Don’t Hate On Barrett Ruud

March 11th, 2011

Absolutely nothing makes a significant segment of Bucs fans slam their clenched fists on the bar with such a powerful force they spill their beer more than the subject of Barrett Ruud.

Seemingly the vast majority of Bucs fans demand, scream, holler and throw empty beer bottles because Ruud cannot, will not, never will, crush a running back with such a force that it renders the player with multiple broken bones, resulting in the player coughing up blood and screaming for his mother while writhing in agony as he is carted off the field, prone on a stretcher.

Partially thanks to the gifted Sabol family and NFL Films, many Bucs fans have lost all patience with Ruud because he is not a slobbering Dick Butkus licking his lips, salivating for the next fool to cross the line of scrimmage, toothless Jack Lambert ragdolling an opponent for taunting a teammate, hobbled Ray Nitschke dragging a lame leg in the mud while crossing the goal line after blowing up a running back, Mike Singletary with his eyes bugging out with steam flowing from his helmet, frantic Ray Lewis breaking a running back’s shoulder.

This image is not Ruud. Thus, some Bucs fans are to the point, full of disgust if not rage, believe Ruud should not just be banished to the arena league, but to the lingerie league of all places.

The problem is, the Bucs defense calls for a middle linebacker to be more safety than linebacker. Part of the reason Ruud does not fit the NFL Films image of a middle linebacker is that is not what he is supposed to be in the Bucs Tampa 2.1 defense.

One of the aforementioned Bucs fans called Derrick Brooks this morning, who co-hosted “The Opening Drive” with Bob Papa, heard exclusively on Sirius NFL Radio, and claims Ruud is gone and it’s not a bad move by the Bucs. Said caller, interestingly, didn’t cite his sources.

Bucs fan: Barrett Ruud, in all likelihood, is not coming back.

Derrick Brooks: Say that again?

Bucs fan: We are in need of a middle linebacker. Is Adam Hayward or Dekoda Watson available? Is there anyone else out there to grab? Help me out Derrick.

Brooks: Until Barrett Ruud doesn’t sign with someone, I hate to say he won’t be back. There are a lot of things affecting his [fate], a lot depends on the CBA. I hate to say he won’t be back. That’s all speculation until after the labor negotiations end. If [the Bucs] are ready to move on, I believe the Bucs feel they have someone on the roster to step in and replace Barrett and fill the void in Barrett not coming back.

Bucs fan: I am not a fan of Barrett Ruud. We need a stronger force in the middle. There is no strong middle linebacker in the draft. I don’t see a Jon Beeson or a Nick Barnett in the draft.

Derrick Brooks: Historically, the Bucs draft linebackers later in the draft because they are the cornerstones on the special teams. I don’t see the Bucs going after a linebacker early in the draft.

In short, those who froth at the mouth over Barrett Ruud are indirectly raging at Raheem Morris. Ruud is playing the position he is asked to play. If Bucs fans don’t like that, then they are saying they don’t like the defense being played and thus they don’t like the defensive coordinator.

Morris is the defensive coordinator.

Fans suggesting Ruud, who calls all the plays on one of the youngest defenses in the NFL, should be jettisoned, to Joe, that is like asking for a return to the heinous Jim Bates Experiment.

101 Responses to “Don’t Hate On Barrett Ruud”

  1. Gary Says:

    way to lob one up for the Rah haters

  2. BigMacAttack Says:

    Whiskey River don’t run dry

  3. Matt Says:

    As always, expect this thread to blow up. But before it does, let me ask you ‘Ruud replacers’ a question:

    Do you honestly think that replacing Ruud will a ‘better’ player will have a bigger impact on our defense that would replacing Stylez (or Moore or whoever else is starting at DE)? (Note: WE DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO ARE STARTERS ARE.)

    DE is a higher impact position than MLB, in almost any system. And certainly in our system.
    Ruud is a better player at his position than any of our DEs, in almost any system.

    Let’s worry about making upgrades to our team that will have the biggest positive impact. Replacing Ruud with a rookie or an unproven player and leaving our DEs in shambles is not the way to do it.

  4. Joe Says:


    Pat Kirwan convinced Joe that if Ruud is jettisoned, with so many young players and likely two more rookies starting next year (defensive ends), the defense would collapse.

  5. Matt Says:


    It really just doesn’t make sense. It’s not trivial to replace the guy who has been making 100+ tackles year and year and gets everybody lined up correctly. I’m not saying he’s a Pro Bowler, or ever will be. But our MLB doesn’t need to be and rarely is one. If anything, we need Geno Hayes to step up and be a force.

    Would this defense be better if we had Patrick Willis in the middle? Hell yeah. But not nearly as much as if we had Mario Williams at DE.

  6. Joe Says:


    Would this defense be better if we had Patrick Willis in the middle? Hell yeah.

    I don’t know. Seriously. Could Willis play middle linebacker in a Tampa 2.1? Again, a middle linebacker in a Tampa 2.1 is basically a safety. Could Wilis play safety? Also, would Willis’ skills be wasted?

    To get rid of Ruud only because he isn’t Ray Lewis is basically saying the defense needs to be overhauled; the entire defense, not just middle linebacker.

  7. oar Says:

    I’d rather have the clear waters of Vodka Creek!
    BTW wonder why Willie never wrote “Mary Jane Fields”?

  8. oar Says:

    My take about our MLB: I think we need Ruud, period! I’ll take Kirwan and Brooks over the haters, anyday!

  9. McBuc Says:

    Joe, you are 100% right on this one. I have been saying this for a long time now. All the ex-players say Ruud is doing a good, m, but good. Brooks and White coome to mind. It would be a huge mistake to let Ruud walk. I hope the lock him up for at least three years while we train the next guy in line. Like the poster above said, we need a DE more. I think our exisiting DEs will improve this year, but a great pass rusher would be nice. I actually like the idea of picking up a stud OL, and getting a DE in the 2nd, but I am sure we will go DE in the 1st.

