faine said. “At the end of the day, to be a consultant, really. He’s plenty capable and he stepped in and did a pretty good job this past week. I look forward for him doing the same thing for weeks to come.”

Zuttah is looking forward to the challenge of playing center and to get back into the starting lineup one way or another.

“I feel like I have come a long way as a player and this will be an opportunity to showcase that,” said Zuttah. “Faine is a guy that has played center for so long that a lot of times you lean on him because of the things that he sees that a lot of other people don’t see. It’s mostly in the quarterback’s hands, but there are adjustments that come over from the center.”

Faine said that Josh Freeman’s handling of the protection calls this year as opposed to last year when it was the center’s responsibility, should help Zuttah make the transition from guard to center.

“Without a doubt that’s a huge advantage for us now,” Faine said. “Last year, it was a little difficult for him to do those things, but he’s matured and he picked up the offense extremely well so he’s got to do those things and make the calls.

“Jeremy is a pretty cerebral player anyways. He’s got a good mind for the game and he’s been able to do the things to be able to help as well.”

Zuttah played tackle and guard in college, but has only begun playing center at the NFL level in practice and in preseason games. He is still making the mechanical transition to snapping the ball.

“You start every play one handed,” said Zuttah. “I just have to snap the ball and make sure that is the most important things. You have to take care of that first before you get into your blocks with both hands.”

Faine was impressed with the job Zuttah did at center in helping the Bucs prevail against the Bengals.

“He did a great job,” Faine said. “He came in and played very well and was able to fill the spot and that’s something he’ll be asked to do the next several weeks. Playing the center position is not as foreign as it used to be for him, but it’s still a little foreign. It’s just something that he has to overcome. He’s a smart player. He plays well and is very athletic. I think he’ll be able to step in and get the job done.”

“It’ll be my most natural position for the next few weeks because that is where I will be locked in at,” said Zuttah.

For Faine, who has played a role in helping Tampa Bay get off to a 3-1 start, missing some playing time just as the team is getting hot is disappointing. Faine loves playing against divisional opponents and dreads missing this week’s game against New Orleans due to the fact that he was with the Saints for several years prior to becoming a Buccaneer.

“It’s difficult because we’ve been in a dogfight all year this year, but we’ve been on the right side of it,” Faine said. “You definitely want to be involved and be a part of this. It’s getting around to the thick of things where it’s the meat of the schedule where we are going to be playing some divisional opponents. These are the games you love to play. I especially love to play this game. It’s tough to go sit on the sidelines, but I will contribute as much as I can.”
Last modified on Tuesday, 26 October 2010 13:56

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  • avatar

    Talk to me PR--Ted Larson is up from the practice squad on the Bucs' official roster. Is he just an insurance poicy in case Zuttah goes down. Who's going to spell Vincent? Does Lee play some guard? He was in on the Grham TD run and so was Penn so I'm thinking he does. Give us some info please.
  • avatar

    Well our running game sucked with crappy Faine in ther and now it appears to only get worse. Fantastic. Get Caddy out of there too. Hes done.
  • avatar

    x-rayCat57, my point is why haven't we attempted to improve the center/left guard position? Fain is gone for at least 6 weeks.! He is a slow healer regardless of his manly puff.
  • avatar

    has faine made any claims yet that zuttah might end up being the greatest center of all time? we will miss faine. he's not what his salary say he is (when you factor in time missed due to injury, he might be the highest-paid interior OL on a per-appearance basis), but he's a big step up from zuttah. not great news for a team that hasn't shown much running the football. we might want to practice some screens and draws the next few weeks, since they are designed to succeed in the absence of good blocking
  • avatar

    I'm not super confident in Zuttah, I hope he "has come a long way as a player" as he states. We don't need any more weak links, that's for sure.
  • avatar

    Jeff - stretch before games man!
  • avatar

    I think we have to also sign another center or left guard. If we aren't going to use Stovall because of his injury, then why not cut him? We can always bring him back. Fain's injurt is going to be at least 6 weeks or more. He and Stovall appear to be a slow heale's.
  • avatar

    sorry about not checking my spelling.
  • avatar

    Don't worry about your spelling Horse, Clearwater High doesn't even have books now.
  • avatar

    Horse if the PR staff doesn't bother correcting their mistakes then don't let it bother you.
  • avatar

    You're right about that horse! I hate stories like this because Faine and everybodyelse knows they struggle even more when Zuttah is in there. He knows Zuttah blows as a guard and center. The Bucs don't run more than 4 receivers on game game day so why keep Stovall when he has never cracked the starting line up and can't stay healthy??? They got Briscoe on the PS who apparently they like or they wouldn't have paid him the way they did. We need a more capable center than we have now. Josh is going to be doing alot of scrambling and running for his life so Olsen better start gearing the routes for that.
  • avatar

    Any chance Bucs try to sign Merriman in a couple weeks for DE?
  • avatar

    I hope so because our LB core needs some infusion of life. They are soft and weak. We need a real leader in the middle not a cream puff
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