“Not The Same Team” That Beat New Orleans

August 7th, 2011

It’s a glass-half-full, glass-half-empty argument. The Bucs outplayed and beat the Saints last year in New Orleans with a slew of backups, rookies and little known players.

An optimist might say that shows how deep the Bucs are and how much better they’ll be with so many starters returning in 2011. But a pessimist might wonder whether the Bucs that beat the Saints are better — or at least more effective collectively — than the Bucs that missed that game. 

Defensive tackles Al Woods and Frank Okam were strong in New Orleans, and Alex Magee got a big sack, one of three for the Bucs that afternoon. Barrett Ruud called the shots in the middle while Adam Hayward and Dakoda Watson got a lot of snaps with Quincy Black on the shelf. Larry Asante intercepted Drew Brees, as the secondary covered the absences of Aqib Talib and Cody Grimm. Then there’s Derek Hardman, James Lee and Jeremy Zuttah. Add all those contributors together, and there’s 10 guys that might barely see the field for the Bucs on opening day against Detroit next month.

At the end of a loving Gary Shelton column today in the St. Pete Times about Ronde Barber, the Bucs icon made a strong point about the major loss of Ruud.

Barber pointed out the Bucs won’t be the same team that left the field in January, which got Joe thinking about how much change, in fact, will be in place in five weeks.

[Barber] on departed linebacker Barrett Ruud: “We have so many guys who are hungry. I know we have some huge shoes to fill to replace Barrett. I understand the business, but if we had to play a game right now, we’re not the same team we were on January in New Orleans just because he’s not there. We need a dominant (middle) linebacker to emerge in the next couple of weeks. You talk about underappreciated? Barrett was underappreciated.”

This is a big reason why Joe is chomping at the bit to see the Bucs in preseason action. There’s an awful lot to see come together, more than it might appear.

35 Responses to ““Not The Same Team” That Beat New Orleans”

  1. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    Yeah hopefully this team is better than the one that beat New Orleans last year.

  2. Tampa--->Baaaaaaayyyy Says:

    “Barrett was underappreciated” by the weird, ungrateful, hating fanbase that has evolved in Tampa. To hate vets on your home team is downright sickening.

  3. Jfgobucs Says:

    Didn’t Shelton play Middle and call plays for the Bucs…Why can’t he and Brooks do some heavy duty tutoring ?

    He’s sure not busy in Pro personnel market

    We will miss RUUUUUD!!!

  4. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Ruud was so appreciated by the rest of the league that he received one single offer: a one-year prove-it deal from the Titans. The “under appreciated” label is over played and is getting very old.

    If he was truly under appreciated here in Tampa you’d think some of the other 31 teams in the NFL would’ve caught onto that fact and he would’ve been pursued in free agency. The fact that he wasn’t pursued and wasn’t offered more than a one-year deal proves that he was just as appreciated by the other 31 teams as he was in Tampa.

    The MLB crop in free agency was very thin, so if Ruud was any good he would’ve received multiple offers. The fact that he didn’t speaks volumes. Enough said.

  5. Capt.Tim Says:

    BecklesheartIan- no. Ronde Barber made it quite clear. – worse. Mark Dominick listened to Ian and and his uneducated listeners, not his team or coach, and let Ruud leave . Just to appease to whiners.

    If you don’t believe Ronde, or think you know better than him, then you nauseatingly ignorant.

  6. td32 Says:

    Maybe the Bucs backups were better then the Saints backups. Didnt the Saints pull a number of players in the 2nd half?

  7. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    One contract offer. One single year. That says it all, no matter how you spin it or how you try to rest on the “authority” of Ronde Barber who is likely just publicly backing his friend.

    When the Bucs allow much fewer yards per game rushing and fewer big runs this season you’ll have serious trouble backing up your Ruud claims. Good luck with that. The numbers won’t lie.

  8. Tommy Boy Says:

    Capt Tim you are nauseatingly ignorant to believe Dominik makes his business decisions based on Ian Beckles opinion and the dislike Buc fans had for Ruud. If he did, he’d be out of job quick. Probably the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a while.

    Ruud got a ONE year deal. Enough said.

  9. Jake Says:

    For the Bucs to succeed this year, our stud quarterback needs to carry the team on his back. The defense is simply a work in progress. Go Bucs!

  10. Jrock (mobile) Says:

    Jake, that was mostly the case last year. I hope it comes together this season for the defense, that’s the only way we’re going to post back-to-back winning seasons.

  11. Thomas "the Truth" 2.2 Says:

    You mean that some think that this team is less talented to start 2011? Humm. Lost: ruud, caddy and styles. Gained: rookies and a punter.

