Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘dekoda watson’

Bucs Have Player*s* Of The Month

November 29, 2012 at 02:22pm by Scott   •  2 Comments »

Not that I don't think he could kick the shit out of me, but those guns aren't big enough to use that as a celebration.
It’s gotten to be so routine that Lavonte David leads the team in tackles and is constantly around the ball that I’ve kind of stopped mentioning it in game write-ups. “Ho hum, another 15 tackles, 2 for loss, a pass break-up, he saved a basket of kittens from drowning. Just another day.” It kind of sucks when you’re so good that it becomes expected and stops getting recognized. Well, the NFL has my back on this one because David won the November Defensive Rookie of the Month award.

What’s even more impressive is that David doesn’t have a lot of “spectacular” plays, and I’m using that word literally. He doesn’t have a bunch of interceptions or even a string of bone-crushing tackles that would have been featured on “Jacked Up!” if ESPN was still a real network. David is just consistently making solid play after solid play, and it’s a testament to whoever is handing out these awards that they didn’t go for style over substance with him.

But if we did care about style points, it didn’t get much more stylish than Dekoda Watson laying out a punter to get the ball blocked and returned for a touchdown by Adam Hayward. That’s why they gave Watson the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month. In addition to the punt block, Watson also recovered a fumbled punt by the Panthers and had a couple special teams tackles too. It’s good recognition for a player who has been around for a few years but hasn’t gotten a lot of the glory even though he has been solid and made his share of plays. Congratulations to David and Watson.

At Least They Got A Vacation Out Of It

October 25, 2011 at 10:29am by Scott   •  9 Comments »

London 1

So much for that thing about getting to London early and getting all settled in. The Bears barely arrived before kickoff and they looked fresh as fucking daisies. The Bucs just don’t travel all that well. Last season looked good with wins in San Fran, Arizona and Seattle, but last year all those teams really sucked. With the level of competition knocked up a notch this year, the travelling thing becomes an issue again.

Are we allowed to say that Josh Freeman has regressed? Is that allowed or are the Bucs too invested in him to let even the slightest doubt creep into the public discourse? I understand that since there was no running game, the Bears could key in on Freeman and play the pass. But Freeman is FORCING the ball several times per game. I’m dumb as shit and even I can see it. Ten passes defensed in addition to four interceptions is a lot. He’s staring guys down and making bad decisions. All this can be corrected, but if he doesn’t have an effective running game to take some pressure off of him, there aren’t going to be a lot of good decisions out there to make.

And even when Freeman makes a good decision and gets the ball to the right guy, his receivers are dropping more balls than normal. Are they that surprised that the ball touches their hands? And is it just me, or did a lot of receivers seem to hit the ground awfully fast after they made a catch? That may have just been my imagination, but it really seemed like guys would catch the ball and then just kind of sit on the ground.

Kregg Lumpkin is not the answer at running back. I know it’s a controversial statement, but I’m making it. He’s not good at anything. If you follow the SEC, you’re not shocked by this. I know the mentality these days is that you can just grab a running back from a D-III school and plug him into your system and he’ll be fine, but that’s not turning out to be true. The position isn’t as plug and play as the draft analysts would have you think. There’s a reason why players like Matt Forte can still excel even with a shit offensive line. They’re actually good. Some kind of real depth will have to be acquired in the offseason. In the meantime, the Bucs need a reliable stopgap since Earnest Graham is out for the season. You know who would be good? Cadillac Williams. Oh wait.

I just got an email that mentioned Tiki Barber as a possibility. I’m deleting that person from my address book. Tiki may remember enough to get in a rushing linebacker’s way and be a decent pass-protector, but I wouldn’t count on him rushing for any significant yardage, and that’s what the Bucs need. A real running game will solve a lot of problems. When does LeGarrette Blount come back again?

Did Arrelious Benn dress for the game? He’s on the starting roster, but Freeman looked to him exactly once. With Mike Williams sucking ass this season and admitting as much publicly, it seems like to would be smart to look to other guys. Benn is the best YAC player on the team. Put the ball in his hands and let him do good stuff with it.

Dezmon Briscoe played a lot instead of Benn. Maybe Benn was hurting? Briscoe looked good, but even he dropped his first pass. Nice touchdown, though.

