After two seasons in New York though, Zeitler had only positive things to say about where he thinks the team is headed.
“As far as Coach Judge, I think he’s a great coach,” Zeitler said on SiriusXM NFL Radio with hosts Bruce Murray and Kirk Morrison on Monday. “I learned a lot more about football just in general than I have in years. He’s very smart and well-equipped. They were saying in his first year, the culture is already there. Compared to the first year and the next year, the team is in a great position, that defense is getting built up nicely. They are going to be very tough.”
Zeitler also said that he believes Daniel Jones, who is entering his third season in the league, is poised for a breakthrough.
“As far as DJ, I think he’s about to take off,” Zeitler said. “Handling all of the insanity of his first year, this past year was even more insane. The fact that he just came to work every single day, I think he’s really going to explode this year and New York is going to be dangerous.”
The Giants will miss Zeitler, who established himself as one of the best guards in the league before being cut, was another cap space casualty. Because he was cut, the Ravens did not have to wait until free agency begins on Wednesday to negotiate a contract. The deal is worth $22.5 million and includes $16 million guaranteed.
For the Ravens, Zeitler fills an important position of need. The team lacked consistency as right guard last season and Zeitler will look to stabilize that. At 31 years old, he brings nine years of experience to Baltimore.
Zeitler said that upwards of 12 or 13 teams reached out to him following his release from the Giants. Though Zeitler expressed some disappointment about leaving New York, he said that he knows he cannot control the salary cap.
“The call came and I understood and now it’s on to a new adventure,” Zeitler said.
“I obviously love AFC North ball because I keep going to teams there,” Zeitler said. “They have one of the most impressive rushing attacks in the NFL as of late and so it was really appealing to be part of that. I’ve seen what Lamar can do and it would be fun to protect that.”
Zeitler added that he believes he is leaving one dangerous team in the Giants for another in the Ravens.
“I feel like it’s a brand new start,” Zeitler said. “I’m really anxious to get out there and give it my all right away. As a player, I think I can do it all. In terms of run blocking, protection, whatever needs to be done. And then when I get to the facility, my goal is always to be the hardest worker there, lead by example and do anything I can to help the team. I think I’m going to be a great fit there.”