The Poz And The Bucs

July 11th, 2011

Stuck in this seemingly endless asinine lockout, Bucs fans have to come up with other things to chatter about with the absence of transactions.

That would be hypothetical transactions. And few things Bucs fans enjoy talking about more is the value/drag that middle linebacker Barrett Ruud is to the Bucs.

There is no guarantee Ruud will be back. So Bucs fans have had to dream of who may replace him.

Not long ago, Joe threw out the name of underrated linebacker Paul Posluszny who, like Ruud with the Bucs, is in the same boat with the Bills.

The Poz, the personification of a Penn State linebacker in college, spoke with popular sports radio personality Adam Schein and former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon today on “The Blitz,” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, and invoked the Bucs as a potential landing spot for him, if everything shakes out properly.

“There are several teams that may have a need [for a linebacker],” Posluszny said. “There are some 43 [defenses] that I can be a good fit in. I hear a lot about the Giants. The Bucs would be a good fit too but it depends on what they do with Barrett Ruud. There are several teams that may have a need or may not, it depends on who they bring back.

“The more you think about this, you drive yourself crazy.”

Joe thinks The Poz would be a good replacement for Ruud, but not perfect by any means, if Ruud were not to return. Poz is very much a student of the game and the guy is not just a ballhawk but a solid tackler and not shabby in pass defense. The guy is also very much a leader with the Bills, just like he was for JoePa, which is no surprise.

Joe would feel a helluva lot more comfortable with The Poz at middle linebacker than rookie Mason Foster, who may not even be a good middle linebacker fit on the NFL level.

But if Joe would have to guess, unless Ruud is totally PO’ed at Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik and has already made up his mind he won’t be back, Joe’s of the belief Ruud will be back starting for the Bucs at middle linebacker whenever this asinine lockout ends.

After the interview, Schein went on to say that Posluszny is the No. 2 free agent linebacker on the market, behind only Ruud. And to be honest, Joe thinks the Bucs would be better off with Ruud.

32 Responses to “The Poz And The Bucs”

  1. Not A Rocket Surgeon Says:

    I listened to the interview.

    It appears that Poz had the same issues as Ruud (no dline in front.) There really isn’t much of a significant difference between them – is there?

    That said it brought up the eagles (which I hadn’t thought about before) for Ruud or Poz.

  2. Bucnjim Says:

    The question should be raised that why would Ruud resign with the Bucs? Everybody (including Ruud himself) knows that he is not in the LONG term plans of the team. If so he would have been resigned when Donald Penn was. Ruud also knows that this is his ONLY chance to try to get that one large long term contract. The value he puts on himself is much larger than the value the team has placed on him based on his performance. A team like the Giants who have a lot of talent on D could probably use Ruud since he wouldn’t be the captain of the D or in a leadership role. Those roles are already in place. The Bucs are in NEED of talented players and especially leaders on their D. That’s the difference! Ruud fills a certain need and role, but he doesn’t really fit the Bucs long term needs of a physical leader.

  3. Joe Says:


    The reason why Ruud isn’t in the long-term plans is because he’s getting up in years. He’ll turn 30 in his next contract. Ruud wouldn’t be in the long-term plans of any team.

    If Ruud were to be a role player with the Giants as you suggest, he likely won’t get much of a payday.

    Do agree Ruud likely has an inflated value for himself.

  4. Brad Says:

    No one knows how good Foster will or wont be but my money is the he will better than Ruud. What I don’t understand Joe is why the negativity. First you made the comments on Joe tv about the grade of the draft (which no one knows) and now the comments about Foster. I think we get enough negative crap with our local sportswriters, Ian Beckles, and Thomas 2.2. I’m guessing one of the Joes is the negative one and the other not so much. I don’t want to hear everythings great in Bucland all the time when it’s not but to knock the draft before we know is a little harsh.

  5. Joe Says:


    Think about it, it’s not negatively, it’s common sense, it’s reality.

    You really think Mason Foster, a rookie outside linebacker drafted in the third round could move into Ruud’s position and call the Bucs defense as well as Ruud does right away? Throw in the fact there hasn’t even been any OTAs, and it’s simply unrealistic to believe Foster would be Ruud’s equal or better.

    To believe Foster, a rookie with no OTAs, could not just learn the Bucs defense but the Bucs opponents in six weeks of training camp and, playing in Ruud’s position — which is out of position for Foster — would be an upgrade for the Bucs defense is a significant leap in faith.

    Could Foster be an upgrade over Ruud (or even Poz)? Yeah, someday, maybe. But in September 2011? Very, very, very doubtful.

  6. Espo Says:


    Its not reality. Its your opinion. History shows you to be right but then again, no team in NFL history has won 10 games while starting so many rookies. Undrafted free agents, at that.