  10. Dave Says:

    I’ll keep saying it, I think he MAY sign a one year deal, but a rookie and/or McKenize are going to be groomed to take his psot…. soon.
    I beleive Raheem wants a fiery vocal leader out there and I do not buy the fact that a punishing MLB does not fit the defense.
    1. This is not the same Tampa 2.
    2. Even if it was, it does not change the fact that on half the plays the opposing team is running the ball and his job is to plug a hole and stop a RB. 5 out of 6 times the RB wins extra yards from Ruud.

    I still see two LBs (Bruce Carter and Nate Irving) and two DEs (Kerrigan and Romeus) taken in the top 5 picks.

    If Ruud stays another year, so be it, I am not one to bash and scream and go crazy, but I see him as a glorified safety or OLB.

    If McKenie takes over this year, I would not be surprised because I think a team will probably offer Ruud more than the Bucs want to and he may bolt.

  11. jvato24 Says:

    Heres a question for everyone claiming Ruud is as crucial to the Tampa 2.1 as water is for life .. Then why were the Bucs so enamored with Brandon Spikes who is basically a polar opposite of Ruud ??

    Raheem Morris plays his Defense to his personnel and I believe we are targeting a Physical presence at MLB and will adjust the Def with Geno Hayes dropping more often

  12. jvato24 Says:

    Ruud will not sign a 3 year deal .. He will want a BigTime 5 year deal at the minimum .. While he is above average he is not worth a huge deal

    PS .. Raheem Morris wore a Ray Lewis Jersey in college .. Although that doesnt mean a whole lot it may hold some ground in the way he wants to build a team

  13. oar Says:

    Here’s a question to you(my question will answer your question); If we were so “enamored” with Spikes, then why didn’t we use one of our two 2nd picks for him?

  14. DreadedBuc Says:

    Rudd is not going anywhere just yet. I’m not a Ruud fan but I can deal with him until we get a better replacement. Keep in mind when McCoy was healthly, Roy Miller started playing better, and Cody Grimm had replaced Tanard Jackson, our defense was really starting to look damn good. Ruud was not a concern. My point being that as long a Ruud has good players around him doing their job, he plays better and more consistent. Like Matt says we need to concentrate on our biggest need, Defensive End.

  15. McBuc Says:

    You guys may be right, but thenagain Brooks, White, and most of the other pros may be right as well.

  16. gotbbucs Says:

    im not a ruud fan and i think he’s replacable. this however is not the offseason to go out and get a replacement from anywhere other than on our own roster. no way in hell do you use a 1st round pick on a mlb, especially a borderline 1st/2nd rounder.

  17. WeNeedDefense Says:

    I want Ruud to go, so our defense will implode and Raheem finally gets the blame he deserves.

  18. Architek79 Says:

    This is silly Joe. I don’t really care what system you play in or better yet what your race or what color uniform you wear. We all put our pants on one leg at a time and we all know when someone is soft.
    -Have anyone ever questioned D. Brooks toughness?
    -Have anyone ever questioned S. Quarles toughness?
    -Have anyone ever questioned H. Nickerson toughness?

    The list goes on, and they guess what play in a Tampa 2 system and were all respected linebackers. If Ruud was so sound why is Ronde Barber playing LB on some snaps? Also I don’t care that Black and Hayes were decent at best but I am tired of people letting this jock-strap model off the hook for his tip toeing in gaps and his embarassing film of getting ran through TWICE by Chris Ivory. I tell you what if the Bucs bring him back thats cool but expect the same. Same personnel right? What is the definition of insanity?

  19. Architek79 Says:

    No one said use a 1st rounder on a MLB but you all are always complaining and in fear of things imploding, hello 3-13 and that wasn’t implode? It was and we survived and got better, stop being afraid of change. Get use to it, unless there is a HOF at the position.

  20. oar Says:

    “What is the definition of insanity?”
    That one is TOO EASY! Why Charlie Sheen, of course!
    BTW I guess you should be mad at Monte Kiffen for drafting him and keeping him, and Raheem/Dom for keeping him still? Maybe I’m missing something that those guys aren’t?

  21. oar Says:

    We imploded, cause we went away from the Tampa-2 with the great master-Bates(pun intended) defensive plan, not cause Rudd was still on the team!

  22. IMHO... Says:

    Spikes isn’t here due to running a 5.2 40. Also Dline was a far worse mess in ’09 than ’10

    Good point on Spikes, Rudd comparision. #1 rule in Rahs defense is 2 be PHYSICAL and Ruud isn’t following rules.

  23. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Joe! This is exactly, almost word for word, what I’ve been saying for months. For people to hate Ruud for not being a big tackler- is to Hate Monte kiffin-it’s his defense, the one we won the SuperBowl with. And yes- Raheem has modified the Tampa 2- but it makes Ruud even more of a Pass defender, as the NFL is much more of a passing league! To cry for Patrick Willis, Brian Urlacher, etc is just stupid. They couldn’t play Middle line backer in our defense- as Joe pointed out. Our Scheme is still the standard in the NFL, and Raheem is updating to handle a more pass oriented league. If you don’t understand the most basic concepts of this defense- then shut up, and quit crying for MLBs who would fail miserably here.sick of hearing it!!!!
    I also think Ruud is gone. As I have said, a MLB is not that important in our scheme- Ruud is the number one rated FA LB in the league this year. A year with tons of LB FAs. He is worth a ton to some team’s. Not to us- out of respect, I think the Bucs will let him earn the money he deserves.we can fill the posistion with a cheaper guy who can do what we need. Next year you will all get to see Ruud blowing up RBs as a true MLB. I just hope it’s not our guys! Don’t be surprised if he’s laughing while he does it!