Aqib Talib‘s fourth quarter personal foul may be the dumbest penalty I’ve ever seen. Holy shit, that was stupid. Talib needs to take the entire defense out to dinner for holding the Bears for three more downs. It didn’t get back the time that was wasted, but at least they had a shot.

And Ronde Barber owes Talib a kick in the balls for making that sack irrelevant on the first third down. Barber almost took the snap from center, that’s how fast he came off the ball. It was an incredible play that was completely overshadowed by Talib’s loose cannon. That was Ronde’s 27th career sack. He’s a cornerback. That’s insane.

Oh, and Ronde got the first safety of his career on Sunday, too. It was a big day for him. The Bucs did a write-up on it here.

How many tackles did Quincy Black miss? A thousand? Start Dekoda Watson. He has the physical specimen thing down and he is a more sure tackler.

Adam Hayward is mad at the world for some reason and he’s taking it out on opponents, which is awesome. He laid a couple dudes out on Sunday.

Adrian Clayborn owned his blocker. Some players have regressed since the preseason, but Clayborn is one of the few that has gotten steadily better. I wasn’t sold on him during the draft, but I’m becoming a believer.

This game seemed pretty typical of the Bucs this season. Start out slow and count on Freeman to pull out a miracle at the last second. I think we’ve all said that they can’t keep that up forever, and it looks like we’re right. It’s not a recipe for long-term success and that’s the mantra this team has been chanting for three years now. Building from the ground up so they can have a consistent winner. But winning consistently comes with playing consistently and scoring consistently, not sucking for three quarters and then magically scoring four touchdowns.

Okay, I’ve waited long enough to post this. Your thoughts in the comments.

Dekoda Watson Is A “Starter”

August 31, 2011 at 11:27am by Scott   •  No Comments »

Textbook sack right there. And I don't say that to a lot of men.
Raheem Morris has declared that he considers Dekoda Watson a starter even though he, you know, won’t be in on the first defensive play of the game.

While Dekoda Watson is a backup linebacker, coach Raheem Morris considers him a starter because of all the special pass-rushing packages the Bucs can use him in.

It sounds like the coaches have devised a lot of different looks for Watson to be a part of, but he’s going to make his bones as a pass-rusher.

“He looks awesome right now,” Morris said. “The opportunities he’s been given, sack, fumbles, he’s creating exciting plays. He’s certainly dynamic in his role, and I love the fact we can put him over there and do those things, and he can still be (able to back up) at linebacker.”

Watson can be called whatever he wants. “Starter”? Fine. I’m just going to call him sir because he looks like this:

Terrell who?

… and he’ll beat my ass if I call him anything else.

“I’m not the biggest guy in the world, and people kind of underestimate you,” Watson said. “I have my speed, the strength, too, and it’s a different story when you come up against me. I’m blessed and fortunate for my athletic ability, and I’m just glad that the coaches recognize that. … If they feel like they have confidence in me, I’m going to show them, you didn’t make a mistake.”

Morris’s declaration of Watson as a starter is also another win for Mark Dominik who plucked Watson out of the seventh round. Out of the 23 draft picks the Bucs have made since Dominik took over, they have only cut two and, at most, will lose another two when final cuts are made next week (Allen Bradford and Daniel Hardy may find it tough to stick around with the depth they have at those positions). And the guys in lower rounds aren’t just special teams players. Erik Lorig and E.J. Biggers and Cody Grimm and Watson are getting big playing time. You don’t have to spend tons of cash in free agency when you draft well.

Camp Freeman: Day 1

June 29, 2011 at 10:27am by Scott   •  9 Comments »

Who's the white dude on the right with his hair all up like that? And why does he have his hair all up like that?

[Some of this duplicates some information posted below that I didn’t realize was posted until just now. But read it again because it’s actual Buccaneer football news and you were just going to play with yourself all day anyway.]

