Foster Hit “Rookie Wall” In “Awkward Situation”

December 20th, 2011

Asked today to assess Mason Foster’s play in the middle of the Bucs’ porous defense, Raheem Morris praised his rookie MLB for playing “Grade A ball” early in the season and battling ankle injuries before hitting a funk.

Morris also went on to say Foster is missing the gift of experience around him and time to ease into his job.

“…Then he hit a little bit of a rookie wall. Got a little tired there. Got a little fatigued. You know, everything started to ache. Everything started to battle. Now he’s starting to come back around, starting to play fast, starting to play physical. He’s done this all year, so he’s one of those guys that’s going to grow into his body and become that natural mike [linebacker,]” Raheem said.

“He was thrust into kind of an awkward situation at the Bucs. You know, Derrick Brooks had Hardy Nickerson. Shelton Quarles had Derrick. You know, these guys had established guys around them that were beasts and in some cases got a chance to sit behind. You know Barrett Ruud got a chance to watch Shelton for a couple of years. … That was something [Foster] was thrown right into. He’s done a nice job of handling it as a young football player, and he’s done a nice job of all the aches and pains you deal with in the NFL.”

Well, there you have it. Foster, per Raheem, is coming around to his Grade A ball self. So Joe can’t wait to see Foster display that and yungry on Saturday at Carolina.

Also, it seems clear Raheem doesn’t see Quincy Black as an “established” guy who is a “beast.” It’s good to know the coach and Joe are on the same page on that one.

60 Responses to “Foster Hit “Rookie Wall” In “Awkward Situation””

  1. RastaMon Says:

  2. Meh Says:

    He’s right. We should have kept Ruud. He wasn’t worse than Black or Hayes but had leadership and smarts. He should have been the last linebacker we replaced.

  3. upthegut Says:

    when you add the pluses and minuses Dominick grades out very poorly.
    New GM, new HC, new DC, new OC = big improvement in 2012

  4. FIRE RAH! Says:

    hmmm no veteran players? theres a shock.

  5. bucfanjeff Says:

    Where are the Ruud haters now?

  6. Bobby Says:

    @upthegut….I still think you have to be absolutely blind to football talent to think that Dominick grades out poorly. We are not playing well as a team YET but the team has plenty of talent. Bowers, McCoy, Price, Clayborne, Freeman, Foster, Mike Williams, Blount, Parker, Briscoe, Koenen,….all here because of Dominick and I believe all are talented but it’s raw talent. We still don’t know about guys like Gaitor, Ahmad Black, Ed Gant, etc. Talent isn’t the’s ‘where’ the lack of talent is at. We need two new OLB’s and we need some new DB’s. We could also use a beast WR like Floyd or Jeffery in the draft. I think we’ll be fine once a few more pieces are in place.

  7. BucfaninMI Says:

    Exactly bucfanjeff, no one on this team can tackle because they let Ruud do it all. Tenn. only signed him for 1 year, maybe he could come back.

  8. Anthony Says:

    Yep, any second we are going to turn this thing around.

  9. BigMacAttack Says:

    For a coach that never makes excuses or casts blame this sure quacks like a Duck.

  10. Captain Stagger Says:

    I am a Ruud Hater, and Foster is a Sam, he would have done much better flanking Tulloch. Letting Ruud go isn’t the issue. Not signing a Vet replacement is.

  11. BigMacAttack Says:

    And yes, Barrett Ruud still sucks. That is no excuse for this defense to suck now. What if Ruud been re-signed and got hurt, would that have been a pass for them? Hell No!!! it really is time to get over Ruud, and yes I need to get over Cadi as well, who by the way was the best 3’rd down back in the league last season.

  12. Chris Says:

    Which is exactly why Ruud should have been resigned to help bring Foster along. And since when can somebody “start to come back around” and “do something all year” at the same time?

  13. eric Says:

    every team has some talent.

    like on the teams that have kicked our talented asses eight straight.

  14. Bucnjim Says:

    Mason Foster: 71 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 int, 1 fumble recovery
    Barrett Ruud: 57 tackes, 0 sacks, 0 int, 0 fumble recovery & is now on injured reserve. This is foster’s first year and how many years has Ruud been in the NFL? I’m pretty happy with who we have in the middle! The rest is a different story. Also Foster has better stats then both Von Miller and Ayers.

