Dominik Pressed To Talk About Barrett Ruud

January 10th, 2011

He was anointed “quarterback of the defense” by the head coach and led the Bucs with 100+ tackles again, but Barrett Ruud drives many fans to fits of internal rage rivaling the Michael Clayton era.

Barrett Ruud is a lightning rod. Is he softer than Joe’s gut? Or is he a sound, smart player paying a price for playing among second-rate talent the past two seasons?

Former Bucs guard Ian Beckles, a longtime critic of Ruud and co-host of The Ron and Ian Show on WDAE-AM 620, pressed Mark Dominik hard on the air last week about the middle linebacker. Below is the exchange.

It came on the heels of Dominik not answering a direct question from co-host Ron Diaz to give his take on the Bucs linebackers and Ruud specifically.

Ian Beckles: Do you listen to sports radio at all?

Mark Dominik: I do, sometimes.

Beckles: There are certain people that get abused more than others.  And I’m probably one of the culrprits doing the abusing. Regardless what you say, my opinion is going to stay the same. As far as our linebacking play goes, would you agree that it needs to be a little bit more physical?

Dominik: I’d say this. I think that Raheem does different things with each one of the linebackers. I think you saw that this year. You saw a lot of what we call the Redskin package, where either Dakoda Watson or Quincy Black, when he knocked out Matt Moore in Carolina on a stunt. I think you see that a lot from those players where we try to utilize each player to what they can bring to the program. And I think Coach Morris does a great job with Geno Hayes shooting gaps and trying to get in the backfield for tackles for losses. I think you see that throughout everything. But it’s important, again, I’m a big believer in attacking the quarterback and finding ways to utilize our players’ strengths, or certainly giving the coaches players they can put in position to make it hard on Matt Ryan or make it hard on Drew Brees, or make it hard on whoever is quarterbacking Carolina because we have to win in our division first.

Beckles: I was bringing up Barrett Ruud’s name. And if you don’t want to answer this you don’t have to. Systems are great. But once you get to the line of scrimmage and you get into the line of scrimmage, isn’t football about being physical?

Dominik: Absolutely true. There’s no debate about that. (cut off by Beckles)

Beckles: Now has any coach ever told him he should be more physical?

Dominik: Oh, I’m sure. I think every coach talks about being physical, tackling, wrapping up. I think that’s consistent throughout the National Football League.  You know the thing that Barrett brings that is also an important element of his game is his mental aspect. It’s a very important part of his game in terms of getting us checked into or checked out of defenses or fronts or coverages that may not be as effective as what the offense is showing us. But I understand what you’re asking.

It was an interesting exchange with a bit of tension, not the typical Mark Dominik interview around these parts, for sure.

As Joe has written before, it’s doubtful Raheem and Dominik would have a rookie replace Ruud. And they both seem averse to a big name free agent. So what does that leave? Quite possibly Ruud’s return.

28 Responses to “Dominik Pressed To Talk About Barrett Ruud”

  1. SamsonSneed Says:

    We have Tyrone McKenzie.

    We get Justin Durant in FA.

    We draft Nate Irving.

    May the best man win.

  2. Redd Says:

    Anyone hear about Nnamdi Asomugha being outs in Oakland? We have to spend money, if there’s a cap next year, and pairing him with Aqib would make the best cover tandem in the league. Would the Bucs be interested? GREAT character guy and still young enough for 6-7 years of productivity.

  3. Matt Says:

    …and then our defense starts slowly next year because our starting MLB has had little to no experience calling Raheem’s D because the team didn’t get to practice enough together due to the CBA.

    I’ll pass and keep Ruud, thanks.

  4. Dave Says:

    I still see them drafting a MLB. If Ruud’s asking price is too high, he is gone.
    I guess alot of it depends on who they think can step up in calling the defense and if they have confidence in that person. It does not have to be the MLB right away. Maybe Hayes does it for a year

  5. Gary Says:

    Yes, starting a rookie LB we got in the draft will not be wise. I would rather it be a FA, but thats not happening.

    Looks like we are stuck with Ruud for a while. But we should still draft a LB to groom as his replacement. I hope Barrett forces the org’s hand and demands too much money, then the choice will be easy.

  6. RastaMon Says:

    The worse thing Ian ever did was sign on with Ron Diaz….when he first started in radio as a fill in he was a much better more interesting to listen to, I had high hopes.
    He is a huge disappointment to me.

  7. Theodore Says:

    Now that Barrett Ruud has won an award for Best Tackling Fundamentals, I say he has to be the leader for the Best Defense Mental Check In Check Out award. We’d be crazy to let such a decorated vet go.

  8. d-money Says:

    I love The Ron and Ian Show but it’s purely entertainment. If your looking for good sports ananlysis you are going to be dissapointed.

  9. Not A Rocket Surgeon Says:

    What D-money said…

  10. bucfanjeff Says:

    We need Ruud. If for NOTHING ELSE, to train a young up and coming middle LB that we draft. Somebody has to teach the defense, that teacher is Ruud.

