During one of his many interviews last week, retired Bucs icon Ronde Barber talked about how Panthers WR Steve Smith was his toughest career matchup because Smith would outwork defensive backs on the field, and it was evident to Barber that Smith’s smarts from film study were off the charts.
Barber explained that he was always committed to outsmarting and outworking opponents on and off the field but couldn’t always match Smith’s effort.
Olive oil-lapping, popcorn-munching, coffee-slurping, homeless-mistaken, fried-chicken-eating, oatmeal-loving, circle-jerking, beer-chugging, cricket-watching, scone-loathing, college football-naïve, baseball-box-score-reading Peter King, of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports fame, talked to Barber about matchups for his Monday column and got Barber to reveal his fearsome threesome of wideouts.
“I played a lot of great players. The receiver position today … so hard to match up now. Megatron [Calvin Johnson] was impossible to cover. Randy Moss in his prime: nothing you can do. But to me, Steve Smith was the toughest guy I faced. When I played him, he was just like me. He chose to outwork everyone else out there every day. That was me.”
If one read’s King’s article further, it’s obvious King will be quick to put Barber in the Hall of Fame when he appears on the ballot in five years.
As for Barber’s list of beastly receivers, Darrelle Revis and friends will get all kind of work against great passing attacks this season, starting in Weeks 2 & 3 against the Saints and Patriots, respectively. Joe’s glad the Bucs secondary got a Week 1 game to work out its issues against the woeful Jets passing attack.