    The worst part is- all these uninformed people blaming Ruud are letting the real slackers off the hook. Ruud plays pass defense. Those slackers Black and Hayes are supposed to be our run stoppers- and they sucked this year. And the whole time people are bitching about Ruud- who has almost nothing to do with it. Thank God we have a very smart Gm now. I’m pretty sure he knows who played soft until week twelve(Hayes- no sacks teo years in a row til 12 th week). Bet he also saw who wouldn’t fight thru any block to get tackles for a loss- and couldn’t get to the QB when the whole defense was designed for him to do so(Black)

    So bitch about Ruud all you want. But if you ever want to actually know what the f%#^ you are talking about, listen to some of the posters here who actually played in the Tampa 2. and don’t start attacking our scheme just because you finally realized you didn’t know what the he’ll you’ve been talking about!!!

    Wow- finally- that felt good:)

  24. Gary Says:

    I say we keep him for now. nothing more than an above average 3 yr deal. if he doesnt like it, he can walk. Calling out the plays on D is not as important as executing once the play begins.

    We addressed DT last year, this year it will be DE, and then next year it will be LB,

  25. WeNeedDefense Says:

    “#1 rule in Rahs defense is…”

    I’ll finish that with, there are no rules. Raheem doesn’t know what the heck he is doing as DC. He is at the very least in the bottom of the league in knowledge about defense.

    How many years will this go on? This as in, giving Raheem the freedom to fail again and again.

    Raheem was out game planned in 14-16 first halves this season. The two the defense didn’t have trouble was with San Fran and Carolina, and those teams had AWFUL QB’s with teams that both fired their respective coaches.

    Go look at the QBs we played last year. Line them up. Raheem is not a good defensive coordinator, in fact, he should be considered an uncoordinator. Never in my life have I seen a defense get gashed with so many long runs from scrimmage while also giving up the long bombs.

    No one else saw it because we were balcked out.

  26. IMHO... Says:

    @ Architek79
    Add Cody Grimm w/ Ronde as our smallest players but were tha most active and best tacklers in tha box. People need 2 stop mixing Tampa-2 philosophies with Rahs scheme as it is not tha same.

  27. oar Says:

    I guess I need to go look up the definition of enamored again then. Cause, since high school, I thought it meant to be throughly in love with or captivated, charmed, fascinated by? That term sure sounds like they would have selected him to me?

  28. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    Architek79- you just dont get it!! Totally beyond you ability to grasp that you have no clue what you are talking about. YES- people like you constantly questioned Hardy Nickerson!! Monte Defended him often- from guys like you. Quarles also, though we we winning frequently- so he got more passes- but guys like you questioned his toughness also!

    But it’s not their toughness that should be questioned. It’s the intelligence of the guys like you. Everyone with a rep here has explained that Ruud is a big Safety- not a Run crushing LB- everyone- Steve White, Derrick Brooks, Joe, Shelton Quarles- and tons more have said this!!

    But you still don’t understand. You still just can’t believe what everyone tells you

    Dude! Are you just not listening! Does someone need to draw pictures?

  29. Gary Says:


    No need to worry what will happen if Ruud leaves and plays against our RBs. We all know what would happen if Blount saw him in front… only thing left to decide would be to go through him, around him, or over him!

  30. BigMacAttack Says:

    I feel that when Ruud is good, he’s really good, but when he’s bad, oh boy.
    Ruud made some big splash plays a few years ago. I remember him blitzing the Saints and making tackles in the back field. He has made big interceptions too, but since Monte left, he has not been the same player, IMO. I don’t hate the guy but I think he could be much better and definitely much stronger. I know the benefits of spending time in the weight room and the time it takes to produce significant results. Ruud, I promise you, could be much stronger if he worked at it. I question Ruud’s heart and desire more than I question his ability. It may be because he hasn’t been given the contract he wanted over the last few years, but his production has dropped off and I think he works and plays only to about 75% of his potential now. To me that just isn’t good enough. 110% at all times is what wins championships. Sorry guys but I just don’t see it with him. I would prefer to see Hayward get a shot (4.5 speed) or Martez Wilson. If the Bucs could survive without Derrick Brooks, they can damn sure make it without Barrett Ruud. Seeya.

  31. eric Says:

    Criticize our brilliant and beloved Defensive Coordinator/Head Coach?

    Heaven forbid!

    What next, no Easter Bunny coming in April?

  32. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    I questioned Architek79, who is ussually a very intelligent poster, but seems troubled by this one.
    I didn’t question “we need defense” as he is another moronic incarnation of”Buc you, etc”. And as such- is not worthy of my time
    Sad, but true

  33. IMHO... Says:


    Players play and coaches coach. Go ahead and blame him 4 Genos arrest and Mike Williams DUI. You’re acting like our defense was picture perfect when he arrived. I ask u who could’ve done better with so little resources? Youngest roster, spending problems or reluctance 2 spend(depends on who opinion you ask), player age limits(30 yrs max w/ exceptions), worse run d in league, no pass rush, gutted and butted roster, multiple players on IR…did I leave anything out?

  34. Theodore Says:

    You Ruud lovers need a reality check. Us haters dislike Ruud not because he doesn’t make bone crushing tackles as Joe would have you believe. We dislike Ruud because he doesn’t make game impact tackles. Brooks is on of the most loved Bucs of all time and it’s not because he hits hard.

    Getting trucked over by Chris Ivory is all you need to know about Ruud. If all he’s expected to do is to make tackles when others do not then he’s doing a great job. I’d rather have a MLB that makes a play instead of cleaning one up.

    Is Rudd “good enough”? Well, the defense sucks a** with him in the middle calling the plays (Joe, you forgot to mention that), so yeah, Ruud is good enough on a bad defense.

    And he’s unsigned. No one seems to care about that fact either. Ruud and his agent may be pricing themselves too high, that I do not know. But young, affordable players usually don’t hit the open market if they are not replaceable. Guess Dominik and Morris aren’t as sold on Ruud as all the Tampa-2 experts here.

  35. Joe Says:


    What next, no Easter Bunny coming in April?


