More Big Plays Would Help Barrett Ruud

August 5th, 2010

Like most NFL fans, when Joe thinks of middle linebackers, Ray Nitschke, Dick Butkus, Jack Lambert, Ray Lewis spring to mind. Bigger than life figures! Guys who were like stalking tigers, guys who personified punishing, intimidating, take-no-prisoners defense.

Sadly, that’s not Barrett Ruud. The Bucs middle linebacker is not that type of guy. He’s not going to grab a running back in mid-air and toss him backwards like a child. Ruud is not going to grind an offensive lineman into the mud, poke a finger in his face and dare the man to try to get up off the ground.

Ruud just isn’t a splash player. That really isn’t what the Tampa-2 defense calls for from a middle linebacker, though it’s welcome.

This doesn’t mean Ruud cannot make big plays. His interception against Matt Forte in the 2008 season at Chicago was one of the most stunning plays by a linebacker in pass defense Joe has ever seen. Joe remembers his mouth just dropping watching that play.

Ruud proved again he can make a big play today at Bucs training camp. In a scrimmage with Josh Johnson calling plays, Johnson tried a pass to his right that Ruud knocked down at the line of scrimmage.

Ruud spun around and hopped up and down, believing he let an interception hit the ground.

It’s those kind of plays that were missing from Ruud last year. It’s those kind of plays that he will need to make this season to get the fans off his case.

It’s also those kind of plays Ruud needs to make in order to collect a nice pay raise.

15 Responses to “More Big Plays Would Help Barrett Ruud”

  1. Bucnjim Says:

    I’m going to ease up on Barrett Ruud. I’ve been on his A$$ for a long time now and it’s time to play the wait and see game. The biggest reason for giving him a break is because I believe the physical player I’m looking for to lead this team is playing right next to him (Quincy Black). I haven’t been to practice yet, but from what I’m hearing this guy is the real thing. The Bucs need these types of players in the worse kind of way! I was starting to feel like the Bucs were becoming a finesse’ defense and this is unexceptable.

  2. RastaMon Says:

  3. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    Quincy Black is a beast, and he is fast. To me, if any linebacker is overrated its Geno Hayes. Dude missed 15+ tackles last year. We need another Quincy Black the right side too.

  4. CreamsiclePasties Says:

    I’ve been kind of rough on Ruud…….and really I don’t plan to stop

    The guy’s a nice little player. Elite? Hell no…..above average maybe, but certainly nowhere close to replaceable. This little episode just shows me he things he’s waaaaay better than he really is.

    Now, don’t get me wrong….he fits our system and is definitely serviceable, but this organization has shown that it won’t overpay for a mediocre player and until he proves that he’s more than that he doesn’t deserve a big dollar long term contract. Let him test the waters and watch him come crawling back for 50% of what he’s asking for now

  5. CreamsiclePasties Says:

    ….and Joe

    “Ruud proved again he can make a big play today at Bucs training camp. In a scrimmage with Josh Johnson calling plays, Johnson tried a pass to his right that Ruud knocked down at the line of scrimmage.

    Ruud spun around and hopped up and down, believing he let an interception hit the ground.”

    Really bro? I mean….we’re calling a batted ball at TC evidence that he’s capable of making big plays? And to say that big plays aren’t “really what the Tampa 2 calls for?” This could be the most ridiculous statement I’ve read here and that includes some of the reader comments…….tell that nonsense to John Lynch, Warren Sapp, Simeon, DB, Ronde. You’re right, in philosophy you lay back and wait for the O to make a mistake…..but when they do you need guys that will pounce on the opportunity, or better yet create the opportunity. Barrett Ruud has not shown that he’s capable of that

  6. Joe Says:


    None of the players you cited played middle linebacker.

  7. eric Says:

    Big plays would help a guy?

    Who da thunk it?

  8. CreamsiclePasties Says:

    Joe, big players make big plays……for how long did I have to hear the excuse from the Hovan lovers that it wasn’t the job of an under tackle to pressure the quarterback? Tell that to Sapp…’s the same with Ruud and the MLB position. Just because we haven’t had a big time MLB in the entire time we’ve been running the Tampa 2 doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

    Like I said….the guy’s serviceable. If he wants to get paid like a playmaker then he needs to be making plays. I’m being tough on the guy because he’s acting like he’s Patrick Willis. He’s not … he’s a MLB stuck in an OLB’s body, I’ve never heard anyone praise him for his leadership or work ethic and the team could replace him without batting an eye. Just my opinion.

  9. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’ve been on Wuud too. My question is the same as it has been about him: “Is this as good as it gets?”

    Joe mentioned Jack Lambert, the meanest Steeler on the planet. So once you made it past the Steel Curtain, you had Jack Lambert to look forward to, or Jack Ham. We need a Jack Lambert and maybe Wuud can become that. If not, then he’ll just have to do until the position can be upgraded. I clearly feel the Bucs want more from their MLB. Hopefully he can deliver, and maybe get a haircut and a shave while he’s at it. It’s hard to find a good barber when your only making $3.2 Mil/yr. Hard times, I tell ya.

  10. oar Says:

    Creamsicle, I don’t know? I always thought Quarles and Nickerson were pretty damn good/big time MLB in the Tampa-2. Just my opinion. Don’t take my word though, look them or watch some of their games. I certainly remember watching them play. The question is, is Ruud like one of them?

  11. CreamsiclePasties Says:


    Agreed that I’d take Quarles over Ruud any day of the week…..Q wasn’t really known for the big plays either though, which was the point I was trying to make and I think the point Joe’s been trying to make…..that being said, you can’t tell me that an elite MLB wouldn’t make plays in this system. I hate to compare Ruud to a guy like Willis, but his contract demands show that’s the kind of guy Ruud wants to be compared to. It’s a joke

    Nickerson was obviously a stud, but if I remember correctly he was out of here before Dungy came in and installed the Tampa 2. Wasn’t there some dude named Floyd something or other that tried to run a 5-2-4 on an every down basis? Might be wrong about that though…….

  12. oar Says:

    Creamsicle, No, Nickerson played 4 years(96-99) under Dungy and linebackers coach Lovie Smith. He went to the Pro-bowl all four of those years. So he played in THE Tampa-2 and excelled.

  13. CreamsiclePasties Says:

    thanks for the research oar……

    Then there you go…..big players make big plays. Doesn’t matter what system you put them in, a studs a stud. Barrett just doesn’t fit that description

  14. oar Says:

    Creamsicle, No prob and you might just be right.

  15. CreamsiclePasties Says:

    ….and just one more post on this subject

    I hope the guy proves me wrong….I’m rooting for him, and I hope he makes it impossible for this organization to let him walk. As of right now he’s not that guy…..but I hope over the course of the season he proves me wrong