Ronde Barber: Cream Of The Bucs

September 18th, 2009

By Scot Brantley

[Former Bucs great and Tampa Bay area radio personality Scot Brantley checks in with Joe to offer his periodic musings on the Bucs. Naturally, Scot had a few things to say about the loss to Dallas. But not all is lost, Scot says. In particular, Scot loved the way cornerback Ronde Barber played.]

The run defense, it was very good. That run defense was led up front by Chris Hovan. He is some kind of lineman. He downsized so he could play in Monte Kiffin’s system and he upsized so he could play in Jim Bates’ system. Not many people are committed like that. He is the heart and soul of the defense line.

At linebacker, Barrett Ruud is the head guy in the middle.

I liked the rotation of the fresh bodies on the defense line. Now at defensive end, Gaines Adams knows better than anyone he has to step it up. No one needs to remind him of that.

Overall, since it was the first game, you really can’t tell because it’s only been one game.

Hey, let’s be honest: That was four big plays they gave up against Dallas. You give up four plays of over 40 yards, I don’t care how you look at it, that’s not good. They are used to that bubble defense and are mixing in more of that one-gap set. It’s a great learning curve there. It will take some time to get used to. But I’m confident in the attitude of the team.

I’d say you’d have to give a gold star to the offensive line and even the offensive coordinator, Greg Olson. This was put together just 10-11 days before the first game. It was a great package of running and throwing the ball. The running game was excellent; great to see. There’s a lot to build upon there.

Leftwich played pretty tough too but, hey, if you lose, well, it’s all about winning and losing.

It all boils down to blocking and tackling. It’s difficult if you have to think. You have to react. It has to be second nature.

The secondary, well, Jermaine Phillips I thought he played well. Sabby Piscitelli is still young. I remember when John Lynch was young. He struggled big time early.

I’m not saying they will change much to benefit Sabby but the defense is only as good as front four guys and the rush guys, the gap guys, the speed rush guys, the guys that can clog things up and pursue the quarterback.

As far as over pursing, that can happen. Sometimes you need to tone it down a little bit. I was that way a lot in my early years. I knew exactly what was coming and where to be but my mind overran and you over run the play to get to [a spot] too quickly. You just have to tone it down. Take a deep breath and let it come to you. Sometimes, you can do too much too soon.

Ronde Barber, hey, the cream rises to the top. He’s a pro. He will pick up [the new defense] and play his butt off and give it all he has. That’s Ronde Barber. He’s a Hall of Famer in my eyes and he will be a Hall of Famer someday. He’s the core of the defense. The last of the Mohicans, really. Ronde was the heart and soul of the Bucs even back in the Super Bowl year. It’s great to see him continuing to play so well. It’s a great story from where he was drafted and really, he’s the best the franchise has ever had. He’s one of the top five stories of the franchise, Ronde Barber.


7 Responses to “Ronde Barber: Cream Of The Bucs”

  1. polkcountydude Says:

    “Jermaine Phillips I thought he played well”

    Scot, were you watching the same game as the rest of us? Jermaine Phillips took more bad angles in one game than just about any other player I’ve ever seen in the NFL. Obviously he should be a little bit rusty after playing LB for training camp and most of the preaseason, but that was not an encouraging display from an otherwise veteran safety.

  2. Joe Says:


    That one is likely on Joe. I asked Scot the question about Phillips and I phrased the question, “A lot was made of Barrett Ruud being behind the eight-ball since he missed OTAs. He said he was still learning the defense in training camp. Phillips had less than two weeks of practice at safety in that defense. Given that background, how did he play?”

    Blame Joe on that one, not Scot!

  3. Flo Says:

    Great to hear that Scot is feeling well. Scot, you’re a real Florida treasure. Says a lot for what you do Joe that he’s heere

  4. Joe Says:

    Thank you very much Flo for the kind words. We hope Scot offers up his thoughts more often, so long as he doesn’t mind Joe pestering him. Scot’s good people; knows his football and Joe is honored Scot thinks enough of him to provide some Bucs insight

    By all means tell your friends about Joe, Flo.

  5. RastaMon Says:

    watched you live in every game you played in the Ole Sombrero
    then on to
    old school first in the Bay area
    WPLA-1989-Sports Talk “Sportsradio 910 AM”
    and Theo Bell

  6. polkcountydude Says:

    I appreciate the response. Great job on the site so far this season.

  7. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the compliment polkcountydude. Joe appreciates it.

    Feel free to tell your friends about Joe.