What Has Happened With Barrett Ruud?

November 2nd, 2009

Readers have brought to Joe’s attention Joe’s good friend Justin Pawlowski of WDAE-AM 620’s post about Barrett Ruud.

Pawlowski is no fan of Ruud. Joe isn’t as harsh but there are some valid points Pawlowski brings up. Among them is the number of tackles for loss Ruud has this season.

That would be none.

The first half of last season Ruud appeared to be Pro Bowl bound, the next Bucs stud linebacker. A one-handed interception he had against the Bears was one of the best plays Joe has ever seen a linebacker make.

In the past calendar year, Ruud has been far more dud than stud.

Now part of the problem isn’t exactly Ruud’s. He generally has offensive linemen crawling all over him at the snap of the ball. Think it has anything to do with that vaunted Jim Bates’ two-gap system?

People with a helluva lot more football street cred than Joe — Warren Sapp and Pat Kirwan to name two — spoke out from day one that unless the Bucs got different personnel upfront, that a two-gap system would not work.

Have the Bucs proved Sapp and Kirwan wrong in any way?

Recently on Sirius NFL Radio, Derrick Brooks was asked why the Bucs gave up so quick on defensive end Gaines Adams. Brooks tried to be polite and politically correct but it was difficult to do. Brooks said Adams didn’t fit Bates’ system.

It seems Bates has done a decent job in turning around the Bucs secondary. It’s not nearly as bad as it was. The defensive front?  Ha!

Yeah, Joe knows Bates did a fine job in Miami. He was last there in 2004, five seasons ago. That’s damned near ancient history in the NFL. Herm Edwards also had the Jets in the playoffs when Bates last coached the Dolphins. What’s Herm up to lately? Last time Joe checked this is 2009 and the Bucs are not in Miami. Oh, and the Bucs are winless too, largely thanks to the (lack of) defense.

A pet peeve of Joe’s is when a coach, any coach no matter the sport, tries to force a player to play a specific system or scheme. A good coach adjusts and crafts a scheme to best utilize the talents of his players (example: Bill Parcells and Drew Bledsoe in a pass-happy Patriots offense in the mid-1990s).

Shoot, Monte Kiffin even had Adams drop back and play pass defense in the flat at times, and Adams did a decent job of that. At least Kiffin tried to come up with different looks, schemes, stunts and ideas to get the best out of Adams.

Unless the Bucs get massive new personnel up front on defense, or unless Bates (finally) figures out there are other ways to use defensive tackles, there’s no sense in throwing a lot of money at Ruud next year. 

That is, if Bates returns. Not too many defensive coordinators survive a winless season, which the Bucs are barreling down the track towards.

15 Responses to “What Has Happened With Barrett Ruud?”

  1. Trox Says:

    Realistically, I find it hard to believe Bates will survive at the end of the year. With the possibility of the Glazers having to still pay Gruden on the books, I believe Morris will survive and Bates will be the sacrificial lamb. The question than becomes what new defense will be run?

  2. Joe Says:

    To be honest Trox, Joe believes Olson should go before Bates.

    Throwing out the window the offense this team had worked on from February through September and going back to Chucky’s playbook, after the Bucs spent all the cash/draft picks on players to fit a specific offense and then throw those plans down the toilet after one week is crazy.

  3. justin Says:

    Hey I have a great idea, bring in joey galloway as the OC and bring in derrick brooks as the DC there a great part of bucs history and can do no worse than what we have

  4. Trox Says:

    Fair point about Olson, Joe. He can walk the plank also. My concern with Bates is the inability to adjust basic principles in his own scheme to fit personnel. Everyone in the league, even your own blogger Steve White knows, our DTs are not two gap players. What have the DTs been doing, playing two gap with our LBs getting swallowed up by linemen. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think our LBs are that good, but if your d-coordinator cannot adjust his basic principles to fit personnel, how good can he really be?