* Depending on who you ask, between 45 and 50 players showed up to Camp Freeman yesterday. The Bucs have 82 players (including suspended Tanard Jackson) on their roster, so that’s more than half. Among notable no-shows is Barrett Ruud, Cadillac Williams, LeGarrette Blount, Ronde Barber and Greg White. Notable yes-shows were Aqib Talib, Davin Joseph, Jeremy Trueblood, Maurice Stovall, Quincy Black… lots of guys who will be free agents when the lockout is over. That’s pretty cool. Brian Price and Kareem Huggins were there but sat out because of injury, which I think says a lot about their dedication to this team and the building of chemistry. Arrelious Benn was limited because of his knee.

* Also pretty cool is the number of linemen who showed up. Jeff Faine, Donald Penn, Jeremy Zuttah, Trueblood and Joseph were all there. Penn said it was good to get in a three-point stance again since the last time he did in January.

* Rookies Mason Foster and Adrian Clayborn chose to attend Camp Freeman instead of the rookie symposium. For their benefit, I’ll summarize what they’re missing: Save your money, don’t hit women, everyone is out to get you.

* Speaking of Joseph, he said he’d like to come back to the Bucs but that it has to “make sense”. Which means he’s open to all offers and the Bucs will need to pony up to keep him. They’ll certainly have the cap room; the question is if they think he’s worth whatever the other teams offer him. Joseph also made it clear that re-signing other offensive linemen who are free agents (read: Trueblood) would influence his decision to stay.

* It’s wasn’t only offensive linemen who showed up. Several defensive linemen were there too, and it was Gerald McCoy who really stepped up and became the leader of that group.

* McCoy looks like a different dude. He has spent the last several months sculpting his body. He has lost fat, gained muscle and definition and looks like a different player.

McCoy shows Clayborn how a normal right arm is supposed to move.

* And not to get all gay with it or anything, but this is what Dekoda Watson looks like these days.

Terrell who?

Okay, maybe getting a little gay with it.

* I had mentioned the other day that there wouldn’t be coaches at this minicamp so the more experienced players would have to instruct the young ones. While that is happening, IMG is providing coaches for the camp. For example, Ken Dorsey is the quarterbacks coach. And before you make fun of that, remember that Alex Van Pelt is their real quarterbacks coach.

* Sessions included weightlifting and other workouts, position drills, scripted plays and team meetings. The format was a typical two-a-day. It wasn’t as tight as a normal minicamp, but it definitely wasn’t bullshit, either. It was pretty organized.

* Nobody is really reporting how anyone “looked” in terms of ability, although guys like Talib and Cody Grimm who ended the season on injured reserve practice full-speed, so their injuries seem to be behind them.

Workouts to continue today, possibly with even more players.

REAR ENTRIES: Forgotten Men

August 20, 2010 at 11:49am by Scott   •  12 Comments »

Rear Entry 24
FORGOTTEN MAN?: I was reading this short piece on Clifton Smith and how he is the “forgotten man” on offense, like the team went and drafted a high-round running back just to piss him off or something, which is bullshit. He’s not forgotten. The only thing that’s been forgotten is that Pewter Report forgot to use the word “fumble” in the article. Seriously, click over there and do a search for the word fumble, I’ll wait.

It’s not there, is it? Isn’t that fucking weird? Smith has touched the ball on offense 18 times and fumbled it four of them. He has also fumbled two kickoffs and one punt return. Keep in mind he has played in a total of 20 career games. That seems like a pretty important stat to just leave out of the story.

To their credit, Pewter Report doesn’t treat it as some conspiracy that Smith doesn’t get the ball on offense like I would expect a couple other local writers to do. Just that he’s forgotten. “Who? Clifton, Clifton… where have I heard that name before? Ohhhh, right. Yeah, the little running back. He just plum slipped my mind.” I don’t think we need Scooby and the gang to figure out this mystery. You fumble, ergo you do not get to touch the precious, precious ball anymore.

VALUE IN THE LOWER ROUNDS: Mark Dominik has taken some lumps this offseason (I won’t belabor what his screw-ups were, but I’d be LYING if I said everything was FINE this year), but I have to give credit where it is due and agree with this article on how seventh-rounders Sammie Stroughter and E.J. Biggers look like the real deal. Stroughter has a year of production under his belt already and, although it’s only been one preseason game, Biggers at the very least has shown that he has the ability to play at a high level. In recent years, you never would have expected anything from those guys except to be camp meat.

