Will The Bucs Lock Up Barrett Ruud?

February 22nd, 2011

If Joe is anything he’s a sports media geek. Proud of it no less.

Listening to local sports radio, monitoring Sirius NFL Radio, reading countless football blogs and websites and inhaling anything broadcast by the men’s channel known as the NFL Network are all daily rituals of Joe’s.

So when listening to sports voices coming from two different prisms, the difference in mindset and thought is striking to Joe.

Take the difference between local sports radio and Sirius NFL Radio. On local airwaves, Barrett Ruud is the worst pariah of an NFL player since Sabby the Goat missed tackle after tackle on the turf of The CITS. Ruud is not physical, the local talking heads bellow, he is scared of contact, a damning accusation of any man paid to play football.

The Bucs need a Dick Butkus, a Ray Lewis, a Jack Lambert, a punishing middle linebacker who will put the fear of God into any running back brave enough to cross the line of scrimmage, despite the fact in a Tampa-2 defense a middle linebacker is basically a glorified third safety.

Sirius NFL Radio voices, largely former players, coaches and front office executives, watch Bucs games too and come up with a far different reading of Ruud.

To hear the Sirius NFL Radio crowd, Ruud is a savant of a linebacker, a heady, intelligent man without which the Bucs’ defense would mentally crumble.

Count Ross Tucker in the latter group. The Princeton graduate who logged time in the NFL as a journeyman offensive lineman and dabbles with a column for BSPN.com co-hosted “The Opening Drive” Monday morning with former Bucs great Derrick Brooks. And the subject of Ruud came up.

Ross Tucker: There are a lot of things I just don’t get. One of them is what are the Bucs thinking not yet signing Barrett Ruud. The guy is smart, he’s always in position, he calls out the defensive plays and he’s dependable. I just don’t get why the Bucs have not signed him yet?

Derrick Brooks: I really don’t know why Barrett is not locked up. I know [the Bucs] think highly of him by the way they tendered him last year. It was one of the highest tenders. But with the economics of the game right now, he probably won’t be re-signed until there is a CBA is place. I guess it comes down to how much confidence do they have in Barrett? I played with Barrett and I have watched him closely since. I can say he’s highly deserving of [a new contract]. Whether that is in Tampa, who knows? But he is going about his business the right way. He has not gotten into any public talks about his contract. “Hey, I will just go out and play and see what happens.”

Joe finds it interesting if not amusing that learned men on a national NFL radio station laud Ruud, whereas locally, many behind a mic who have the pulse of the community are ready to fund a moving van to run Ruud out of town at the earliest possible moment.

37 Responses to “Will The Bucs Lock Up Barrett Ruud?”

  1. eric Says:

    Not a Ruud fan, but when 55 talks I listen. Id like to hear his take on why the run defense continued to be lousy in 2010.

    But, local hacks v. Brooks, thats a no brainer.

  2. thomas21 Says:

    are you serious??? ruud is the best player on the team!

  3. ALDO Says:

    I GUESS THIS IS ONE OF THE FEW TIMES I AGREE WITH ERIC!!!, if brooks said something, i´ll take it, if 55 say hes the man for the bucs, well i guess it is what it is, no matter how much i love to change the LB corps

  4. Dave Says:

    Don’t care. He may be smart and always in position, but if you can’t make the play or let the back drag you 3 yards before bringing him down…. I want a different MLB.

    People need to realize the defense is changing. They play the ACTUAL Tampa 2 less than 25% of the time.

    Besides, I am sure another LB will be able to call the defense someday…. it has happened before

  5. Capt.Tim Says:

    Eric- the run defense is still terrible because of two things 1) the horrible play of Quincy Black and Geno Hayes. They are afraid of contact, and in several games you could actually see them seeking out a blocker, to remove them from the play. All informed NFL pundits agree they both played terrible. Ruud looked bad alot, because he was covering up their mistakes. I’ve been saying this for awhile. Now, so is everyone else 2) youth and meybe bad coaching on the DL. The only thing to cure inexperience is , um, experience! I really like the new coaches, and expect major improvement from the line.
    Now, as much as I like talking Buc History with you, if you respond with some typical troll answer,this will be the last time I talk with you directly. You don’t get to bite that hand repeatedly. I hope not. As buc history sure brings back good memories.

