Mark Dominik Must Draft Linebackers

December 14th, 2010

It’s a common belief that Bucs general manager rock star Mark Dominik will continue to add to his magical resume by loading up on defensive ends in next spring’s draft.

Hold up! says Joe’s good friend Justin Pawlowski.

The sometimes Saturday host of the critically acclaimed “Blitz” on WDAE-AM 620 has had it with the Bucs linebacker play and the grotesque excuses people make for Barrett Ruud and advises — no, demands! — Dominik load up on linebackers in the offseason, so Pawlowski writes in his weekly “What I Learned About The Bucs” on his blog.

1. I learned that the linebacker position is getting worse, not better. When Ryan Torain gets over 100 yards rushing in less than 10 minutes, somebody needs to be held accountable. Sure, the defensive line wasn’t great, but the linebackers still need to find a way to make plays when they know the opposing offense will be running the football. Despite his sack, Quincy Black has been nonexistent and won’t be a big loss at all now that he is out for the season. Barrett Ruud was back to being Barrett Ruud and avoiding all contact. Geno Hayes is a splash player, but disappears at times. Oh, and Geno Hayes is an idiot. As we close in on 4 months away from the NFL draft, one thing I know is that the Bucs must bring in an impact linebacker in the 1st or 2nd round.

Joe has heard both sides argue pro and con about Ruud and Joe very much has kept an open mind about it all. But the excuses and lack of results from Ruud are trying Joe’s patience. Joe has witnessed other teams play a Tampa-2 and Joe doesn’t see those teams’ middle linebackers play like they are in third place in a three-man 100-meter dash.

And Joe certainly doesn’t remember Shelton Quarles — much less Hardy Nickerson — playing a glorified safety position masquerading as a middle linebacker.

When a rookie safety (Cody Grimm) plays the run better than a middle linebacker, when a old cornerback likely in his final season (Ronde Barber) makes more splash plays against the run than a middle linebacker, Joe doesn’t think it’s a stretch to suggest either someone is playing out of position or someone simply isn’t playing.

43 Responses to “Mark Dominik Must Draft Linebackers”

  1. ALDO Says:

    i guess joe got a point, is not like shelton quarles have been an animal on field, but sure as hell he had beasts in front of him like sapp, booger, simeon rice and greg spires, that makes lifes better, talking about geno and black, man, geno is damn undersized, nonexisting in a lot of plays, but also a factor in the other ones, i think geno is a quality back up at best if ur talking about win championships, quincy black is not a factor at all, i think adam hayward is more agressive, more violent like raheem wants, i will not be surprised if the bucs picks 2DE and 2LB, time will tell

  2. Nick2 Says:

    Thank you for that Joe, maybe we can convert Barrett Ruud to safety the same way we stuck Jermaine Phillips in at middle linebacker. Errrr no never mind. Just take your free agency and hit the road Barrett we don’t need a middle linebacker who shys away from contact. The whole position of middle linebacker is defined by how physical you are and how well you stop the run. Barrett does neither.

  3. MTM Says:


    What do you think of Bruce Carter in the draft. You are correct on every point about Ruud. Black, Hayes are good back ups. But they tend to disappear way to much.

  4. Earl Says:

    We need two safeties before we need one linebacker. And with our injury luck, we need backups at every position.

  5. Blake Says:

    I think we should resign Ruud and move him to the SAM. He’d be a better player for our D there, but he cant cut it in the middle.

  6. Beescreamer Says:

    I have to agree with you, I was going to say basically the same thing. We don’t want 3 rookie linebackers next season, and Ruud isn’t the best but he isn’t the worst. Plus he knows our defense and is the primary play caller back there. I think we should move him to either side. I was going to say put him where Derrick Brooks played, which I thought was the weakside.

  7. Joe Says:

    Hi MTM:

    With the exception of defensive end Adrian Clayborn of Iowa and crazyman Nick Fairly of Auburn (LOVE to have Clayborn) Joe hasn’t monitored college players for the draft.

    For Joe, the fall (and early winter) is for enjoying college football. February and March is when Joe begins studying college players for the draft.

  8. Gary Says:

    Every time I watch other defenses I see how sad our LBs really are. We have huge holes at DE, LB, S, & OL. We can’t fill all of them through the draft… we have to do something in FA!

  9. passthebuc Says:

    If you watch the tape,you will see that most of Ruud’s tackles are from the side or the rear and almost never head on.

    I would trade the first round pick for 2 seconds or some good combination that gives us more picks.

  10. JDouble Says:

    Nate Irving and Chris Carter are the future. We still need a speed rushing RE like Ryan Kerrigan, Jabaal Sheard, or Sam Acho….but some impact LBs that are physical and can get to the QB will also make a huge impact.

  11. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Teams are loving it, running on Tampa. We need an ass kicker at MLB and safety like we once had in Brooks/Lynch. Start looking NOW Joe

  12. Mr. Lucky Says:

    While Ruud isn’t the long-term answer the question is will the Bucs offer him a new contract?