Until Stroughter and Biggers came aboard, the Bucs were saddled with a legacy of unproductive seventh-round picks.

Unproductive is being kind. Most of those guys were so awful that they gave eye cancer to the coaches who had to watch them. The only one during the Jon Gruden regime who was worth any shits at all is Mark Jones. We’ll go ahead and blame all those failings equally on Gruden, Rich McKay and Bruce Allen. But Dominik is looking pretty sweet with his seventh-rounders. In addition to Stroughter and Biggers from last year, Cody Grimm quickly became a coach favorite, I personally like Dekoda Watson and think he could hang on as a reserve linebacker for a few years, and Erik Lorig has received early praise from camp.

For Dominik to hit on a few of those late-rounders is important because it provides depth during a time when the Buccaneers are reluctant to sign anyone off the free agent market. And since they work for cheap and have a relatively weak union, they’re basically slaves. And never discount the value of slave labor. If it’s good enough to build a country, it’s certainly good enough for a football team. So congratulations to Mark Dominik on finding quality players in the lower rounds.

CAMP BREAKS: Training camp is over and now it’s back to a reasonable practice schedule and the mundane drudgery of reviewing film and deciding who to cut in a couple weeks. celebrates the end of camp and the impending regular season with a video summary of some of the best plays in camp. If you’re having any trouble getting hyped for the season, this should help.

Training Camp Summary: August 16

August 17, 2010 at 09:58am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

Maybe the pot was helping him catch better.
Lots of players who were being held out last week were back. Kellen Winslow, Clifton Smith, Brian Price, Myron Lewis all participated to some degree. Price stood and watched for part of the time. Interestingly, he was active during the team drills but not the individual stuff, which seems weird if you’re resting a hamstring.

Another long run by Kareem Huggins in practice. This is one guy who can back up his good practice play in a game. Some guys can’t. I don’t have to say his name. You know who I mean.

One guy who doesn’t practice well but may just be a “gamer” is E.J. Biggers. Before the Miami game, I was pretty sure he would be cut because he just hasn’t looked sharp in camp. That continued yesterday as he was getting burned on routes. And although in the game Biggers’s biggest (no pun) plays were in the run game, he was also assigned to Brandon Marshall who was held without a catch.

Michael Bennett and Dekoda Watson continued their playmaking into Monday’s practice. Good anticipation of plays. Of course, they’ve been watching the same offense for over two weeks now, so they should be getting used to it.

On the other hand, Josh Johnson continued missing his targets. Lots of batted balls on Monday.

Carlos Brown is getting a lot of work at running back. Smith is not. I continue to think Smith is in danger of getting shipped elsewhere. Derrick Ward is also getting a lot of reps.

Tanard Jackson dropped an easy interception in 11-on-11. Like, it couldn’t have been any easier if FedEx delivered it to him in a box. That’s not his first drop, either.

Greg White playing linebacker? I think my source has that one wrong, but I’ll report it anyway. Maybe he was just dropping into coverage on a zone blitz or he anticipated the play so early that he backed off his rush. There’s no way he’s playing rush linebacker.

The last play was a hail mary by Josh Freeman that fell way short. That seems like the one play a strong-armed Freeman wouldn’t be lacking for power.

The last two-a-day is Tuesday and there is one more practice on Wednesday, but I’m guessing it will be very mild.

Preseason Game 1: Dolphins

August 15, 2010 at 03:29pm by Scott   •  8 Comments »

Preseason 1

Thanks to everyone who hung out in the chat for the game last night We probably had about 20 different people in and out for the duration. It was a good time and think we can all agree on one thing: Derrick Ward should be waiting tables. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Quarterback play was exactly where you might expect it to be. Josh Freeman looked pretty awesome. He was 4 for 4 on the first drive and had that sweet pass to Mike Williams on the second, a spectacular play by both guys. Josh Johnson looked like dog shit. He threw high and behind all night, fumbled, and caught his own batted pass which almost never works. The only thing he does well is runs. Rudy Carpenter looked like slightly less dog shit, but with a much weaker arm. Even when he makes the right decision, the ball takes so long to get to the receiver that the defender has time to close. We had a discussion about depth on the chat toward the end of the game and quarterback is undeniably in a terrible depth position.