  6. lightningbuc Says:

    HMMM! Derrick Brooks’ opinion vs. Ian Beckles’ opinion. Such a tough decision as to who would know more. NOT!

  7. oar Says:

    Mr. Brooks, or double-nickel to some, is who I would choose to listen to, no doubt!

    Sounds like you need a pat on the back or a gold star!

  8. McBuc Says:

    Brooks and Steve White are on the same page. I have been supporting Ruud for a while. We are lucky he made those plays down the field, or we would not have a 10-6 record. If the line breaks down, any LB out there will struggle.

  9. Theodore Says:

    Excellent point, Tim. The running game sucks because the SSLB and the WSLB played like crap, nothing to do with the MLB. The MLB called the play! Once the ball is snapped, it’s out of his hands, the MLB is only there to clean up the mess caused by the other two LBs.

    Wow, Tim, you’re so smart. Please respond to me, I don’t want to end up like others here and have you threaten to not share your vast knowledge and lauding opinions with me.

  10. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    Theodore- why yes, it is an excellent point.that’s why Steve White and Derrick Brooks both keep pointing it out- over and over again. Listen to them, if you doubt my opinion on the subject. They both played in the Tampa Defense. They both realize that our MLB plays zone pass coverage on every play. Just like Hardy Nickerson , just like Shelton Quarles . Guys they played with. Brooks actually played with Ruud.
    So, if they say he’s doing his job- who are you to dispute them? Just another doubting chipmunk.
    There’s no point in having experts share their opinions, if every high pitched, cover tune singer thinks they know better.
    Read Justin’s post today, where he also points out the inadequacies of our OLBs at stopping the run, or the post today where again the experts support Ruud. If you can’t see it yourself,the Truth is still out there.
    And I responded to you without being nearly as sarcastic or patronizing. That’s especially admirable considering I was right!

  11. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    Thanks Oar. I am pretty happy with the way that turned out. Joe deleted his responses on the post( 2 days ago), which is too bad . You could actually see him lose his mind with each additional post! I sure am glad we are all rid of the guy! Of course, I’m sure he’ll slink back soon. But for now, nice!

  12. Dean Says:

    They have to keep Ruud,I don’t want to sit here next year bitching about the LB’s.that defense is fragile right now,broken w/out Ruud.if he becomes a free agent there will be about 25 teams in the league that would snag him right away!(I say 25 because there’s three teams with better players and the rest won’t do anything because their ok with sucking,or they have GM’s that don’t know anything about chemistry,like the Bengals)

  13. oar Says:

    “Troll killer”? This isn’t some Brothers Grimm story!

  14. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    I am glad that Brooks and Tucker have taken the same position that I have been taking in defense of Barrett.

    Anyone who thinks that he is not an excellent Tampa 2 Mike Backer just doesn’t know anything about football, I am sorry. Some of the games you challenged football fans attacked him most for were some of his best.

    Every run up the middle is not necessarily through his gap, typically the drag down tackles from the side of the ball carrier that he is making 5-8 yards downfield came from outside of his gap – frequently GMC and Miller’s gaps.

    This team could not find a comparable replacement for Ruud in 2011 in the draft or free agency. Why does Capt Kim call everyone soft? It use to be Ruud now it is Black and Hayes. I don’t think that any of them are soft. I agree that Black and Hayes are detriments, particularly to run-stopping, but not because they are soft. Soft players get weeded out before this level – except for at some of the skill positions like corner and wr.

  15. jesse j Says:

    “in several games you could actually see them seeking out a blocker, to remove them from the play”

    Capt, Generally I love reading the stuff you write. But, this my friend, is a streeeeetch…to say the least.

    Considering the cap space and “floor issues” i dont see any reason why not to resign Ruud. Dude has more going for him than not. At the very least he can teach his replacement an early round draft pick to study film.

  16. eric Says:

    I dunno Captain Tim, if you recall the Bucs run defense fell apart in the later part of 2008, without Geno or Quincy participating at that time. However, Ruud was.

