REAR ENTRIES: Still Hirin’
March 05, 2012 at 10:29am by Scott • 11 Comments »
YOUR ACTUAL QB COACH: On the last post, I reported the hiring of Ben McDaniels and said hat even though the Bucs weren’t calling him the quarterbacks coach, of course he was going to be. So in an effort to make me look bad, the Bucs went ahead and hired Ron Turner to be the quarterbacks coach. Pretty childish, guys.
Turner’s job last year was QB coach for Indianapolis, so if you’re a Curtis Painter fan, you’re in luck. Of course Turner can only work with what he’s got, so I’m not going to blame Painter’s lack of success on him. Turner probably couldn’t even keep a straight face let alone do any coaching while he had to look at Painter’s ridiculous hair.
Turner has been up and down in terms of being an OC or head coach, but he was able to make Kyle Orton look pretty good. Also back in the day, he probably squeezed more out of Erik Kramer than anyone thought was there, so I’m going to say that Josh Freeman can learn a few things from him. This year proved that Freeman doesn’t know everything yet and maybe Turner can help improve his decision making and consistency. But God help you, Ron Turner, if you mess with Freeman’s Championship Hair.
ZUTTAH ALMOST RE-SIGNED: According to the Times, Jeremy Zuttah is about to sign a contract extension that will keep him from being a free agent.
Zuttah has started 44 games in four seasons for the Bucs and is almost as likely to play center as he is guard. Zuttah started 14 games in 2011, mostly at left guard. But when injury-prone center Jeff Faine has gone down in recent seasons, Zuttah has effortlessly stepped in as the starter and performed well. In fact, center is arguably Zuttah’s best position. At Rutgers, Zuttah often played tackle, too.
Zuttah, 25, gives the Bucs another offensive-line building block as the team looks to build a solid offense around quarterback Josh Freeman. Zuttah’s athleticism and flexibility set him apart from most players at his position, making him invaluable to the Bucs.
That’s a whole lot of praise, and while I admit to being overly hard on Zuttah in the past, I’m not sure he deserves the kind of accolades that are being heaped on him now that his signing is imminent. He’s a good player but has a history of being pushed around sometimes. I hope the Bucs aren’t going with Zuttah just because Greg Schiano is familiar and comfortable with him when there will be better options at guard next week. Maybe they don’t have the versatility that Zuttah has, but would you rather have a guy that plays two positions good or a guy that plays one position great? Now that Drew Brees got the tag, Carl Nicks will be a free agent. Just throwing it out there.
BUCS LOOKING AT ROYAL: Pat Yasinskas has gotten some “vibes” (his word, not mine) that the Bucs could be interested in WR Eddie Royal, who is scheduled to be a free agent out of Denver.
I don’t see Royal as a No. 1 receiver, but I think he could fit as a No. 2 or 3 receiver. He had a big rookie year under former coach Mike Shanahan in 2008 when he caught 91 passes for 980 yards.
It wasn’t just the number of catches Royal made in his rookie year, it was the style. Some of those catches were absolutely nuts. Here’s a decent highlight reel:
Royal also provides a punt return threat as well as good end-around ability. Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn aren’t going anywhere this season, but there is plenty of room in the wide receiver stable now and someone like Royal could definitely take the place of Sammie Stroughter as well as provide competition for the starters. I think grabbing Royal would be a smart move by the Bucs.