    The point that this team’s season depends totally on Free is correct. No, young teama dont automatically get better the next year.

  12. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Yes, 2.2, you are correct. Losing Ruud, Caddy & Stylez was an improvement. Gaining Clayborn, Foster, Bowers & Stocker was an improvement. For once you got it right.

  13. Kyle Says:

    @TD32 — Bucs were up 20-10 after three quarters in that game, then the Saints pulled Brees and others because New Orleans no longer had a shot at earning a bye.

  14. Bucbeliever Says:

    Kyle- ur right. Brian Billick said the same thing when he was in the booth commenting on the game. He said the Bucs dominated the saints after 3 quarters.

    Heres to more domination in 2011!

    GO BUCS!

  15. K2theSoldier Says:

    Ruud got a crap one year deal with the Titans, clearly he’s not unappreciated. Where’s the argument here, seriously? Mark and Raheem decided they didn’t want him here, and 31 other teams did as well.
    Saying that Mark only didn’t bring him back to make Ian Beckles and some of the fans happy is absolutely insane. 100% crazy.
    @Thomas, we are a better team than last year with our rookies and good punter. Stylez sucked, Caddy lost his explosion and we’ve been over Ruud.

  16. Thomas "the Truth" 2.2 Says:

    Kyle: you are flat wrong. First, the saints entered the game with a locked 5 seed, the game meant zero for them. Early in the fourth quarter after brees had been pulled, the bucs turned the ball over on their own 30 with the saints only down 7. Payton kept Brees on the bench and the Saints were unable to tie it.

    After the game, Brees was quoted in the Times as saying their priority was to not get anyone hurt (they sat a handful of players with minor injuries that could have played). The Saints game plan was simply to get Brees and the offense some work to stave off rust. It didnt work.
    All of you sheep that argue that these rookies are better than their vet replacements RIGHT NOW are fools. They may be in 2013 but not yet. I remember all of you sheep arguing how dominant Price and McCoy were going to be last year (whoops!) and they didnt come in with injuries.

  17. K2theSoldier Says:

    @ Thomas, I remember you saying we’d suck last year (whoops!).
    Sean Payton said after the loss to Seattle that he regretted trying to beat Tampa. This is the NFL, if starters are in they are usually trying to win. The Saints tried to win that game, and we outplayed them.

  18. Thomas "the Truth" 2.2 Says:

    Nobody knows what deals Ruud was offered. He may have wanted the 1 year deal (over not overly impressive longer term deals) bc he can be free again next year. For example, hypothetically, maybe the Titans offered him 1 year at 4 million guaranteed once he makes the final 53 or a 3 year 12 million deal with 5 guaranteed. Most agents would recommend the 1 year deal bc if you perform well and are free again you will be in line for more guaranteed money again, whereas with the second deal tbe team holds your rights for two more years and you have no more guaranteed $. The point, the length of the deal tells you little about the alternatives out there.
    It is safe to say that

  19. Thomas "the Truth" 2.2 Says:

    Ruud was offered a huge guaranteed deal. Jane Black’s deal is really 2 years and 11.5 million with a club option after that.

  20. Thomas "the Truth" 2.2 Says:

    Payton was speaking of the injuries suffered during the game and his plan to play starters. If memory serves, the Sainst became locked into the 5 seed after kickoff bc the Falcons were, of course, drilling the Panthers and that is why Payton pulled Brees and others after halftime.

  21. TheAtrain3 Says:

    I remember the absolute outrage from Buc’s fans when Brooks and the lot were released a few years ago. I was super pissed, simply from the way they treated the man. However, hindsight being 20/20, it looks to be the right move. Sure, we suffered for awhile without him, and I’m sure his leadership would have helped, but Dominick has a different vision.

    I’ll forever remember Ruud getting beat by Todd Heap during the Ravens game last year, and his pathetic attempt to catch up to a TE.

    Peace out Ruud. Thanks but it is time to move on.

  22. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    2.2 said, “Ruud was offered a huge guaranteed deal.”

    Bahahahaha!!! Wow! I haven’t laughed that hard all day!

    According to Rotoworld, Ruud’s contract with the Titans is one year at $4 million. And here’s the rest of what Rotoworld had to say about Ruud:

    “Ruud was greeted by a soft market, likely because of his struggles against the run. He’s solid in coverage, however, and is a worthwhile signing for a team that was in line to go with rookie Colin McCarthy in the middle. McCarthy and Ruud should have to fight it out in camp. Ruud simply isn’t as effective as his big name indicates, and McCarthy is the future at the position.”