    A turnover in personnel hasn’t resolved it yet.

    The whole thing remains a mystery to me. For a lot of the 2008 season the bucs defense looked and played well vs. run (shut down Adrian Peterson if I recall right).

    Almost like someone found a little flaw in the scheme, expoited it and we really havent come up with the answer yet. Hope we do.

  17. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    Eric- you’re right. The weakness of the Tampa 2 was always to “run up the middle”. That’s because the middle linebacker plays pass coverage. There is a hole in the middle of the defense.
    When you have someone as talented as Warren Sapp manning the DT spot, that gap isn’t easy to get to. The one major weakness in our scheme can be overcome with a great DT, who can hold his spot, and not allow a back to hit the open center of the field. That’s why we had such a great need for Gerald McCoy and Price- to hold their spot!
    Sapp clogged the middle. Derrick Brooks and Cato June would tackle them from behind, and prevent runs to the outside.
    Even when we clogged the middle this year, backs could bounce outside. Because Black and Hayes didn’t fight thru traffic to stop the run. Leaving Ruud to run back to the line and clean up the mess.
    I know this defense. But don’t listen to me. It’s the same thing all the great Former Bucs are a saying.

  18. Derf Says:

    Take a shot and go for someone new – look at how Grim played!

    Sorry but I’m NOT a Rudd fan. As much as I appreciate Brooks he’s biased because he plaed with Barrett – and covered for him so many times.

    Unfortunately the Bucs will re-sign him.

  19. Dave Says:

    If the money is right, Ruud is back, otherwise he gets overpayed somewhere else.

    Brook’s opinion is biased because they were friends, imo

    Either way, they have to groom McKenzie or play him and draft another MLB.

    Ruud’s on his way out this year or next.

  20. gotbbucs Says:

    ruud is very replacable but the bucs screwed up by not having somebody else waiting in the wings so now they’ll have to pay for mediocrity.

  21. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    If Brook’s opinion is biased about Ruud than it also is about Rah Rah, right? Lets stay consistent guys.

  22. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    I agree thatRuud is gone this year, but for a different reason. Some defenses are keyed on the middle linebacker. He is one of the most important guys on the field.a team with that kind of defense is gonna be willing to pay Ruud a lot of money. the most important thing he does here is audible the Defense. His actual job isn’t that hard to do, he’s a big safety. Mainly covering TEs and backs out of the backfield. A MLB is not a key component to our Defense. He will leave, because he will be more valuable to another team than he is to us. He has skills that just aren’t utilized in our defense.
    Mckenzie is probably a better fit at strong side LB. He is supposedly a big hitter- which is what we need at sam. We may not have a good replacement for Ruud on the roster right now. But Cover LBs are the easiest kind to find.

  23. Theodore Says:

    Tim – Yes, very admirable. Troll killer indeed 😉

    And as long as we are name dropping opinions, doesn’t the fact that Morris/Dominik allowing Ruud to become a free-agent say anything about his play?

    I get the MLBs value in the Tampa-2, I get the labor problem, but as far as contract negotiations go, Morris and Dominik seem to not even care if he leaves.

  24. Nick2 Says:

    Joe, Ross Tucker is an apparent fool. Ruud is always in position?????? PLEASSEEEEE!!!!! Come on Russ watch a few games before you make a stupid comment like that. There were times last year that I thought Ruud read Sabbys book on proper angles to the ball carrier. I mean MAYBE he calls some good plays and thats what scares Raheem is losing him for that but to say he is always in the right position is a complete farse. Plus once he gets there he takes people down like is always worrying about a personal foul or something. The guy is just soft sorry but thats my perspective.

  25. Joe Says:


    Ross Tucker is an apparent fool.

    Joe is in no position to call a man who has a degree from Princeton and logged five years in the NFL a fool.

    Joe noticed Derrick Brooks, Tucker’s co-host, did not contest anything that Tucker said.

  26. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    Theodore- Or, they realized that they weren’t going to be willing to match what others are willing to pay. I think that’s the likely senerio. And I don’t think him leaving is a big deal. Again, not a critical component to our defense
    Justin mentioned a LB- Dontay Moch. I read his scouting reports- bad insticts and soft( NOT my review or term- see walterfootball)but Blazing speed and good size- for our defense, that sounds like a MLB. It’s a pass coverage posistion, and speed is what he needs.!

