More Bucs questions via Twitter
Got some more questions delivered to me via Twitter this week that I wanted to address here.
A good one comes from @bucstats: "Zuttah wasn't all that great at LG last year and was miserable when filling in at LT. What's the word on him so far this yr?"
I think he'll be better in his second season as a starter. I think he'll spend a lot of time this offseason working on strength, which should help him. It's too early to determine what these offensive linemen are going to be. We need to seem them in training camp with pads on to know whether there's a concerted difference. No matter what anyone on the coaching staff says, I'll reserve judgment until then. In any case, I totally agree with your argument that Zuttah was a weak link on the line last year and needs to step up.
@sgw94, who as you might know, is former Buc Steve White, asked the following: "With as big of a blow it was when Faine went down last yr what have Bucs done to shore up backup center position?"
The offensive line depth is a major concern in my opinion. They haven't done very much at center outside of a few signings of projects like Jeff Tow-Arnett, an undrafted kid from the University of Minnesota. They've kept Jonathan Compas on, too. As far as the depth overall, I know the Bucs are encouraged by the development of Demar Dotson, and his rise from obscurity to the active roster is heartwarming. But I wouldn't be willing to trade him and Donald Penn when John Abraham is lined up on the other side. I don't like those odds at all. I'll be curious to see what Xavier Fulton can give the Bucs after spending his rookie season on injured reserve last year. He certainly looks the part at 6-5 and 301 pounds, for what that's worth.
Let's address one other question today.
@InstantGourmet asked "Why is Clayton still a Buc? Do they think the new (receivers) coach will teach him how to catch a football?"I think we've addressed this before here, but to reiterate, here's my rationale: The Bucs have already made a very sizable investment in Clayton with the upfront money he received after signing his contract extension last year. As a result, it's not costing extra money to keep him on the roster right now. Of course, I realize that the additions the Bucs have made at receiver make him a longer shot to make the roster, and given all the opportunities he's wasted, you're probably wondering why the team should spend any more time on him.
But you've got to remember a couple of things. For starters, the Bucs have never seen rookies Arrelious Benn or Mike Williams in actual game action. They look good in shorts, but so did Dexter Jackson. And secondly, it's still the middle of the offseason. Injuries can happen and leave the receiving unit depleted, as was the case during last year's training camp when Antonio Bryant and Clayton missed the preseason. And another thing at work here, however unlikely, is that the Bucs would love to recoup a draft pick for Clayton if for no other reason than to save face. They gave him a $26 million contract and he is a former first-round pick, so sending him packing for nothing would hurt badly. If it does happen, I think it'll be at the last possible moment -- final cuts.
For now, you might have to just learn to live with Clayton sticking around.
I'll keep doing this periodically so long as the Twitter inquiries keep coming. Thanks for your participation and keep checking here for more.