Upgrades Needed, But Where?

January 5th, 2011

The Bucs crossed the race-to-10 finish line but for the first time in years, a 10-win team is watching the NFL playoffs from a couch, just like Joe.

Every team, even a Super Bowl champ, can use an upgrade here or there. The Bucs are no different.

In this TBO Bucs vlog, video star Anwar Richardson, wearing a unique Budweiser Select shirt, and his Tampa Tribune colleague Woody Cummings, discuss what positions rock star general manager Mark Dominik will target for the 2011 Bucs.

Joe strongly encourages you to monitor the video and give Joe your feedback. Some interesting nuggets of information can be found in the clip, including a reference to “lightning rod” Barrett Ruud.

48 Responses to “Upgrades Needed, But Where?”

  1. Andrew Says:

    We need Cameron Heyward!!!!

  2. gitarlvr Says:

    Is the Barrett Ruud argument really something that needs to be rehashed on an almost daily basis?

  3. mikeck Says:

    Must resign Caddy…he is a great 3rd down back. he can run, he can block and he can defintily catch and run off of a screen o flats pass. Look how well he did after Blount came on and started picking up some of the load. Huggins is just 1 more pre season game away from another season ending injury.

  4. Theodore Says:

    I got news for all you Barrett Ruud bashers: Ruud showed perfect fundamental tackling form when he got trucked over by Ivory, so can it.

  5. big papa power Says:

    DE is the first position I would focus on.

  6. Bucworld Says:

    I would not rule out the Bucs drafting a LB in the first round depending on how the draft goes. If the DE of their choice is taken before their pick, I would draft the best LB on the board and then draft a DE in round 2.

    As for the Rudd bashing, no one had any problem bashing Micheal Clayton last year so why should we give Rudd a pass? It’s the nature of the beast.

  7. jm Says:

    Theodore Says:
    January 5th, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I got news for all you Barrett Ruud bashers: Ruud showed perfect fundamental tackling form when he got trucked over by Ivory, so can it.

    … now that’s funny ! (ironic ? paradoxical ? makes both points at once … haha.)

  8. Chris Says:

    edge pass rush needs to be addressed. As far as Rudd goes, I think the issue here is like Clayton he had shown high potential early and had not progressed. Clayton actually got worse which is why he is no longer here. Rudd is the same player he was two years ago and there in lies the problem. He was projected to be a pro bowl stud by now.

  9. nick Says:

    whats the news about this Tyrone McKenzie on our practice squad? I hear they like him like they like Dez Briscoe

  10. gitarlvr Says:


    Ruud was a second round draft pick. By nature that means he could not have been projected to be a pro bowl stud. He has played as well as can be expected from a second rounder. You want a pro bowler? You draft a first rounder. Ruud has produced 577 tackles in his first five years in the league. That is the kind of production that is necessary out of a starting linebacker. Comparing Ruud to Micheal Clayton is moronic.

  11. oar Says:

    “Comparing Ruud to Micheal Clayton is moronic.”
    Exactly, Ruud can’t even block, right?! LOL!
    Seriously, I agree with your post!

  12. The D Says:

    Ruud was good when he wasnt the focal point of our LBs. Maybe a guy like Travis Lewis at Will or a good blitzer like Von Miller at Sam would make Ruud over achieve again like when Brooks was here.

  13. Blake Says:

    Nick, McKenzie is possibly the best linebacker USF ever had. He lead our team in tackles the two years he was here. I know NE thought highly of him initially before his injury. If he is returning completely to form, we may have another diamond in the rough…and Black better look out.

  14. Chris Says:

    @ gitarlvr. First, there are many pro bowlers that were not drafted in the first round. Only 32 players are drafted in the first round and not all are pro bowlers or even pan out. Plenty of players are drafted after the first round or go undrafted to become pro bowlers so I don’t find it stunning to find a pro bowl linebacker in the early second round like Rudd. Second, Rudd’s play his first few years gave us hope he was going to just get better as he learned the game which is why there was hope of him becoming a pro bowler. Third, I did not compare the two I mearly said much like clayton as far as our hopes were concerned. Clayton had a terrific rookie year and the hope was he was going to dominate as he got older this did not happen. Rudd is a nice player and it would not be a bad thing to keep him because he produces but if there is a chance to upgrade a position then you do it. That is the goal to get better at every position if possible.

  15. Matt Says:

    Major upgrades to DE, DE, LG, and RT…and nothing else…will make us a VERY good team next year.

  16. Dew Says:

    All I know is it’s going to be an exciting offseason watching what the Bucs do player wise. Hope we don’t have a lock-out and screw it up.

    @Andrew. Cameron was a stud last night for sure. Can he play DE?

