Joe breaks up the momentary feel-goods remembering Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber for a bit of good news. Joe knows Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik has discussed getting an extension done for wide receiver Mike Williams.
Well, on face value, it seems contract talks between the Bucs and Williams’ agent(s) are getting closer, or are at least heating up, based on a Twitter from Woody Cummings of The Tampa Tribune.
@RCummingsTBO: The Bucs and the agent for WR Mike Williams will begin a new round of contract talks in Tampa on Monday.
Joe seems gets the idea that contract negotiations have at least moved to the next stage, if not heading down the stretch. It is rare for an agent to just show up at the doorstep of an NFL team just to discuss parameters of a new deal. Why waste the time and money to travel to Tampa for that? That can be easily done over the phone or via e-mail.
Unless, of course, Williams’ representatives are vacationing in Tampa already.
However, Joe has been told by a suit who works at One Buc Palace Williams’ contract negotiations are in the very early stages, the beginning stages.
Darrelle Revis has been blessed with a massive endorsement by Bucs icon Ronde Barber.
Revis cost the Bucs $16 million a season and two draft picks, and he’s not healthy yet, but Barber called him “a steal” of a score by Bucs rockstar general manager Mark Dominik.
Yeah, Barber is pumped up for what he believes will be a massive positive impact coming from Revis. Barber explained yesterday to the CBS Sports Radio national morning show.
“He is the premier talent at the position right now. He was a steal for us prior to the draft,” Barber said of Revis. “Obviously, he is going to add a ton to our secondary. I know there’s people talking about, ‘Did I get pushed out? You know, signing Dashon Goldson, signing Revis, restructuring Eric Wright and signing him. Did that have anything to do with me deciding to retire?’ And the answer, frankly, is ‘No.’ This was solely my decision. The Bucs gave me a lot of leeway in deciding what I wanted to do.”
Barber also explained that he would have loved to play with Revis and that he had a guaranteed roster spot on the Bucs regardless of what might have happened during 2013 training camp and preseason.
Imagine if Revis really proves to be ”a steal,” as Barber claims. Joe’s liking that fantasy, as it could mean a deep playoff run this season if Josh Freeman performs like he did in 2010.
One cool thing about former Bucs great Ronde Barber was his durability. Aside from Ronnie Lott (who like Barber, was moved to safety), Joe had never seen such a fearless tackling from a cornerback.
Lott was in another world as a physical corner, and as much as Joe loves Barber, he was not Lott’s equal. Any player who decided to go mano y mano with Lott, well, that was a concussion or a broken bone waiting to happen. Lott was a freaking headhunter of the highest order and Joe loved it.
But Eric Adelson of Yahoo! Sports believes fans should not compare Barber to his secondary peers like Deion Sanders and Darrell Green. Instead, Barber should be compared to Dick Butkus and Jack Lambert.
In other words, Barber was one of the toughest guys to play a tough game.
To many fans, Barber is known for his skill, exemplified by his signature interception return for a touchdown in the NFC championship game in 2002 against the Philadelphia Eagles. To players, however, he’s known for the kind of toughness usually reserved for end rushers and linebackers.
“That’s the toughest guy I’ve ever been around,” former Tampa Bay Bucs teammate Barrett Ruud, an eight-year NFL vet, told Yahoo! Sports in December. “Never misses a practice or a game. Every extra point attempt, he’s laying out for it.”
The toughness goes even beyond Barber’s iron man streak, which started in 1999 and ends with his retirement from the game on Thursday. Barber’s consecutive starts streak stands at 224 games, sixth all-time. The players ahead of him are all linemen, with the exception of the top man on the list, Brett Favre. Barber, now 38, is 5-10, 180 pounds – about the size of the average man walking down the street – and he never missed a game due to injury.
Adelson may be onto something. Not just was Barber a tough guy, he was durable. It’s one thing to seek out physicality, it’s quite another to be able to answer the bell the next week.
And Barber did so time after time after time.
Here’s another chance to get to know the Bucs’ 2013 fifth-round pick, defensive end Steven Means, the pride of the football powerhouse State University of New York at Buffalo.
Means and his family opened up to a Buffalo TV station after the Buccaneers drafted him. (Damn, still scant leaves on the trees in Buffalo.)
Yes, there will be debate about Ronde Barber and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There shouldn’t be, but there is.
Joe just thinks it is nonsense when people label Barber a system player. Exactly what player in the NFL is not a system player? Every NFL team runs an offensive and defensive system.
Now Joe believes Barber will eventually enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he may have to wait a while. Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune represents the Tampa Bay area among the 45 voters who select and induct players into Canton.
Kaufman explains just how tough it will be for Barber as defensive backs are a rare breed to have their busts in Canton.
There are only 23 defensive backs in the Hall, and among defensive backs who have retired in the past two decades, only four have been inducted: Darrell Green, Ronnie Lott, Deion Sanders and Rod Woodson.
That’s the kind of scrutiny Barber faces when he first becomes eligible for the Class of 2018.
Barber has thrived while facing down competition for 16 NFL seasons, but the 2018 Hall of Fame class could feature a killer group of other first-time eligibles: Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Charles Woodson and Brian Urlacher. And don’t forget about returning candidates who fall short in 2017.
