Raheem, Tomlin Aided Ronde With TransitionNovember 28th, 2012
Lots of folks, including rockstar general manager Mark Dominik, have gone on record saying Ronde Barber is playing at a Pro Bowl level in his first year as a safety.
Well, it seems the Ole’ ball coach, Raheem Morris, gets a little piece of the credit, along with Steelers head coach and former Bucs secondary coach Mike Tomlin, and Raheem’s Bucs defensive backs coach, Jimmy Raye.
Barber told Joe today that “Mike, Rah, Jimmy, the guys that I’m close with,” are former coaches that have assisted him in his daily battle to learn how to tackle effectively from the safety position in the run game.
A couple of weeks ago on the Buccaneers Radio Network, Barber explained his his adjustment challenges.
“That’s something that I’ve had to work on. I’ve talked pretty extensively with my coaches, some of my old coaches too, about just the tackling system [from the safety position,] Barber said. “Because we have a tackling system, but you know getting to the tackling system is, you know, it’s something I’ve had to work on and work on, and consciously think about every day in practice. So when you get to the game it becomes kind of like it’s habit. You’re not wondering like, ‘Oh my god, here comes this enormous, you know, train truck of a runner, how am I going to get him on the ground?” You go into the game and you have confidence in what you’re going to do and how you’re going to tackle him then it’s a lot easier. It really kind of showed up during that Minnesota game, because there were runs a couple of weeks before, there was one against Washington where I went in and missed a tackle and they scored a touchdown.
“The little things about the game, like tackling angles and, you know, how to approach a runner when he’s open field, those things I’ve had to learn. Had to fight some of my instincts. It’s week  I guess, and I still feel like I got a chance to get better here in the next seven weeks doing it.”
What a generous guy Raheem is, helping Barber while he’s working for a conference rival. Joe hopes it helped. Surely Raheem couldn’t “fix” angle-challenged Sabby the Goat, as he promised to do late in the 2009 season.
Joe finds it very cool that Barber is leaving no stone unturned in an effort to master his new position. What a true pro.