Did Raheem Morris “Betray” Barrett Ruud?

August 2nd, 2011

One reason Joe so enjoys reading the reports of Tom Balog of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune from One Buc Palace is that Balog is not afraid to tackle a subject, no matter how sensitive it may be.

In a recent blog posting by Balog, he went so far as to infer that Bucs coach Raheem Morris was an NFL version of Judas Iscariot.

Balog notes how often Morris proclaimed how he was a close friend of the departed Bucs leading tackler and middle linebacker and that Morris was known to hang out at upscale hotspots with Ruud and share an adult beverage or two.

It is because of this, Balog suggests, that Morris turned his back on Ruud when he could have saved Ruud’s job with the Bucs.

The translation for the rest of the Buccaneers: Despite however much Morris tries to be close to you now, someday, at contract time, he will not be there for you. He will disown you, just like he apparently did Ruud.

As a head coach, Morris certainly was not there for Ruud. And if he was not there for Ruud, who is he going to be there for?

The upshot of all this, is that it undermines the people-person image of Morris, who is by nature a good guy.

Now Joe loves reading Balog and probably enjoys talking football with Balog even more. Joe can see how Balog, logically, could connect the dots on this but Joe isn’t swallowing Balog’s premise. Here’s why:

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, Morris would regularly throw his weight around One Buc Palace saving roster spots or employment positions solely to people he was close with? Does anyone believe Morris would still be employed by the Bucs?

Morris is a close family friend of Jim Bates, the former Bucs defensive coordinator and architect of the heinous Jim Bates Experience, a franchise-worst defense. The defense under Bates collapsed so horribly (one could argue it was the beginning of the end of Ruud), that Morris defrocked his family friend of his coaching duties and shortly thereafter jettisoned Bates from the franchise.

Had Morris let emotions get in the way of common sense, the Bucs defense in 2009 would have been so horrific, it would have made Rosie O’Donnell look like Kathy Ireland in her prime.

Morris was also close with Derrick Brooks. What happened to him? How could anyone not like Warrick Dunn? What happened to him?

The NFL, as we are reminded time and again, is a business. If, as an NFL head coach, one doesn’t look out for No. 1, you won’t be employed for very long.

Ruud is an intelligent soul. Surely he had to know that no matter how close Morris was with him, that if Morris kept Ruud on the roster because they liked to throw down a pint or two now and then, that Morris would be torpedoing his own job security, if the coach actually believed Ruud’s presence on the roster was not in the Bucs’ best interest.

Shoot, as far as we know, the Titans could have paid Ruud more than the Bucs offered. If that is true, how exactly would that be a stab in the back?

While Joe can clearly see Balog working here and how he can draw the conclusion that Morris sold out his friend, Joe doesn’t believe that to be the case.

66 Responses to “Did Raheem Morris “Betray” Barrett Ruud?”

  1. Pete Dutcher Says:

    We went through the loyalty thing with the old players. They should have been releases long before they actually were, and because they were not the team and fans suffered.

    It was time. Sure, Foster might do poorly at first and make us wish we had Ruud back, but eventually he will be a better player than Ruud could ever hope to be.

  2. the_buc_realist Says:

    N, they never bad mouthed Ruud, ( except the media and fans ). Raheem and Dminik only stressed Rudd’s positives in the media. If anything they tried to keep his stock up while they walked away.

    Nfl rosters are not life time positions.

  3. CalicoJack Says:

    Interestingly, the article came out one day after the Joe Baker article…

  4. kh Says:

    Rich Balog, breaking news that the Bucs are a business and not a fraternity shocker.

  5. BigMacAttack Says:

    Business is Business. Anyone with common sense knows that.

    It wasn’t that long ago that the 49’rs betrayed Jerry Rice and one Joe Montana. I think the Raider also betrayed Marcus Allen. Balog is way off the mark on this one, and besides, I believe Dominick is calling the shots with the final decisions resting with him. Who’s to say Raheem didn’t fight for Ruud and lose anyway. IF so, I’m sure Dom backed it up with film, which doesn’t lie.