Remember, it will be Kaufman who will present — and argue for — Barber to be inducted, if Kaufman is still in the business come 2018. He’s on Barber’s side but is just being honest about the uphill climb.
Then again, it was Kaufman who did the unthinkable and got a non-player, non-coach, non-owner elected in NFL Films founder Ed Sabol, and he also convinced his fellow voters that Warren Sapp should be a first-ballot inductee, which many thought to be a dicey proposition at best.
Joe will leave it at this: If Roger Wehrli can get into Canton (granted, on his final try), so too can Barber.
The sad saga of former Bucs defensive tackle Brian Price’s career continues.
Price, who never got fully healthy after his bizarre pelvis/hamstring issues as a Bucs rookie in 2010, was signed by Dallas right after the 2012 season, after getting cut by the Bears and training at FOX Sports analyst Jay Glazer’s fancy MMA gym.
Price, however, was waived yesterday by Dallas; the team cited a shoulder injury as the reason.
Joe supposes Price will find another team willing to see if he can recover his mad talent. Still young, Price turned 24 in April.
Joe’s good friends at Ed Morse Auto Plaza in Port Richey are at it again, offering a wonderful deal to help spoil moms on Mother’s Day.
You’re already planning to shop for a new or pre-owned vehicle, so let yourself be wowed at Ed Morse Auto Plaza. That’s where Joe bought his pre-owned Ford 27 months ago. Not a problem since! Click below or above.
Yes, yesterday was a bittersweet day for Joe. He didn’t want to see Ronde Barber leave the game. Who did?
But Barber left the game in a classy way and with all his body parts intact. That was the way to do it. The Bucs still wanted him back. But Barber wasn’t sure his 38-year old body could get ready for one more year of pounding.
Most sensible people agree that someday Barber will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The real question is when? Tampa Bay electronic media czar J.P. Peterson makes a compelling case for Barber’s induction sooner rather than later on TampaBaySportsCentral.com.
The ONLY corner with 25+ sacks and 45+ interceptions meaning…he could beat 300 pound tackles or shifty backs on a blitz then on the next play cover a number one receiver lined up in the slot or outside? He finished with 28 Sacks and 48 picks, which in the days of specialization and shorter careers is a stat that may never be approached…let alone broken.
His most important and telling stat to me is his 1,423 tackles (Tackles are a very much disputed stat as official post game film study counts often can change a 5 tackle game into a 13 tackle game). But by most comparison measures Ronde’ is the top tackling corner by over 300 tackles! Consider Deion Sanders, a Hall of Fame corner only had 492…in his career! We can talk about flash and big plays all we want (and we will) but still basic tackling is the foundation of defensive football. Ronde’s superior instincts, intelligence and dogged film study not only put him in position to make game changing plays but also put him in position to make the Blue Collar plays that are the foundation of solid Tampa 2 defense. Keeping the 2 yard gains from becoming 8 or 80 yard plays.
These numbers prove his incredible versatility. But watching every one of his approximately 16,500 plays I’ve seen him take on 270 pound Brandon Jacobs in full stride. It didn’t end well but he got him down! I’ve seen him hold his own 1 on 1 with Magatron Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, Marcus Colston…guys that are almost a foot taller…and compete for jump balls. He didn’t always make the play but more often than not he did. He has unselfishly played special teams over the years blocking punts and returning them for scores. The fact is…you can’t find players in this league who can do all those things or are even willing to do all those things.
Of course, as Joe wrote earlier, he believes Barber gets in. It may not be for a few years, though. There aren’t that many cornerbacks in the Hall of Fame, and if you list some of the players that will be eligible for the first year along with Barber, wow. Leading the list is Ray Lewis along with Randy Moss, Donald Driver, and perhaps Brian Urlacher and/or Charles Woodson. That’s not to mention worthy players who did not get in on their first at-bat.
Now the numbskulls out there who claim Barber was a system player thus not worthy of induction, Joe has no time for fools. Virtually every player is a system player.
Would Joe Montana have been a Hall of Fame quarterback had he been drafted by a ground-and-pound team? Would Dan Fouts have been a Hall of Fame quarterback if he played for Bill Walsh or a coach who believed in throwing the ball deep? What would have happened if Lawrence Taylor was drafted by a team that used a 43 defense? What would have ever happened to Kellen Winslow if he played for a run-oriented team that required blocking by a tight end?
Barber is a Hall of Famer. It’s really that simple.
Start your day with the Morning Cup of Joe from HootersCalendar.com. And don’t forget to visit HootersCalendar.com for amazing videos, pictures and cool gifts. It’s Joe’s second favorite website.
Bucs news forthcoming.
Cheerleader triplets! [TheBigLead]
Cops pull a guy over who runs away and hides in a gator-infested lake. You can do the math. [WTSP]
Guy goes nuts at a powder puff football game. [Palm Beach Post]
Throwing eggs at a courthouse = pinched. [NBC Miami]
Bicycle-riding bear ditches bike to eat a bicycle-riding monkey. Yes, you read that correctly. [YouTube]
Finally someone is heckling Yunel Escobar. [RaysIndex]