    This is not as big of a risk as starting a rookie QB, and teams do that far more often. Foster might not be able to make the same reads or call the proper audibles, but he will learn from being thrown into the fire. And who says the Mike needs to be the one to do it? Brooks used to do it all the time. One thing he will bring is less broken tackles, less whiffed tackles (the lack of that stat in the record book makes Ruud look like a viable NFL linebacker) and less terrible angles (see previous parenthesis). How do I know these things without seeing Mason Foster play a down? BECAUSE HE CAN’T POSSIBLY BE ANY WORSE!!!! Isn’t that what they always say in movies before it gets much worse? Uh oh.

    At the end of the day, I do expect Ruud to be our starting middle linebacker when the season starts. I don’t think he should be but thats how its going to be. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll root for whoever wears our uniform. Frustration will definitely take its toll.

  7. BigMacAttack Says:

    Ruud’s locker has been Locked Out.

  8. Joe Says:


    You are coming at this from the premise that Ruud is a horrible linebacker. Every person Joe has spoken with who is either involved in the NFL or once coached in the NFL thinks Ruud is a quality linebacker for — this is the key phrase — what he is asked to do.

    Joe is in no position to tell these same people they don’t know what they are talking about.

  9. Espo Says:

    I simply ask him to tackle.

    I honestly believe that Shelton Quarles could pause a field sobriety test and play the position better than Barrett Ruud.

  10. Espo Says:

    I also believe our D line will be better this year. Much better. That should improve Ruud’s performance. Lets see.

  11. Jrock Says:


    It seems your biggest point on keeping Ruud is what he does for our young defense, keeping them in the right places, etc.

    Like Espo said, there are others on the D that can do that. When Ronde is in the slot (which he is A LOT) he can keep people in the right spot, I believe Quincy or Hayes, hell even Heyward or Koutivedes could help in that area. They’ve all been with this defense for years, if they haven’t learned it by now then they shouldn’t be on the team.

    My point, other Bucs can fill what Ruud does best. A number of young players should be able to fix what Ruud lacks. I think we’d survive without him, OTA’s or not.

  12. Joe Says:


    On paper, in theory, you are correct.

    Joe will let Pat Kirwan answer that very question, which Joe posed to him during a sit down in Dallas earlier this year.

    Joe: A lot of people say that calling defensive plays is interchangeable [the Bucs went from Hardy Nickerson to Jamie Duncan to Shelton Quarles calling defensive plays in a short span of seasons with no discernible dropoff], that they can coach others to call plays.

    Kirwan: Well, they’ve never coached anybody. We had a guy in New York named Kyle Clifton back in the late 80s and early 90s. Not a flashy player but we were always trying to replace him. When we finally replaced him, we called him back and brought him back. We realized that there were players that were leaning on him in the huddle and when people changed formations and motioned people, it was Kyle. When I talk to Barrett and watch how Barrett plays — and I’ve talked to him about it many times — that is what he brings to the table that is never measured in tackles, sacks and interceptions.

    And here’s what Tim Ryan, former defensive lineman with the Bears, said:

    Bucs caller: I think some of the people don’t understand the way he works in the system. He doesn’t play up on the line; he drops back. I wonder if you can explain all of that and how he works in the system?

    Tim Ryan: Well, it’s a passing league but you’d like the see Barrett Ruud make more tackles at the line of scrimmage. I understand that. Go look at those young defensive tackles in front of him and you are going to see guys getting pushed and on roller skates and get pushed right into Barrett Ruud. He’s not the most physical player when you talk about him. But he can key. He can diagnose. He can get everyone lined up. He’s not going to bust mental errors. Where Barrett is best is in that intermediate passing game as a second-level defender. He knows it’s coming. He understands route concepts. He can cover running backs out of the backfield. It’s going to be really, really hard replacing that. We would prefer the Bucs kept him but it sounds like, it sounds like the Bucs may be done with him down there and it sounds like he may be irritated they didn’t re-up with him when they had the opportunity before. Barrett is going to get an opportunity to get paid out on the open market if we can get to unrestricted free agency. I like [Bucs third-round pick linebacker Mason Foster] too, a lot. The guy played Mike linebacker as a true freshman. He has a bunch of tackles. But again, I can’t tell you the training that Barrett had under Shelton Quarles and under Derrick Brooks — and I know Shelton is still there but under a different role — and under Monte Kiffin, I mean, replacing the football intellect that Barrett Ruud is, that’s a tall order. Watch him when they run a naked bootleg. Watch Barrett when a bootleg comes. He sees it develop. No. 1 he knows by down and distance it is probably coming.