  6. Dew Says:

    All I know for sure is I own four season tickets and if the Bucs fall way down this year because of being cheap again, they will have to deal with me possibly cancelling my tickets next year and holding Dominik and ownership responsible. Too many positions have little or no backup other than late round draft picks. And at the same time I read time and time again of our competition getting stronger thru free agency. And
    Sports Nation did a story saying the kicker we signed for a huge amount really isn’t that good using actual facts.

  7. BigMacAttack Says:

    Dew, I expect you to be extremely loud at the Games, win or lose. Deal?

  8. Dan Says:

    i know one thing i will cheer every punt that is longer than 40 yards, or inside the twenty (we were good at kicking from the fifty to the ten last year, but not so much from our twenty to anywhere)

  9. kh Says:

    First of all Dew, Koenan is a punter and kickoff specialist. Second, if hes so bad why did our competition, the Falcons, use their franchise tag on him the past two years? If you cancel your season tickets and can you please use the extra money to buy a clue.

  10. Macabee Says:

    We’re talking about the wrong guy here. As much as I like Morris, We all know that Dominik is the guy that pulls the trigger at One Buc. Morris is an influencer, not a decider. When he talks about Ruud and Cadillac I believe he is heartfelt. But when all things are said and done, Dominik pulls the trigger and the Glazers give him the bullet!

  11. Oahubuc Says:

    What’s a Barrett Ruud?

  12. BigMacAttack Says:

    It will be a cold day in Hell before I cancel my tickets. Even if I threaten to do it, there is just no way I will. Bad times, Good times, All times, Every time. I love it too much, it’s like heroin, I’m addicted.

    Thomas gave up his season tickets to Chucky Cheese when they changed management, but he still works at the Hollywood 20.

    “Tickets Please. Second door on your left.”

  13. Bucnjim Says:

    That’s why you need a GM! Coaches tend to either think with their hearts or their ego’s are too big to admit their wrong. Either way the GM is there to make the hard decissions. I Morris can only ask for a player not demand for one. In Ruud’s case they had a plan for the last two years and Ruud never gave the Buc’s enough reason to keep him in their long term plans.

  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    A Silver Bullet, .50 Magnum Hollow Point.

  15. BigMacAttack Says:

    So if Coaches think with their hearts, what did Chucky think with??????

  16. DieHard_Bob Says:

    I don’t think Balog was involved in the contract talks between the GM and Ruud’s agent. Ruud has been looking for a big contract for a couple years now but you don’t pay Mercedes prices for a Ford. Ruud is a good player with deffinate upside but if he thinks that he is worth more than he is then you can’t just give in a give him a big contract anyway because he is a great guy and gets along with the coach. I wish him well and I think coach knows defence enough to make sure that the MLB position will be taken care of one way or another by opening day. GO BUCS!

  17. Dew Says:

    @KH. Before you make yourself out to be a bigger fool than you already have, try reading the BucNation article first. And Atlanta didn’t even try to sign him this year.


  18. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me with this garbage. When Morris keeps a player he likes it’s blind loyalty, but when he allows a player to leave it’s treason. Guy can’t win with these f-cking haters no matter what decision he makes.

    How about this for a revolutionary idea: Morris (and Dominik) tries to do what is absolutely best for the team. Wow…imagine that?!

    Making tough decisions to let friends go in the long-term best interests of the team is difficult enough without dimwitted fools like Balog piling on top. What a waste of humanity.

  19. BigMacAttack Says:

    Dallas has the most Hot Women of any city in America. I just wanted to throw that out there. Sorry.

    Oh, I agree FLBoy.

  20. DSZ Says:

    @Dew you beat me to the punch on “Atlanta wasn’t even going to sign him” part. So we gave the highest contract ever to a punter who statistically was worse than what we had and whose previous team wasn’t even going to sign him. Sounds great. I sure hope our rookies develop really fast.