  15. bucfaninMI Says:

    oh yea Ruud sucks,he and all his tackles,yea he made tackles 5 or 6 six yards downfield, thats because no one else did! Ruud was the QB of the D. And his absence has been noticed!! ask the other players!

  16. Mokeybear Says:

    Ruud always dropped back 5-10 yards at the snap and then began a rush. Not so good.

  17. BucfaninMI Says:

    The D would have been alot better with Ruud. We know that because they now suck.

  18. gotbbucs Says:

    ruud got completely outshined by a rookie on the titans. the issue isnt that ruud is good, its that black and hayes suck. mason foster is out of position right now. i dont know if that will change, but either way we need two new lb’s.

  19. Adam Says:

    So what Rah-mensa is saying is that having a veteran might have helped. Thanks, Moron.

  20. Meh Says:

    You have to compare Ruud to Hayes and Black. We could have kept Ruud, let Black walk, and slid over Foster. That is better than what we have. Is it great? No. But better.

  21. SteveK Says:

    Cmon Draft! We need about 10 new players. Let’s trade back and pick the best available with each pick.

  22. knucknbuc Says:

    People are forgetting the D sucked with Rudd too? Sorry really how was having Rudd gonna change this trainwreck of a defense. The titans D has actually played better since Rudd has been out. He got outshined by a rookie and is getting outshined by foster 2. Rudd was a scrub and will probably be a bench player for the rest of his career just like black and hayes will be after this year.

  23. passthebuc Says:

    With our record of early picks, I would trade back if possible and pick up additional picks. Of course if nothing else changes, maybe we could trade our 1st, 2nd and 3rd to the Titans for the rights to RUDD<

  24. Thomas 2.2.. Says:

    With no assistant coaches left to blame – this desperate in over his head embarrassment has taken to scapegoating 21 year old rookies. Shameless.

    This coach is just unable to discern what he is saying no wonder the players are confused

  25. aj Says:

    People are missing the point. This isn’t about tackling, not about flowing to the ball. It is about play calling, audibles, getting guys lined up and prepared to play.

    The pre-snap stuff is what Ruud excelled at, and it is what is absolutely killing the Bucs right now. There is a reason why even guys who have played well in the system aren’t anymore. They aren’t lined up right. Offenses audible and the Bucs D falls apart, can’t keep up, and are beaten before the ball is even snapped.

  26. Capt.Tim Says:

    What Raheem is saying, as nicely as possible, is that Dominick screwed both this team and Raheem by not resigning Ruud. I know there are Ruud haters out there. Obviously at this point, you’ve been proven horribly wrong, and you aren’t man enough to admit. But anyone being lead by Ian Beckles, what do you expect? I said in the spring, no Ruud, losing record. Sign Ruud, we win twelve games. I still believe that. It was idiotic to cut him this year, he leas us in tackles every single year, and damn near every game. I dint care WHERE he tackled them. No one is tackling anyone, anywhere now. And Foster will never be half the cover LBer Ruud was. Foster should have took The pathetic Quincy Janes job. Foster isn’t talented enough to do Ruuds job, and it’s part of the reason this Defense is totally helpless

  27. Capt.Tim Says:

    KnucknBuc- we win 10 games last year with him. We won’t win 5 without him.
    anyone who won’t admit getting rid of Ruud now is either stupid, or to weak in character to admit they were wrong.
    Clayborn and Bowers are improvements over last year. Yet without Ruud, it’s totally helpless. Ruud wasn’t a great LB. But he improved this defense dramatically.

  28. BigMacAttack Says:

    Speaking of “Shameless”, the new season begins on January 8’th on……….. Showwwtime.

  29. Macabee Says:

    I would have re-signed Ruud, but there is supporting evidence that say we made the right decision.

  30. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’m no Ruud fan, cough, cough, understatement, but I agree with the comment above that if Ruud would have stayed at Mike with Foster moved to “Either” side the defense would have been better. That is absolutely true Dakota Watson on the other side, maybe even better still. So yes I admit in hindsight that Ruud should have been kept, based solely on the fact that NO free agent LB’s were pursued/signed and only Foster was drafted and NONE other, so based on what is left in the pile, Ruud is better. However I still feel Hayward might have been a better fit at the Mike, with Foster and Watson on the outside. Our Coaching staff is way too smart to attempt that combination, but Lord knows they have tried everything else. That #50 T’eo kid played pretty well Sunday night. He’s a big bruiser. That’s why I like Dont’a Hightower at 6′-4″ – 260#’s. I think we could use that.

