PewterReport.com has learned –and can confirm – Jamon Meredith, and not Jeremy Trueblood, will start Sunday at right guard when the Buccaneers host the Chiefs, contrary to a published report Saturday in the Tampa Bay Times.
Contrary to a published report in the Tampa Bay Times on Saturday, PewterReport.com has learned – and can confirm – Jamon Meredith, not Jeremy Trueblood, will start at right guard for the Buccaneers on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Head coach Greg Schiano told the media prior to the bye week that the Buccaneers coaching staff would explore options in an effort to get better production from the right guard position, which was devastated when veteran Pro Bowler Davin Joseph went down during the preseason with a knee injury and placed on injured reserve.
This past week Schiano said during a press conference that Trueblood was being worked at that position, but never confirmed if he would in fact start on Sunday.
“Jeremy (Trueblood) is a very intelligent football player,” Schiano said. “He is very experienced. I think he has a much better chance of grasping things in the short amount of time. His best buddy Davin (Joseph) has played guard next to him for a long time. Different scheme yes, but they work together on so many different things.
“I think he has got a good understanding. I think they all do. It is just going to be a matter of who we think the best choice is for this week. Again, that’s what we are trying to do. We are trying to win this game against Kansas City."
On Friday, in his last meeting with the media prior to Sunday’s game, Schiano was still non-committal when asked if a decision on the starting right guard had been made.
“Yeah, I think we have some options,” Schiano said. “And not to be – you know – I don’t think anyone’s changing their game plan over our right guard said Let’s not get too – but you know what – there is one guy or two guys that are going to play over that right guard. So they Kansas City) can study both of them instead of one of them for Sunday. That’s the reason.”
Trueblood’s inability to earn the starting nod may have been in part due to the fact former Boston College star missed last Monday’s padded practice with a flu bug, and also a lack of familiarity with a position he hasn’t played since high school.
Starting right tackle, Demar Dotson, who took over for Trueblood prior to the Cowboys’ game, commented on the guard position to PewterReport.com earlier this week.
“He’s (Trueblood) a natural tackle, and he’s not real experienced at guard yet,” Dotson said of Trueblood. “It’s going to take a little time to work at it because he’s new. But I think with work and time I think he can develop into a guy that can play that position.
“I know he watched Davin, but there’s only so much you can learn from playing next to a guy that has played. You have to get in there and go through the fire himself. He missed a padded practice day on Monday, and that was a big key. I would like to see the guy get some more work at it, but he will be a guy I enjoy playing next to.”
Meredith played his college football at South Carolina after being recruited as a defensive end. Meredith made the switch to offensive line after being redshirted his freshman season.
Meredith was drafted in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers. In addition to his time with Green Bay, Meredith has had stints with the Bills, Lions, and Giants before joining the Steelers in September of 2011.
One reason why Meredith was signed as a free agent by the Buccaneers last spring was likely due to new offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan having some familiarity with him from their time together in New York with the Giants in 2010. At 6-foot-5, 304 pounds, Meredith has the flexibility to play guard and also tackle in the NFL.
It was Trueblood, not Meredith, who was inactive during the Redskins game two weeks ago, and the former Gamecock has quietly been impressing the coaching staff since training camp.
Trueblood may eventually work his way into the starting lineup at right guard, but for now Meredith will get the first shot at replacing Joseph – and Ted Larsen – at right guard.– Mark Cook, Scott Reynolds and Dory LeBlanc contributed to this report
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