  11. Formerbuc Says:

    When Hardy Nickerson left for Jacksonville, as a team we were very concerned about leadership being lost. Then Lovie Smith (Then our LB coach at the time) reminded us or something. He Said “Who replaced Dick Butkis for the Bears?” we all thought for a minute…Oh yeah Mike Singletary. Unfortunately for us JD (Jamie Duncan) was Hardy’s replacement, and that didn’t pan out well.

    Anyway, my point is this…it’s hard to imagine someone you feel is integral leaving your team, but sometimes it can be for the better.
    I’ve never questioned Barrett’s knowledge of the game, or decision making. But your MIC LB has got to lay the wood regularly and strike fear in the opponent. He commands the center of the field. It’s leading by example.

    He’s also got to call people out on the field when the situation dictates. He’s the ‘field general’ I’m simple not seeing it consistantly enough from Ruud. “Next man up!” This draft is going to be an important one for LB’s.

  12. CharlieB Says:

    Watching Ruud get trucked by Ivory shook my faith in him, but the fact remains that he calls the defense for us on the field. I don’t currently see anyone that can fill that role. sign him for a couple years.

  13. BigMacAttack Says:

    Dominick wasn’t exactly gushing love for Barrett Ruud. He may feel a lot of the things that Ian and the fans do, but just can’t say it. Dom is a smart guy, knowing what to say when. He doesn’t make a habit of putting his foot in his mouth. I think Dom will look for a replacement for Ruud, and maybe McKenzie is the candidate, who knows. DOm watches film and knows what he’s looking at. He saw Ruud get run over in the Saint’s game. I don’t like Ian or listen to him, but I give him props for asking the tough question and sticking with it. Ian wasn’t phased by the Rock-Star-Dom of the interview.

  14. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    I was hoping for the same thing Redd

    Joe whats your take? I know the administration has said they prefer to stick to the draft, but I’m hoping that’s just a general direction. Do you think the Bucs might make a move for Asomugha?

  15. Joe Says:


    Joe would be surprised if the Bucs make a play for Nnamdi Asomugha. Again, the Bucs want to build through the draft and defensive back is actually a strength of the team because of depth.

  16. feel Says:

    Why does anyone even have Asomugha on their mind even in the slightest? Not only is it not a particularly great need, but the guy is 30 and clearly has been declining for more than the past season. He is still great, but there are 31 other teams out there, many of whom have a genuine NEED for CB help, and are willing to offer HUGE money.

    The Bucs will not, and SHOULD NOT get involved in the high stakes pursuit of Asomugha this offseason. Everyone wants to live in a bubble and suggest how they think the team should be run, without having to actually be concerned with any real-life details that go along with running a professional football organization at the highest level.

  17. jaytek74 Says:

    I am not a RUUD fan however, he may be the best option due to his ability to “QB” the defense until we can aquire and teach a more talented MLB to take his place. We need to start finding a replacement but we need to not take a step back in replacing Ruud. We may be good enough with the improvement of some of the young defensive players and return of injured guys to mask the lack pf a physical presense at MLB. I am not a Ruud fan but I will give the teams leadership the benefit of the doubt that they will continue to improve the team. They have earned that much.

  18. McBuc Says:

    All line backers get run over by power backs now and then…ask Blount about it. Ruud may not ba a HOFer, but I am with Steve White on him at this point.

  19. Bucnjim Says:

    People are giving Ruud Way Way to much credit for calling the defensive plays. Raheem calls the defense and Ruud relays that call to the players on the field. If the QB doesn’t like the D he see’s and changes the play; sometimes Ruud will also make the adjustment. It is nothing compared to how Brook’s would change up alignment or change the defense up to what he was seeing from the offense. Joe Maddon calls a great game, but would you want him out on the field? I think we can all agree that Ruud is not a vocal leader. We can also agree (most of us) that he is not a physical presence. Another thing would be his inability to shed blocks. The one thing that Ruud supporters will bring up is his tackles. The one crazy thing about tackles is the worse you are as a D the more tackles you end up with. The Bucs D in it’s prime would have so many 3 & outs that there weren’t enough tackles to go around which meant lower totals.

  20. Bucnjim Says:

    The reason Steve White and Ian Beckles disagree on Ruud is because they have different philosophies on how a defense should be run. Beckles is an old school guy (like myself) that believes physical dominance will win over play calling or finesse almost every time. Steve White is more of Modern player who believes in a systems and players who fit in certain systems. Steve will remind everyone that Ruud is in perfect position to make plays every time. The problem I have is even though he is in position; it takes very little block him completely out of the entire play.

  21. BigMacAttack Says:

    I think “Formerbuc” nailed it.

  22. BigMacAttack Says:

    So who’s going to win tonight??? I’m going with Auburn(SEC) but Oregon is explosive to say the least.

  23. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Matthews from Green Bay, now that’s a Linebacker!

