Barrett Ruud Groomed His (Possible) Successor

August 3rd, 2011

Yeah, Joe already touched on this but Joe has a different perspective on the issue.

With the departure of Bucs leading tackler and middle linebacker Barrett Ruud, Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik has all but handed the open position to rookie Mason Foster.

In answering a question from former Bucs offensive guard and current WDAE-AM 620 sports personality Ian Beckles Monday, Dominik was confident Foster — who played outside linebacker last year at Washington — could handle calling plays in an NFL defense at middle linebacker.

Joe’s a big fan of Dominik, obviously, but Joe also has to be fair and balanced and while Foster with a little grooming very well could make Bucs fans forget Ruud, to expect a rookie with zero OTAs or minicamps to learn an NFL defense and opposing offensive tendencies in five weeks simply scares the hell out of Joe, and should any sober fan.

But as the great Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friends.”

There’s this Bucs linebacker by the name of Tyrone McKenzie who, reading the tea leaves this summer that Ruud was done with the Bucs (or more precise, the Bucs were done with Ruud), McKenzie flew to Ruud’s native Omaha and Ruud and McKenzie pored over game tape to help get McKenzie get up to speed on the Bucs defense, so Joe’s good friend Jenna Laine of detailed.

With no film room to work with in the off-season, McKenzie flew up to Nebraska to meet with Ruud. The two went over tape in a hotel lobby. The former New England practice squad member says he’s ready to take over the defense, if asked.

“That was huge. Getting out there really helped me out,” says McKenzie, who now calls the plays for the defense. “Barrett is just a great guy. Just to sit down there and talk football with him, after this whole off-season, not talking football with anybody but myself, it was great to out there with him and talk football.”

Go ahead and scream that Ruud couldn’t shed a block in the Lingerie League if it makes you feel more of a man. But Ruud had to know his days as a Bucs linebacker were over or damned near over. Yet he took the time to help groom a soon-to-be former teammate take over his old job.

That my friends is a class act.

25 Responses to “Barrett Ruud Groomed His (Possible) Successor”

  1. Danny Cap Says:

    Nailed it Joe.

    Say what you want about Ruud, but there is no denying he was truly a class act and a great role model

  2. Travis Says:

    Joe noone said Ruud was a bad guy…. We know he is a class act and a great teammate obviously by the fact his teammates went to the bat for him to stay, but the fact is at the end of the day “you will be tolerated until you can be replaced”. Ruuds time was overdue.

  3. Travis Says:

    Anyway, please stop the Ruud talk who cares? I couldn’t wait for the day he signed elsewhere so we could stop debating the Ruud sucks/Ruud’s great talk. Lets drop it and not talk about him anymore.

  4. Atrain WD40 Says:

    Can we talk about McKenzie? How has he looked so far? Or Foster?

  5. BUCSorDIE!!! Says:

    I knew it! While everyone has been scared about who is going to call the defenses, McKenzie has been in our system and im pretty sure he has been talking to Ruud trying to learn everything he can. I mean thats what someone who wants to be a starter in league would do. I never was worried this is the NFL some young guy is always taking over and now were shaping up to start a dynasty.

  6. jvato24 Says:

    One thing Ruud did do very well was stay healthy. Lets hope the new guys have that ability too. To be great, being healthy all the time is crucial.

  7. jvato24 Says:

    Millard should give you some Great headlines Joe .. For Example:

    “He’s a fire hydrant in a dog show, that’s what he is.”

  8. Tampa2 Says:

    I can’t believe that Joe said something nice about Ruud. I can’t wait to see which one of these rookie genius’s take over the Mike spot. Freeman & Co will not surprise the NFL again this year. And Raheem is still playing amateur DC, so don’t expect the luck that the team had last year. And I wouldn’t expect too much stability at MLB either.

  9. Capt.Tim Says:

    I said all spring that we wwere going to lose Ruud. I was very professional and LOYAL of him to help Prepare his replacement, futher proof that the decission not to return was his. No one who wants to keep his job trains his successor on his on time,

    Only time will tell is this move improved or degraded the defense,

  10. McBuc Says:

    Tampa 2…PPay attention, Joe has said many nice things about Ruud. Joe thought Ruud would stay, just like many of us. There is also no such thing as luck in the NFL, and the coach is a pro head coach…check his title on the Bucs site. You said the same tyope things last year, and your were proved wrong. It was nice not hearing from you for so long. McKenzie is not a rookie, and he was a hell of a college oplayer. he was drafted by the Pats, but was injured and ened up on the practice squad. He was a hell of a sneak way by Dom. What happened to our receivers last year, you said they would be horrible because they were rooks…well, wrong again. At least Thomas and Eric have another yahoo for the club of Saints fans on the Bucs site.

  11. Chris FWC :) Says:

    How much knowledge can be gained by watching film in a hotel lobby? What, the hotel bar was too crowded??

    I STILL don’t believe we addressed the MLB position.

  12. McBuc Says:

    Sorry for the typos and such…

  13. OB Says:

    Doesn’t Hayward start practice today with all the other signed free agents? Do you think he could be the mike?