    My answer – no.

    So with Geno and Quincy you’re going to add
    a. rookie from draft
    b. FA – unknown
    c. move our players around

    Unfortunately I don’t see an easy answer. However if Ruud plays like he did against Detroit and the Bucs lose….maybe Barrett can join Sabby in Cleveland for a 4th round pick – ok a 7th round pick?

  13. sensiblebuc Says:


    Bruce Carter = Geno Hayes in the size department…and I can’t remember where I saw it, but he’s got Ruud syndrome in that he runs around blocks.

    Per ESPN:

    “Possesses functional strength for size. Flashes quick-twitch explosiveness at the point of attack but does not always fire his gun. Needs to play with a more aggressive attitude at times. Also can do a better job of taking on blocks with proper shoulder to maintain gap control with run fits. Will turn shoulder when taking on blocks and slim lower body makes him easily engulfed by bigger blockers in phone booth situations.”

  14. TJ Says:

    Good post and so very true Black is not impresseive cause he blitzes alot and gets very little sacks. And it is true for all that was said about the other two Rudd and Hayes

  15. sensiblebuc Says:


    This is what I was talking about:

    There is a lot to like about the athleticism and change-of-direction skills North Carolina OLB Bruce Carter shows on film, and at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds Carter certainly passes the eyeball test.

    However, after film study I have concerns about his toughness and the consistency of his effort. Carter struggles to get off blocks at times, doesn’t always lay the wood when he tackles and is easily sealed by blockers on the outside.

    Carter makes splash plays at times, but for every impressive play there are others that leave you wanting more. There will surely be teams that fall in love with his athletic ability during the pre-draft process but the holes we’ve seen in his game have dropped his grade from the first round entering the season to the late second round at this point.

  16. Buc You Says:

    first, we need a real defensive coordinator. This d is terrible, starting anew can’t make it worse. PS I hate the cover 2 without Monte Kiffin running it. I liked Morris when he said he was going to instill a violent defense. He failed and invented some useless hybrid.

    The bucs need to add several high picked LBs to the team, as well as some DE help.

  17. Ash Says:

    Buc you, U R TERRIBLE!

    Bucs are 16th in total defense and 20th in scoring. Sounds average to me out of 32 teams and far from “terrible”. With such a young roster and so many injuries I think Raheem is doing a great job. Do you not give credit to the halftime adjustments Raheem makes? The guy knows defense and he is going to be here next year, deal with it!

  18. 2 Buc Bill Says:

    I like Greg Jones from Michigan State, he might be around in the 2nd round and could start in the middle next year. First round DE picks are always trouble, but i love Clayborn on tape (but many people loved Gaines Adams on tape too before he was drafted). I think we go OT in round 1, LB (of any kind) round 2, but after this past week, I wouldn’t be mad at taking LBs in round 1 and 2…

  19. Buc You Says:

    PS I hate the cover 2 without Monte Kiffin running it.

    Raheem is a TERRIBLE DC, hands down.

  20. ARMY BUC Says:

    You cant depend on a rookie at LB! We need to be aggressive in free agency! Money is no issue write Mr. Glazzer? Take a look at the Possibilities:
    Lamarr Woodley, PIT
    Shawne Merriman
    David Harris, NYJ
    Dhani Jones, CIN
    Derrick Johnson, KC
    Takeo Spikes, SF
    David Hawthorne, SEA

    We need O LINE HELP and a great Safety

  21. Bucnjim Says:

    Since they only run the traditional cover 2 about 15-20% of the time you can’t compare that to a Monte Kiffin D.

    Army I get what you are saying, but some of those players are way past their prime and injury prone.

  22. Bucnjim Says:

    Even the Die Hard Ruud supporters are finally seeing the light! Like I’ve always said; You know there is a problem when a 180 lb Corner can shed tackles and hit harder than a 240 LB. I sat there and watched Barber take on OT at the line of scrimmage with better results than Ruud.

  23. Joe Says:


    Since they only run the traditional cover 2 about 15-20% of the time you can’t compare that to a Monte Kiffin D.

    THANK YOU!!! Joe always hears from those in the know that “Barrett Ruud is not expected… because he plays in the Tampa-2.”

    Then Raheem, Ronde Barber and others will come right out and claim they don’t play that much Tampa-2. So if that is true, the excuses for Ruud are flushed away.

    So which is it? Are the Bucs playing Tampa-2 and people should give Ruud a pass or the Bucs aren’t playing a Tampa-2 and Ruud is blowing chunks?

    Or are people talking out of both sides of their mouths?

    Blaming Ruud’s lack of plays on the defense played or the defensive tackles only goes so far.

