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June 18, 2012 @ 8:10 am
Current rating: 4.50 Stars/2 Votes

Zuttah Says Schiano's Message Hasn't Changed

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Having played his college football at Rutgers for head coach Greg Schiano, Bucs center Jeremy Zuttah said the man and his message have stayed the same. Zuttah is excited about the potential of Tampa Bay's offensive line this season with the addition of free agent guard Carl Nicks.
When Jeremy Zuttah graduated from Rutgers in 2008 and joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a third-round draft pick that year, the last person he thought he would run into again would be his former, and now current head coach, Greg Schiano. Life has a way of playing funny games and the old becomes new again at times, which is the case for now for Zuttah. The Bucs' starting center isn’t complaining. In fact, Zuttah seems to like the familiarity and standards set by Schiano.

“He is demanding,” Zuttah said. “He is going to ask a lot of you, but you see his vision. He tells you why we are doing everything. You agree with everything he is saying because you share that same vision. You want the same goals for the team. Just everything he is asking for he is a very demanding coach, but at the same time, you know why he is asking it from you.”

Zuttah was given the starting center position earlier this season – along with a new, four-year, $16.3 million dollar contract – when the Buccaneers released four-year starter Jeff Faine, clearing $6 million in cap space. Faine was one of Tampa Bay's offensive captains responsible for the line calls, and Zuttah knows he has big shoes to fill, but says things have gone well thus far.

“It has been good,” Zuttah said. “Every day I am just trying to get better at playing center. I come out here with a clear goal. It is nice to know what I have to work on and I am going to get a chance to work on those things. Try to take it one day at a time and get better.

“Me and (quarterback Josh) Freeman work together (on the line calls). Putting everybody on the same page.”

Zuttah has started 13 games in his career at center, filling in for the oft-injured Faine over the last few seasons and says he feels comfortable.

“Your first goal every play is the ball,” Zuttah said. “You got to take care of the ball every play. That is the most important thing. Obviously, guard is not your responsibility to give the ball to the quarterback. So just that you have to do that first before you do everything else.”

Zuttah talked to the media after last week’s mandatory mini-camp and said despite the gap in years playing for his coach, things haven’t really changed.

“No (nothing has changed),” Zuttah said. “Coach is the same coach. He is not going to change. He has this thing where he doesn’t – he always tells us don’t let the situation dictate your behavior. Just because the situation is different for him, he is not going to change his approach to the game.

“Like I said before coach is very demanding. He lays it out for you. He lets you know how he wants things to be. He wants it that way. So he asks a lot, but you always know where you stand. You always know what you have to do.”

Zuttah thinks this offensive line unit could become one of the strengths of the 2012 Buccaneers.

“I am excited,” Zuttah said. “Obviously, playing between two Pro Bowlers in Davin (Joseph) and Carl (Nicks) and you know we got two outstanding tackles in (Jeremy) Trueblood and  (Donald) Penn. We are going to be as good as we want to be. You've just got to come out here with the same mentality to get better every day.” 

Schiano agreed the potential is there for the offensive line to be one of the Bucs most dependable units, but stressed it is premature to draw that conclusion.

“I think right now it has a chance to be, but it's early,” Schiano said. “We haven’t hit anybody, so I can’t tell you that. It would be premature of me. I do see how strong Carl Nicks is. I see him on video and it’s like, 'Wow.' And Davin Joseph, too. So I do think we have some pieces that can really be really good, but until we get to hit each other and see how those pieces come together, it would be premature for me to say anymore.”

Zuttah spent for years in New Jersey with Schiano and now an offseason in Tampa, and was jokingly asked last week if he thinks his head coach will run out of fiery speeches anytime soon.

“Coach – obviously, he is a very smart man – he is always taking notes,” Zuttah said smiling. “He is always trying to learn new things. I am sure he has a whole bunch of stuff he is still reading on.”
Last modified on Monday, 18 June 2012 08:51

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  • avatar

    Mark, I helped write the HIPPA policy for our organization so I know a little something about it. YOU would not get in any trouble for reporting any medical information you were in possession of. However, the medical person who told YOU would. However, I agree you shouldn't give out any medical information about someone without their permission or agreement. Also. I agree with Horse about Bowers. I hope he is put on IR and just works on a solid program to get completely well and ready to play in 2013. IMO, a healthy Bowers will be a probowler in a couple of years and an All-Pro soon thereafter.
  • avatar

    I agree Mr Incredible about Talib. I have always liked the guy since he got here. I feel like he is working hard trying to be a Buccaneer Man. I think he is maturing and I am pulling for him also. He puts some teeth in our pass defense.
  • avatar

