Scrambling To Adjust In The Post-Ruud Era

September 13th, 2011

Former Bucs TE Dave Moore says the loss of Barrett Ruud already is being felt

Two weeks ago, former Bucs tight end and current Buccaneers Radio Network Radio analyst Dave Moore called out Quincy Black for getting beat for a touchdown and explained that he expected opponents to attack Bucs linebackers.

After Sunday’s loss against the Lions, Moore took to the WDAE-AM 620 airwaves to spell out for host Dan Sileo some of why the Bucs suffered at linebacker against Detroit and why Barrett Ruud’s absence already has the Bucs changing their defense to compensate for the loss.

Moore talked about Ruud’s intelligence and relentless film study so he wouldn’t bite on the run at the wrong time and get beat over the middle. Now, Moore said, the Bucs can’t count on that consistency from Black and Mason Foster and must adapt for their inexperience.

“So Barrett [Ruud] would get dragged for three or four yards, but you never saw him get beat up the middle. When was the last time you saw a tight end catch a ball dead up the middle of the field when Barrett Ruud was the middle linebacker? That’s what you lose now with going with a younger guy that’s more aggressive,” Moore said. “Yeah, [Foster is]  more aggressive against the run, but now you’re open to that middle because that’s a tough deal. When you’re a guy that’s expected to take on a fullback, the lead blocker and stop the run at the line of scrimmage, but also cover the middle of the field against a [speedy] receiver, that’s tough duty.

“So, we may see coverages get away from that Cover 2. We saw in the second half a lot more 2-man coverage off, you know, Cover 4, some things to kind of protect that middle linebacker.”

Joe suggests you click through the link above and hear all of Moore’s comments. Great stuff, as usual, from Moore. He’s one of those rare guys, like former Bucs DE Steve White, who easily boils down complicated Xs and Os for the average fan.

Regardless of what you think of Ruud, when the Bucs let Ruud walk, they traded the known for the unknown — 100+ tackles and reliability in the passing game for a mysterious and evolving melding of Black and Foster.

This is tough duty on Raheem Morris, who has plenty to prove as a defensive coordinator. Rock star general manager Mark Dominik passed on Raheem’s quarterback of the defense (Ruud) in favor of dropping  a rookie middle linebacker into the fire after an asinine-lockout-shortened offseason.

Joe’s hoping the Bucs’ defensive line makes huge strides in a hurry to take pressure off the linebackers. That’s the most likely path to success versus quick miracles out of Black and Foster.

25 Responses to “Scrambling To Adjust In The Post-Ruud Era”

  1. Mauha Deeb Says:

    Im telling you right now, the zone defensive from the lB spot is going to kill us. We have speed at LB. Our best bet is to try and man up, press at the line and set for some coverage sacks because our LB zone D blows. They play way too far back.
    I wonder if this play calling is due to a lack of trust in safety coverage. We played press only 4 times during pass plays from what I saw. Those four times led to 2 incompletions and 2 completions for 4 yards total.

  2. Johnnie Says:

    The problem with Black’s coverage seems to get worse every year. It’s surprising because in college he played the “LOBO” position at New Mexico. Which is a hybrid LB/Safety position where the player pretty much has roam of the field in run and coverage situations. I wonder if it has anything to do with his weight gain. He cam in a little over 220, now he’s a little over 240. You would think a guy that’s 6’2″ could handle the extra 20(ish) pounds, but maybe it has slowed him just a step.

  3. Brad Says:

    For all the glory Dominic gets, I believe he should be called out for not only not signing any FA’s but making our team weaker by not resigning our own players (Caddy,Ruud). For at least 1 year contracts while the rookies learn. Whatever shortcomings Ruud had on the field, I believe the rookies could have learned a helluva lot by seeing how to prepare in the film room. Dominics words we dont want fa so we can sign our own. Not signing Caddy and Ruud seems to be the opposite of what he said. By the time this season is over I think Dominic is going to have to apologize to the fans, the coaches, and the owners for failing to do what was necessary to make this team stronger. Only using the draft, not signing any FA’s, and letting your veterans walk is a formula for failure!!