    Also remember the one player on defense has a radio like the QB in his helmet, don’t you thing this will help some?

    What about rhonde also watching the formations for position?

    Lastly, how about the D-Line just not giving them time to do anything? I like this one.

  14. Dew Says:

    Interesting tweet from Stylez this morning. Hmmm.

    stylezwhite Stylez G. White
    Morning! Omw to Tampa to chill. Nothing more nothing less. I have a support group there lol. I need it:)

  15. Capt.Tim Says:

    And, yeah, enough Ruud talk. It was nice to throw a positive note out there, but at this point, it just doesn’t matter.

  16. Brandon Says:

    Free agents begin practicing on Thursday.

    BTW Joe! Who in their right mind would WANT to shed a block in the Lingerie Football League.. unless it was to try to tackle somebody even hotter…

  17. mjmoody Says:

    I like McKenzie’s school, I like his story, I like the aggressive way he pursued getting the team together during the lockout. Compare what Faine said to what McKenzie did, and Faine has a C on his uniform. I like the comparisons to Nickerson as far as a no nonsense attitude. I like McKenzie’s personality, at least the little that I’ve seen. I like that he talks fast. If you talk fast, it means you think fast. I like that he saw the field last season. I like that he went to Nebraska to talk to Ruud. I can’t believe Ruud prepared him in one afternoon in the lobby of a hotel, but I like the effort. I still fear an unproven player with the green dot. But we’ve seen this before, when Ruud started and Brooks called the defense. This go round its from the Strong side.

  18. Macabee Says:

    The worst decisions made by men are those made in anger and under duress. The Barrett Ruud transaction has vendetta (a blood feud) written all over it. Somebody said something, did something, or acted in some way that made this transaction personal. And it could have come from either side. These things don’t happen overnight, they happen over time. Dominik speaks of a blueprint – well-planned transitions have overlap, training, and contingency plans to ensure a high probability of success. For Dominik to essentially anoint Foster as MLB without any of the aforementioned isn’t what I would call a blueprint. I’m not saying it won’t work, I’m saying it’s risky. When this decision was made, I don’t think anyone thought that OTAs and mini-camp would be missed. Whats done is done – we should all now hope that whether it’s Foster or McKenzie, it turns out for the best!

  19. Jrock (mobile) Says:

    First, a tip of the hat to Jenna for bringing this to light.

    Second, major kudos to Mr. Ruud. I have nothing bad to say about the guy, and I sincerely hope he has a stellar career with the Titans. Just not when we’re lined up with him (don’t hurt him too bad Blount!)

  20. McBuc Says:

    Macabee, what makes you think this is a blood fued? I get the impression it is money and the Bucs desire to bring the young LBs to the field. The rooks worked for them last year, which in itself is unusual, but it may work again this year. I for one thought Ruud should stay. He knew he was not the long term answer, so maybe he was happy the Bucs let him walk. It is not the Bucs fought that the Titans only offered him a one year deal. I am sure Ruud and his agent thought they would get the six year big contract he has wanted for the last two years. If anything, Morris and the team talked him up in the media so much that it probably got him an extra mil out of the deal. Niether side has come out and bashed the other, so I am just not sure how you see this as a blood fued.

  21. Macabee Says:

    McBuc, In hindsight, blood feud may be too strong a term to use here. I did not mean to imply there was any hatred involved. I am trying to suggest that there is something at work here that would compel a GM to anoint a rookie in a critical position without a transition plan – some overlap or training beforehand. Perhaps you can explain!

  22. jvato24 Says:

    Keep in mind Dominik is always looking ahead. Next years draft could be a good one for MLB. If Ruud came back even for a year we would not know what we might have with our own MLBs.

  23. Captain Stagger Says:

    Next years draft is loaded at LB. Which is why I was surprised to see Black get the deal he did. TMac in my eyes will win the MLB slot due to his experience and maturity. Foster, who excels in run support, not coverage will take the strongside and Black with that hefty contract starting on the weakside. So if we draft a stud in round 1 or 2 like Bufict, Lewis, Kuechy,Brown, Hightower, or my personal fave Te’o how does that shake up the line up? (I left out a few LB prospects) Foster stays on the field, but what about black and TMac?

  24. Jamie Says:

    Class act, sure, but when the season starts, a few nights of film study in a Nebraska hotel room will not prepare McKenzie at all. Ray Lewis tried to groom Tavares Gooden to replace Bart Scott and that flopped. If Lewis can’t do it, what is there to say Ruud can?

  25. SRQBucFan Says:

    Does no one think that Quincy Black, Geno Hayes and Adam Hayward are going to assist McKenzie if he wins the overall spot? I mean Black has been here for what 4-5 years since the days of Brooks and Ruud? i am sure he is more then capable of calling plays and keeping people in position until Tyrone or Foster is ready to take over. Everyone acts like the whole D is rookies… when there are still 4-5 people who know exactly what they need to and help the rookies stay in position.