    Folks, I can't believe that i'm saying this, but can we please give Talib one more benefit of the doubt, and see if this event really shakes him as it should. I have a feeling, somehow, that he's seen the light. He really has been a model citizen since this happened. I think he must now understand how close he is to losing everything. The guy is a great player when is head is on straight and his teammates have always loved him. I, for one, am going to root for him. I think this Prosecutor should be ashamed of himself for sitting on this the whole year. Coach Shiano could be just what the doctor ordered for our black sheep DB. Congrats, Aquib. Go make the most of it.
  • avatar

    PewterReportMC, thanks for the input. I do appreciate your opinion. I felt the same way that his injury was not career threatening, but something like Price where he should have been put on IR and to focus on a solid rehab plan. I believe Bowers will go on IR and that will allow him to completely heal. He could possibly be ready by the last couple games, but I wouldn't chance it. I expect Bowers to make a difference starting in 2013.
  • avatar

    Horse, only the player can allow the doctors to release that information. The team won't comment unless the player says they will allow it. We at PewterReport do get information at times on injuries but unless the team or the player approves it we can't really say anything. HIPPA or something along those lines. So we have to sit on a lot things at times. However, I can say the organization is hoping Bowers can return so that leads me to believe it wasn't devastating. But I cant confirm that!
  • avatar

    Horse you are absolutely right about Faine. I think he was more interested in his businesses than playing center. Talk about injury prone. Winslow made himself look like his great father's biggest disappointment.
  • avatar

    Yeah I just read that on NFL.com gg720. That Aquib Talib case was dismissed, now All he has to do is play straight and he will have a good career with the Bucs.
  • avatar

    Wow, Talib charges dropped! Can Shiano now keep Talib under control and turn him into a better football player?
  • avatar

    I agree Horse. I heard Winslow's interview in the Tampabay Times and he took a real negative view of the way Schiano handled things. Instead of hurting Coach Schiano, Winslow made himself look foolish. K2 wants to do things his way and is really not a team player. I don't understand where it comes from either because K1 was a class act. Kellen Winslow Sr. was a very humble man and played for the team. He had the great Dan Fouts throwing to him, but he was a worker. Maybe the difference was K1's college training at Missouri vs K2's college training at Miami. Maybe K2 realized he was never going to be able to carry his fathers jock strap. Maybe it was because K2 grew up with more money (a lot more money) than K1 did. I'm glad K2 is gone because I agree about him being a negative force for the team both in his training regimen and his pressure on Josh Freeman to throw to him when he couldn't really separate anymore. Faine was a good guy, but he was getting long in the tooth and couldn't stay off IR. It will be interesting to see if Trueblood can finally clean up his rough edges and perform with consistency. If that happens then Martin and Blount could have a very good year and I have a gut feeling about Michael Smith too. Those guys could really open things up for our receivers.
  • avatar

    The Ron & Ian Show on 620 played K2's interview this morning. His actual words come across much worse on the radio than the written transcript. He sounded like a smug immature spoiled *censored*! The Bucs sent the wrong message to him when they made him the highest paid TE in the league after they traded for him. They came accross like they condoned his previous poor decisions in Cleveland (ie. Motorcycle leg injuries) instead of making him prove himself. He never endeared himself to the fans or community.
  • avatar

    I remember comment a couple of years ago that PP was saying the Zutah needed to get stronger in order to be a truly effective NFL guard. Is that still the case or has he hit the weight room enough to take care of that issue?
  • avatar

    Another good article, Mark! I have no doubt Zutah will be good at Center because I have watched him play there before. He is bright and will pick up the new offense quickly and who better to call signals for the line to stop blitzes on pass plays. His only knock in the past is he did not seem as dedicated in the weight room as he should, but if Schiano notices that he will make sure it is fixed and Zutah will listen to his favorite Coach; so Zutah will improve and deserved his raise. Our Offense should be dramatically better this year.
  • avatar

    The best thing that happened on Offense was to get rid of Faine; next best thing was to bring in Nicks; and then to get rid of Winslow who I believe was a cancer for the Bucs. Dominik has a lot to explain with that trade with Clevland. Mark Cook a question for you. How serious was Bowers tendon tear on his heel. Do you know how much it was torn. Are there any Doctor release statements about the surgery. Is he walking okay and has he started football rehab. I know it's a lot of questions, but we have heard very little from the Buc organization about the actual recovery time period. I am sure that they have some kind of date that he is ready to play again. Is Bowers working out in the tampa Bay area.
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