Don’t Be Stunned If Raheem Wants Ruud BackJanuary 1st, 2011
As Barrett Ruud enters what could be his final hours in a Bucs uniform, Joe knows many fans’ Christmas wish was for a new, punishing middle linebacker.
While Joe would bet a few nickels that the Bucs wouldn’t mind one either, Joe would not be stunned if Raheem Morris wants Ruud, the “quarterback” of his defense, to return.
Joe thinks much of the Ruud decision will come down to Mark Dominik and Team Glazer’s approach to next season. If there’s an open checkbook and a real drive to go for a winner, then maybe Raheem wants the comfort level of Ruud in the middle and would rather invest in the positions around him.
Considering the possibility of a lost offseason program due to a lockout, Joe imagines that bringing in a rookie or outsider into the center of the defense would present a challenging task to get the guy up to speed in limited time.
If the Bucs are still working patiently on the whole “lasting contender” philosophy, then Joe would imagine Raheem would welcome the chance to ditch Ruud and work in a fast, hopefully violent young player.
Joe’s tossing this out here now because he’s heard several times from Dominik and Raheem in the past week or so about how much all the young players develop via the offseason workouts. On WDAE-AM 620 this week, Raheem all but said E.J. Biggers became a stud because of his work last offseason. There are other examples.
If there’s a likelihood of a completely dark offseason, then how can the Bucs realistically bring a young guy in at middle linebacker and expect him not to suffer on opening day?
Joe’s just got growing nausea because Raheem might stick with the devil he knows and the 100+ tackles he can count on at middle linebacker, even if he has to pay for him.