Cadillac Williams looked strong and had no problem cutting on those knees. Derrick Ward was fucking awful and no one would miss him if he was abducted by aliens. Kareem Huggins has all the speed that has been advertised and, based on this preseason game, needs to be the #2 running back. Somehow, holes that Ward just couldn’t find were right there for Huggins.

Earnest Graham looked great as a lead blocker.

Mike Williams is as advertised. Fast, good feet, good hands. I didn’t see that elusiveness that Arrelious Benn is supposed to have, at least not on the end-around. I’m guessing Mike Nolan is a regular reader of this site and knew that the Bucs were going to use Benn in that way. Micheal Spurlock is likely in the lead for the first non-lock receiver position, ahead of Terrence Nunn or Chris Brooks or any of those other guys. Preston Parker showed up okay, but the best he can hope for is the practice squad.

Jeremy Zuttah looked outmatched on all but a couple plays he was in. When he was in at center, he never looked comfortable after the snap and Keydrick Vincent was better than him at left guard. Jonathan Compas looked like hell at guard, but all right at center. Maybe the o-line backups aren’t as versatile as we think. Everyone else on the starting offensive line looked pretty good after the first series. The third-string offensive line looked better than the second-stringers, especially in the running game. It could be that Huggins was making them look better than they were, but there were definitely holes being opened. Lots of penalties: holding, false start… that shit has to stop. James Lee was good as Donald Penn‘s backup. Xavier Fulton better watch out.

Meet the new defensive line — same as the old defensive line. It was only the first preseason game, but the starters were having trouble stopping the runs up the middle and were doing fine shutting them down to the outside. I remember one good play by Gerald McCoy, but otherwise I wasn’t impressed. To be fair, he was being double-teamed a good deal. Michael Bennett looked very good as a backup — constantly in the backfield. Tim Crowder also had a good game. As the game went on, the defensive line got pushed back pretty bad. There was one series in particular where it looked like Tyler Thigpen was moving the offense at will against them.

Barrett Ruud was in on some stops, but also missed a tackle or two. If the defensive line is the same as they were last year, Ruud isn’t going to look much better than he did, either. Geno Hayes showed up big in the first quarter and looks like he has great instincts. And I really like Dekoda Watson. These FSU linebackers might amount to something.

I had all but written off E.J. Biggers, but he was the star of the secondary last night and made a hell of a case to be considered for the nickel spot last night. He had some key tackles on Ricky Williams and a fumble recovery. He held up in coverage last night against Brandon Marshall, but it’s hard to tell if that was because of Biggers or Marshall. But compared to Elbert Mack last night, Biggers is in the prime spot for the nickel job.

Cody Grimm has been the star at camp, but Corey Lynch did his thing in special teams again last night. He also had some nice stops in the secondary. I just don’t know how you keep this kid off your team, even if it’s just on special teams. Sabby Piscitelli was, again hot and cold. Great stops on a couple plays and also a HUGE personal foul at a critical time. Sean Jones was more consistent. Solid but nothing spectacular last night.

Great punting from Brent Bowden (hears “Crazy Train” in the background) and a good kickoff from Connor Barth. Hunter Lawrence missed his only field goal, but that couldn’t possibly matter any less.

Okay, anyone who watched the game last night, let’s hear what you think.

Roster Breakdown: Linebackers

August 13, 2010 at 02:19pm by Scott   •  No Comments »

Sorry, Rico, it ain't happening.  Here's a banner pic to send you off.
Barrett Ruud: Lock. Looking good both in coverage and on blitzes. Groin tweak kept him out of a couple practices, but he seems to be full speed again. Also, I highly recommend the Groin Tweak at your local Asian massage parlor.

Quincy Black: Lock. Has re-dedicated himself to the program after admittedly coasting (8:07) through his first couple years. May be the best overall athlete on the team. Can keep up with wide receivers without a problem. He has been used in several blitz packages. May still be scraping pieces of Preston Parker off his shoe.

Geno Hayes: Lock. Gets in the backfield fast. Has had a couple missed tackles, but I can’t tell if it’s because of lack of wrapping up or because of the nature of the practice (or if the running back is just very strong). Very Derrick Brooks-ish in anticipating routes and cutting in front of them.