    Black’s contract is 5 years and $29 million with $11.5 million guaranteed. Here’s what they had to say about Black (read it and weep, 2.2):

    “Black also receives $11.5 million in guarantees. Though not as much of a household name, Black was more valuable to Tampa Bay than MLB Barrett Ruud last season. Black was one of only three 4-3 outside linebackers to carry positive ratings in run stopping, pass rush, pass coverage and penalties in 2010, according to Pro Football Focus.”

    Nothing more whatsoever needs to be said. Period.

  23. Eric Says:

    The Saints win was a good one. Can’t take that away from the bucs.

    To say they arent the same team without Ruud is silly, given they sucked in many defensive areas with Ruud.

    Looking at the season as a whole, a lot of the wins were barely eaked out against mediocre teams at best. Rams, Redskins, Bungals, Browns, etc.

    The bucs were bad in a lot of areas that typically make u bad. Run defense, QB pressure, etc.

    And, they had the horror show against the Lions.

    If they do it again, somewhere around ten games won, they have proven themselves and malcontempts like me should just get behind em and stfu.

    However, there is the alternative…………….could fall on their collective faces…………….gonna be very interesting.

  24. Garv Says:

    Listen guys, this is a process. I DO know that for the next 5- 10 years our Buccaneers are going to be very competitive in the South and beyond. Though I want to see us in the playoffs now, this year, I also know that the Saints are still the team to beat with the Falcons right behind them in our division. COULD we win it? Sure! But the fact is this team is in it for the long haul and I am 100% behind that philosophy.

    And I sure as hell enjoy future stars learning on the job right here right now.
    I’m going to have a lot of fun this season and NO amount of uneducated and totally unnecessary negativity is going to change that.

  25. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Amen to that.

  26. BamBamBuc Says:

    Thomas, you need to pay better attention. This from NFL.com after the week 16 Saints win against Atlanta…

    “The loss doesn’t ruin Atlanta’s two primary goals. The Falcons can still wrap up their first division crown since 2004 and home field through the NFC playoffs by knocking off two-win Carolina at home in the final week of the season.”

    This means that if the Saints won in week 17, and the Falcons lost, the Saints would have won the division. I know the Falcons losing to Carolina in week 17 was very unlikely, but the Saints did have a chance and did play to win until they heard the Falcons were killing the Panthers and took their starters out in the 4th quarter. It wasn’t a meaningless game for the Saints.

  27. Architek Says:

    Please do not debate with Thomas (insufficient) or CaptTim (arrogant). Both of them go out of their way to prove a point and both get defensive if you do not agree with the status quo. I am not with the nice guy crap because it doesn’t win on the field and in life. Wanna argue Thomas, argue facts:

    Ruud is gone and that’s a fact.
    Not many teams wanted him, based on reports and a one year term, fact.
    Black was retained-paid more and that’s a fact.
    Black is a better athelete and more upside, Bucs say and NFL says fact.
    Bucs are committed to long term building, fact.
    The Bucs beat the Saints in Week 17, that’s a fact.
    The Bucs were in the bottom portion of the league against the run, fact.
    Several running back flattened our “leader” on defense, fact.
    Bucs are ascending, regardless of our opinion, fact.
    Bucs will have a young MLB that will make mistakes, fact.
    Bucs coaching staff will be under enormous pressure to produce, fact.
    Bucs can win and qualify for the playoffs, fact. (If they perform and grow)

    The point here is some of you arrogant fans ignore that we would not be here without change. It’s funny how you all see what you want to see and make things negative. Everyone mocked the Bucs for hiring Dom/Morris. They mocked the youth movement. They mocked the signings, mocked the decisions of the Glazers and now look at our fan base. We are a fragile and young fan base that turn our back on our team quickly. The Cowboys and Redskins all have been losers for a long time but at least their fans support the team through it all. Dammit, I stand behiind my team and I proved it by driving to Tampa 2 years ago to see the week 1 loss to Dallas and I coming to this years game against Saints in Tampa (not driving again-lol). Guys, Ruud play is on film and it’s evident that no one was chomping at the bit to sign him. He thought his payday was awaiting him and he didn’t factor in whether you play Tampa-2, 4-3, 3-4, 46, or hybrid the game is still between the hashes. Tackle, cover, and hit. Also I don’t want a sensitive MLB that can’t take criticism but yet he can give a half-ass effort in avoiding contact. ITS ON FILM. IF IT WASN’T HE WOULD HAVE A CONTRACT TWO YEARS AGO. MLB’s are like QB’s they don’t sniff free agency if their worth keeping. Like the Commish said,” The writing was on the wall years ago.” Penn got paid and Ruud didn’t. Case closed.

