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Smart Jeremy Zuttah Meshing With Ravens Offensive Line

Posted May 30, 2014

The new starting center and entire offensive line are learning Gary Kubiak’s scheme together.


Jeremy Zuttah is fully aware of the notion that the center is the anchor on the offensive line.

But as the new 27-year-old kid on the block, Zuttah is meshing with his teammates as they all try to build themselves into a drastically improved unit. They’re learning together.

“Center lends itself to that [leadership],” Zuttah said. “But when we’re in our meeting room, you hear from everyone.”

Zuttah, who is entering his seventh season, has other vets on the offensive line, such as newly minted left tackle Eugene Monroe and Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda. Left guard Kelechi Osemele started in Super Bowl XLVII.

“There are a lot of guys with a lot of experience, a lot of good experience in the NFL,” Zuttah said. “I’ll be making the calls, but I think it will be a group-type thing. Everybody is just throwing stuff out, concerns or things they’re trying to work on.”

Zuttah was acquired via trade from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason. Head Coach John Harbaugh said he expects Zuttah to win the starting job, which was occupied by Gino Gradkowski last season.

Harbaugh has already been impressed with Zuttah’s intelligence.

“Jeremy Zuttah is doing a great job,” Harbaugh said after Thursday’s organized team activity. “He’s smart – really smart, really mature [and] goes about his business in a mature way. I’m just very impressed with how smart he is.”

The Ravens offensive line needed help after the run game ranked last in the NFL with an average of 3.1 yards per carry and allowed the fourth-most sacks in the league with 48.

Offensive Line Coach Juan Castillo still oversees the group, but he’s teaching a different scheme this year with the addition of Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak. Baltimore will move more towards a zone run scheme, including zone stretch plays to the outside.

“The good thing about Coach Kubiak coming in is that we’re all starting on the same page,” Zuttah said. “We’re all at the beginning and we’re all learning it together. I think that’s beneficial.”

Zuttah is used to running the zone scheme in Tampa Bay, and his skill set is built for it. Harbaugh said he’s looked “very quick” and looks big, yet mobile inside.

It’s really just the plays’ terminology and which plays an offensive coordinator leans on that changes in Baltimore. Zuttah said he expects a higher concentration of zone running than he did in Tampa Bay.

He warned that the offensive line isn’t going to come together overnight. But with 10 days of organized team activities, a three-day mandatory minicamp, then training camp, they’ll get plenty of reps to gel. Zuttah believes that’s what’s most important this offseason.

“To be in the upper echelon of offensive lines, we all need each other and we’re going to have to get to know each other and anticipate what everyone is thinking,” he said. “I think [my adjustment] is going pretty well.”

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