This will be the first year all three of these guys start at their positions for the entire year. If they can work together for a year or two and get instinctive in working off each other, I think they can be the dominant linebacking corps in the league. I’m not even joking.

Adam Hayward: Probably. Has had a good camp; I haven’t heard about him getting beaten. Played a ton of special teams and even a little at fullback.

Niko Koutouvides: 50/50. He’s playing mostly against the backups and has been blocked out of plays enough that he is on the bubble. Is a solid special teamer, though.

Jon Alston: Probably. Strong and can cause fumbles. Solid backup who has been getting a good amount of playing time with all units. Gets matched up against Kellen Winslow a lot, which may be a sign of confidence in him, but Winslow generally wins those battles.

Rico McCoy: Probably not. I can’t bear to put the meat tag on my guy from Tennessee, but Alston is simply having a much better camp. Rico has always played MLB and now he’s listed on the outside which I never thought was a good match. I’d love to see him on the practice squad for development.

Dekoda Watson: Almost lock. Great athlete, hard hitter and will provide good depth on the strongside, but will mostly play special teams. The coaching staff is said to be high on him.

Lee Robinson: Probably not. Good against the backups but not against the starters and not all that fast. If he had a little more speed, he’d be a nice swing linebacker who could backup at a couple different spots, but if I’m picking Watson to be the backup strongside, Robinson has to go.

Training Camp Summary: August 10

August 10, 2010 at 10:16am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

Early caveman studies but does not understand soft brown rock.
1-on-1s were dominated by the defense. Rico McCoy overpowered Rendrick Taylor despite giving up 40 pounds and two inches to him. Taylor arrived on the team with a lot of hype about his versatility and strength, but this is the second day in a row he got beaten 1-on-1 by a guy who he should be able to control.

Dekoda Watson has been using a spin move on everyone he goes up against. Even though it has been effective, at some point he has to learn a different technique. His success with that one isn’t going to last forever. But on Monday, he got by Jerramy Stevens and John Gilmore with it.

Jeron Mastrud looked like shit Monday. Lots of drops and lots of getting beaten on blocks.

Josh Johnson to Sammie Stroughter on a long touchdown. Sabby Piscitelli couldn’t catch Stroughter in a foot race to the endzone.

That turned out to be one of Johnson’s best plays of the day. He had an off day, missing several receivers.

The defense is coming to expect that end-around by Arrelious Benn. They’re not going for nearly the yardage they were earlier in camp.

Ooh, trick play. Cadillac Williams takes a handoff, runs to the outside and then passes the ball back to Johnson who passed it to Maurice Stovall. It kind of reminded me of the play in the NFC Championship game a couple years ago where J.J. Arrington passed the ball back to Kurt Warner.

The Bucs piped in crowd noise on a goal line drill to distract the offense. It worked. Several false starts.

No matter how old he gets, Ronde Barber will never stop blitzing the quarterback. He times those things perfectly.

George Johnson is a guy to keep an eye on. High-motor guy at defensive end. There’s little enough depth that he could find himself in a good position with the team if he keeps up the effort.

Another two-a-day on Tuesday. The morning practice was canceled so the team could go see a movie. Raheem Morris chose “The Other Guys”, so obviously this is a punishment for a poor practice yesterday.

UPDATED: Barrett Ruud Speaks (And Speaks)

August 02, 2010 at 02:28pm by Scott   •  1 Comment »

No caption required.
So after I go and say how cool it is that Barrett Ruud is keeping quiet about his contract, he picks today to open up about it. He didn’t blow his top, but he made his feelings pretty clear.

“Obviously, I’m very disappointed,” Ruud said. “I’m not real happy about it. I’m very happy for Donald, very happy for Gerald (McCoy), very happy for all the guys who signed the last couple of years. But, definitely, it’s pretty frustrating on my end.”

Okay, that’s fine. That’s understandable. “Frustrating” is a good word. It doesn’t say that you’re going to throw the season, but it definitely expresses, umm, frustration. So, that’s it, right?

“You’d like the results to speak for themselves,” said Ruud, a second-round draft pick in 2005. “I think I’ve played pretty well for 48 games and I will play well for 72 games or whatever it’s going to be. I’m not going to stop playing well until I stop playing. You always want to be rewarded for your performance and that’s the bottom line.”