  36. Dave Says:

    Capt. Troll killer Tim
    and others who think Ruud is a safety most the time.

    Wrong. He plays against the run 50% of the time just like everyone else. As the MLB, in ANY defense, your job is stop the run up the middle. He is a miserable failure at it. Sure you can argue he can only be as good as the DTs in front of them, well they were coming on strong and he still can’t stop a back in the hole 5 out of 6 times.

    IF he comes back, fine. But I think McKenzie will be in the middle this year with Hayes and Watson on the outside. I also think a rookie MLB and a rookie OLB will be in the wings.

    Also, this is not the same Tampa 2. The middle LB has to be more physical against the run. The last few MLBs in the Tampa 2 were a heck of lot better at it.

    Besides, Ruud’s asset is supposed to be coverage. I have watched him and his only good in coverage for the 1st 12 yards from the LOS, after that, covering the deep middle (that so many say is his responsibility) is not a strong suit of his.

  37. The D Says:

    Ive been saying this for a while too, just not on this site. While Ruud is pretty average we dont need anyone great in the center, its the outside guys who need to step it up. Theyre the focal points of the LB core (specifically Will), not the Mike. I think it was when RahDom first got here they threw money at J Vilma to make him our Mike and then move Ruud to Sam because he might be a better fit there. I like Hayes, but hes just way too inconsistant. Maybe just use hi only as a nickle/ dime guy, but not a starter. Black can walk as far as im concerned. I wonder what would happen if we move Ruud to Sam, have McKenzie at Mike (or vice versa), then draft someone like Carter to play Will with Hayward as a backup and Hayes to come in for nickle/dime situations. Thoughts?

  38. Matt Says:

    Joe: Yeah, I think Willis would be an upgrade over Ruud, even in this system. Dude is a beast.

    And yeah, unsurprisingly, this thread blew up.

    Note: Our defense did not “suck a**” last year. We were 17th in yards, 9th in points…with admittedly a terrible defensive line, numerous rookies starting, and a rash of injuries. I think they played alright considering. And they should improve next year because of it, even without adding any new players.

  39. oar Says:

    Wow, I guess you guys are right and White, Brooks, Kirwan and many others are talking out of their asses? Who would have thunk it?

  40. Adam Says:

    Ruud is the glue that holds this young, relatively inexperienced Defence together. Take him out and it will fall apart.

    People who call for a crushing MLB don’t know S*** about the Bucs defence.

    Ruud almost always has us in the right defence. Its better to have every man in position and on the same page than to have one dumb-ass brute of a MLB, one man can’t defend and entire offense.


  41. espo Says:

    In short, those who froth at the mouth over Barrett Ruud are indirectly raging at Raheem Morris. Ruud is playing the position he is asked to play. If Bucs fans don’t like that, then they are saying they don’t like the defense being played and thus they don’t like the defensive coordinator.

    Morris is the defensive coordinator.

    I love my mother, but don’t agree with everything she does. If I don’t like something she does, does that mean I don’t like her? No.

    I just want the best product on the field next year, just like anyone else who visits this site. I’d rather cut ties with Ruud now while we’re rebuilding our D anyways instead of having a stellar D and realizing too late that Ruud has got to go.

    I’d also like my starting Mike to not miss tackles. I don’t see the issue having to be any more complicating than that.

  42. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    Dave- it’s apparently that post that you haven’t watched anything. Ever. And have no idea what a Defensive scheme is . Plus you didn’t read this article. Or my Post. Or Steve Whites. Or Derrick Brooks. Or anyone elses. You couldn’t have actually played Football. Or have any undestanding of the Talpa Cover two.

    None. No clue. None at all. Might as well diagram it for a bag of rocks.

    Friggin unbelievable! You guys don’t drive, or operate machinery do you?

  43. oar Says:

    Ah the ole motherly love to a football player or defensive coordinator comparison! I have heard it all! Yeah your right, how could you possibly not like the one that gave birth to you?

  44. Big Marlon B Says:

    I love how all of you people are quick to point out the Chris Ivory play, as if ONE play can define a guy’s entire 6 year career so far. Yet you are all so quick to forget the crucial play that Barrett Ruud made inside the 5 yard line, forcing a fumble on Julius Jones (i believe it was Jones, i could be wrong). He got run over on one play, so he MUST be the worst MLB in the entire history of the NFL right??? But forcing a fumble in the red zone and swinging the momentum of a must win game…that must have just been luck or something right? Give me a break.
    I don’t think Ruud is an elite LB by any means, but the guy is a solid player and there are much worse options out there. I don’t think it would be a bad idea to draft a LB in the middle rounds for some depth, and possibly to develop into a potential starter down the road (Nate Irving?)…but replacing Ruud now is just flat out stupid.
    And btw, for all of you Patrick Willis d*ck riders….believe it or not, he’s not Superman. There have been times when he has been run over as well. It’s just that nobody has watched all 16 of the 49ers games each year of his 4 year career. But i can assure you, it has happened…it’s just the nature of the game. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to win every single 1 on 1 battle every time you step on the field.

  45. oar Says:

    Exactly!!!!!! Took the words right out of many people’s mouthes!

  46. Joe Says:

    And btw, for all of you Patrick Willis d*ck riders….believe it or not, he’s not Superman. There have been times when he has been run over as well. It’s just that nobody has watched all 16 of the 49ers games each year of his 4 year career. But i can assure you, it has happened…it’s just the nature of the game. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to win every single 1 on 1 battle every time you step on the field.

    Yup. Joe has seen Brian Urlacher get blasted more than a few times. There’s a famous play in Jerome Bettis’ last home game in Pittsburgh which also was his last 100-yard game where he scored the game-winning touchdown by blowing through Urlacher and dragging him into the endzone.

    Joe doesn’t think there is a person on this board who doesn’t think Urlacher isn’t a good linebacker.

  47. IMHO... Says:

    @ Capt. Troll killer Tim
    Are u and Ruud related?

