Bucs Loser In The Draft… Barrett Ruud?

May 4th, 2011

There are players on the Bucs roster that if the recent draft didn’t raise their antennae, then they are in for a rude awakening whenever training camps begins this summer (fall?).

Good guy Stephen Holder of the St. Petersburg Times yesterday afternoon listed several (one of which is Kyle Moore, who Joe wrote about as well). Holder writes about Bucs players as winners and losers in the draft and atop the list he has for Bucs losers is middle linebacker Barrett Ruud.

Barrett Ruud: The Bucs plan to have third-round pick Mason Foster begin his career at middle linebacker, which is of great significance to Ruud. The four-year starter at middle linebacker is a free agent and is looking for a long-awaited payday after having his free agency postponed last year because of the uncapped season.

There have been some ill feelings on Ruud’s part because he wasn’t offered a contract extension as Donald Penn — also a restricted free agent at the time — was.

The addition of Foster doesn’t automatically mean the Bucs are moving on. But it does mean Tampa Bay, at a minimum, has a Plan B in place and will certainly use that to their advantage in contract negotiations.

Joe will have more about Ruud and Raheem Morris later today that Bucs fans will want to read. But Joe’s not ready to pack the U-Haul for Ruud quite yet. Many Bucs fans simply cannot grasp the concept that in Raheem Morris’ defense, Ruud is not required or asked to be a prototypical linebacker that every football fan has a popular image of. In layman’s terms, Ruud is a glorified safety; not a linebacker.

Putting a Ray Lewis or Jack Lambert-type middle linebacker in Morris’ defense would be a horrible fit, like having a wishbone quarterback play instead of Josh Freeman. To have such a linebacker would mean Morris would have to completely rebuild and retool the defense.

In other words, it would be a return to the heinous Jim Bates Experiment.

19 Responses to “Bucs Loser In The Draft… Barrett Ruud?”

  1. Not A Rocket Surgeon Says:

    I really thought Mason projected to Will LBr… first I’ve seen of a ‘plan to work at MLB’…

  2. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    Joe said: “Putting a Ray Lewis or Jack Lambert-type middle linebacker in Morris’ defense would be a horrible fit”

    That is just a ridiculous statement. You put a good football player on the field and the system doesn’t freaking matter one iota.

    Think Brian Uhrlacher doesn’t fit in the Tampa 2? Please

  3. MVPFreeman Says:

    I dont think he would have resigned with us anyway. The guy has to be pissed off over the past couple of seasons.

  4. Piratic Says:

    If #51 leaves, it will be because he chooses to leave, not because the Bucs don’t want him.

    IMO, come opening day, he’s our starter @ MLB.

  5. Bucnjim Says:

    A picture is worth a 1000 words! This picture sums up an entire career!

  6. Capt.Tim Says:

    Well said Joe, and what I’ve been saying for months also. In the Tampa Defense, Ruud is a big safety. No- Brian Urlacher would be a huge failure in our defense, as his primary job is coverage. Urlacher sucks at coverage. Asking that question means you don’t understand the different defensive schemes in the NfL. No worries- lottaa people don’t. The Tampa 2 is based on 4 man pressure from the line. The SS and Sam backer play close to the line- run committed first, the short passes in the flat. The MLB drops 10 yards and covers TEs and RBs in crossing patterns at the middle of the field- almost no Run defense commitment. The Wil backer plays the weak side flats, or pursues from the weak side. The Tampa 2(or 2.1) is a pass stopping defense, with 5 men(at least) in coverage every play. It is effective if your linemen can provide pressure on the QB

  7. Jrock Says:

    Ruud isn’t spectacular in coverage and he sure as hell isn’t spectacular in run-stop.

    If Ruud’s ability doesn’t fit into our defensive scheme, then I say “Next man up!”

  8. Bucnjim Says:


    You are pretty much right on with your analysis of the Tampa 2 in Passing situations. The problem is that the run/pass ratio is about 50/50 for most teams. (except the Saints & Colts that is) So that means the RB’s & TE’s are only running routes about 50% or less of the time. The rest of the time they RB’s are getting the ball in the form of a handoff and the TE’s are blocking. When the hot read at the line is run; that’s where Ruud fails miserably. Whether it’s the FB, TE, OL, or even the RB himself; Ruud is getting face planted by these players. It’s not even a fair contest when a pulling Guard gets his hands on him because he gets destroyed. I’m not sure if it’s a strength issue (which I believe it is) or a quickness issue where he can’t avoid or side step the contact. Either way; his best days were when we actually ran the Cover two the majority of the time. Now the Tampa 2 is a hybrid that runs the traditional cover 2 only about 20% of the time.