  17. ARMY BUC Says:

    Cameron Heyward

  18. Travis Says:

    id only resign Ruud if he agreed to play WOLB. Draft the MACK truck Akeem Ayers (6’4 255) with the 20th pick. He is an excellent pass rusher, and the most versitle LB to come out of the draft since Lamar Woodley. His scouting report says he can play ANY LB position in ANY scheme. slap his as the MLB in out 4-3. If that doesnt let him gain 10-15lbs and put his hand on the ground as a DE (Alot of teams consider this guy a star at DE)

  19. Blake Says:

    Guys, since our GM is Dom and loves him some Big 12, I think we should mark down Von Miller from A&M as a new Buc if he’s on the board at 20 as our new DE.

  20. Andrew Says:

    ya he primarily plays DE, but moves inside quite a bit. I think thats just the kind of player Rah wants. Look what he was doing with McCoy and Bennet.

  21. Andrew Says:

    Also who wouldn’t want the son of “Iron head” Hayward on their team?

  22. HIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    gitarlvr Says:
    January 5th, 2011 at 3:12 pm


    Ruud was a second round draft pick. By nature that means he could not have been projected to be a pro bowl stud. He has played as well as can be expected from a second rounder. You want a pro bowler? You draft a first rounder. Ruud has produced 577 tackles in his first five years in the league. That is the kind of production that is necessary out of a starting linebacker. Comparing Ruud to Micheal Clayton is moronic.


    This take ranks up there with gitarlvr asking what would happen if the Seahawks refused their playoff spot…

    Seriously, gitarlvr must be 18.

  23. bucman44 Says:

    by rounds:
    5th-TRADED UP FOR HIGHER PICK IN 2nd round

  24. Bucworld Says:

    Von Miller would be a nice pickup. If this guy can play inside as well, he will be dangerous in the NFL. I believe that we will have some nice options at the 20th pick.

  25. Bucnjim Says:

    I don’t have a problem with Ruud staying and competing for his job, but I don’t think he’s willing to do that. The Bucs are in desperate need of a physical presence in the middle. Going all the way back to the early days; the Bucs have always been know for their physical play on D. If Raheem is true to his word (physical & violent) then the Bucs need to bring in some Physical and Violent players. The way you beat finesse teams like the Falcons & Saints is to manhandle them from start to finish.

  26. Derf Says:

    The way he stays on the balls of his feet I think that Barrett Ruud would EXCELL on Dancing with the Stars!

  27. oar Says:

    Chris and Hire,
    Since, I agreed with gitrlvr. So teams go into the draft knowing that pro-bowlers come from every level of the draft? I don’t think teams know second rounders will make the pro-bowl, they hope for it. First rounders are first rounders and should be pro-bowlers, otherwise why are they first rounders? Sure pro-bowlers come from every round draft picks and even non-draftees, but the chances are more likely from the first round.
    BTW comparing LBs to WRs is moronic!
    The Seattle playoff refusal? Now, I don’t know anything about that statement? Gitrlvr your on your own on that one!

  28. Dave Says:


    That is the first 5 picks.
    Hopefully they make a trade and get another 3rd rounder (Josh Johnson maybe?)

    I want Quinn or Bowers or Clayborn. None will available in pick 20.
    I also like Bailey from Miami.
    Hayword looked good but does not seem to be consistent pass rusher. He looked great, don’t get me wrong, he was all over, but he seemed to be more of a big run stopper and occassional pass rusher. I could be wrong, maybe it was the way they used him.

    I just think priority 1 is an all out get to the QB every time type player.

  29. Andrew Says:

    I see your point, and agree somewhat, but the run defense wasn’t very good most of the year. I will take an all around player. They move him inside and out, that’s probably why you saw it that way.

  30. christopher Says:

    You know who was a 2nd round MLB? Mike Singletary. 4th rounder? Jack Lambert.
    Tyrone McKenzie is only here because of injury, & Belichick drafted Mayo & Spikes. Raheem related the story where he was freaked out(in a good way)that McKenzie remembered every word of the linebackers meeting the other day, which might instill confidence that McKenzie can run his system. I suspect they’ll bring Ruud back @ a reduced rate for 2 years, hence, “let the market decide”.

  31. BigMacAttack Says:

    The Bucs dumped Clayton and the team got better, didn’t miss him at all. They dumped Sabby and again, no loss. I believe that if the Bucs dumped Ruud, they would never miss him, and I’d be willing to bet the defense would improve. Ruud caused the fumble Sunday, but several plays earlier, he got completely trucked, run over, slam bam, by the Saints RB/FB and it was like he wasn’t even there. He may always be in his gap, but if he isn’t strong enough to take on a FB head on, he should not be a MLB on a winning team. If you don’t stay in the weight room you lose your pump and your muscles relax. Ruud must never work out in the weight room and is border line no muscles, almost Spaghetti Arms, Puny Chest & Girl Shoulders. Ronde Barber is a stronger threat to opposing runners than Barrett Ruud. We all know what happens when he blitzes, nothing. I just think it’s time for him to go. I know we need DE’s, but I pray that their 1’st pick is on a Fast Thumping Middle Linebacker from Hell.