  31. eric Says:

    spot on again captain

  32. Jack Says:

    Lowest payroll in the league the last 5 years….bucs are a fraud on the fan base….wake up.

  33. Brad Says:

    This is another hit against our Rock Star. This guy should be front and center and have a press conference of his own to answer for his multiple short comings including making this team the weakest in the NFL. Ruud may not be a premier linebacker but he certainly would not have been selfish and would have worked with Foster and show him the way of the NFL This is just one of many blunders that Mark is responsible for. I’m not sure if Raheem will be back but one guy that shouldnt be 100% is Mark Dominic. I won’t bore everyone with the many mistakes that have been brought up over and over but he’s made but one that should be pointed out. We do not have one position coach that is capable of taking over as an interim coach in the event Morris was fired. And these guys are coaching our players to be NFL players. What a disaster.

  34. RastaMon Says:

    Lowest payroll in the league the last 5 years….bucs are a fraud on the fan base….wake up.

    and it seems they have paid off all the local media….Somewhere in the air
    a dog has sold his bark to the highest bidder…if ya hear what I hear…

  35. eric Says:

    no one in this town has the balls to tell it like it is.

  36. Thomas 2.2.. Says:

    Rah Rah cliche is the strongest evidence of these owners committing a fraud on the fan base, and he is still here. Disgusting – while the jags, chiefs and dolphins all see how their players respond without the former head coach – we suffer knowing what the problem is and they won’t do a thing about it.

    I would be happier seeing Olson or Millard given the last 2 games – we know what rah produces – blowouts by last place teams.

    Who cares about Dom? With a real coach his ineptitude gets nullified.

  37. RastaMon Says:

    kindred spirits….speak….

  38. RastaMon Says:

    620 Basenji

  39. GenocideD Says:

    Bobby Says:
    December 20th, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    “We are not playing well as a team YET but the team has plenty of talent. Bowers, McCoy, Price, Clayborne, Freeman, Foster, Mike Williams, Blount, Parker, Briscoe, Koenen,….all here because of Dominick and I believe all are talented but it’s raw talent. We still don’t know about guys like Gaitor, Ahmad Black, Ed Gant, etc. Talent isn’t the’s ‘where’ the lack of talent is at. We need two new OLB’s and we need some new DB’s. I think we’ll be fine once a few more pieces are in place.”

    ^Thanks Bobby for saving me the trouble of typing that, too! 😉

    With the two turds Black and Hayes on both sides of him, Foster’s trying to make up for their lack of everything! I’m very happy with the rookie Foster. SO much upside. Our first two picks in the spring need to be LB/LB or LB/CB.

    MD’s not the issue. We need to resign Raheem as HC only, hire a new DC and replace Olsen.

  40. Bucnjim Says:

    You guys think Ruud would have changed this train wreck? That is the biggest joke I’ve heard in a long time. This is about coaching and motivation! The team we are seeing right now has ZERO FIRE. As Gruden used to say; there is no juice. NOT ANYWHERE! It has trickled down to the media and the fan base. I watch other top tier teams and the first thing I see is effort and physical presence. I thought that getting rid of Ruud meant that someone with some Balls would step up and take over a leadership roll (because that was my only problem with Ruud) Now we have an entire team of finesse players! It’s like someone came in and said this is a stick up; give me all your balls and you will no longer be alpha males. It’s very sad that Brooks & Sapp have to look at what’s become of THEIR Defense.

  41. Bucnjim Says:

    Ricky Bobby,
    Is that you Raheem? In the history of the NFL; there are very few coaches who have the ability to motivate these high paid athletes. Raheem is not now or never will be that person. He would do great under kiffin because he’s the nice guy and Kiffin is Captain Bly. They would even each other out! Now we’ve got two nice guys and no one to stick a foot up someone’s A$$. Young players need direction and it usually takes a coach like Gruden or someone similar to light that fire under their Butt’s.

  42. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    Well, according to the Bucs stats he has 114 tackles….. According to every other site I have been to, he has between 68 and 74. What the heck are the Bucs looking at?

  43. Patrick Says:


    Mark Dominick is not the issue? He’s the one that made this pathetic 4-10 roster, and YES Raheem is a huge part of the bad season, but so is Dominick. Really, you think coaching is the reason why we’re so bad? It’s part of the reason. Really, this team is NOT that talented like you or a couple of others may think. Are we up there with teams like the Saints, Packers, Patriots, etc? Nowhere close!

