Barrett Ruud was caught off guard by the Seahawks’ decision to trade him only months after bringing him to Seattle as a free agent.
He wasn’t about to moan about where he finished up, though.
”Usually, when somebody trades for you, they at least want you, so I’m excited,” Ruud said following his 1st practice with the Saints. ”To go to a team as New Orleans is merely a bonus.”
For someone who hasn’t played for the Saints, Ruud knows them quite well. He spent his 1st 6 seasons in the NFL with NFC South Division rival Tampa Bay, playing New Orleans twice yearly.
Last season, Ruud played for Tennessee and faced the Saints in preseason and again in the regular season.
Then there’s Saints LB Scott Shanle, a former university teammate at Nebraska.
”A lot of familiar faces,” Ruud related, acquired in a trade for an undisclosed future draft choice. ”I played against these guys; I think it was 14 times, so I know lots of these guys, a lot of respect for them. It’s exciting, it’s fun to be here.”
Ruud said he never talked to any person from the New Orleans Saints during free agency, adding that when he was first notified of the trade, it seemingly came ”out of the blue.” Then he learned of New Orleans’ sudden rash of injuries at linebacker.
During the preseason game against Jacksonville, New Orleans had 3 key linebackers injured. Starting middle LBCurtis Lofton sprained his ankle, starting weak side LB David Hawthorne sprained the meniscus in his left knee and Chris Chamberlain, a top reserve, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, ending his season.
The New Orleans Saints planned to give Ramon Humber more snaps at middle LB, but that wasn’t going to serve as an early season solution because Humber is facing a drug-related suspension for the first 3 games.
Shanle said the Saints were fortunate to be in a position to trade for someone of Ruud’s experience and ability.
”He is a heck of a player,” Shanle said. ”He has great instincts. He’s excited and I’m excited to get him here. Now it just comes down to him trying to cram and learn the defensive playbook as fast as possible. You don’t have to worry about him getting acclimated to the NFL.” Baseball scores
Ruud started 68 games over his first 6 seasons with the Bucs before moving in free agency last season to Tennessee. He has 642 tackles, 23 passes protected, 7 interceptions, 6 forced fumbles and 5 fumble recoveries in his career.
The Saints already have a good grasp of what Ruud can do, having faced him so many times. Their concern is getting him ready for the regular season, and they expect him to be able to adapt to new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme during the next 2 weeks.
There is one other thing Ruud would like to do in New Orleans: winning in the playoffs. He went to the postseason twice in his career – with Tampa Bay in 2005 and 2007 – and has yet to experience a playoff victory.