Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ruud Honored for Fundamentally Sound Play

Buccaneers LB Barrett Ruud has been selected to the 2010 USA Football/NFL Players Association All-Fundamentals Team, one of 26 NFL players recognized for playing the sport properly and contributing to their communities


Barrett Ruud plays the game the right way.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers veteran linebacker also represents the National Football League the right way, and people have begun to notice.

As was announced this week, Ruud has been named to the 2010 USA Football/NFL Players Association All-Fundamentals Team. During his daily press conference on Thursday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Raheem Morris presented Ruud the award on behalf of those two distinguished football organizations.

"It's a pretty big honor [for] the guys that have been selected, the men that represent all positions in the NFL, [by] guys like Herm Edwards and Carl Peterson, for great fundamentals, sound technique, playing the game the right way, and teaching our youth," said Morris. "We're very proud of him.  It's for his form tackling, the way he absolutely controls our defense. He's an extension of me out there on the field, and we're very proud to announce that he's been selected to that team."

Twenty-six NFL players (11 on offense, 11 on defense and four on special teams) are chosen for this annual distinction based on an ability to consistently execute the fundamentals of their positions and for making a positive impact in their communities. The USA Football/NFLPA All-Fundamentals Team gives youth football players examples of how to properly play the sport and show concern for others off the field. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and NFLPA.

As part of this honor, All-Fundamentals Team players will designate a youth or high school football program that will receive a $1,500 equipment grant from USA Football. Each player selected to the team also receives an All-Fundamentals Team helmet trophy produced by Riddell, the official protective equipment partner of USA Football and the official helmet of the NFL.  

"It's cool because it's a great list, everybody's pretty highly respected that's on that list, at least as far as I'm concerned," said Ruud. "Just being a part of it makes you feel good. Also looking at the panel that selected it, it's cool to be noticed for playing the game the right way."

Employing core football fundamentals advances a youth player's performance and safety, particularly in the areas of blocking and tackling. USA Football teaches the game's fundamentals and inherent values through more than 80 annual training events and innovative football training resources employed by its members.

"Barrett is the quintessential 'All-Fundamentals Team' player, especially when it comes to tackling," USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. "Knowing how to tackle may be the single most important skill that a youth player needs to learn in order to excel on the field and to play the game in a safe way. The millions of kids across the country who love playing this sport are encouraged to emulate Barrett's tackling technique."

A six-year veteran from Nebraska, Ruud is being honored for his ability in straight-ahead form tackling. Ruud has the most tackles ever in a three-year span by a Tampa Bay player (2007-2009), and in 2010, he could join Derrick Brooks as the only players in team history to lead the Buccaneers in tackles for four consecutive seasons (Brooks had a run of seven years at the top, from 1998-2004).  He currently has a team leading 130 tackles through 13 games. Ruud has also served as the Buccaneers' spokesman for the NFL/American Heart Association's Play 60 Challenge and has promoted healthy living through numerous NFL and American Heart Association events.

The 2010 USA Football/NFLPA All-Fundamentals Team was chosen by the following seven-person selection committee:

  • Jason Belser, USA Football board member, NFLPA senior director of player services and former NFL player
  • Tom Carter, NFLPA regional director and former NFL player
  • Herm Edwards, ESPN NFL analyst, former NFL head coach and former NFL player
  • Scottie Graham, NFLPA regional director and former NFL player
  • Merril Hoge, USA Football board member, ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL player
  • Larry Kennan, NFL Coaches Association executive director and former NFL assistant coach
  • Carl Peterson, USA Football chairman, former NFL team executive and assistant coach

Game-action clips supplied by NFL Films and related video from USA Football's drills library found at www.allfundamentalsteam.com spotlight All-Fundamentals Team players' techniques. The video is accompanied by teaching points offering youth coaches and players instruction for every position.

2010 USA Football/NFLPA All-Fundamentals Team - Offense:





Davone Bess


Route running and catching

Kevin Walter             


Catching with hands

Jason Witten


Catching with hands

LaDainian Tomlinson


N.Y. Jets

Following blocks and proper cuts

Vonta Leach             


Houston Texans

Run blocking

Aaron Rodgers         


Throwing mechanics

Jake Long


Miami Dolphins

Hands in pass protection

Michael Roos             


Pass blocking footwork

Casey Wiegmann


Snapping and blocking

Brian Waters


Kansas City Chiefs

Run blocking footwork

Eric Wood                


Pulling and run blocking

2010 USA Football/NFLPA All-Fundamentals Team - Defense:

* *





Justin Tuck


N.Y. Giants

Finding the ball

Kyle Vanden Bosch


Pass rush take off

Haloti Ngata


Pass rush bull rush

Jay Ratliff


Dallas Cowboys

Pass rush use of leverage

*Barrett Ruud            *


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Form tackling

Jonathan Vilma


Angle tackling

LaMarr Woodley       


Shedding blocks

Champ Bailey           


Causing turnovers

Antoine Winfield


Coverage and agility

Antoine Bethea         


Open-field tackling

Darren Sharper


New Orleans Saints

Breaking up the pass

* *

2010 USA Football/NFLPA All-Fundamentals Team - Special Teams:





Joshua Cribbs


Kick catching and returning

Jason Hanson


Detroit Lions

Kicking mechanics

Sam Koch


Baltimore Ravens

Punting mechanics

Patrick Mannelly


Long-snapping mechanics

* *

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