  27. eric Says:

    Princeton Sminchton

    We got a Hofstra Flying Dutchman.

  28. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    Theodore- sorry if my post come across as pompous are arrogant. I don’t ever mean it that way. Anything I write is just my opinion, and subject to being wrong. Ive been a Buc fan a long time, and am excited about this team. Sometimes I get a little to passionate about my ideas. But there are lots of people here alot smarter than I am, and I hold their opinions in the highest regard.

  29. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “If Brook’s opinion is biased about Ruud than it also is about Rah Rah, right? Lets stay consistent guys.”


    I guess you could say that he might be biased for the man that cut him and basically ended his career. Sure, that’s comparable with how he feels about Ruud. Whatever makes you happy. But how do you explain the fact that you can’t find one person, media, player, ex-player, etc. to say anything bad about him? I guess your football genius is so far ahead of everyone else in the world, right?

  30. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I’m not a big Barrett supporter, nor am I a hater. I’ve always felt that the problem with our run defense is much more than the fault of one guy. However, there are starting to be so many experts saying otherwise, I’m starting to change my tune. I understand that in a Tampa 2, the MLB is basically a third safety, therefore isn’t really responsible for stopping the run. However, one thing I don’t understand is since we run the Tampa 2 much less than 50% of the time, what about then? Seems to me he should be tearing it up against the run on those occasions, which is obviously not happening.

    All that being said, Thomas the football expert says that every player except QB is replaceable, so we really shouldn’t worry too much, right Thomas? Let’s stay consistent Thomas.

  31. Theodore Says:

    Tim – No need to apologize. I really am a troll – LOL

    As far as Ruud, I think months ago I defended him for pointing exactly that – that he he can’t just charge into the line because he defends the deep middle. But that coverage responsibility explanation only goes so far when the run defense just stinks stinks stinks. Ruud is part of the problem.

    As far as Dominik, he’s been spot on in letting players walk or cutting them (and yes I know he shouldn’t have signed a few of those players to begin with). The only semi-productive player we cut lose was Ward but he was a petulant child. The fact that Ruud is about to walk says more about his value/ability then ex-player opinions. Buccaneer Management and the coaching staff don’t seem to care if he walks.

  32. Ant Farm Says:

    Let me start by saying Ruud is a very dynamic player for the Bucs, IF we put a good D-line together this off-season and IF his supporting cast at the LB position thump people next season (like Derrick Brooks did), then I think Barett Rudd could thrive in our defense, he would not only be the ‘Peyton Manning of the defense’ but we would see him making lots of those splash plays we saw him make early on in his career.

    However, I would take anything Brooks has to say about Ruud with a grain of salt. I know Mr. Derrick Brooks is the man of this franchise but I think his opinion on Ruud is a little biased (Kind of like Grudens opnion on Jeff Garcia).

  33. Patrick Says:

    I confused on what they should do with Ruud. Last year he had a pretty bad D line in front of him so that right there should be looked at as a big reason for his inconsistency.

    I say give him a short contract for small money, upgrade the linebackers and D line, and see how he does combined with better talent.

  34. Architek Says:

    Man please if they don’t want the stadium to stay empty they better bring someone in here who has some gall, swag, and some speed.

    Ruud is garbage and soft…

  35. BigMacAttack Says:

    I read this,
    and then I thought about it
    and thought about it…
    and I think I’ll think about it
    and think about it….
    a little longer.

  36. PWNASAURUS Says:

    Just say NO to Ruud. He is part of the problem not part of the solution. He is the common denominator in the bad run defense the last 3 seasons.

  37. m.wesley Says:

    no matter which linebacker they replace,if they replace him with a stud the other two will be o.k,the run defense starting suffering when brooks got hurt,replace any one of our current linebackers with a thumper problem solved.With Ruud making the most money and how smart the bucs are saying Mckenzie is Ruud is probaly the odd man out.I complain but he tore the other teams up when Brooks was there