    Without change there is no growth in a rebuilding organization. Even at your job’s, what do you think happens when there is no production or when there is no ROI? Changes are coming and movement happen. Can you say that finishing bottom half against the run is a cry for change when you are drafting young talented lineman and you still are geting gashed left and right, even with Sims and Hovan and co. Yes these are facts and justifiable change. Best wishes to him and his family. In the long run, the ceiling is higher for Foster or McKenzie. I like their attitudes and the fire. It’s all on tape.

    You miss the playcalling but not the playmaking.

  28. Max Says:

    Ruud is only viable in a 4-3/cover 2 type of scheme and there are not many teams out there that run the scheme and the teams that do already have great or better players at the MLB position (Bears, Colts, Giants, Vikings).

    We might miss Ruud in the short term but we want long term greatness and I doubt Ruud would have given us that.

  29. BamBamBuc Says:

    Architek, just curious about one of the facts…

    Several RBs flattened our “leader”…. well, that would imply more than two, so I’d like to know which three (or more) and I guess that depends on the definition of “flattened”. The most discussed “flattening” was the Chris Ivory run. Of course it’s all but forgotten that on the exact same drive Ruud forced the fumble at the goal line to prevent the TD and regain possession.

    Not that it really matters, Ruud is gone. Like him or hate him, he’s not on our team and all we have to worry about is who will step up and how will they do. If anyone wants to gauge Ruud’s performance this year, please don’t look at the rushing numbers against the Buccaneers. Go look at the rushing numbers of the team he plays for. Look at the tackles and forced fumbles and INTs and all the other stats you want. But look at the team he now plays for. His absence from our team will not determine whether we are 10th or 18th or 31st or whatever against the run… That will all be reliant upon the guys we have on this team now.

  30. Gavster Says:

    Who is going to call all the audibles on defense.?? Ruud may not have been a great run stuffer but I don’t think I have ever seen him truly make the wrong play. And didn’t he force a fumble near the goalline in that saints game? Idk ruud may be soft but his football iq is outstanding .

  31. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I’m starting to really hate Barrett Ruud. Not because of his play, but because he is gone and we are continuing to argue about him. Who gives a flying (you know what) about him anymore?! He’s not Ray Lewis. He’s at absolute best a slightly above average MLB. In football, losing a slightly above average player is not a catastrophe. I would guess there would be plays (and games) this year where we will wish we had him because of a mistake he wouldn’t have made, but at the same time there will be plays (and games) where plays are made that he is not capable of making. In the end, we will be fine. Regardless of if we win 1 game or 16 games, Barrett Ruud will not be the reason. He’s just not that good, very few players are.

    I, like most people, wish we would have done a little in free agency. I understand why people would be very disappointed and question the organization. However, besides the DLine (which we have invested so much in over the last 2 years with the draft) and MLB, I really can’t think of a position that we really NEED to bring in more talent. Nnamdi would have been wonderful, but in reality he would be a luxury pick. The talent is there at every position now, it’s just green. I don’t know if it is a good idea to take players off the field to be replaced by veterans, because it could potentially stunt their growth. If we are awful this year, then I think our complaints will be justified, but Dominik has proven to me that he is better at running an NFL team than I am.

  32. McBuc Says:

    Why do some of you guys point to the close wins, and you ignore the close losses? Besides, like the saying goes, a W is a W, regardless of the score. The actual score only matters to gamblers trying to cover the spread. 20 years from now a 10 – 6 record reflects a 10 – 6 record. The barely win argument is tired, so let’s focus on this season and hope our Bucs repeat the same succes.

  33. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    Capt. Tim- The only one who is nauseatingly ignorant is someone who thinks our GM actually makes move to appease Ian Beckles and sports radio callers. Give me a break dude. The proof is in the pudding. Ruud was among the absolute least pursued linebackers in free agency. Ultimately garnering only a one year stopgap contract. Ronde Barber is a cornerback not a personnel evaluator. Good player does not equal good talent evaluator. Maybe you should go root for the Titans since you are apparently a bigger Barrett Ruud fan than a Bucs fan. Get over it dude. Ruud is gone. He isn’t making any pro-bowls with the Titans either.

  34. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    To put it bluntly Capt. Tim – the fact that your biggest Ruud co-cheerleader is Thomas 2.2 should show you which side of this argument your on- the wrong one.

  35. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    Thomas 2.2 named Caddy, Ruud, and Stylez “I don’t give a #$#% bout no practice” White as big time “losses” and reasons why the Bucs may be worse. So Caddy and Ruud both signed 1 year “this team thinks im mediocre at best” contracts and Stylez White is still unemployed at this late hour of free agency. But yeah… the loss of those three guys is going to be the deciding factor on the improvement of this team.