Rookie Linebacker Anxious For Matchup

Rookie Linebacker Bo Ruud has a lot to play for on Sunday in Tampa Bay. The top priority for Ruud is to make a positive impression after being selected in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by New England. He's also looking forward to playing against his brother, Barrett Ruud's team.

Rookie Linebacker Bo Ruud knows this is just the preseason in the NFL and preseason games don't count, but that hasn't prevented him from showing his excitement about Sunday's matchup. Ruud will face the team his Brother has played on for the past three seasons. Both brothers last played together for Nebraska in 2003-04.

"I'm excited," Ruud told the Patriot Ledger. "It will be the first time I've really played against him on another team so this will be kind of special.

Ruud's father also played at Nebraska, and is expected to attend the game. Although it's just a preseason matchup, it will be a sort of family reunion "It will be a lot of fun," he said.

Ruud looks to his brother on a regular basis, indicating that he's been contact with him since joining the league. Though siblings may not always get along, the younger Ruud appreciates his brother's advice.

"He'll tell me some of his experiences and what to look for and it really does help a lot."

Bo Ruud's experience in training camp has been limited. He began camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, and just returned to practice this past week. Though he's learned much since joining the team, this is the time of year when a young player can get overwhelmed with all the nuances of the pro game. Learning a scheme like the Patriots defense - where linebackers are responsible for making adjustments on the field - the game will be a real test to see how far Ruud has come since minicamp.

The Patiots are expected to start Tedy Bruschi and rookie Jerod Mayo at inside linebacker with Adalius Thomas and Mike Vrabel on the outside. Pierre Woods filled in for Vrabel in the first preseason game against the Ravens, while Shawn Crable also saw action on the outside. Ruud will split time with the Patriots other insider backers Eric Alexander, Gary Guyton and Victor Hobson. If he's going to make the team, he's going to have to show he's picking things up quickly and can be an asset on special teams.

Time will tell if Ruud has what it takes to make the cut, but if pedigree is an indication, he certainly has what it takes.


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