Questioning Barber’s Leadership

November 16th, 2011

Bucs icon Ronde Barber seems to epitomize leadership.

He plays at a high level and hasn’t missed a game since 1997, evidence of an extraordinary work ethic. He’s never in trouble off the field, and he’s known for being eager to teach young players in the film room and on the field.

However, ESPN NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas isn’t sold on Barber’s leadership. Speaking Monday on The Fabulous Sports Babe Show on WHBO-AM 1040, Yasinskas clearly questioned whether Barber is a strong force in the Bucs locker room.

“Ronde, I don’t know that people around here truly understand Ronde,” Yasinskas said. “They just automatically assume that he’s this team leader. I don’t know that Ronde is really that. You know, Ronde’s been a nice player. Ronde’s taking care of his own business but I’m not sure that he’s the guy leading this team. This team clearly needs some leadership right now and you would expect a guy like Ronde, if he truly is a big time leader, to step up and provide that.”

Whoa! Somewhat harsh commentary there from Yasinskas, who also added that the Bucs are going “down the tubes.”

Joe can’t put the leadership weight of the Bucs on Barber. What more is Barber supposed to do?

Derrick Brooks clearly was a once-in-a-generation type of team leader, a guy that owned a locker room, worked hard on his leadership craft, and essentilly operated on a significantly higher plane. Joe thinks Yasinskas might be holding Barber to Brooks’ unattainable standard. 

28 Responses to “Questioning Barber’s Leadership”

  1. jvato24 Says:

    This guy sucks … There is nothing worse than an article that has ZERo Fact behind it stated basically like it is a FACT.

    This guy just pulls things out of his butt .. But hey atleast Derrick Ward played pretty well against the Dolphins that one night.

  2. Mauha Deeb Says:

    I do remember on several occasions Barber talking about himself and saying he is a “loner” on the team. He has stated before that he doesn’t interact as much with the players as some of his counterparts.(I believe a couple stories about this were posted on JBF a tear ago or so)

    I am no fan of Yastinkas, but there is some truth to what he is saying according to Barbers own words. Barber has never been a very vocal guy or leader for this team. That is not in his nature. He leads by example not words.

    But to try and place any lack of team leadership on Barbers’ shoulders is absolutely ridiculous. He is not the problem by any stretch of the means.

  3. bucfanjeff Says:

    Like it or not, his reputation as a player thrusts him into a leadership role. Younger players WILL look to him, directly or indirectly, and he has a responsibility to be more vocal.
    None of us are in the locker room or team meetings, so it’s difficult to state what REALLY happens behind closed doors, reporter or not.
    That said, there needs to be some players to step up and provide direction to a young Bucs team in need.

  4. RCH Says:

    Pat always seems to bash the Bucs because he covers the whole division and has always had a love crush on the Saints and Falcons. I stopped reading his blogs because of the negativity and he gives insight to sitiuations that he doesn’t even know about. Multiple times he would write blogs about the game and you can tell by what he was writing that he never even watched it. He just goes on what the majority is saying instead of coming up with his own opionions. I do enjoy reading your insight Joe and typically agree with your thought pattern.

  5. Buc Neckid Says:

    Tough to judge Barber as the Team Leader.
    He IS the old guy on the team, but does that make him the Leader?
    He is close to Rah, but does that make him the Team Leader?
    Is he a “Team Leader” by default?
    But is a Leader like everybody expects?
    That’s another question.
    But it is hard to compare him to the Buc Team Leaders before him.
    Brooks, Sapp and Lynch are Hall of Famer’s but were the type of leader that we had grown accustomed to.
    However, they would singularly have been Leaders on their team if they were not on the Bucs (ie. Lynch at Broncos, Sapp – kind of – at Raiders)
    Ronde is not vocal, he is not in the press is one, he does not visably kick the team’s ass on the sidelines.
    But is that needed to be a Leader?
    I think the “C” on his chest speaks to the fact that his teammates think he is a Leader.
    Does Yas have a “C” on his chest or just a pen, keyboard or Mic?

