Tampa Bay Bucs linebacker Barrett Ruud is the new anchor to the Bucs defense. It shouldn’t be hard. He only has to replace a future Hall-of-Famer as the leader of the Bucs defense.
While most of the questions facing new Bucs coach Raheem Morris will surround the explosive quarterback situation, Ruud, who has always liked to stay in the background, will be focused on, as well. He’s the key to the new Bucs defense and a lot of eyes will be on him.
- Your dad, Tom, played at Nebraska and, later, with the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. Your brother Bo also plays in the NFL. Did you feel like you had to live up to that kind of legacy?
- You were the man in Nebraska all throughout high school. What was it like to go from Big Man on Campus to just another minion in the Nebraska system?
- You have the Nebraska career record for tackles. What was it like being not only BMOC, but also a hero in a state that lives for Nebraska football?
- Were you watching and sweating the 2005 NFL draft? With your numbers at Nebraska, did you expect to go in the first round?
- How did it feel to come to Tampa Bay, which already had Shelton Quarles, Derrick Brooks, and Ryan Nece as starters? Did you think your time would come immediately?
- As the heir apparent to one of those starting linebackers, how were you treated by the veterans?
- What kinds of things did you learn from Derrick Brooks, who knew you would eventually replace him?
- Shelton Quarles was pretty popular around the Tampa Bay area. Was there pressure in the locker room to replace someone who had garnered an awful lot of respect among his teammates?
- Once you had the starting job with the Bucs, how did the pressure compare with playing at Nebraska? Were the expectations of the fans a lot different?
- You were especially close to your mother, Jaime, who passed away from a heart attack in 2006. I know you are tied in tightly with the Tampa Bay community. What do you do to help out in the community in honor of her?
- Did you mother ever see you play for the Bucs? Was she a regular at all of your games with the Huskers?
- Did you feel vindicated when you moved into Quarles’s role and helped the Bucs to a 2007 playoff berth? Did you begin to take a leadership role?
- Last year the team struggled, especially down the stretch, but you kept the numbers up. Did you feel yourself coming along as a team leader by the end of the season?
- How do you lead? By being vocal or by example?
- What did you learn from playing besides Derrick Brooks? What advice did he give?
- How did you find out that Derrick Brooks was let loose and that you were going to be the anchor to the defense?
- How is your relationship with new Bucs coach Raheem Morris?
- How about the loss of defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin? What does that mean to the Bucs defense?
- Have you had any talks with new Bucs defensive coordinator Jim Bates? Do you expect a change in philosophy?
- Is this a rebuilding year, in your opinion, or was last year’s team that was one win from the playoffs ready to contend for the NFC South?
- Are you excited about having your photo on the huge side to the stadium facing Dale Mabry Highway?
- What should Bucs fans expect this season? Any predictions?
- Who can be louder: Bucs fans or Huskers fans?
- Seriously, back to last year. What was the feeling heading into the Oakland game that closed out the season and the Bucs' playoff hopes?
- If you had anything to say to Jon Gruden, what would it be?
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