Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Barrett Ruud believes in '09 defense
Bucs middle linebacker Barrett Ruud believes the defense under new coordinator Jim Bates can be good this season.
The Bucs defense finished in the top 10 in the NFL 11 out of 12 years under Monte Kiffin.
"I think we're going to be as good as we decide to be,'' Ruud said. "I think it's just a matter of being etailed in practice and executing. There's a lot of ways to draw things up, it's a matter of getting on the details. And when it comes time Sunday to play, you have to be able to execute on the field. And when your number is called to make a play, you got to make it.
"I get motivated each week, more through fear of failure probably. So maybe that's it. It's more of a personal thing for me. I don't like messing up.''
The Bucs started 9-3 last season, but a defensive collapse led to four straight losses to end the year, costing the team a playoff appearance and leading to the firing of head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen.
"It was a rough stretch, no doubt, and it was on us,'' Ruud said. "I guess with the exception that Phillip Rivers played a pretty good game against us. Other than that, it was us just not executing. That was the tough part of it. It was more us than the other team.''