Digging Deep: Barrett Ruud
Patrick D. Starr
We had to find out more about the newest Houston Texans' linebacker Barrett Ruud, so we went to find help. Going back to his Tampa Bay Buccaneer days, Ruud was a force, a tackling machine in the middle for the defense. To help us find out more about the veteran linebacker, we enlisted the help of Gil Arica from the Bay Cave, a site dedicated to the Buccaneers.
He gave us a better insight on what to expect from Ruud:
It's not that much of a surprise that Ruud has bounced around since signing his contract with Tennessee. After the Bucs drafted Mason Foster, you could see the direction the team was heading. For veteran leadership, Ruud gives you that. But he was the number one linebacker on a bad defensive football team for a few years in the Bucs which had no depth behind Ruud. He did in fact lead Tampa Bay in tackles for four years, however, there was not much to play off of in front of him as backs were constantly in the 2nd and 3rd levels of the Bucs defense.
For every tackle Ruud made, it felt as if he missed one or two more. He had issues wrapping up the running back and quarterback in the backfield. Some always viewed him as undersized compared to others at middle linebacker.
It was also telling when Tennessee was in no hurry to get him back on the field after a groin injury last season and basically replaced him with (at the time) rookie linebacker Colin McCarthy.
Since, he has been with Seattle in the offseason to then be cut, the signed and released by New Orleans, and now signs with Houston. At 29 you would think he may still be in his prime but he is not your average middle linebacker.
So take it for what it's worth. Could Ruud have ever had a real shot at starting if then Bucs MLB Shelton Quarles was healthy enough to continue to play? For depth, it's a good signing by the Texans because he is instinctive and gives you another veteran presence. I just always wondered about his true tackling ability.
Does the signing make you feel better or is Ruud just a space filler for special teams?