METAIRIE, La. – Barrett Ruud barely had time to get used to Seattle, where he signed this offseason in free agency, before swapping addresses.
The New Orleans Saints traded an undisclosed draft pick to the Seahawks for Ruud, an attempt to beef up a linebacker corps that has been devastated by injury this preseason.
Ruud likely won’t play this weekend against Houston, Saints acting head coach Joe Vitt said.
That’s likely a good thing – Ruud has only had one day to learn first-year defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defense.
“Football is football but eventually the biggest difficulty will be just verbiage, knowing what to say,” Ruud said. “This is going to be my fifth system I’ve played in now. I’ll pick it up pretty quick, but it’s always a little bit of an adjustment, what you’re supposed to say or the checks you’re supposed to make, because you know what to do. Usually you said something different the year before and now you’ve just got to change that up.”
Ruud is in his eighth season, his first six coming at NFC South rival Tampa Bay. In his final four seasons by the bay, Ruud led the team in tackles, eclipsing 200 in one of them.
A season ago, he played in Tennessee but saw time in only nine games. The Titans eventually placed him on IR after Week 14 with shoulder and groin issues.
This offseason, he had sports hernia surgery in Philadelphia with Dr. William Meyers. He said he’s now healthy and ready to play.
At the very least, he knew he would have at least one ally on his team. Ruud and linebacker Scott Shanle played together at the University of Nebraska.
Nebraska allegiance notwithstanding, Shanle knows how much Ruud could help out sooner than later.
“I think you know you can bring in a guy who’s a proven player and now it just comes down to trying to cram in and learn the defensive playbook as fast as possible,” Shanle said. “You don’t have to worry about him getting acclimated to the NFL.”
Now he just has to get acclimated playing in New Orleans.
“I think I played 14 times against them in my career,” Ruud said. “To come play with them now, it is crazy. I can honestly say I probably never thought I’d be playing for the Saints. It’s really cool. I see a lot of guys I played against before and a lot of respect.”