  4. Bucnjim Says:

    Here’s an idea! Maybe they were tired because they couldn’t get off the field for more than 5 minutes because the offense was so disgusting. Just watching the play calling made me sick to my stomach. A Pro Bowl Defense would have melted in that 90 degree heat after the first half. Maybe someone could tell me the time of possesion for the Lions in the first 2 quarters?

  5. Eric Says:

    Maybe Brady ruined their confidence. What he did to the Dolphins last night was sick.

    Confidence can be important. The Bucs defense lost swagger after Manning had the second half comeback on Monday night a few years back.

    Need to get it back somehow.

  6. bucsalltheway Says:

    Nothing new here Joe. I said we would lose our defensive poise going into the season. They should have kept RUUD. But foster is oh so lost in our scheme. RUUD tallied in 14 tackle in Sundays loss to the jags but no one on our roster came close to being a man beast. We asked for this so we’ll deal with it. And blount had 15 yards and caddy had 91 rushing and 46 receiving. So right now we look like we gave away pieces of last years puzzle. Sunday we got worked on all aspects of the ball. Except special teams thanks captain hayward for showing why we resigned you.

  7. Bucnjim Says:

    The defense didn’t even have enough time to sit on the bench before they had to go right back on the field. Let’s face facts; the offense didn’t do their job! They are the one’s with the most veteran’s and the most skilled positions, but still crapped the bed. This is what they offered us? They spend all this time preparing for the first game and can’t even muster first down’s?

  8. Bucnjim Says:

    oh and by the way; the defense scored! The special teams was responsible for 3 more points. That’s 10 points by an offense projected to score more than 20 points a game.

  9. Macabee Says:

    Just remember, when the going gets tough, and like typical fans, we start calling for heads that Morris wanted to keep Caddy and Ruud. The move to fire Mangurian was spearheaded by Olsen and done by Dominik. Let’s be sure that when the time comes to start shooting people we shoot the right guy!

  10. Eric Says:

    I am sure if Morris and Dom had their way they would engage in FA to help the team. Its the Glazer boys that have not allowed that to happen since 2005.

    Rom/Dom only sing the virtues of the plan because they have to. After all, they were placed in their respective positions for that exact purpose.

    Therein lies the rub, along with the truth.

  11. Brad Says:

    I disagree the owners would not let Dom go after FA’s. He has had that option since he’s been here. I don’t think it was a lie that Haynsworth was offered a shi* load of money and we did sign Ward and a few others that failed miserably. I just think Dominic is either scared or caught up in his own stardom that he feels he can do no wrong with the draft. Plus considering what Ruud and Caddy got paid this offseason, I find it hard to believe we could not have retained these guys. Not signing FA is one thing (he’s scared) letting your veterans go that in the least could have bridged the gab for the rookies is another ( to cocky and thinks he’s a master drafter) . If it’s all about 5, I don’t see what Dominic did that shows that.

  12. Capt.Tim Says:

    Brad- exactly! You echoed my own frustration perfectly! We didn’t adress the known weaknesses we already had. We rewarded the biggest underachievers on the team. We didn’t keep to of the team leaders on offense and Defense, and missed out on some really talented played, who could have really helped this team.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but in my opinion- this team did not have making the playoffs as a goal. Dominick was more dedicated to “the plan”, than he was to Winning. That doesn’t work for me. Freeman is a franchise QB. Our goal should be to build the best team possible around him, not just keep a constant influx of Rookies. If that’s ” The Plan”, then we need a new one!!

  13. Number 41 Says:

    I, for one, certainly miss seeing Ruud making stops 7-8 yards downfield.

  14. Eric Says:

    Most telling is what the bucs have done since there has been no salary cap floor.

    Stay way below it.

    I am not a believer in coincidences.

    No GM in his right mind (and Dom is a smart guy), voluntarily puts himself in this position.