    I think Warren Sapp said it best on NFLN as they were discussing how much the NFC South improved itself when he chimed in “…and the Bucs signed a punter”.

  21. BigMacAttack Says:

    I saw the Rams signed Norwood from ATL. So much for Cadi to St Louis. I think he’ll stay with the Bucs. May take a little while but I think Dom signs him back on a 1 year deal.

  22. passthebuc Says:

    he misses the obvious. it is not the the buc’s would have not taken him back. it is at what price and for how long.

  23. Architek Says:

    This is non-sense for a garbage player…

  24. kh Says:

    lol @ Dew, fool? I did read the article you moron, you should read the comments and do some thinking on your own.

    Koenan was rated the best free agent punter by every expert and he is one of the top kickoff specialists in the League, as evidenced by his 23 touchbacks last year compared to one from Connor Barth. Move the kickoff forward 5 yards and we should have a guaranteed touchback every kickoff. That is a huge upgrade.

    The fact that he was franchised two years in a row and 91% of Falcon fans wanted him back this year says he is pretty good to me:

  25. Jon L. Says:

    I was surprised to see him sign elsewhere a couple days ago.

  26. kh Says:

    @ DSZ @ DEW heres a comment from a Falcons fan to educate you both since you both are clueless.

    Anyone using the average punt distance for a punter knows less about football than they think they do. You really don’t even want to use net yardage exclusively because there are so many factors.

    First off, you want to use ‘Punts inside the 20′. These are typically punts that drive your average way down because you are trying to pin a team, but they are actually better than driving up your distance by punting it into the end zone.

    Second, you want to factor in touchbacks, which you want to be VERY LOW. You don’t want the ball going into the end zone if you can help it. Sure, someone kicking a 45 yard punt is nice, but if it goes into the end zone then you would have been much better off kicking it 35 and knocking it out on the 10.

    Third, you have to factor in ‘Fair Catches’ because these are not calculated in the other two and are extremely important. You do not want the other team returning the ball if you can help it. Even if your net is a little lower due to the hangtime. A yard here or there on a return is not as game changing as the return for TD.

    All of these factors go into why he was below his average yardage in 2010. So here are some stats fom 2010 for Koenen:

    #8 in punts inside the 20
    #3 in Fair catches, negating dangerous returns.

    Koenen’s average the year before was better, but he was actually less effective. The big reason why his average went down this year is they no longer allowed him to kick the long field goals and wouldn’t let Bryant try anything past 48 or so unless the game was on the line. This meant he had to ‘touch up’ quite a few more kicks that he would not have had to in years past. This actually hurt his average, but he was still very effective.

    There is a reason why he will be the #1 free agent punter, despite what the less knowledgable fans on these boards think

    Bitch about his 3.5m but he was making nearly that much as their franchise player the past two seasons.

  27. Kevin Says:

    @kh – according to your link, it’s 71% of the ATL fans that wanted him back, not 91.

    @dew – you and I have different impressions after reading the article that you cite. I don’t think they said he was a bad move, just that the stats didn’t jump off the page as you. I think there are multiple more factors to consider that just the stats. Hell, I consider him in the same category as ATL CB Grimes. Grimes and ATL special teams won those two games last year (IMHO). If that 100+ yard kickoff return is a touchback, the season potentially has a very different story to it.

    I guess the bottom line is: how about we wait and see what he does in our system before we start calling him a lateral move?

  28. kh Says:

    Also, in 2009 the Falcons set a NFL record for fewest punt return yards allowed, which speaks to his hangtime and directional ability.

  29. Lucas Jackson Says:

    Nice job Joes

  30. Dew Says:

    I mentioned the kicker cause that is the only FA not previously a Buc that we signed. I hope he does well. But can he play TE, especially if we lose K2 to injury? I sure hope so cause K2 is our ONLY experienced TE.