  32. christopher Says:

    & i’ve always said that Ruud is more of a Sam, not a Mike, & it seems I’ve been proven right. Problem is, he’s not fast enough to play outside anymore. classic tweener.

  33. gitarlvr Says:

    The seattle playoff thing was a joke but HGO doesn’t understand those types of things apparently. HGO is also a moron since he also apparently supports the comparing of a guy who was out of football completely to a guy who has over 100 tackles every year of his career. And I said nothing about pro bowl players not coming from the 2nd round. I said that 2nd rounders dont “project” as pro bowl talents. If scouts were projecting them as pro bowl talents predraft then they would be 1st rounders and not 2nd rounders.
    Ruud was drafted in the 2nd round with the expectation of being a solid starter not some perennial pro bowler. Scouts weren’t calling him a future pro bowler and not making one doesn’t make him a disappointment. Good luck expecting pro bowl berths from every 2nd rounder the Bucs draft.

  34. McBuc Says:

    I wonder when Thomas 2.1 is going to upgrade to 3.0? Maybe if the bucs go 4-1 to start next season.

  35. bryan Says:

    i wouldn’t be surprised with ayers or rahim moore in the 1st. pick up a LDE in fa and let bennet, kyle moore and maybe a mid rounder battle it out for the RDE spot. ruud will be gone though, he wants too much money. been the issue for 2 years now.

  36. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Maybe the Bucs can get some of their cheerleaders to upgrade from size C to size DD?

  37. chris Says:

    @oar and gitarlvr, Please go and re read the post. The comparasion was with the expectations not positions. As far as Rudd projecting to be a pro bowler. He may have been projected a nice solid linebacker out of college but expectations are raised when you do well ask micheal clayton the FIRST ROUNDER. It is called life. After Rudd’s first few seasons there was no reason to think he might not make a pro bowl or two. Rudd has done well again re-read. I just said if you have an opportunity to upgrade you do it. If you can’t, you stick with your “nice” linebacker that will ho hum get you your 100 tackles a year. Stats are one thing film is another. I see what I see by watching not stats. I have my opinion of Rudd and I will support him as long as he is a buc but if the bucs can upgrade, do it. As far as being called a moron, well I have been called worse.

  38. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    I hate when people say Rudd

    Its Ruud learn his fricking name and you’ll gain some credibility

  39. chris Says:

    michiganbucsfan, you are 100% correct. I did it in all of my posts and am embarrassed. Just one of those brain things. my apologies.

  40. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    I accept that haha,

    sorry overreaction but it is a pet peeve of mine

  41. Matt Says:


    If you payed any attention all season, barrett ruud is a crap linebacker. 1 interception. and the only reason he leads the team in tackles is because our D line can’t stop the run. he gets burned by receivers all the time. he MISSES interceptions AND gets runover (just like chris ivory did at the beginning of the week 17 saints game). why are you triyng to defend him? he doesnt deserve a long term contract. Hopefully Rah comes to his senses and replaces this waste of linebacker.

  42. gotbbucs Says:

    my guess would be that the only position that they really invest heavily on for defense in the offseason is de. the rest i think they’ll still see as developmental players.

  43. espo Says:

    I defended Barrett Ruud the last few years saying that he would play better when he had a couple beasts at DT in front of him. This year, McCoy, Price, and Miller played well (while healthy) and he still missed tackle after tackle. I know this isn’t the case, but he looks afraid to engage a blocker, or the ball carrier for that matter.

    He needs to go.

    Even if it means taking another step backwards and drafting someone, I don’t want to see him in our lineup.

  44. Blake Says:

    christopher, mckenzie has never played inside. he’s always been an outside linebacker. he’s more of a threat to black than ruud.

  45. dave Says:

    Deunta Williams is probably the best Safety I have seen this year. He is big, fast, can hit and is a ball hawk that plays for a damn good defense (UNC).

    He was projected to be a first rounder. Broke his leg, badly, in his bowl game. He could very well slip waaaaay down (like Arian Foster did).

    This would be an absolute steal if the Bucs could snag him in round 4 or later.

    I figure they take

    If they can get this kid after that or make a trade and get another 3rd or 4th and take him…. STEAL of the draft… AGAIN

  46. tha truth is... Says:

    upgrades we needed. DE, G, LB, C, and last but not least a new punter. I’m sick and tired of seeing us in horrible field position time and time again and tha defense making him look good with turnovers and stops

  47. gitarlvr Says:

    What are you talking about truth? Malone had a perfectly average year punting. Try again.

  48. Patrick Says:

    @tha truth is…

    True, we need a punter. But we don’t need to get one in the draft. How many teams are gonna draft a punter? We could pick up one after the draft or get one out of free agency.

    Getting a punter would be a waste of a draft pick.