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Ruud is ready for the Spot LIGHT

Middle Linebacker Barrett Ruud is ready to shoulder the load as a full time starter reports the Bucs Official Site. Barrett will be taking over for a complete class act in Linebacker Shelton Quarles who was let go by the Bucs this off-season. Ruud has had plenty of preparation in order to acclimate to his new role as a starter, whether it was through his spot starts for Shelton last year, his never-ending Special Teams contributions, or the experience he gained through last seasons Pre-Season. Here's how he feels about the experience he's gained:

"I think it's just comfort level, a matter of knowing the guys around me and being able to speak up and not worry about making mistakes," Ruud said, comparing where he is now, developmentally, to his rookie year. "That's the biggest thing, I think. My first year I was always really focused on, `Don't mess up, don't screw up when you get in there.' Now it's like, you kind of know you're going to screw up every now and then, but don't worry about it; just play fast and correct your mistakes the next day"

In this next set of quotes Barrett vaguely compares himself to a Lofa Tatupu of the Seattle Seahawks:

"It was very difficult for me because I saw a lot of guys who I had met through the draft process - Kirk Morrison, Lofa Tatupu, those types of guys - saw them playing well and I knew I could do those same sorts of things,"

If Barrett Ruud is anything like Lofa Tatupu as a starter, he'll have no problem filling the huge shoes Quarles left for him to fill. Good luck Barrett, I look forward to watching your maturation process.