“It Doesn’t Bode Well For Barrett Ruud”

May 1st, 2011

He sucks. He’s great. He’s an irreplaceable cog in the Bucs defense. He’s softer than natural breasts.

There are so many opinions on Barrett Ruud, easily the most polarizing figure among Bucs fans. Not since blocking icon Michael Clayton left the building has a player risen the blood pressure of so many.

St. Pete Times beat writer Stephen Holder threw more gasoline on the debate today speculating that Bucs third-round pick Mason Foster might have been drafted as Ruud’s replacement.

The selection of Washington linebacker Mason Foster in the third round was billed by the team as a choice that gives the Bucs numerous options. And this seems apparent given the fact Foster literally played all three linebacker positions for the Huskies as well as showing a great deal of edge rush ability.

But here’s a window into the Bucs’ thinking on Foster: They intend to use him as a middle linebacker. That’s the team’s intent right now, and it doesn’t bode well for Barrett Ruud. We can’t say that any decision has been made on Ruud, who will be a free agent whenever the NFL re-opens for business.

But here’s the thing: At minimum, even if the Bucs intend to re-sign Ruud, they had to protect themselves against losing him on the open market. By selecting Foster, the Bucs feel they’ve done that.

Of course, what makes Holder’s premise a bit difficult to completely accept is his beat comrade at the Times, Rick Stroud, just explained Raheem Morris “loves” Ruud. Which is it, guys? And Mark Dominik has talked over and over again how the Bucs’ core beliefs include re-signing their own free agents, and Ruud is one of those guys.

Joe likes the Foster pick, but for those who hope he’s going to walk in and be an upgrade from Ruud, that’s a tall order for a late third-round pick, or for Tyron McKenzie, the former Patriots third-rounder waiting in the wings.

24 Responses to ““It Doesn’t Bode Well For Barrett Ruud””

  1. Capt.Tim Says:

    God, Holder is starting to be as lazy as IRA ” new England” Kaufman! Can we please get a real sports reporter in this area please??

    The ONLY knock against Foster is that he sucks in coverage. The Tampa 2 MLB’s job is primarily coverage. Even writing a story without any sources or research, Holder should know that.

    Foster will be our Sam LB, replacing the soft against the run Quincy Black. Like replacing a feather pillow with an anvil. Trust the Capt. On this one,

    Come’on Steve, you were the guy I thought was on top of things around here! What happened?

  2. strech9681 Says:

    Capt. Tim. In the Tampa 2 mlb covers a zone. Unless the mlb is a freak of nature…. the he also acts a wheel linebacker that covers Reggie Bush, and Mike Vick types! Good points though

  3. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Disclaimer: None of my comments are directed at you, Joe, because I know Steven Holder is the one putting opinion forth as facts.

    Well, it turns out, the Bucs weren’t nearly as high on Amukamara as you might imagine. In fact, it’s likely they would have passed on him even if he was available when the Bucs picked at No. 20.

    I cannot stand when a journalist puts forth guesswork as fact. If nothing he says is proven to be true, will we see an apologize later? Nope. It’s becoming more and more clear to me that the sports writers of the times have zero integrity.

    There was a time when being a reporter meant adhereing to a strict code of ethics. In those days, bad reports were held accountable.

    Holder is saying the Bucs were not interested in Amukamara at all…but really, how can he know that? Short answer: He doesn’t. It’s guess work. throughout his article, he does not name or even mention that he has a source at all. Because he doesn’t.

    But here’s a window into the Bucs’ thinking on Foster: They intend to use him as a middle linebacker. That’s the team’s intent right now…

    Oh, is it now? Steven, what is your source on that? What…you don’t have one? Steven has made it clear that he would like Ruud replaced in the past…and now he is making up stuff to create his own news.

    If he were a blogger, it would be one thing…but this guy is a reporter. Officially.

    Steven and Ira should look at Joe as an example of true journalism. Whenever he posts stuff, he ALWAYS names his sources. And if he doesn’t, he makes it clear he’s stating opinion.

  4. jEsTer Says:

    I really like this Foster kid,Bradford seems a little thuggish.Watch one of Bradfords highlight reals he runs over Foster multiple times it looks very Ruud-ish.HUh

  5. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    agree with you Capt.

    just from his measurables, he sounds more like a Strong side LB to replace Quincy Black than a MLB in a Tampa Two

  6. BigMacAttack Says:

    I agree too that Foster is more of a SAM. McKenzie or Hayward looks to be the MIKE(both much faster than Ruud), but I also think they will try to keep Ruud. But keeping with tradition, will not overpay him, and with good reason. Ruud made $3Mil last year and that isn’t chump change. I believe the the Bucs upgraded their defense all around with this draft which should improve the play of others as well, including Ruud. Everybody needs a supporting cast, even LeBron James. I would like to see Ruud get a little more ripped and gain some strength. That may just mean an improved diet, and changing his workout habits. I don’t doubt Ruud’s instincts and ability, just question his strength, and 2 of 3 ain’t bad, but it won’t win a championship.

  7. gitarlvr Says:

    If they intend to use him as a MLB then that doesn’t bode well for the continued use of Tampa 2 formation because coverage down the deep middle is Mason Foster’s weakness. He is a thumper in the run game for sure but he is a downgrade from Barrett Ruud in pass coverage. I keep telling Ruud haters that would be the case if the Bucs went after a thumper. Well you got what you wanted. I don’t have a problem with it but they better scheme around Foster’s weakness and avoid Tampa 2 whenever possible. It’s also possible they may use Foster as a 2 down linebacker at first while they coach him up in pass coverage.