Well, this season makes 64 games that you’ll presumably start, but math isn’t important right now. And you’re right — you would like results to speak for themselves. And saying that you think you’ve played “pretty well” is an acknowledgment of your worth without making yourself sound like an arrogant prick, so score one there. The addition of a “keep on fighting” mentality is nice, and wrap it up with a “bottom line” statement that re-enforces the main point. Good job. *wipes off hands* Now we’re done.

“I don’t ever set any definite rules of any kind,” Ruud said. “As of now, I’m here working and kind of doing the same thing I’ve always done, just get a little bit better everyday. I’m going to keep letting my performance talk for me and whatever happens, happens.”

Just tell me when you’re finally through.

Ruud dismissed any talk that he would leave camp and become a holdout.

I’m already here now,” Ruud said. “I’m here. I’m working. If I didn’t I wouldn’t tell you anyway.”

Ruud said that he wouldn’t necessarily have done anything different with regards to his situation as a restricted free agent.
“It’s too late for that,” Ruud said. “It has worked out like it has so far, which was frustrating for me.”

Done now? So I guess Barrett was saving all his words to just spew them out at once. But it’s an elephant in the room and he felt he had to address it, so fine. But now he has played this hand. Now he needs to ignore every other question about this and say he’s just concentrating on this season and getting better and whatever. If he goes on like this again, he’s going to come across as a whiner like Jeff Garcia did.

Why did Penn get a contract and not Ruud? There could be lots of reasons. The Bucs could think they have better depth at MLB than they do at LT, so they have more leverage. They could value the position of LT more than MLB. They could think it’s easier to replace a MLB than a LT. Or, frankly, they could think that Ruud isn’t good enough to lock in just yet.

That last one is a little hard to believe, especially since they waited until the seventh round to draft a linebacker, and Dekoda Watson is an outside linebacker, anyway. They got Rico McCoy, who is a MLB, as an undrafted rookie, and I happen to love him, but he’s had his share of injuries and at 220 pounds may not be an ideal fit. So if they thought Ruud was bad, you’d think they would have at least used a mid-round pick on a developmental guy. Unless they just really love Adam Hayward.

Okay, I think I’ve about exhausted this topic. Nothing is going to get done until the end of the season anyway, and I agree with the commenter who said that this would die down soon and Ruud would just get to business and worry about the contract later. You’ll know who the dicks in the media are when they continue to probe Barrett about his feelings on this as camp and the regular season continue. There’s nothing else that can really be done or said about it, so anyone who mentions it is really just trying to stir up shit and I hope Barrett shoves their voice recorders down their throats. God, I really hope Mike Florio asks Barrett about his feelings on Donald Penn’s contract.

UPDATE: Stephen Holder drops this little bit of info.

Linebacker Barrett Ruud considered walking out of training camp on the advice of his representatives but opted not to do so.

Ruud is simmering particularly because he was told in the spring of 2009 that an offer was forthcoming. That offer never materialized and Ruud staged an offseason holdout last summer as he went into the final season of his rookie contract.

Ruud briefly wrestled with the decision to pack it in after reporting for camp on Friday but decided it was too out of character for him to take such an action.

Holder doesn’t quote this — he’s just reporting it. Ruud just addressed the media and none of his quotes say anything about this, so I’d like to know Holder’s source here. He’s not usually one to report rumor as fact, so I’ll have to assume there are parts of Ruud’s quotes that I’m missing or he told this to Holder privately, which… seems weird. But anyway, the fact that he considered leaving camp but didn’t supports the position that he’ll probably get over this pretty quickly and this will become a non-issue until the end of the season.

UPDATE 2: Stephen Holder confirmed to me via Twitter that Ruud was not the source of the “almost walked out” comments.

Ruud didnt say it. A source did.

Sigh. “A source”. But I understand. A reporter can’t always reveal who he learns things from. But it would be nice to know if it was another player or an agent or a “Buccaneer official” or whatever. Ruud could have easily just said something to someone off the cuff in a half-joking manner and he never really seriously considered walking out, but whatever. For a story that I keep trying to close, this has dragged on to over 1,000 words now.