  13. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Joe is right about Ruud and that is the very reason that he will be in Tampa Bay this season again, especially due to a lockout-shortened offseason. The only way Ruud goes elsewhere is if: 1) he’s so offended that he refuses to re-sign here or, 2) the Bucs sign a top quality LB in free agency such as Stephen Tulloch. If neither of those points are met then you can bet your azz Ruud will be back. Period.

  14. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    Always liked Posluszny, when he was coming out of college I remember hoping the Bucs would snag him. If we were to lose Ruud in free agency, I would be a big advocate of bringing him in. (Not that Bucs management runs these things by me before making their final decisions)

  15. m.wesley Says:

    I keep hearing the pros talk,and experts but joe they seem to forget how great Ruud is come pro bowl time and his peers sure forgot him in the top 100 and that crap about a rookie playing mlb is not true at all there has been several rookies that did well at mlb

  16. Jrock Says:

    Well Joe, touche.

    I think the defense would take a step back with Ruud gone, how long it would take to make two steps forward is up in the air. I think it wouldn’t take all season to get things straight… but with a lot of key matchups coming early this season that learning curve could torpedo our playoff chances early.


  17. gotbbucs Says:

    iiii doooon’tttt caaaarree annymooore! just get this f’ing lockout over with and whoever ends up on the team can play the games and everything will be as it should be!

  18. BigMacAttack Says:

    I don’t care what anybody says about Ruud and what he’s asked to do, I believe my Eyes more than their Mouths. Ruud is history, Dom doesn’t want him. Ruud does over-value his own abilities and worth. For 3 years now Ruud has been snubbed, and why?????? Because he’s mediocre on his good days and sucks on his bad days. He’s slow, he doesn’t work out, he is not devoted to the team and doesn’t show up unless it is Mandatory. Ruud is a 40/hr week salary guy and that’s it. He won’t give you any more or any less. I can’t wait to see him get his walking papers, and Pat ‘Suckit” Kirwan doesn’t know jack squat about the Bucs. He doesn’t follow them. He doesn’t watch them. He picks against them every week, because he has no freakin clue. My money is Mark Dominick and Dom won’t give Ruud a dime, because he ain’t worth a nickel. All you Ruud lovers need to prepare for an upgrade. I don’t know if it’s Hayward, McKenzie or Foster, even Pos would be a breath of fresh air and worth a try. Barrett “Average” Ruud is about to be a distant memory and by Game 1, he will never be missed again.

  19. BigMacAttack Says:

    Everybody said Cody as a rookie couldn’t play at safety. What Happened?

    Everybody said Mike Williams would be a major problem, and the Bucs had to sign Brandon Marshall. What Happened?

    Everybody said the O line would collapse without Faine, Joseph or Trueblood. What Happened?

    Everybody said you can’t start 10 rookies and have a winning team, you’ll get creamed. What Happened?

    Everybody said Blount was a problem and couldn’t make it in the NFL. What Happened?

    I’ll tell you what happened. Mark Dominick & Raheem Morris, that’s what happened. And if you think they can’t flourish without Barrett Ruud, you’re a fool. Even if the Bucs kept Ruud, he wouldn’t start because he’ll get beat out by one of the younger, stronger, faster linebackers that actually understand the meaning of “heart”, “Drive”, “Commitment” and “Winning”.

    Seeya Barrett, enjoy New York while it lasts, and then get used to that Bench, sucker.

  20. Joe Says:


    What would work best is if Ruud, or a lesser choice, Poz, would be signed to a two-year contract and begin grooming the next MLB right away. By that time, the defensive line should be significantly improved which, in theory, would make the transition to a new MLB smoother.

  21. Joe Says:


    If we were to lose Ruud in free agency, I would be a big advocate of bringing him in.

    Joe will be driving that bandwagon!

  22. gotbbucs Says:

    Joe, I can’t envision many of the top flight FA’s leaving their respective teams for one or two year contracts, mainly because anybody trying to learn a new scheme this offseason is going to be extremely handicapped. I see most of the big names signing longer term dealswit other teams or just staying put if all they can find is one or two year deals.
    Of course, as always, money talks and bullsh!t walks, so maybe I’m way off.

  23. Macabee Says:

    Hey BigMac, In your own inimitable style of putting things, you made some good points in your 8:51p post. It made me think and I’ve got to say it’s a convincing argument.

  24. Dan Says:

    after watching the games of weeks 1-2 (yesterday) i saw 2 things which are anti the group sentiment. Gerald mccoy causing havok early on (not getting there but definitely screwing with the opposing olines)

    and barret ruud hitting people at or behind the line of scrimmage.

