Not a year goes in the National Football League when incumbent players lose their starting jobs. For offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah, that’s just what happened when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers named Kedrick Vincent the team’s starting left guard over Zuttah. Fast forward four weeks into the season and Zuttah suddenly has a new opportunity to contribute as a result of the unfortunate injury to center Jeff Faine. Zuttah, despite feeling bad for Faine, is excited about the chance to prove his meddle again.
“I feel like I have come a long way as a player and this will be an opportunity to showcase that,” Zuttah said.
Zuttah is a third-rounder pick back in 2008 from Rutgers, who started 16 games at guard last season for the Bucs. Despite not being all that familiar or experienced with the nuances of playing center, Zuttah’s teammates and coaches were impressed with how he filled in on the fly following Faine’s injury.
“I’m really proud of Zuttah,” Freeman said. “Center is not his natural position, and the way he stepped into a game where Cincinnati was really blitzing heavy, he did a great job with communication, a great job blocking.”
“When you don’t notice him, that’s a good sign,” said offensive coordinator Greg Olson. “I didn’t notice him. We were happy with the job Zuttah did. Certainly it’s a big loss to lose Jeff Faine. We all know that.”