  8. BigMacAttack Says:

    That makes a lot of sense, Gitarzan. Raheem is really out there and innovative. He uses the word hybrid frequently and is always looking for a better mousetrap. I could see him with Foster and Ruud on the field together as ILB’s at times with (2)Hayes, Black, Hayward or Watson as OLB’s. Maybe he rushes Miller at nose with Clayborne and Bowers on the ends. Who knows what he’ll do but I bet he puts together some creative packages at times. I think this defense may be loaded with stud players, finally, that pull off the experiments of the mad scientist. They said chucky was mad but Raheem is way past that, he’ll try anything. I would also like to see some 5 man fronts with Bowers, GMC, Miller, Price, & Clayborne at the same time as well, on run downs occasionally, just to mix things up.

  9. strech9681 Says:

    Does anyone watch Ruud? He’s slow to the line (action comes to him) and slow to get back to cover! The only difference between him and Foster is years in league! They both tackle, but we have seen the best of Ruud. Foster can get better!

  10. Leighroy Says:

    Big Mac, the only thing holding Barret Ruud is diet and exercise? Are you an armchair scout or a physician? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

  11. gotbbucs Says:

    anybody but me notice that they didnt touch any 3-4 hybrids? hopefully clayborn and bowers are the cure for what illed our base 4-3 last year and we no longer need to dick with that hideous nickel defense again.

  12. gitarlvr Says:

    Its not going anywhere gotbbucs. Thats why they drafted Foster. Washington did in fact situationally utilize a 3 man front wherein Foster played as an outside rush linebacker. In fact even if Foster becomes the MLB I would expect them to slide him outside to the “redskin” linebacker spot on 3rd downs. He should instantly be the best pass rushing linebacker on this team and even if he doesn’t become a starter at all in year one expect him out there rushing the passer at times in the 3-4\3-3-5 at the very least.

  13. espo Says:

    All I read was something about natural breasts…

  14. gitarlvr Says:

    The fact is the hybrid DE\OLB’s didn’t fall to the Bucs. Aldon Smith, Robert Quinn and Kerrigan were all “tweeners” and all off the board at #20. Justin Houston fell all the way to the Bucs in round 2 but so did Bowers and the Bucs weren’t touching another guy with drug issues like Houston away. Dontay Moch was off the board before the Bucs could select him also. Just because the Bucs didn’t select any of guys who were widely viewed as tweeners doesn’t mean the Bucs won’t utilize Foster to help amp up their 3 man fronts. Morris has already said things to the effect of using Mason Foster that way.

  15. gitarlvr Says:

    To expound a little further… The Bucs may not have selected any DE\OLB tweeners but… both Clayborn and Bowers are 280 lb. plus guys who can easily play the 5 tech. if called upon to do so. The way I envision it is Brian Price(miller if not healthy) at nose tackle with any combination of McCoy, Clayborn and Bowers as the 5 technique ends. Then Mason Foster and Quincy Black(Watson if not resigned) as the pass rushing outside linebackers. Obviously with so much potential to get a solid rush from the front four in a 4-3 alone, without blitzing, the Bucs are going to try to get it done that way a lot but Raheem is not going to stay predictable no matter how good the 4 man front looks. He is going to keep mixing in those 3 man fronts and blitz packages. The fact is no matter how fast the rush is coming a guy like Drew Brees can find a way to beat it if he knows who’s coming from where. Throwing different looks at a guy like that is an invaluable way to confuse him long enough to let the rush get there.

  16. BigMacAttack Says:

    Hey Leroy, what you said or read was totally different than what I wrote. I was eating healthy and pumping big iron when you were in your daddy’s nuts. Too bad all that squirted out was smelly afterbirth.

  17. HIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    I agree Joe, however, this is what drafting Foster does do:

    It gives the Bucs some leverage in negotiating a contract with Ruud. Not a ton of leverage, but they can always say, “hey, we just drafted a 3rd round guy who can play MIKE.

  18. gotbbucs Says:

    bottom line gitarlvr, they didnt draft any tweeners. so like me, dominik believes that we need to be able to operate out of the base. i dont care if the 3-4 is used 4 or 5 times a game, just not entire quarters like last year.

  19. Gary Says:

    I can’t wait for Ruud to be re-signed or not re-signed so we can stop talking about this …smh

  20. dan Says:

    ruud stays because of his familiarity with the D and the lack of time in offseason to coach/catch anyone up to be the ‘defensive quarterback’.

  21. bucswin Says:

    Joe wrote: “Of course, what makes Holder’s premise a bit difficult to completely accept is his beat comrade at the Times, Rick Stroud, just explained Raheem Morris “loves” Ruud. Which is it, guys?”

    Both. As Holder explained, even if Rah wants to keep him, Ruud may be lost to FA where somebody else offers him a large contract. So, either way, they had to get somebody like Foster.

  22. Architek Says:

    I have grown tired of talking about an irrelavant player. Ruud is nothing remotely close to as important as this draft was so why talk about him. Joe published the article as information for us Bucs addicts and lets just let it be that. JUST INFORMATION. Lets discuss the draft. We have been waiting all year and here we are stuck on a mediocre player.

  23. Dave Says:

    It might be protection in case Ruud leaves, but so is McKenzie.

    Foster might also be ready to replace Black if he leaves.

    It gives them insurance against one of them leaving and makes the LB crew better.

    Personally, I think they were going to grab an OLB round 2 but then Bowers fell in their lap and, even he only plays 4 years, they HAD to take him.

  24. Cannon Says:

    “Softer than natural breasts…” lmfao!!!1!