We round off the position groups with talking to Defensive Back Lawrence Ruddock ahead of Sunday’s game against the West Meath Minotaurs...
#23 Lawrence Ruddock after a tough game against Trinity College Dublin in the IAFL1 Bowl Semi Final. Pic credit: Eamon McCormick
Well Lawrence, you’ve been around the team for a number of years now, starting to turn into one of the veterans. Do you think your experiences on the pitch have helped your younger and/or less seasoned teammates?
I’ve been a Cowboy for 5 years now and enjoyed every minute of it. There is a nice balance between getting to help newer teammates while still learning and developing my own game.
You play safety, a position virtually unknown by a lineman, what are some of the challenges playing that position?
The main challenge is reading the offense. You are looking for pre snap tells, how the O line and receivers come off the line, and what the QB is up to. Getting a good read gets you into the right areas to make a play. The variation is also challenging as you could be covering a quick receiver on one play and block shedding a FB/TE to tackle a RB on the next play. This is what makes it one of the best positions to play.
Turning to the final then, the ‘Boys have faced this Minotaurs team before, coming out 26-0 winners. What do you think will be the key to repeating this success?
Handling the occasion is key as play off football; especially a bowl game is very different. The Minotaurs have had a great season and will be hyped for their first ever bowl game but if we play to our capabilities we will get the result.
With such a great pass rush, is it bittersweet for you, as although the team is getting the 3 and out, you aren’t getting the chance to play the ball and potentially get a pick?
Our front 7 have been immense without a doubt but our various coverage schemes also contribute to keeping the offense guessing. We’ve dropped a few picks and had some called back for flags so we are looking to put that right in the final.
Last thing then Lawrence, any last minute preparations going into Sunday? Any sort of tradition you do before/on game day?
Ignore all the hype around a bowl game and focus on the first play/hit/tackle. A few coffees in the morning and I’ll be good to go!
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