  48. McBuc Says:

    Joe…great reference! That was freaking awsome and dramtic! I also think our very own Blount ran over Ray L, but I could be wrong, it just seems to me that he did.

  49. McBuc Says:

    IMHO…It does not take a relative to see that the man is ddoing fine. Brooks, White, etc seem to think so. If he was not making those 100+ tackles, we would not have been 10-6.

  50. Architek79 Says:

    @ Capt. Troll killer Tim:
    By all means, I am not going to respond to you in a subjective manner because you have the right to have an opinion but by no way form or fashion will you call me an idiot because I am applying common sense to a very fiscal situation. Ruud is very fiscal. My point in saying this is he is a decent player out of position. He is a good tackler that should be a SLB. He has lost some of his speed in which he wasn’t a burner from the start but he is not anyone who is going to run stride for stride with a TE or RB (we all have seen this). Also, he has proved that he is not a playmaker. Playmaker sometimes deviate because of their instincts. Sure it’s a risk-reward approach but isn’t most great players like that? I am not a NFL player but I did play high school and I am no star but I was very good at what I did. I am not a professional athlete but I can read a book and most coaches are not prior pro-players. Does that skew their success or validity of their profession? No. Stop being over-emotional and defensive and reread my post. I loved Nickerson and I still do. I traveled from Dallas to Tampa many times to support my Bucs and will again this season. I witnessed firsthand what potential and what to expect from Ruud.

    So I am not dispelling his career but my point is we are one year removed from 3-13, right? So, the following season things what “change” and now what “10-6” (12-4 if ATL crap doesn’t happen) because of CHANGE. Bucs fans I implore you to embrace change. We are on target and let’s keep the infusion going. When we became a perennial .500 club we were filled with overpaid veterans. We knew what to expect from those teams because there was no change. So see and hear me out. Ruud can come back but consider change and moving him. Change is the theme as we continue to evolve. I retort, I do not, for the record say Tampa draft Wilson 1st overall but I do support if he or someone is there in the second that we believe can “compete” and bring something that Ruud doesn’t, why not?

    Also the Glazers, Dominik, and Raheem run this organization. Not Steve White, Derrick Brooks, or Pat Kirwan. They are no more just opinions than I, just a larger forum to be heard. Those guys saying something is not going to make me change my OPINION of a decent LB. Last year, if Ruud was so good or dominant don’t you think he would have been locked up? What other dominant or pro-bowl caliber LB’s do you see sniff the market these days? I am not comparing him to Willis, Lewis, and he can’t even be compared to Beason-Vilma (I respect their games too much as men). But they all are locked up. You do the math and let Pat Kirwan continue to be who he is a media member. D. Brooks, a first ballot media member. Steve White, a revered former Bucs player media member. The organization will speak and we will see what they think of him. Until then fans should enjoy what we are doing because we are trending upward verses contemplating 2-4 wins. I am a true Bucs fan and I am not afraid of change, are you?

  51. Architek79 Says:

    IMHO…thats a good question because Troll is very offended. Ruud will get what he is worth whether it is the Bucs or the Bills. But I am enjoying my fandom and enjoy being able to earn my wage from behind a duel monitor and not having my brain rattled every play. I am just as valid as anyone.

  52. McBuc Says:

    Architek79 makes some good points. Ruud can call the D from any LB position, so why not move him to SLB and give a young guy a shot at the middle. II am not apposed to this at all, I read “Who Moved my Cheese”. I do think people blame Ruud for WAY too much. A D that was devistated with injury and filled with back-ups and rookies, is not expected to finish in the middle of the pack, and ablove average in points allowed…I would think for a D stat that woould be right up there with Ws as an important stat. The Bucs finished 10-6 with the 17th ranked defense…not too bad for a bunch young guns and misfits. I am with you Architek79, move Ruud and see what some young unknown can do!

  53. IMHO... Says:

    Wow! Lol, tackles don’t tell all about a player. If that was tha case then Brandon LLoyd is tha best WR, Arian Foster tha best RB and Jerod Mayo is tha best LB as a rookie and Ruud would have a contract. He’s avg with a couple good games but that is all.

    I think Troll is Bo Ruud LMAO. People got stuck on his name and tha college he came from. His best fit is here but only 4 tha right price and role. It’s not many teams that employ Cover-2 that have a MLB need

  54. McBuc Says:

    IMHO…Apples and oranges…defense are suppose to tackle. It is like Steve White said, if yoou are not good you do not make 100 tackles. You made me chuckle though, and that is good at the end of a long week. You are right about other teams needing a MLB, but we will either pay him or someone else will. I do not think he is the greates MLB since sliced bread, in fact I agree allot with Architek79. I think he may be better at SLB. I am not sure what all of you guys see that the pros do not. I think it is because we are all used to the Bucs D being in the top five, or at least the top 10. Ruud played well given his supporting cast. let’s see how he looks as the talent around him rises too.

  55. oar Says:

    Wow, not listening to the men that have played the game, and one with Ruud himself? Now I understand, thanks!
    Again, they must be doing their best Ace Ventura impressions.
    “Excuse me. I’d like to “ass” you a few questions.”
    “Excuse me sir, but do you have a mint? Perhaps some Binaca?”

  56. WeNeedDefense Says:

    A wise man once said:

    “I want Ruud to go, so our defense will implode and Raheem finally gets the blame he deserves.”

  57. JDouble Says:

    ”The problem is, the Bucs defense calls for a middle linebacker to be more safety than linebacker.”

    Really Joe? Last time I checked the Bears played the same defense as us and Urlacher is a mammoth beast. The 49ers play a similar 4-3 and while Patrick Willis isn’t much bigger than Ruud…he is 10x the LB.

    Besides, our safeties hit harder than Ruud. Let’s not make excuses.

