The Poz Couldn’t Replace Barrett Ruud

June 15th, 2011

As Joe has mentioned more than a few times, there is perhaps no more polarizing player on the Bucs roster than linebacker Barrett Ruud. Many Bucs fans crumble their empty beer cans and throw them at their dogs over frustration that Barrett Ruud is not Jack Lambert.

In short, Bucs fans want Ruud to play in a way that his coaches do not.

The subject of Barrett Ruud came up yesterday when Joe was listening to “Movin’ the Chains” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio co-hosted by Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan.

Kirwan brought up who the Giants would go for at linebacker: Barrett Ruud or Paul Posluszny. Kirwan noted that Ruud was a better fit for the Giants and Ryan was torn, but he finally admitted he likely would have Ruud as a Giants linebacker.

Now months ago, Joe thought about The Poz playing with the Bucs and quickly dismissed it. Not a good fit.

Since Joe didn’t go to a BCS conference school (Joe regrets not going to Illinois when he had the chance, only because Joe wishes he had a big time conference school to call his own when swilling beers on fall Saturday afternoons. Now, Joe is not ashamed where he graduated from, in particular Joe caught a current-day NFL coach trying to steal a keg from him), Joe had to pick and choose schools from various conferences to sort of call his own and watch and follow. Penn State is Joe’s Big Ten school of choice.

The Poz is Joe’s favorite college linebacker. Dude personifies a Penn State linebacker: strong, physical, mean, smart, ballhawk. He’s a beast! In three NFL seasons The Poz has damned near 400 tackles. Impressive.

But The Poz could not replace Ruud. The Poz has hasn’t played in a 43 defense since his breakout junior season at Happy Valley. His senior season, to take advantage of so many solid linebackers, Penn State defensive coordinator Scrap Bradley used a four-linebacker set.

So many Ruud supporters — Kirwan among them — stress that Ruud’s greatest attribute is calling plays and getting players in the proper position to make plays. Given how young the Bucs defense is, this is not a lost trait.

Given the fact The Poz hasn’t played in a 43 defense since Bobby Bowden was relevant, some five years ago, Joe cannot see how The Poz could pull off what Ruud pulled off in being the leader of the Bucs defense. He hasn’t played in a Cover-2 defense in six years and even then, Penn State didn’t play much Cover-2.

Selfishly, emotionally, Joe would love to see Posluszny play for the Bucs.

Thinking with a clear head, Joe knows The Poz couldn’t replace Ruud.

18 Responses to “The Poz Couldn’t Replace Barrett Ruud”

  1. Travis Says:

    Id take a clueless Poz and day of the week over Rudd

  2. Atrain WD40 Says:

    I have to agree with Joe… Young d-line will need Ruuds leadership this year at least

  3. m.wesley Says:

    you guys need to read the article about missed tackles and see what it says about Poz.not missing any tackles

  4. Big Marlon B Says:

    i am a huge fan of Posluszny, liked him a lot coming out of college. unfortunately, in addition to not being experienced in a 4-3, he has had a bit of trouble staying healthy. it’s nice to have a smart, physical linebacker who can create turnovers. but it’s even nicer to have him on the field

  5. Atrain WD40 Says:

    Sign both! Why not?

  6. Gary Says:

    Please bring another lb up to speed on the d this year if you do nothing else rah. I’m so tired of Ruud getting hyped up because he calls the d and gets people in position. It’s like actually being able to hit someone is not required of a lb in our system anymore!

    Keep Ruud and make sure foster can replace him next year. Only problem is that Ruud won’t sign a 1 yr deal. Hmm what do we do…?

  7. Joe Says:

    Big Marlon B:

    Joe was under the impression Poz was injury-prone as well. But that’s not the case. Yeah, he missed his rookie season with a broken arm. But in the past three years he missed six games, that’s two a year. That’s not so bad.

  8. Theodore Says:

    When a team finishes with an awful record with a soon to be expensive free agent, the saying goes “We don’t need you to be awful.” By every measure, the Bucs defense has been awful with Ruud as a starter. I simply don’t buy this notion that the defense would be worse without him.

  9. Joe Says:


    Wow. Poz doesn’t miss many, does he?

    Not a surprise. Don’t ever remember him missing a tackle at Penn State. Poz was the best linebacker they had since LaVar Arrington.

  10. Big Marlon B Says:

    Thanks Joe i guess i stand corrected, i thought he missed a bit more than that. in that case, give it a shot! lol

  11. Joe Says:

    Per FootballOutsiders, Poz had three broken tackles against him and 114 tackles.

    I find Paul Posluszny’s appearance on this list to be interesting, especially in conjunction with the poor run Stop Rate we reported last week. Posluszny was making his tackles farther away from the line of scrimmage than is usual for a linebacker, but at least he wasn’t missing them. This is the second straight year that Posluszny had only three broken tackles. Most of these linebackers who were low in broken tackles last year were also low in broken tackles the year before. Takeo Spikes and Jerod Mayo had only four apiece in 2009, Clay Matthews had three, and Keith Brooking had two.

    From the limited amount of times Joe has watched the Bills — why the hell would Joe want to watch the Bills? — Poz plays well off the line of scrimmage.

  12. CharlieB Says:

    Barrett Ruud does well on the few missed tackles list. The stated problem with Ruud is not that he’s a poor tackler, it is that he is soft against the run and tackles 5 yards downfield. According to the article Joe linked above, Poz has the exact same problem.
    Fans here find every excuse to ditch Ruud. The truth is, many football minds think Ruud is a very good linebacker in our system. There is no FA or rookie that can exceed that right now. The last time Ruud had a semi solid d line he looked like a probowler too.

  13. Chris FWC :) Says:

    @ Joe, LOL Remember when LaVar Arrington pancaked the punter and wouldn’t get off of him? Against Purdue? Great college player not so good NFLer.

    We should sign Ruud to a one year deal.

    Everyone wants a RAY RAY but sometimes a RUUD is all you can get.

  14. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Rudd does well on the not missed tackles list because Barrett is a PRO at throwing himself in front of those big running backs.

    Barrett Rudd – the human doorstop!

    Hey does anyone else besides me miss SABBY and the goat photo’s?

  15. Joe Says:


    Fans here find every excuse to ditch Ruud. The truth is, many football minds think Ruud is a very good linebacker in our system. There is no FA or rookie that can exceed that right now. The last time Ruud had a semi solid d line he looked like a probowler too.

    Ding… ding… ding… ding!

    Kirwan specifically mentioned that Ruud would improve with the Giants because of their defensive tackles.

  16. RastaMon Says:

    Rudd as a LB played behind a DLine that in the past 2 NFL drafts have drafted …High…fast and furious for…. 2 DE and 2 DT’s….
    to be fair…..Rudd had alot of offense in his face…..with an improved DL….Rudd will have a much smaller field to play….I still think he has much greater potential lining up behind a much more dynamic front 4

  17. Hire Greg Olson! Says:

    Bobby Bowden was relevant 5 years ago? Try 12…

  18. espo Says:

    Bucs fans want Ruud to play in a way that his coaches do not? Are you saying his coaches are okay with him missing tackles? that’s my only concern, and I am a Bucs fan. I don’t want him to be Ray Ray or Jack Lambert or Hardy for that matter. I want him to lower his level of suck and get a guy down the 1st time. We keep hearing all these people give their take on Ruud but I’m yet to hear any opposing running backs. They’re probably too busy giggling like school girls at the prospect of an easy 100 yards.