Barrett Ruud: Not Over Til It’s OverJuly 27th, 2011
Yesterday, Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik sure didn’t try to quell the questions — or prevent people from dancing on Barrett Ruud’s grave — about whether the four-year starting middle linebacker who has led the Bucs in tackles would not be re-signed by the club.
While Dominik did not deny — nor confirm — Ruud is history with the Bucs, Ruud himself wasn’t ready to turn the page on his personal NFL chapter in Tampa Bay, so he told Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.
Ruud, 28, started at middle linebacker for the Bucs for the past four seasons and, despite Dominik’s comments, wasn’t ready to say his tenure in Tampa Bay was coming to an end.
“I really hate to say that the door is shut until it’s all said and done,” Ruud said by telephone. “I really don’t know how this thing is going to go. It’s a lot like the draft all over again. I’m just waiting to see what happens.”
Ruud did not describe any of the conversations he and his agent have had with the Bucs, but after what he’s been through the past three years, said he was not surprised by the team’s stance.
Joe almost wonders if Dominik is playing a firm game of chicken with Ruud: If you want to stay in Tampa Bay, you will sign under my demands.
Joe has written before that turning the defense over to a rookie linebacker — who was an outside linebacker in college no less — and who will have a grand total five weeks of preparation before opening week, is dangerous bordering on reckless.
But Joe has learned to trust Dominik, no matter how unorthodox or seemingly irresponsible some of his moves may be on face value, Dominik has proven to be a step ahead of everyone else in the past 18 months or so.
If Foster is indeed the starter at middle linebacker and calls the defense and the Bucs prove to have a top-15 defense, Joe will right now say that Raheem Morris should be bestowed with the 2011 NFL coach of the year honors.