  58. WeNeedDefense Says:

    Once a hugely popular player, Tiki, the Giants’ all-time leading rusher, developed a real knack for alienating his coaches, teammates and fans, even before his office dating became an issue. He ripped Giants quarterback Eli Manning and rattled others by signing a TV deal during – not after — his final season.

    Coach Tom Coughlin wondered aloud: How much commitment to the team did Tiki still really have?

    For Tiki, money could be as big an issue now as any friendly fraternal jealousy. When NBC terminated the contract that reportedly paid him $300,000 a year due to a morals clause, no other networks rushed forward with comparable deals. And Tiki said he was too broke to pay a divorce settlement to his wife.

  59. Architek79 Says:

    What is the definition of the media? Afterwards, look up the origins of the word. In other words, a mouth opening to make a statement can be valid or invalid. You and I are the byproducts of that, see free world (America). Did not you post a response that I can question and shoot holes through? Do not bring that fruitless argument here because peopl have the right to question any and everything. Ask Joe, he loves the traffic and so do I. You need to start because you are what, an American. I don’t care if the greatest football player ever told me something I don’t agree with, hell I am going to question it, and right now I am questioning Barrett Ruud role on this defense as a dire component. Now I am passing the ball to you for you to rightfully shoot holes through it and I will not insult you, I promise. So have at it.

  60. IMHO... Says:

    I agree with him at SLB but he’s not fast enough 2 cover TE’s or blitz. He couldn’t close distance in chasing Todd Heap of all people.

  61. McBuc Says:

    INHO…You may have a point there. I am not ready to throw him to the scrap heap just yet. This young defense will play better based on returning players alone.

    BucYou…WTF does that have to do with anything we are talking about? You can change your name but you still are a fool. No one gives a rats arse about Tiki coming to Tampa! No one even thinks that he is coming to Tampa! Go back to busting on Morris, and repeating yourself over and over and over and over nad over…

  62. IMHO... Says:

    Good luck with getting a real, on topic answer from oar. If Brooks, Kirwan and White said we should trade Freeman and our 1st rd pick for Cam Newton he’ll believe it.

  63. oar Says:

    Hey, I tend to listen to the ex-players for their opinions on the game or players. You have yours and I have mine. As for not insulting, I don’t think you would. I have not insulted you, right? My speaking out of the ass comments are a joke/humor, to the fact you don’t take ex-players opinions about the game they played at any level! I guess you wouldn’t take guitar/music advice from Eddie Van Halen or BB King. Or hockey opinions from Wayne Gretsky? Get my point? Me, advice from personal experience is valuable. You, I guess not so much.
    Listen, just cause they were on a show, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen t o their advice. I guess wht your sayingis, if you ran into them at the store you would listen to them?
    Bang! bang!

  64. oar Says:

    Right, on topic? I thought we were talking about our MLB not our QB! Need to do more than that to get me riled up.
    But, maybe so? When we have a post about them saying that I will let you know then. Give me a break! I’m not saying their word is gold, but to ignore their input is just plain dumb! Especially, from The Man, Brooks!

  65. McBuc Says:

    OAR…Also, a guy like White just ahs his blog…no higher Disney exec telling him what to say or write. It does baffle me, and Arc this is not pointed at you, people on this site take Steve White as the oracle of the football gods…unless of course he is refering to Ruud. I am not sure why that is, but it is the case. As far as Arc and IMHO go, they always have been respectful and enjoy a flow of ideas. I do agree with you though OAR, I tend to listen to the ex players, even more so than the talking heads that have never played. These two guys have at least brought up good points, not just the hate others spew.

  66. Joe Says:

    Also McBuc note that Pat Kirwan, who was a linebackers coach under Monte Kiffin with the Jets, told Joe to his face Ruud is playing well — in the defense Raheem has.

    Derrick Brooks likes Ruud, Steve White likes Ruud, Pat Kirwan (former NFL coach) likes Ruud… who is Joe to argue?

    Kirwan’s chat with Joe is what turned Joe’s mind.

  67. oar Says:

    It baffles me too, but it’s ok. I’m off to a Bridge Construction Seminar! It should be very informative the speakers are an airline pilot and a bus driver!

  68. McBuc Says:

    Exactly Joe!

  69. IMHO... Says:

    @ oar
    Sorry if that offended u, only a sarcastic joke. Riling u up is not my intent.

  70. BamBamBuc Says:

    Just a curious thought on Raheem scheming the defense to his players. Last year he ran a 3-3-5 set quite a bit. This was to keep his best players on the field the most snaps. Last year, we were lacking on the D-line quite a bit, but the LBs were ok, so let’s keep 3 of the LBs and drop off a D-lineman. DB was a strength, so keep 5 of them on the field and have Ronde help out with run stopping.

    Now, that said, If we draft DE and MLB and get a MLB along the Willis/Urlacher/Lewis line that is a beast… would Raheem run a 4-2-5 more often? I’d think his strength (assuming we draft a DE or two) would shift to D-line and DBs, and you’d need to take a run stuffing LB off the field sometimes to get the extra DB out there and rely on your front 4 to tackle and stop the run.

    You can rely on your front 4 to stop the run and use your linebackers as sideline to sideline, over-sized, in the box safeties…. or you can rely on your linebackers to stop the run and take a D-lineman off the field in 3 WR sets (as your LBs won’t be able to cover as well).

    If your front 4 also has pass rush skills, that’s a bonus to keep them on the field. If your LBs have coverage skills or pass rush skills, that’s a bonus to keep them on the field. If a guy is one dimensional, you adjust the scheme and personnel to get him off the field when he’s a weak link. Ruud was obviously stronger against the run and pass than either DE, and some DTs, last year or he wouldn’t have been on the field. They’d have gone 4-2-5 or “nickel” package instead of 3-3-5.

  71. IMHO... Says:

    Do u think Dominik will sign him once tha CBA crap is complete and no more excuses 2 why he isn’t signed?

  72. oar Says:

    Sorry, if I took it the wrong way! No biggie and I’m still not riled up, atleast not as much as CaptTim! LOL!

