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This is the sixth installment of Jeremy Zuttah's Training Camp Diary, exclusively on PewterReport.com. Zuttah, the rookie offensive lineman who was Tampa Bay's third-round pick, will be checking in with PewterReport.com three times per week with his thoughts on training camp and life in the NFL.
It was great to go out in our first preseason game and get a win. It was a good experience. I got to get out there and see what the NFL was about. I got to experience the tempo. The tempo is still not what it will be like in a regular season game, but I got to see some of it. I got to get a little taste of the NFL, and see what game action is like. It was special to put on my jersey for the first time. I'm not used to the look of it yet, although I'm used to wearing red. I looked at myself and thought it was kind of weird at first, but I liked it, and I realized ‘Man I'm officially a Buc.'
I went against a lot of different guys for the Dolphins. In the 3-4 defense they run, they come from all angles and they brought a lot of different guys. I played against some guys that I went against in the All-Star games. One of them was Kendall Langford. We mixed it up together pretty good a couple of times. I played okay. I think I have a lot of room for improvement, and I'm going to keep trying to get better. I'm definitely not satisfied with where I am. I have to keep working. The tape showed that I have some bad habits technique wise that I have to get rid of. In college you can get away with some of that, but here players will exploit that so you have to work on it and drop those bad habits. I'm not satisfied with my training camp. If I was happy with it then I might be complacent, and I feel like I have a lot of work to do and a lot to improve on.
It was different playing at guard and center. This was the first game that I was not at right tackle in some time. I felt all right. It was different still. Where you are lined up is different, and the space in which you are blocking guys. It is something that I will have to get more used to.
Compared to the last game that I played in college, there is definitely a big jump in the speed of the opposing players and the physicality of the guys you are going against. In college there may be a guy or two on your schedule each year that might really push you and present a tough matchup. In the NFL, every guy you go against you have to bring your best just to block him.
Jeff Faine was watching me closely on a few series and he was giving me some pointers. Between possessions he was helping me out, so was Dan Buenning. They both were great. Obviously, Coach Muir was in my ear on the sideline. I felt we were able to get into a bit of a groove in our run blocking. We had a bunch of guys in there who do not have a lot of game experience in the second- and third-string offensive line. Once we got comfortable and were able to get things moving pretty well.
Everybody was serious and focused going into the game. We had our game mentality and we wanted to win regardless of if it was an exhibition. That preparation and focus is good to get into before the games count.
Rookie night is approaching. I'm ready for it but I'm not excited for it.