  15. bucsalltheway Says:

    The defense scared me with its cushion they gave up in the middle of the field. I think until foster and black gain control of what there doing then the safety can actually help the outside corner. They trusted talib but gambled on helping black and foster out. And from what I saw Sunday was mason foster getting blocked and not able to shed a block. Pressure is very much needed Stanford look like he was at practice with a redshirt on the way we didn’t touch him.

  16. Macabee Says:

    I can handle not making the playoffs and I can take my losses like any other dedicated fan. What I fear most is that they may have shaken the confidence of our budding franchise QB. There is a reason why the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is still around!

  17. Bucnjim Says:

    The Titan’s fans are so happy with Ruud! LOL….Here are some Quotes:

    time we cut Gerald McRath, Ruud had 14 tackles in the game but it sure didnt seem like it.

    Our run defense is quite bad, pass defense not much better.

    It’s gonna be another long year for us Titans fans. We’re already staring 0-2 in the face.
    I’m pissed they let Tulloch go!
    A) Babs should be in over Hope
    B) McCarthy in over Ruud
    They have Ruud’s number after only one game and it took us years

  18. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Sweet Cheesus and jiminy x-mass! You people turn faster than a ceiling fan!!

    I understand Thomas and a few others jumping on this…they will after every loss because its a chance to argue their points and say “I told you so”.

    But come on, people! Most of you are better than this!!

    I tried to warn people coming into the season…the things I’ve been saying for months are:
    1) the defense will start slow and improve from game to game
    2) the offense has to carry the team
    3) the offensive line has to carry the offense
    4) expectations on Freeman are way too high for this stage of his development. If he can’t rise to them, the fans will turn on him and destroy him. So will the media.
    5) Okam needs to start so we can stop the run; but even he will take some games to develop
    6) Bowers should start over Bennett
    7) Foster is going to start as rough as the Dline…people will forget HE’s A ROOKIE!
    8) The Bucs lose more opening games than they win! Since 2002, the Bucs have lost 7 of 10 opening games!

    I mean, come on…did you people not see the warnings that this was coming? Cheese and crackers!

    Look…a bad outing does not mean the team is doomed. You guys had expectations too high to start with. Use common sense. The team starts weak but finishes out the season strong.

    People grow through adversity.

    Need a bright spot? Consider this: Since 1992, only 24% of the teams that lost their first game made it into the playoffs. Can the Bucs defy those odds? YES!!!! They did it once during Dungy’s reign. They did it twice during Gruden’s reign…and one of them we won the superbowl.

    1x with Dungy
    2x with Gruden
    3x with Morris???

    You never know, people!

    You all need to calm down. Don’t say things you’ll have to pretend you didn’t say later.

    Foster will get it…and so will Clayborn, Okam, Bowers, GMC and the rest of the defense. Give it a few weeks and stop crying like spoiled kids. You are all sounding like Thomas!

  19. Pete Dutcher Says:

    And, btw…I DID predict 10-6. The wins just won’t come often in the first few games.

  20. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Now don’t you go giving up on the Playoffs just yet, buddy. Be strong 😉

  21. raphael Says:

    lmao….the name TODD HEAP ring a bell…he smoked us right down the middle and Ruud was way behind….I call bullspit

  22. raphael Says:

    I agree with Pete….10- 6 …………still

  23. Macabee Says:

    Hey Pete, Not me. I’m not giving up ever. My post was meant to imply exactly what you said. My expectation is not set so high that I can’t accept losing or that we don’t make the playoffs and still be a diehard fan. Either way I’m still in the boat. I did however, issue a caveat – that you can only introduce young players to only so much change in a short period of time and not expect for it to have some impact on their growth, especially our developing QB.

  24. Dan Says:

    Just FYI – Ruud had 14 tackles with Tennessee on SUN. Interesting?

  25. Blubber Price Says:

    Yeah … because Ruud would have made SUCH a difference on those TD passes to Calvin Johnson which really were the difference in the game.

    Yet another stupid article by Joe. Par for the course.