  31. Nick S Says:

    All Bucs fans should already have known that are boy Barrett Ruud was going to be playing elsewhere. I am not under cutting what our g.m has done. I strongly agree with getting better through the draft, resigning our own free agents, and grabbing a couple low end free agents to solidify each position. I get it. I do not agree with letting our so called defensive mastermind sign elsewhere for a couple of hotdogs and curly fries. Ruud would have helped our youngsters learn the plays, how to read other teams quarterbacks, etc. Mason foster will be a solid player, but the transition will be hard for him without a bonafide starter teaching him the ropes. the third year guy we grabbed from the Pats will be ok, but Foster is the future. It is upsetting to watch all the best players sign in philly, or watch Ruud sign with the titans, or have Caddy sit at home waiting by the phone (he probably has other options, but is waiting for the Bucs to call with a contract since he loves it here and wants to stay.) Kregg Lumpkin??? Come on MAN! Why not grab Ronnie Brown to run with Blount? Oh wait, hes an eagle too. Caddy worked his ass off to get back to full speed, he has a good heart, and is a fan favorite. Signing Asomgha would have helped sell tickets, but grabbing a punter and payin him 20 mil isnt getting us excited. I agree with the G.m.s strategy, but I do not agree with sitting out all of free agency. We need a few guys who have been around a while to help the guys just starting out. The eagles signed a bunch of guys, which in turn has the guys that were already there being used as trade bait. They will trade samuel at some point and get better doing it. They will showcase vince young, creating value for him, and in turn trade him,(like Kolb) and get picks or players for him. I hate the Eagles, but I like the way they grab talent, because in the end they will showcase them, trade them, and get better picks and players in the end. GO BUCS! ITs a very hard schedule this year, and a couple of veterans that know the ropes would make our team better. EARNEST GRAHAM FOR PRESIDENT! BOOYAH

  32. Max Says:

    Why couldn’t we keep Ruud on a 1 year deal like the titans got? I’m not too confident in two rookies for MLB

  33. Nick S Says:

    One last thing, Mark Dominic knows what hes doing. Go to wikipedia and look up the bucaneers draft picks from 99-2008. If you find a pro bowler let me know, because it was pretty amazing how badly we whiffed in the draft all those years. Imagine Adrian Peterson ripping it up with the cannons blowing up every ten minutes. The teams that miss in the draft struggle to win every year. As i looked threw the drafts from the last 15 years a few teams missed every year. The bengals, the browns, and the Bills. And they havent found the formula to suceed in the draft to this day. Thank the Lord that we at least know how to draft now. The Glazers may have there pockets zipped up, but a couple of vets that dont break the bank would really help our youngsters learn how to suceed. When we traded our two first round picks to the Raiders to get a coach named Gruden, the Raiders used the pick we gave them to grab a guy named ASOMGHA! There are still some good players available in free agency. We all know that there is no minimum this year, but please, please, please put some experience on the field with are young talents. A guy that could help our young guys on and off the field, a guy that may not light the world on fire, or grab a 100 catchs this year, but would help the wides with routes, who throughout his career stayed out of trouble on and off the field, who could really give mike williams a role model. TJ HOUSH!!!!!!!!

  34. TAC Says:

    It’s always business. I think personal feelings, and friendship go out the door once contract time comes up, and rightly so. Good luck to Ruud, he may do well, but he tackles a lot of ghosts on the field.

  35. Nick S Says:

    I agree with you max. Ruud on a one year contract would have helped us give the youngsters time to learn. Ruud woulda loved to stay. Woulda been cheap. He led the team in tackles three years running. and the TITANS just got a guy who will run there D, and next year he will command a long term deal because he is a great football player. A lot of our guys are one or two year players. We are the only team with only one new free agent signing. A punter. A punter. Give us some vets MArk. Give us some vets Team glazer. Davin Joseph is the man. Glad we got him back, but give us a few more vets. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

  36. Dew Says:

    Bottom line, if the Bucs have a bad year Dominik/Ownership has to be held responsible. Not Rah. And @Max, good question. Better hope we don’t lose Caddy to another team since all the other good 3rd down running backs have signed already. I’m not sure what our plan is at this point. Limited TE backup, Running Back backup, and MLB backup.