  9. Joe Says:


    Yeah, sure, Urlacher could do more with the Bucs. Good luck finding an Urlacher. Dude like that comes around once a decade.

  10. Capt.Tim Says:

    Actually, the pass/ run percentage is about 66%/33% last time I heard. I didn’t have time to verify that number, so correct me if I’m wrong!

  11. Capt.Tim Says:

    I agree Ruud isn’t physical at all. But no one gives him any credit for his skill set, which is unique and works so well here. Ruud is extremely fast, and actually very quick. He has the recovery speed of a cornerback!

    BucnJim-it’s true that teams don’t throw every down. But do cornerbacks drop into coverage every down? Of course, their job is coverage first! So is Ruud’s! Our scheme has him drop in coverage every play, just like a Db. So did Hardy Nickerson, so did Shelton Quarles. It’s even more so in Raheem’s new 2.1. So if you hate how Ruud plays, you really hate theTampa 2, because he dies what he is supposed to do!

  12. Funky Munkey Says:

    I could be wrong, but Mason does not appear to be a Mike to me. He has the talent to do whatever he wants, but it seems a more natural fit a Will. Keep Ruud at Mike and have LB committee at Sam. I think that gives us the best team at LB with that setup.

    Have Grimm and Black at the safety spots with Jones rotating in. And have Talib and Rhonde at CB with Lewis as our #3 and hopefully by the seasons end our #2. Placing Rhonde as our Nickel to go with Biggers.

    That is our best chance IMO to have an above average defense. And who knows about or DEs health so I won’t even comment on those positions yet.

  13. Colby Says:

    Funky Munkey, you beat me to the punch. After the draft we raved about Foster’s ability to blitz and shed blockers. You see his highlights and you think, “this is the Quincy Black that never showed up.”

    I am one to believe Mason Foster could play any of the linebacker positions, but right now this is a total leverage move. We will let Ruud hit the open market so he gets a reality check as to how much he is worth (not many teams need his skill set at LB), then we will give him a longterm deal and Mason moves to Will.

    If, by chance, another team bites on Ruud, then we resign Quincy and see how he performs with a more talented from four this season.

  14. The D Says:

    “Ruud is extremely fast, and actually very quick. He has the recovery speed of a cornerback!”- that has to be a joke. Todd Heap out ran him last year and thats not a good thing. I like Ruud and have defended him for a while but hes not fast.

  15. Nick2 Says:

    Joe great picture selection on Ruud thats how I will always remember him. Chasing down a defender from behind. Never stepping up and making a tackle. Mason Foster come on down!!!!!! Your next please step into the gap and make a play!!!

  16. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:


    “Yeah, sure, Urlacher could do more with the Bucs. Good luck finding an Urlacher. Dude like that comes around once a decade.”

    So do Ray Lewis and Jack Lambert, the two MLB’s you mentioned as bad fits for the Tampa 2 (well, technically you said “Raheem’s defense” which I’d say is getting closer and closer to a 43/34 hybrid than to Monte’s original Tampa 2).

    My point is if you put Patrick Willis on this team he will still be a stud. Saying “it’s the system” is an excuse. Nothing more. Big players make big plays….

    Same thing we heard about Chris Hovan…people said it was the system and he was just doing his job. Guess nobody told the QB Killer that when he was here wreaking havoc

  17. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    Capt Tim said:

    “No- Brian Urlacher would be a huge failure in our defense, as his primary job is coverage.”


    “The Tampa 2 defensive scheme was integrated by Lovie Smith, and has been successful for Chicago.”

  18. strech9681 Says:

    Mason Foster can play all three lb spots, and if u watch him at Washington he is the same as Ruud except he’s more aggressive to the ball at or behind the line of scrimmage. We have seen the best of Ruud! Foster can grow into a better coverage guy! Very few Lb and Cb come in able to cove NFL receivers and tightends. It Tampa 2, he will have help over top almost always.

  19. drdneast Says:

    Rudd is a good, not great, linebacker in the Bucs Cover 2 scheme. He patrols the middle of the field in passing downs and has done a solid job at that. For the past few years the Bucs have had very weak defensive fronts which have allowed RB’s to get to the second level almost untouched.
    The fact the Bucs have drafted four defensive linemanin the first two round in the last two years must be an indicator of this for even the most idiotic of you Rudd haters. We used to call Ian Beckels, Ian Buckles when he played for the Bucs. I like listening to him, but he is a legend in his own mind.