    Dominick’s “no free agents”, rookies only philosophy is screwing this team up. He doesn’t believe in bringing in free agents, even for veteran leadership. He thinks all the mediocre/below average crap on our roster is better than signing any free agents. What a joke. Not only that, but he constantly wastes and throws millions down the drain on horrible players or guys that have proven they can’t produce (Clayton, Black).

    When he thinks we’re “ready” to contend, then he’ll sign free agents… he says. Well that’s never gonna happen unless you bring in some proven, experienced talent. a.k.a free agents.

    Looking at how Dom has run this show, we’ll be YOUNGER, more inexperienced, and worse next year. I’m not confident really at all. If we had a better head coach, we’d be better no question, but not much better.

  44. CC Says:

    @ Capt Stagger

    Could not agree more. I believe Tulloch is a FA again. The Bucs should do everything they can to try and get him.

  45. FlBoy84 Says:

    My how times have changed. Just back in August when Cummings mentioned Black’s deal was the type of deal you give to what you believe is your best linebacker, the leader of your defense and a star on the rise. “He’s all those things,” Morris said of Black, who had 88 tackles, two sacks and an interception in 11 games last season. “He’s a leader in that linebacker room, and he’s a playmaker on the field, because he’s an athletic freak. “I call him a big Cheetah, because he’s a specimen as far as his movement goes, as far as his hands and his ball awareness, as far as his ability to catch the ball. And I like to play to his strengths a little bit.” Doesn’t seem like it’s only Dominik that has an issue with judging talent.

  46. Patrick Says:


    The question is, “Will Mark Dominick say “no” to free agents this offseason?”

    Prepare yourself for disappointment cause I think he will again.

    Oh, and I wish we could sign Tulloch.

    Also, I know Derrick Brooks was old and worn down, but looking back at it….it was a joke to let him go the way we did. Especially since we didn’t find a replacement for him or haven’t had anyone better than him for what….3 years now? Don’t see how it would’ve hurt at all to keep him around considering we went 3-13 the next year. He’d still be our #1 linebacker after seeing how bad Quincy Black and Geno Hayes have been! lol.

  47. eric Says:

    mckays team had more heart

  48. Plbuc Says:

    What is alarming in hindsight is the total lack of character and pride drafted on this team. I refuse to blame youth,lockout or other scapegoats invented to justify blowout after blowout. We now have seen every Sunday how this team reacts to adversity and with all the resources available to teams, it’s safe to say Dominick has chosen a lot of mentally weak and average talent players. Combine that with clueless coaches who the players don’t respect and there you have the 2011 Bucs. BTW, the rest of the teams in our division are light years ahead of us and will be for a long time. No FAs and bad drafting and yet some people inexplicably don’t want change. Ask yourself at this point what do they have to lose. CLEAN HOUSE!

  49. GenocideD Says:

    Patrick I’m all for this youth movement. We’re starting from the ground up. We all should’ve been prepared for a few crap years to build from the ground up. A lot of the free agent signing limitations have been put there by the Glazers. We’ve added lots of talent to this 4-10 team. I know you agree that the coaching is at fault. I’m of the belief that poor coaching is the root of it all for both sides of the ball. Look at our 3rd and short plays that turn into Bennd arounds, shotgun formations w/out Blount on the field, 3rd and short with JJ in the wildcat….Pffffft, pathetic.
    The defensive calls are just as horrendous but at least the D side of the ball has has the bigger lack of talent ie:black, hayes, jones, biggers…
    I too am frustrated with the lack of free agency moves. I think we should’ve landed Posluzny and/or Barnett and Darren Sproles. Beyond those three there aren’t many more I would’ve wanted.
    I’m giving MD until next year to sign some new up and comer/impact players to replace the OLBs, get some safety help, replace Ronde(very hard to do) and hopefully at least two of these replacements next year are from FA. If this doesn’t happen I’ll probably eat some crow and find my way on your side in regards to looking at MD… 😉

    Players to replace:

  50. K2theSoldier Says:

    LOL I find it hilarious how the ENTIRE fanbase hated Ruud and ran him out of town, and now everybody is crying that we should have kept him. Unbelievable. Ruud got a one year deal from Tennessee and has been totally out-done by a rookie from Clearwater Central Catholic (no seriously, that’s where Mccarthy went, pretty cool right?). Ruud sucks, and the defense was epically bad WITH him. Sure, I buy the argument that he could have taught the defense to the younger guys and was more familiar with the signal calling and what-not. But there’s no use in paying a player just for that purpose when the guy behind him (Foster in our case) is twice as good a football player. We made the right choice in the long term scheme of things. Foster is a beast, truly one of the awesome pieces of this team.

