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JOESAM2002 07-27-2003 11:35 AM

Ruff's game....
 

July 27, 2003

METAIRIE — The name certainly fits the mold.

Offseason acquisition Orlando Ruff is all about attitude and physical play and that’s what the 6-3, 250 pound middle linebacker plans to bring to the New Orleans Saints.

“Defense in my opinion can’t be played without attitude,� Ruff said. “I mean, this is an emotional game.

“You take a group of guys, whether they’re fast, whether they’re slow, whether they’re strong or whether they’re weak and if they have the right attitude and all come together as a unit and you fight for one common goal that’s a hellified defense. For us, I figure it’s going to have to be our attitude.�

Ruff’s attitude helped him develop from an undrafted rookie in 1999, into a starting linebacker for the San Diego Chargers. In 28 starts during the 2000-01 seasons, Ruff racked 113 solos tackles and 29 assists.

He has 122 solos and 31 assists in his four-year career and was one of the Saints’ biggest offseason signings when he inked a three-year contract.

New Orleans signed the free agent in hopes of bolstering its linebacker corps, which was widely considered an area of concern in the offseason.

Ruff knows he was brought in to improve the unit and he’s ready to help shoulder the load.

“The way I approach the game is I’m the biggest critic of myself,� Ruff said. “Regardless of the situation, my main goal is to improve everyday, every rep. In terms of pressure, as far as improving this team — I don’t have any pressure.

“The only pressure I have is the pressure I apply to myself as a player and I know by me getting better as a player is naturally going to help the team on defense.�

Saints’ linebacker coach Winston Moss is excited about the addition of Ruff. Moss expects Ruff to contribute against the run, an area that plagued the Saints last season.

“We expect some big hits from him, because he’s a big guy,â€? Moss said. “Heâ₠¬â„¢s a physical guy. That’s what we like our middle linebackers to play like.

“In bringing Ruff here vs. the run and teams that want to pound it, we wanted to get a very physical guy in here that can make an impact vs. the run.�

Ruff studies Bikram, a form of yoga he uses to prepare more mentally and physically. He also speaks freely and pulled no punches of what he expects from himself and the rest of this year’s defense.

“When we step on the field, regardless of who we’re playing there’s no one offense that’s going to be able to move the ball on us,� Ruff said. “Period. They want to run, they’re going to get stopped. They want to pass they’re going to get stopped.

“If the quarterback wants to tuck and run being that were in a division with a lot of quarterbacks that like to run — they’re going to get laid out, period. That’s going to be our identity this year. We have an attitude and we’re out to prove something.�


BillyCarpenter1 07-27-2003 12:29 PM

Ruff's game....
 
Quote:

“When we step on the field, regardless of who we’re playing there’s no one offense that’s going to be able to move the ball on us,� Ruff said. “Period. They want to run, they’re going to get stopped. They want to pass they’re going to get stopped.

“If the quarterback wants to tuck and run being that were in a division with a lot of quarterbacks that like to run — they’re going to get laid out, period. That’s going to be our identity this year. We have an attitude and we’re out to prove something.�

That\'s something I haven\'t heard from a Saints defensive player in a long time. All defenses need a player like that and most of the really good ones already have one.

Ruff is quickly becoming one of my favorite defensive players.

Since we only have one running quarterback in our division I\'m assuming that message was for Mike Vick.

[Edited on 27/7/2003 by BillyCarpenter1]

saint5221 07-27-2003 12:53 PM

Ruff's game....
 
I like the attitude alot also, but call me a doubting thomas if you must, I want to see the guy walk on water before I call him Jesus or at least play in one game with a Saints uniform on. I hope we really have found a dimond in the ruff (pardon the pun) and he comes on strong for us ,God knows we are counting on him, his play will have alot to say about how far we go this year. Great words, hope he can back them up.

subguy 07-27-2003 02:40 PM

Ruff's game....
 
Amen Saint5221........it is one thing to be able to talk the game. It is another thing to be able to play the game. This guy is under alot of presure to perform because so many people , like us, are skeptical. His adjustment period has to be on the practice field. We can ill afford to find out he is the wrong guy during game time. If our refurbished defensive line steps up, his job will be much easier. The bad thing is when your safeties or corners are your leading tacklers.

BillyCarpenter1 07-27-2003 02:46 PM

Ruff's game....
 
You guys talk as if Ruff hasn\'t played his first NFL game yet. I mean the guys been a starter in the NFL before. Does this not give you some kind of indication what kind of player he is. I\'m not trying to put him in the pro-bowl but you guys act as if you\'ve never heard of the guy.

saint5221 07-27-2003 03:37 PM

Ruff's game....
 
The Saints brought him in to be a better kind of player than he has been. We are counting on his development to a higher level than he has ever performed at before. Alot of people are comparing the situation to Joe Horn when we brought him in and I very much hope the analogy holds, but the expectitation for this guy is definatly this is his year to breakout . Performance at his previous level would be a disapointment.

[Edited on 7/27/2003 by saint5221]

BillyCarpenter1 07-27-2003 03:46 PM

Ruff's game....
 
siant5221,

I agree that they are counting on him to excel in the saints defense much more so than when he was with the Chargers, but even if he plays like he has shown so far, this will be better than we had last year. But good point.


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