  5. big nick Says:

    bates goes to tuskers? olson back to pop warner

  6. JoeBucsSteveCampbell Says:

    It doesn’t matter what scheme we run when we have no pass rush. No scheme will work without one.

    We have 4 draft picks in the first 65 or so picks. I wouldn’t be upset if they didn’t go DL in 3 three of those picks, starting with Ndamukong Suh with the first pick int he draft.

  7. Ackall Says:


    Ruud is an above average NFL linebacker. That’s it. If the Bucs want to hype him because they have worse players around him, then he deserves the criticism. Maybe they can hype Talib. Oh yeah, he’s a thug.

  8. Matthew Says:

    Ruud is a nice player. He’ll never be like Jon Beason. He reminds a lot of Antonio Pierce. Very good players that need great players around them. If we coild get Ruud for 6 years at 29 to 32 mill I would be ok with that. Or try a trade him to a team that needs help at linebacker that can give us some D line help. Maybe the NY GMen. Mathias Kiwanuka for Ruud would be nice trade.

  9. TpaBayFlyFisher Says:

    Simply stated Rudd is a dudd…………..let’s be honest here. The No-Bucks do not have the level of talent that the rest of the NFL has. You can place blame wher you wish but it is like watching Florida A and M play the gators, noles and canes-the outcome is determined before kickoff.

  10. Joe Says:

    I have a great idea, shed a F***ing block and make a play!


  11. Paul Says:

    Ruud is an avg. mlb. What makes him bad is he has no intention of stepping up and being a leader in the locker room. He’s a loner and keeps to himself, not something that you want from the qb of the defense.

    He’s said he has no desire to be a leader outside of calling the defensive plays/adjustments in the huddle.

    source: press conf on buccaneers.com: http://www.buccaneers.com/multimedia/videoarchive.aspx?filename=20090801_TC_Ruud.flv&Page=10&year=2009

  12. David Says:

    I’m probably going to get shit for this, but from my point of view, maybe Barrett Ruud would shed that extra block and make that tackle for a loss if he at least felt like he could win a game.

    I’m a man who believes in mind over matter, and I believe that Barrett Ruud has the ability to play like a Pro Bowler right now, but as a man who earlier in Training Camp was a ghost because reportedly he didn’t like the status of his contract, and as a 26 year old man, his mind may still be young. Why be a leader, if all you’d be doing is having an ecouraging loss instead of a terrible loss?

    Now, I know that this isn’t the mind set of a leader, but was Barrett Ruud always a leader? Is he more of a guy who lets his play do the talking? So far, if that’s the case, his play is saying he’ll do his job, but wont feel any desire to make that big play if his offense got a three and out twice and his defensive line can’t stop the run.

    In conclusion, I believe this is just a young guy expected to run a defense. If Derrick Brooks were here(that phrase has been used a lot these days)he’d be able to slap some sense into Barrett to play like the player he can be, and Barrett would get the message. How do you solve it? Who on the Bucs has the experience to turn Barrett into the leader he can be? Wait…nobody, we got rid of all of the veterans. Welp, that’s why the Bucs are 0-7 and Barrett is uninspired. Thanks for the great post as always Joe.

  13. Bucked Up Says:

    Not sure if Ruud deserves all of the credit he is getting for his play this year. Lack of production and run stopping from the front four and Bates obviously marginal new scheme allowing the secondary to get tore up needs to bear some of the burden here. With 64 total tackles, he is definately at the head of the class in the NFC with only the likes of London Fletcher and Patrick Willis ahead of him by a handfull. That shows some level of effort on his part. Ruud’s production is above average in my mind considering whats going on around him.

  14. JK Says:

    What’s Rudd supposed to do? I guess make every tackle that our sorry worn out D line hasn’t done for TEN games now.

  15. big T Says:

    Sounds like Rudd has already earned the Alstott status over rated and lets move on before it is to late like Alstott……Take that Big Dog Also Greg Williams was available for DC correct???? Cannot change schemes and not change players to fit the scheme.. Time to get a real mean SOB and stick him in the middle