  24. bucx01 Says:

    Why does anyone even have Asomugha on their mind even in the slightest?

    I think the guy gave up less than 250 passing yards for the year.

  25. CharlieB Says:

    I think Asomugha would be an excellent add here. He’s not a risky free agent because he’s already been paid and still showed the same film dedication. He is 30, but he can also show Talib, Lewis and Biggers the techniques he uses. He is a character guy that was only targeted 27 times this year. With Talib being such a dynamic player, if QBs chose him over Asomugha great things will happen. Also, with that duo of DBs, Raheem can call all sorts of blitz packages to get pressure. This is one if the few veterans that I think is worth an add.

  26. Bucs Need a Real MLB Says:

    Lmao at all the people claiming we can’t replace Ruud because he is the “QB” of the defense. It is not like Ruud always made the calls as he was slowly brought into the role after Brooks left and he was “trained up.” You don’t think anyone else can call the plays. I know Heyward said he can and I’m sure as smart a guy as McKenzie is that he will have no issues either if he is the MLB. Who cares any way as the last thing a NFL team should be worried about is the mental aspect of a MLB and way more worried about the physical aspect and stopping the run.

    Like Ray Lewis said, “As a Middle linebacker you take it personally when a team runs the ball on your team and you take it upon yourself to make running backs think twice about running it up the middle.”

    Ruud doesn’t scare anyone and frankly im sick and tired of watching his “Failsafe” ass out there getting destroyed the run game.

  27. MTM Says:

    The Buc’s should try and go after Asomugha lock up that position. Because the “D” WILL lose somebody to injury next year. And with the pass happy offense’s that the good teams are using. Tampa could have shut down pass defense.
    That being said Raheem needs to pull the trigger on Ruud. Get some physical linebackers in the draft and pick up a veteran linebacker for some stability. While they pick up the defense. I go with Ian’s opinion on linebacker play. I hate the term “system guy”. That’s an excuse to suck.

  28. Richard Ramos Says:

    For starters, can the Mike Singletary replacing Dick Butkus chatter. Butkus, a truly great and what I would call the prototype “Mike” backer left the game in 1973 when Singletary was just 15 years old! Singletary didn’t enter the NFL until 1981. So, anyone know who filled the “Mike” backer spot for Chicago from ’73 through ’81? No? I figured as much so enough of that comparison.

    Secondly, as for the FA market, this year everyone is all hyped up by “Asomugha,” and the pundits and fans are liberally peppering their rhetoric with his name. I think it’s mostly because it sounds cool, but let’s remember a few other names that peppered conversations over the past couple of years.

    In 2008 all the talk was about the Bucs picking up Matt Cassel, as the Bucs’ franchise QB of the future. Then, along comes this kid from Kansas State named Josh Freeman (who?). Now, who hears or reads the name Cassel in connection to the Bucs, unless it’s to tell the tale of Freeman whipping his butt in the head-to-head showdown?

    Last year the FA blather was about Albert Haynesworth, who ultimately went to Washington and didn’t finish the season because he was suspended. So much for the “gotta get Haynesworth” in free agency crowd and their advice.

    Does anyone remember Gruden’s FA board and all the gotta haves on his list that all fizzled? Remember, most free agents are free agents for a reason and its usually not a good reason.

    There are few free agents like Tony Gonzalez. Still in his prime, he stood up like a man and told the Chiefs, I want to leave because we (the Chiefs) are building toward contention, but I don’t have enough years left to build with you and I want a shot at the Super Bowl. So, he went to Atlanta a team a little further along the time line toward contention.

    As for Ruud, keep two things in mind.

    First, a “Mike” backer is only as good as the DTs that protect him from blockers. Take away the collective 962 pounds of Ngata, Gregg, and Redding and Ray Lewis becomes a target rather than a force at MLB. Same deal for Jack Lambert without “Mean Joe Greene” and Ernie Holmes, or Mike Singletary without William “Refrigerator” Perry and Steve McMichael, they become targets rather than Hall of Famers. Closer to home think Hardy Nickerson and Shelton Quarles without Warren Sapp and Booger McFarland, targets all.

    Ruud hasn’t enjoyed playing behind quality DTs since he took over the starting spot. Who has played in front of him? Men like Roy Miller a journeyman pro at best. Morris and Dominic tried to fix the problem by drafting McCoy and Price, but Price went down to injury early followed later by McCoy. As for McCoy’s progress Todd Walsh isn’t exactly a Rod Marinelli who mentored and developed Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice.

    Let’s be patient and fix the problems with the draft, as I believe the planets all have to align to get a major contributor out of free agency, ala Tony Gonzalez.

    As for Ruud, let’s give him some quality DTs to play behind then assess his contribution. After all, Monty Kiffin picked him as Quarles’ heir apparent. I do think that Monty knows a bit more about evaluating defensive talent than any of us or a has been offensive guard erstwhile radio jock who played for Tampa teams that won just 38 games during his career with the Bucs. Interestingly, he only lasted one year with Dungy!