  73. Leighroy Says:

    Five-years, $33.75 million

    That’s what the packers gave AJ Hawk. Ruud is pretty comparable (more or less depending on your opinion), so ask yourself, would you pay him that contract if you were Mark Dominik?

  74. D-Rome Says:

    Wow, 73 responses. LOL! Go Ruud go!

  75. IMHO... Says:

    All is good. I hope Capt didn’t take it personal.

  76. IMHO... Says:

    Not at all. Too many yrs, too much $. We all kno when it comes 2 shopping were heavily focused on tha clearance rack. More youth on tha way

  77. m.wesley Says:

    Any two of our linebackers could be alright Barret will go because he will command more money,all three are nothing special we just need one to take charge.Brooks had an average set of backers with him but he made everyone look good,when he got hurt in 98 thats when everyone started hating or whatever you want to call it on Ruud.

  78. Mr. Hill Says:

    Ruud is supposed to help stop the run up the middle. To me it looks like he guesses the wrong hole alot and has to make tackles from behind. this is not good. As for his teammates and former teammates sticking up for him….. thats their job Capt. Yes Ruud is also assigned the tightend up the middle. But when he plays a good tightend or even mercedes lewis he is always a step or three behind. This is not good either. I like mr. Ruud but change at this position is needed to shore up the middle of the defense. lets stop the run first and then worry about the pass. That is what the dream wants

  79. Big Marlon B Says:

    JDouble says: “Really Joe? Last time I checked the Bears played the same defense as us and Urlacher is a mammoth beast. The 49ers play a similar 4-3 and while Patrick Willis isn’t much bigger than Ruud…he is 10x the LB.”

    JDouble, you apparently are pretty clueless when it comes to football. If you actually paid attention, you would know that the Bears don’t play a straight Tampa 2 defense, rather a variation of it. The LBs (usually Urlacher and Briggs) typically line up closer to the line of scrimmage in the A gaps. Their responsibilities are different, because they are usually asked to play the run first, on the way to defending the pass.

    And the 49ers playing a similar 4-3??? You really must be kidding on that one. The 49ers may mix it up and show some 4-3 looks on occasion, but their base defense is a 3-4. Perhaps if you ever actually watched one of their games, listened to anyone discuss one, or even had a general clue about anything related to football…you might have picked up on that. Don’t get me wrong, I love Patrick Willis and he is without a doubt a dominant football player. But I think simpletons such as yourself base your assessment of him on Madden ratings, as opposed to actually WATCHING A GAME AND PAYING ATTENTION.

    It may be true that Willis is 10x the LB that Ruud is. But you also have to consider the fact that everybody fully expected him to step right in and be an impact player from Day 1. He also plays in a totally different defensive scheme, which is way more aggressive and allows him to make a greater number of splash plays.

  80. Big Marlon B Says:


    “When Brooks got hurt in 98, everyone started hating on Ruud??”

    Ruud wasn’t even drafted until 2005. And Brooks played 224 games over a 14 year career, which breaks down to 16 games per season…that means he never missed a game. In fact, he only missed 3 starts his ENTIRE career. So I’m not quite sure what injury you’re referring to…or how it affected Barrett Ruud, who was only in high school in 1998.

  81. Big Marlon B Says:

    Just because Barrett Ruud isn’t Patrick Willis (probably the best ILB in the game) doesn’t mean he’s worthless and hasn’t been a solid performer. Mike Williams isn’t Andre Johnson, and never will be…so i guess we should get rid of him as well. NOPE. He’s still a damn good player.

  82. m.wesley Says:

    Big Marlon that was 08 ,at the end when Brooks played hurt and the defense fell off and never recovered,we are still rebuilding from then,before then everyone seem to like him

  83. m.wesley Says:

    With all those stats i figure you would have known it was a misprint and knew when he played hurt

  84. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Joe…I haven’t read the comments, but I have to say…this article is extremely well written. Beautiful work.

    I’m one of the people who would like a stronger presense in the middle, but I’ve also said that once the defesive line is up to par, Ruud will suddenly look much better.

    Either way, Dereck is right. I don’t want him gone until a good replacement is on the team.

  85. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Well said as well.

  86. Big Marlon B Says:

    Lol touche sir, I figured it was a typo I just wanted to make sure. Didn’t mean to come off all arrogant, but these people drive me nuts with all their nonsense and making arguments with no basis or validity. So if I seemed to be a little touchy, my apologies.

  87. WeNeedDefense Says:

    The players union is led by a moron. Or rather WAS led off a cliff by a MORON.

    That’s the end of the union for good. Nice work in disbanding yourselves boys! 🙂

  88. BigMacAttack Says:

    I can see I’m on the wrong side of this argument, but we’ll see what happens. The Bucs’ defense needs to play considerably better to get them to a championship. ALL of the Linebackers need to make more plays. If they can pull it all together with Ruud in there, I’m happy. Josh Freeman is great but the Bucs need at least a top 10 defense to support him. I just hope that as all these young players continue to improve that a few of the vets don’t continue to get worse. I believe that Barrett Ruud was better 3 years ago than he is today.

  89. m.wesley Says:

    linebacker was never a problem with Brooks their,d-line was always good with Sapp

  90. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    Lol. Again, the sad part is that I really don’t care about Ruud one way or the other. MLB just isn’t very important in our defense. It just amazes me that some guys here- despite every meaningful expert pointing out that he really doesn’t play the run- blame him for the run defense. It’s like they can’t comprehend what they read.

