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JDouble

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: March 23, 2011, 01:07:23 AM

Over the last week I used NFL Replay to watch every defensive snap from last season. I concentrated on the MLB only. After doing this I can honestly say that Adam Heyward is a better MLB in our system than Barrett Ruud. Even after the ball is handed off and the play is 100% a run, Ruud only moves side to side. He doesn't move towards the ball carrier at all. This means a blocker consistently gets to Ruud before the ball carrier. He is horrible and shedding blocks and so he is almost always pushed out of the play on runs.

When Adam plays he also moves side to side mirroring the ball carrier,  but at the same time he starts moving forward towards the ball carrier. By initiating the contact instead of staying put and waiting for it to arrive, Heyward gets to the ball carrier quicker than Ruud which usually means he beats the blocker and the runner picks up less yardage.

Heyward is a bit stiff and isn't great in coverage, but after re watching every game from last season I can honestly say with 100% unbiased analysis, that Ruud is NOT nearly as good in coverage as people say. He looks slow in coverage and is often a second too late to make the play.

When it comes to pass rushing Heyward is the winner hands down. Heyward isn't great at rushing the passer, but he is pretty decent. Blitzing is probably Ruud's worst area. He might be the worst pass rusher I've ever seen. 9 times out of 10 he just hits the O-line like a brick wall and is completely nullified. He honestly could be on the sideline drinking a Gatorade and would have just as much impact.

The last negative I have on Ruud is that he is a stat stealer. I noticed that he almost always runs over at the end of the play when the ball carrier is pretty much down, and he'll just put two hands on him and push down. Not an actual tackle, but just a two hand push when the play is essentially over. I think this is why he consistently leads the team in "tackles" each year. Sabby Piscatelli was guilty of this same thing and I think it's very lame. There's gang tackling and playing to the whistle....and then there is stat stealing.

Ruud might have the edge when it comes to calling the defense and getting it properly aligned pre snap, but truth be told I don't think we'll see a drop off in the middle if we let Ruud walk and resign Heyward. I'm not a huge fan of Heyward and think he is better suited as a back up, but if nobody on our 2012 roster can do better, and he ended up being our starting MLB...I think we'd be just fine.

Draft Aaron Donald



bashear

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#1 : March 23, 2011, 01:22:03 AM

That's a lot of work.

Interesting, but depressing observations. Thanks for sharing.

tatmanfish

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#2 : March 23, 2011, 05:43:31 AM

when did Heyward play MLB?



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GameTime

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#3 : March 23, 2011, 05:58:32 AM

im all about hayward. 

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Detrimental

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#4 : March 23, 2011, 08:04:35 AM

Ruud is too overrated in coverage. Dude was always a day late and dollar short last year in coverage.

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#5 : March 23, 2011, 08:07:28 AM

Heyward and McKenzie training battle. Love it.


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#6 : March 23, 2011, 08:50:01 AM

^I'm all down for those two

JDouble

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#7 : March 23, 2011, 09:00:51 AM

Watching Ruud trail Todd Heap by a foot for 40 yards was just as infuriating to watch the second time around. What was funny about that play was after about 20 yards or so, old man Barber comes blazing up from behind looking like Usain Bolt compared to Ruud and Heap.

I think if we keep Black and Heyward, sign one FA like Justin Durant, and draft one LB like Mario Harvey or Nate Irving.....we'll be just fine with out Ruud this year and better off down the road in 2012 and beyond. Camp battles would look something like....

Will - Hayes/McKenzie/Durant
Mike - Hayward/McKenzie/Durant/Irving or Harvey
Sam - Black/Hayward/Watson/Irving or Harvey

That would be 6 LBs and some real competition. I honestly wouldn't expect Hayes to win the starting Will spot, and Black would have his hands full as well. Anyways, this is the scenario I'm hoping for. I really hope we move on from Ruud and actually make Hayes and Black compete for their jobs for once.
: March 23, 2011, 09:08:17 AM JDouble

Draft Aaron Donald



CBWx2

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#8 : March 23, 2011, 09:23:36 AM

when did Heyward play MLB?

^^^This^^^


JDouble

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#9 : March 23, 2011, 09:30:38 AM

when did Heyward play MLB?

^^^This^^^

Rarely, but in some formations he actually did play Mike while Ruud had more of a Sam role. I should have mentioned that I previously had watched each game focused only on Hayward and that was mostly at Sam not Mike. I originally thought he only played towards the end of the season, but he actually comes in quite a bit all year long to rest Ruud and Black. Another thing I've noticed from all this LB watching is that our Sam and Mike actually seem almost interchangeable. The Sam is used to blitz more, but overall both positions tend to alternate responsibilities and do alot of the same things. I can't help but wonder if Black could move to Mike if Ruud goes. 

Draft Aaron Donald



tatmanfish

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#10 : March 23, 2011, 11:39:09 AM

my point is how do you know Hayward can play in the middle? by a few plays? comparing the two playing in different positions is pointless as responsibilities and assignments. Hayward is nothing more than a backup and STer. Hes been in the league 4 years and hasnt been able to compete with Hayes and Black the past couple years. People want one or both of them upgraded so i think its safe to say Hayward wouldnt be an upgrade over any of the current starters. If so he would have earned more playing time instead of mostly due to injury or players being gassed.

Watson and McKenzie are the only guys that havent had a whole lot of chances to show much and neither has anymore than this seasons worth of experience. Watson had earned playing time over Hayward.

Rudd is far from perfect and we all know hes a middle of the road MLB most sundays. We all know hes not a thumper and he doesnt shed blocks well. he fairly good in coverage, has a high football IQ, always cleans up play(stat stealer), and is a sure tackle. granted they are often drag down tackles. we all know and have discussed this till no end. No offense, but you are high as a kite if you "honestly" think Hayward is a better MLB than Ruud. The same guy that couldnt beat out Black, Hayes, and Watson. That would mean all the LBs are better than Ruud and intern they all could plug into MLB.
If the Bucs thought as much, Hayward would be being plugged in or at least getting attention from the coaches. He didnt get any of that. Hayward didnt even get a cautionary tag.

I mean you dont even know how to spell the guys name.Thats how good he is. ;)



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bradentonian

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#11 : March 23, 2011, 11:42:13 AM

I've always been a big fan of Hayward


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#12 : March 23, 2011, 12:18:17 PM

I'm still convinced Ruud was playing not get hurt and once he gets his long term contract he'll go back to being good. But I can't fault the Bucs if they let him walk.

tatmanfish

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#13 : March 23, 2011, 12:35:41 PM

i meant to say assignments and responsibilities differ between the MLB and SLB. i cut myself off. lol.



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#14 : March 23, 2011, 12:55:44 PM

I'm still convinced Ruud was playing not get hurt and once he gets his long term contract he'll go back to being good. But I can't fault the Bucs if they let him walk.

He must have been playing on one-year contracts for about 4 years. Just sayin'.

Ruud is a sissy.


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