  24. CharlieB Says:

    How many of you possess the knowledge and show the research like Steve White. I would venture to say that none of you understand defense, let alone the Bucs defense like Steve White. Steve gives Ruud a pass and breaks down his most criticized plays. “Experts” like Justin or former players that are critical use no such detail. Instead they use generalizations without the supporting evidence. I’ll go with Steve every time.

  25. Ash Says:

    I never do this and always hate when Sileo pulls this card but……….

    Buc You = Racist

  26. Buc You Says:

    Buc You equals a doubter of Raheem to coach this defense and team. Just like when Shaun King or Chris Sinks were supposed to be the Bucs QB of the future.

    Anyone who gets offended by this criticism and pulls the race card for blind allegiance for Raheem, balling at every sliver of criticism for an NFL head coach, those biased fools are in fact the actual racists.

  27. jvato24 Says:

    Buc You .. Are you an angry Panthers Fan ?? Seriously what team do you cheer for ??

  28. Buc You Says:

    The Bucs are my 3rd favorite team, just behind Atlanta and New Orleans!


    They have great coaches!

  29. New Era Buc Says:

    I think buc you cheer’s for himself.

  30. Buc You Says:

    Oh yeah myself is 1a.

    Nobody likes sarcasm, errie body is so serious these days.

  31. McBuc Says:

    Bucs D is ranked 16th overall today, so they could be doing a great deal worse.

  32. Gary Says:

    Sadly, there is nothing we can do to avoid pathetic morons like Buc You who’s blind hatred for Rah just because he isn’t the same skin color as him brings everyone down on this site.

    Even if, (big if since Joe is big on letting everyone say their piece) Joe banned this fool, he would just come back with another name.

    He is like Herpes, will go away for a while but keep coming back!

  33. Gary Says:

    The only cure for this vicious STD afflicting our beloved site is Wins and COTY for RAH.

    Then atleast he will have to keep his mouth shut while he jerks it to his Chucky doll.

  34. Dave Says:

    I have been saying it for awhile now, what was thought of as a strength, the LB position has proven to be the weak link in the defense.
    Hayes is too inconcistent, Black is average, and Ruud is one of the weakest MLBs in football.

    The only good thing about Black’s injury is that we get more of a look at Dekoda Watson.

    This draft:
    DE & LB should be 1 & 2.

  35. jdouble Says:

    Army Buc all those guys are either washed up or don’t fit our defense. There are a few FA linebackers that fit, but no stud playmakers. We gotta find our own playmakers in the draft.

  36. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    How many times are you going to post the exact same thing Buc You. You sound like a nagging female. You have posted probably over 100 times that Raheem is a terrible DC. Good for you, but stop repeating yourself over and over. Spew hate if you want, but at least be more creative. I’ve never read one post from you that didn’t spew hate at Raheem. It doesn’t matter what the subject, you always find a way to slip that in.

  37. tha truth is... Says:

    @ Blake

    Tha only place Rudd needs to move at is off tha roster when free agency arrives


    Weakside LB in Tampa 2 calls for a LB with speed and splash playmaking abilities which Rudd possesses neither. Derrick Brooks ran a 4.4 40 time outta FSU, Rudd ran a 4.7. Heave ho off season gotta go

  38. tha truth is... Says:

    @Buc You

    Seriously, comparing Kiffins players, talents vs Raheems is lights years away.

  39. Buc You Says:

    Raheem Morris is a mistake that the Glazzers wont be able to get out of easily. Raheem is actually winning. So they have to stick with him.

    Now monetarily speaking, its working out well for them. So long as they don’t care about perennial winning with runs deep in the playoffs and dreams of Super Bowls, then Raheem is their guy.

  40. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    As long as the real fans of this team don’t mind listening to repetitive, useless, incorrect BS, then Buc You is our guy.

  41. TJ Says:

    Please nobody say they love Clayborne he had 2 sacks all year so did Cameron Heyward.

  42. MIKE56WESLEY Says:

    buc you ,
    where did gruden go in the playoffs after he put all those offensive juggarnauts on the roster!

  43. gitarlvr Says:

    Quincy Black on the other hand, while not necessarily a guy who makes a ton of mistakes, almost never makes a splash play. If you guys want to see these linebackers gone so bad, Quincy is unquestionably the number one priority to be replaced. I honestly think that with more consistent line play and a SAM backer with some playmaking ability that the Bucs will become a dominant run defense. The team of McCoy and Price is going to eventually be better at stuffing the run than Sapp\Culpepper or Sapp\Mcfarland ever were. I’d like to see the Bucs draft a Sean Weatherspoon type guy in the first round to play weakside if available. Then move Geno to strongside and keep Ruud at middle. Either that or start signing and drafting guys that are more hybrid 3-4\4-3 type linebackers and do this 3 man front thing right. That doesnt make sense after drafting McCoy and Price to be able to dominate at 3 tech. but then this whole use of the 3 man fronts so extensively doesnt make sense. Im starting to think Raheem needs to commit one way or the other.