    And for those that are so high on Dominik. Don’t forget we had the chance to draft Blount in the 7th round last year and didn’t. Only due to the ignorance of the Titans did we get him.

  37. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “Dallas has the most Hot Women of any city in America. I just wanted to throw that out there. Sorry.”


    Wow, BigMac, we finally disagree on something. You, my friend, need to take a trip to Honolulu. Been to both cities, no comparison. Maybe this year you will have an excuse to see what I’m talking about, when we have about 10 players in the Pro Bowl.

  38. Pete Dutcher Says:

    BigMacAttack Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 5:59 pm
    It will be a cold day in Hell before I cancel my tickets. Even if I threaten to do it, there is just no way I will. Bad times, Good times, All times, Every time. I love it too much, it’s like heroin, I’m addicted.

    I honor you for that, buddy.

  39. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Max Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 6:50 pm
    Why couldn’t we keep Ruud on a 1 year deal like the titans got? I’m not too confident in two rookies for MLB

    We don’t know that they didn’t try. It was clear Foster would be the furure, and quickly. Ruud knew if he wanted to move on, now would be the time.

    And if he does well on his new team, he can be a hot commodity next year.

  40. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    You know Balog is wrong when even Thomas and Eric can’t pile on Raheem.

  41. McBuc Says:

    Wow, this is a stretch…Many of you have already said it all

  42. BigMacAttack Says:

    Well Hawaiian Buc, I can’t disagree with you because I haven’t been to Hawaii since 1985 when I was still in the Corps…. and of course that time was spent on the big Island and I was just passing though briefly. So if you can top or even equal Dallas then that is awesome and now I know of 2 places where the babes are everywhere. But seriously Bro, Dallas is just loaded with them. I think it’s in the water.

    Oh, and btw, not that I’m addicted to heroin or anything….. maybe an occasional toke….. but only the good stuff. Sorry, just sayin.

  43. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’m so glad we have so many fans that know more than Mark Dominick. We must have the most educated fanbase in the country.

    Your tax dollars hard at work.

  44. Dew Says:

    I pray Dominik is right and we have a great year with all the rookies. And I will be the first to say I was wrong. But if the Bucs regress, I will be the first to provide a long long list of mistakes.

  45. Capt.Tim Says:

    Having traveled around the country, I believe my band mates and I came to a unanimous and strange truth. The most beautiful, smoking hot women in the country are found in the highest numbers in- drum roll please- Missouri. No idea why, but just stunning Women. We all joked that we w

  46. Capt.Tim Says:

    Would retire there. It was crazy.

  47. BigMacAttack Says:

    LOL. My Brother in law’s parents retired to Missouri a few years ago. Now I know why. The old man’s a dirty dog after all.

    The absolute ugliest women I have ever seen were in Scranton PA, at my uncle’s wedding some years ago. And they were mean too. If God was going to give the US an enema, Scranton would be the insertion point.

  48. BigMacAttack Says:

    And we digress………

    but anything is better than listening to Thomas and Eric regurgitate fecal matter.

  49. Fish Says:

    Agree 100%, Joe.

  50. Stevek Says:

    In 2010, bucs were 1st team to star 10 rookies and win 10 games, to follow up 3-13 campaign.

    2011… 11 wins, and an invite to the dance.

  51. Mauha Deeb Says:

    “If God was going to give the US an enema, Scranton would be the insertion point.”

    Got an awesome laugh from this. My lady did too. Thank you, BigMacAttack.

  52. k_bassuka Says:

    LMAOL at the article, I’m sorry but this guy is either a tool or is getting paid good money by Ruud to write that. Does this guy really follow the NFL?