  51. K2theSoldier Says:

    And just a random thought, I hope Raheem keeps his job just for the sole purpose of seeing Thomas’ reaction; I’m guessing it involves his head exploding, or something rather ridiculous like that.

  52. Niko (The Optimist) Says:

    While I would have liked to have Ruud one more year, he clearly wasn’t the answer any more than QUincy Black or Geno Hayes are. Imagine our linebacking corps next season with two new outside linebackers via Free agency and Mason Foster with a full offseason of OTAs.

    That goes with every position, especially offense with a new offensive coordinator (Better be)

  53. TurnThePage Says:

    To continue this hate for Barrett Ruud and yet STILL apologize for Raheem Morris being a horrible coach is absolutely insane.

    Most of you idiots are bold faced liars all in the sake of supporting Raheem Morris.

    Capt Tim is RIGHT ON!

    The Glazers screwed the fans by making an unqualified boob the head coach of the Buccaneers.

    Its not the players fault.

    The blame starts and ends with the Glazers for allowing this travesty. Raheem should have NEVER, EVER been made a head coach.

  54. TurnThePage Says:

    To clarify, Capt Tim is right about Barrett Ruud.

    This season has PROVEN this without a shadow of doubt.

  55. jvato24 Says:

    For everyone calling for DOminick to be fired … You are pretty much in a dream world. Dominick has drafted Well .. Lack of FAs has hurt the team. But its not his signature that goes on the FA checks. Im pretty sure this is the owners plan as well and they havent given him the ok to get the FAs, I believe it will change to some degree this year though.

  56. Bobby Says:

    Barrett Ruud…..seriously?? You guys just lost any credibility with that crap. You wanted him gone last year and well you should have. He was average and made most of his tackles down field. Foster has outperformed him and he’s only a rookie. How would the presence of Ruud turned this around??? Because he’s a vet?? Trueblood’s a vet and he’s still a liability on the pass rush. Some of these posts are just plain stupid. 12 wins with Ruud….really?? Think so? Now, Cadillac I agree with. I think he was a great third down back and I think we really miss him. No one has been able to step into that role and perform like he did.

  57. Joe Says:


    Barrett Ruud…..seriously?? You guys just lost any credibility with that crap. You wanted him gone last year and well you should have. He was average and made most of his tackles down field. Foster has outperformed him and he’s only a rookie. How would the presence of Ruud turned this around???

    1) first, tackles seven yards downfield is better than 20 yards downfield.

    2) Use Joe’s search function and search for “Tim Ryan” and educate yourself. Ryan predicted what would happen to the Bucs defense without Ruud and he nailed every thing that has transpired this season to a “T.”

    He’s not the only one. Steve White pretty much said the same thing.

    A significant reason for the front line sucking out loud — read Steve White’s weekly offerings — and people playing out of position is directly related to Ruud being gone.

  58. Capt.Tim Says:

    Bobby- 10-6 with him, 4-12- without him. Same team. Same coaches.

    Smell the coffee. As Einstein once said” when all available facts contradict your hypotheses . . Your are wrong” He was a smart guy.

    If this team signs a) a vet shutdown corner. b) an Good OLB Vet. c) a vet RT d) Speedy vet at RB or WR
    Then gets a good coach , Dc, And OC
    Then drafts a CB, MLB, LG, S. And speed at RB or WR
    And let’s Freeman camp out at one Buc place all summer

    I’m saying we are a playoff team. Believe it or not

    But that’s gonna be harder to do this year than last. That’s why I’m pissed.

  59. Bucnjim Says:

    Why are we even arguing about Ruud? He lost out to another rookie MLB and he’s on injured reserve. The results would not change a bit with him here! The defense was almost as bad last year, but we had the offense to fall back on and out score teams then.

  60. Bucnjim Says:

    Ruud’s defense in 2010 was ranked 31st against the run giving up a total of 2200 yards on the ground. This year the Defense has given up 1900 yards on it’s way to 2200 after the last two games I’m sure. So why exactly are we talking about Ruud? The difference has been the pass defense and complete lack of offense. It’s not like our D was top 10 and after Ruud left we are last!