    Having not seen the other games recently enough to speak on legitimately, i would suggest maybe the post-week2 change that happened was the loss of Tanaard Jackson…. forcing ruud into more coverage ‘support’ situations. its just one theory. just one thought. but i would not think it ridiculous to think that with less than ideal guys at safety (and ever think that Raheem helped out Grim with schemes? which is why he played so good?) one thing that didnt change with carolina drastically from 2009 to 2010 is their running game players… and yet instead of 100 per back we held them to around 120 over 3 backs.

    Many say ruud would play better with legitimate line infront of him. i agree (especially if defensive ends arent in coverage.) I will take it a step further. if we can survive with 4 in coverage, he will play MUCH better.

  25. BigMacAttack Says:

    I was ranting and raving, mostly because of Lockout frustration like everyone else here, but If Ruud is a Buc this season, I’ll cheer him on as I always have….. during the games. Still a Buc, gotta show him love on Sundays.

  26. Architek Says:

    Glad you are not the Bucs GM or assigned any personnel responsibilities. I say let the GM be that and we just be opinionated fans we are. Even if Ruud doesn’t comeback, the sky will not fall. It’s another opportunity to get better with change.

  27. Espo Says:

    No need for an apology or explanation, whatever that was. You nailed it. Let’s go hypnotize Raheem and Dominik into thinking the same.

  28. Capt.Tim Says:

    Espo- go read a book, or hire a tutor, and pay a high school coach to mentor you. Do SOMETHING to learn to basics of football! At least at a peewee league level. You constant flaunting your ignorance , in the face of people who DO know what they’ re talking about, is giving me waves of nausea. At what point point does the expert/ informed opinions make you realize that you don’t have a clue?? It’s a friggin mountain now! How much more before you stop looking “uninformed” – and that’s the nicest way I coulda said that!

  29. Espo Says:

    Captain, Sir,

    The absolute basics of the game can be dumbed down to running with the ball and tackling. He is getting paid to do one of those things and he is terrible at it. He doesn’t get credit for a ton of missed tackles because of the poor angles he takes or the blocks that he does not shed. I don’t care how else he factors in if he is so bad at tackling. If Legarrette Blount hurdled 10 players last year but fumbled 10 times, I’d be bashing him too since his job is to hang on to the ball. Since when do you care what the experts say? Did you follow suit and agree that we’d win 2 or 3 games last year? I ignored them and predicted 8. I was way off! Watching highlights, listening to various “experts,” is nothing compared to going to a game and watching this guy ruin what was not long ago the best defense in the NFL. Not even this blog and the articles it re-posts can substitute for actually being there. If you tell me you actually went to the games last year, or at least 1 game last year, I’d still disagree with you and probably assume you spent more time at the ship downing overpriced piss water beer, but I’d at least respect you for making these observations for yourself. Maybe you have professional scout quality film on Barrett Ruud. That would make it acceptable for you to claim to be so “informed” but I have a feeling if you did, you’d be on my side. As for these “experts,” they’re looking for something to talk about besides the lockout. Derrick Brooks has too much integrity to badmouth a former teammate. Recently Joe posted something about Warren Sapp and someone else who escapes my mind discussing soon to be free agents or some other countdown. Sapp’s co-host was all over Ruud’s jock but Sapp wouldn’t say a word. Silence from someone like Sapp can say a lot.

    So, did you go to any games last year? Did you zero in on this guy and sincerely not feel embarrassed?

    Sorry about the nausea. I hope you also didn’t miss a period.

  30. Captain Stagger Says:

    This conversation is so agrivating…every scout and analyst, including our coach talks about his skillset and value, yet you bunch of uneducated arm chair gm’s want show him the door????

    If I hear one more person say Foster and MLB in the same breath I’ll pull my hair out! Do a little research, he’s a SAM, he struggles in coverage. Our MLB is our coverage backer.

    Mckenzie is the next MLB…..hence him taking a flight last week to learn the calls from Ruud when they met in NB.

    It is better to be thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt!

    Manti Te’o in 2012

  31. McBuc Says:

    Wesley…read more of what Kirwin is saying. Reading the offense and having the team rely on him in the huddle does not mean pro bowls or top 100 players. Kirwin even talks about another player that was not great but made the team as one better…after all, football is a team sport. Steve White and many others have stated the same things about Ruud. It amazes me that the fans cannot see it. We should all be thrilled that Ruud made so many tackles, regardless of where on the field, for some of those could have been TDs.

  32. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Architek is right…Dominik & Morris have a depth of understanding that the fans on this, or any, board couldn’t even dream of attaining. And that’s the simple truth no matter how it makes you feel. I will trust their decision-making with regard to Ruud no matter what it looks like. Opinions are like azzholes…every Bucs fan has one and they all smell like sh-t. I’ll put my chips in with Dominik & Morris all day every day compared to most of these yahoos.