  53. Nick S Says:

    I keep logging on to profootballtalk.com to check and see if the Bucs took a free agent. Still dissappointed. It is getting quite rediculous. Dominic has to keep sayin that he is building threw the draft and resigning his guys because The glazers dont want to put any dough into the Bucs. People always stick up for the Glazers and im tired of it. By all accounts my beloved Bucs had a good year last year, but we had an easy schedule. I look at the schedule this year and it scares the piss outta me. Raheem cant be held responsible. We need a vet at linebacker, we need caddy or ricky williams, or somebody who isnt an undrafted rookie at RB. I dont see Lumpkin doing a damn thing. We need to say goodbye to Rudy Carpenter and grab Marc Bulger. He wont need to play, but incase we have injuries i wouldnt want rudy carpenter being our number 1. So another year goes by and we wait for free agents to come to tampa. Another two years until a minimum is set. another year where they say we will be great in two to three. Another year and our own free agents sign elsewhere. Another year. (We Always have super bowl 37)

  54. Pwnasaurus Says:

    Nick S that post was epic fail on so many counts. Just go home and cry to your mommy. I hope you dont suck at life as bad as you do at analyzing the bucs. Just stfu with your nonsense

  55. BigMacAttack Says:

    I just finally saw Raheem’s presser today and he totally slammed balog at the end, and said he didn’t know what garbage Balog was asking him after calling Raheem a traitor to Ruud. He was laughing yet he looked serious about it. Bad move for Mr Balog.

  56. BigMacAttack Says:

    … and as Raheem walked away smiling as usual, Balog says in the background “Alright, fine with me.”

    What an idiot. Way to represent Sarasota, you dumbass.

  57. Joe Says:

    Nick S:

    Imagine Adrian Peterson ripping it up with the cannons blowing up every ten minutes.

    Joe has to slam the brakes on this comment.

    This is simply rank revisionist history. For some reason J.P. loves to spout this on his radio show, probably to whip a few dozen people to call in. It’s nearly irresponsible.

    The Bucs already had Caddy at the time Peterson was drafted. At that time, running backs made a huge dent into the salary cap. To have two tailbacks drafted in the first round within a couple of years of each other on the roster at the same time is simply fantasyland. Not even Matt Millen was stupid enough to try a stunt like this (though he did try it with wide receivers).

  58. McBuc Says:

    Hey BigMac, Dallas is full of hot women, but you also need to check out San Antonio. They must put something in that Texas water.

  59. McBuc Says:

    Nick S…SOS 2010 = 25…SOS 2011 – 18…Relax already. Watch the Eagles emplode with too many big names. Besides, we have our own big name guys, check out talib, Mike Williams, Freeman, Blount, etc. Don’t give me the Clayton example either, I feel rotating QBs and injuries messed him up. Also, what greta young players did you expect? Our CBs are fine, contrary to many on this site. I would have liked a good vet at DE, but it is what it is. We also do not know what they will do over the next week.

  60. Niko (The Optimist) Says:

    I thought it was awesome how Raheem told him off during the PC.

  61. flmike Says:

    I’m sure it’s been said already, but the NFL is a business first and foremost, and just as in politics you’re only allies not friends.

  62. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    BMA: the whole northeast is full of ugly, mean women. So is the northwest (I lived in Seattle for 7 years while attending the UW). The biggest hottie ratios I’ve seen in the US are in SoCal, Texas & Hawaii. Man, they are everywhere. Gotta beat them away with a stick there’s so many of ’em. Love it!

  63. McBuc Says:

    I would agree with SoCal and TX…Have not made it to the Hawaii…One of the only states I have not been to.

  64. BigMacAttack Says:

    Maybe we can get Joe to take us on a Blackout Tour to Hawaii. I wonder if Paradise will give us a Bus with wings.

  65. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’ll buy the Beer.

  66. m.wesley Says:

    BigMac,McBuc,I wanna go too!Ill be good honest injun Ill be good!