    I think Ruud is gone. I also don’t think it matters- just need a big fast guy to cover the shallow middle. The part that makes me laugh is that, if in a moment of insanity- Dom signed Patrick Willis. He would play the exact same as Ruud, actually- probably not as well. And the same people would be crying that he lost it. They just don’t understand at all. And I thought Joe did such a great job explaining it today that NOONE could still be confused. He spoon fed it to them! Stlll a bunch don’t have any idea what he’s talking about!! I didn’t think it was possible

  91. woo Says:

    I will go on record as saying I *was* a big Ruud fan… in like 2007/2008. He seemed to penetrate and make big plays regularly. I don’t dislike him now, but I just don’t see the big play maker desire in him anymore. So while I’d be happy to have him come back, I won’t cry if he leaves. And I’m guessing he leaves because the Bucs aren’t going to pony up the kind of money it will take to keep him.

  92. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I certainly don’t hate Ruud. I commend him for putting up big numbers (tackles) every year, and never missing a game. I don’t think by any means he is the reason our defense has struggled.

    Captain Tim, I respect you tremendously as a fan of this team. However, I have to disagree with you on a few points. First of all, in this newer hybrid Tampa 2, the MLB is NOT a safety. Due to boredom of all these damn CBA talks, I have gone back and watched most of the games from this year, and I have specifically watched Ruud. He drops back into deep coverage considerably less than you think. The days of him darting to the deep middle at the snap are pretty much done, at least in regularity. In fact, he goes several series sometimes without doing it once. Also, he greatly struggles at fighting off blocks, and he really struggles on short yardage situations. However, he is a very good tackler, and he more often than not takes good angles. He may not “lay the wood” on people, but he does get the job done most of the time. In my non-professional opinion, he is a good MLB, but not great. I also don’t buy for one second the fact that a MLB is not important in our defense. If someone is making that many tackles, then he is obviously important, not to mention all the duties he has in getting people lined up correctly. I think it could be easily argued that he is the most important part of our defense.

    Bottom line is we are going to find out how good he is by what the team does with him in the offseason. If he is not offered a real contract (meaning long-term with market-value money), then I think it is pretty obvious that he is not the type of MLB Raheem and Dominik want. If they do, then it shows he is. Only time will tell.

  93. Joe Says:

    For anyone that cares to read it and learn some football, Pat Kirwan’s defense of Barrett Ruud as told to Joe’s face.

    In the interview linked above, Kirwan describes why Ruud is invaluable to the Bucs.

  94. quiet8302 Says:

    If Ruud leaves so what we still have guys like ronde,talib,sean jones cody grimms,biggers lewis mccoy miller who have exp n the T 2.1 so Im quite sure we can line up rite.Either way it go if he stays or go the 2011 Bucs will be better than Last yr!!!!!!! Go Bucs

  95. espo Says:

    But Quiet, we need a middle linebacker. We can’t just put a scarecrow there. Actually, there’s an idea! We can give him a number 51 jersey.

  96. HFXBUC Says:

    Why start over? Bring him back otherwise we have another hole to fill, we need a DE, FS, and CB…you guys want to add MLB to that list…because you don’t think hi hits hard enough…not that he doesn’t make the play but because it’s not flashy enough brutal. I suppose you guys would have kicked Tim Duncan off your basketball team as well?

    He’s not ever going to be a big play maker but he’s not a liability and if he gets the rest of the guys lined up right at the very worst the defense will be fundamentally sound which means we have a top 15 D at worst – see NE Patriots – and don’t give up the big plays that kill your chances of winning. Then if we have play makers at other positions they are in the right place to make the big plays. All because Rudd make sure they were lined up properly….

  97. Lil Joey Strawman Says:

    Joe is the king of creating straw-man arguments. Last year he posted endless articles of Byron Leftwich being a steeler in a lame attempt to prove he was a good QB we should have kept around. (HAH!)

    This year it’s the suggestion that fans want to replace Ruud , simply because he’s not the 2nd coming of Dick Butkus. Yeah , that’s the reason…

    Stick to copy and pasting articles from other websites. When you take the next step to commentary you fail miserably.

  98. MOBucs Says:

    Haven’t read the cornucopia of posts on this issue so this may have been stated already. Once the D-line improves, Ruud will look much better. Regardless though, Ruud is a solid MLB. Not a world beater but intelligent and for the most part a good tackler. Unless we have somebody who can step in and fill Ruud’s shoes, the defense will suffer next season if Ruud leaves.

  99. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Lil Joey Strawman – You’re showing your ignorance and misguided anger. Thanks for the love.

  100. espo Says:

    Mo, I used that same defense of Ruud many times. Our ends still didn’t get much pressure but before he got injured, McCoy was blowing up the middle and Miller and Okam/Woods also held their own in the middle. I saw no improvement from Ruud. I’m fed up with it. I want him to be a quality starter for this team but I just don’t see it.

    HFXBUC, I don’t care how hard he hits. I want him to wrap up. Textbook tackling and taking better angles to get to the ball carrier will improve his game tremendously.

  101. Bucnjim Says:

    Out of all these posts; Hawiian Buc really gives the best fact filled arguement without letting emotion sway his opinion. I myself can’t stand the fact that we have a MLB who is supposed to be a safety or whatever they are calling it. Ruud gets swallowed by blockers, but is able to pursue and still make the tackles down field which is his one good attribute. Let’s talk about stats! If Ruud is dropping back in coverage as everyone claims; then why does he only have four (4!!!!) passes defensed for the entire season. That’s one very quarter of the season! Question: Is he defending the pass or the run? If he is dropping back in coverage; obviously he’s doing a terrible job. I think Cody Grimm had 2 or 3 in one game. I’m sorry, but I want the leader of the Bucs defense (which he is supposed to be) to be able to knock the crap out of someone. That’s really not asking too much when the head coach is preaching physical and violent play. He is neither! More like a finesse player held over from the Tampa 2 days. As Hawaiian Buc states in his post; very seldom does Ruud actually run the Monte Kiffin style cover deep D. So the question the Bucs need to ask themselves is what does Ruud bring to the team. Leadership? Nope…..Physical pressence? No Way…… Speed? Not any More…….Coverage skills? Below average …… All anyone has to do is look at the LB’s on the two Super Bowl teams. Does Ruud do a better job than any of those players. The answer is NO!!