  6. Bobby Says:

    Yes, Yas has a “C” on his chest but it stands for chump.

  7. Capt.Tim Says:

    Pat’s opinions aren’t anything I’d bother reading.

    Leaders aren’t made, and they can’t be forced. You can make someone be a leader, if that isn’t their makeup. Ronde leads by example. He isnt a vocal lockerroom cheerleader. That’s not who he is. He’s always willing to give help to the young guys if they ask, but he isnt a guy that jumps up on a bench and starts yelling during halftime. Not many guys are. I have worked with great men, excellent at their job, who were not leaders.

    It’s not a requirement to be a hall of Famer. And not an issue with Ronde.
    The issue is, why did we not resign the defensive team leader( Ruud), without a replacement or plan in place. Everyone complained about Ruud, but he was the defensive leader of the team. While he may not have been a great hitter, we have sorely missed his leadership and coverage skills. We couldn’t have resigned him for on year, to mentor Foster?

    And Ruud was twice the LBer that Black and Hayes will ever be, even when they do decide to play- which is damn seldom!! I loved the first play against the Texans. Only two Bucs close to Jacoby Ford. Talib gives up the catch, then just falls down, never touches him. Hayes, fresh off being Benched, was close enough to force Ford to go towards the sideline, where he would have at least had to leap off Talib in the fetal posistion.

    Nope. He jogs . Unbelievably he just sorta trots towards Ford. Ford just looks at him in disbelief, and runs straight up the gut to the endzone. Guess that benching got his attention! Lol

  8. jvato24 Says:

    I remember Barber saying he is not a Rah Rah guy but also that many many players look up to him as he leads by example and they follow his lead.

    There are many types of leadership besides stand on a soapbox and Yell. The fact is Yadicksas doesnt have a clue.

    He is truly one of the worst writers in the USA just beating out a few of Tampas Own.

    I Remember Brooks was not vocal at all until his last few years

  9. Teflon Don Says:

    off topic but umm…Greg Olson sucks get rid of him ASAP. Worst offensive gameplan in the league

  10. thomas 2.2 Says:

    @jvato24: “I remember Barber saying he is not a Rah Rah guy”

    Unfortunately our coach is.

  11. OAR Says:

    Ronde has never been a vocal leader and has said as much, like Deeb suggested. Ronde even said he likes hanging around the coaches more than the young players, cause coaches are more his age. And, sure he leads by example, but the problem is none of the young players are watching or looking at him! With thier play lately, they must not be!

  12. Eric Says:

    Just a “nice” player?

    Hardly. A super important part of one of the best defensive units in NFL history.

    What a dolt.

  13. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Actually Yasinskas is right about Ronde. It’s not a dig on him, it’s just the type of player he is. Nothing wrong with that. And while the offense has two or three leader types, the defense has exactly zero in that department.

    And guess what? The team itself lacks leadership at the HC position. So what do you expect? Until we get a commanding presence at the HC position, and talented leaders & tacticians at the OC/DC positions this team will not flourish. Yes, players can help lead but leadership actually is an organizational dynamic that starts with the HC and flows down from there.

  14. Joe Says:

    Thanks RCH!

  15. Jeff Says:

    I agree with the article. When its obvious that a team is lacking leadership, it’s obvious that the ONE player on the team that has the credibility to lead is not doing so. On top of that, the secondary is the most offensive in terms of lack of discipline and effort. Not only is Ronde not leading the team, he’s not even leading his own unit!

  16. Bucnjim Says:

    Good call Eric! Barber is a hold over from a time when the D was a force to be reckoned with. If leading by example was what the team needed then Barber stands taller than any player on this team. If I were a young player on this team; I’d hide my head in shame considering a 36 year old CB was out playing me time after time after time. This guy gives 110% on every single snap and that is one thing missing from everyone else on this entire team. Barber makes tackles & sticks his head in there when the rest of the red jersey players look like bull fighters. He gets interceptions when the rest of secondary can’t even grad hold of their jocks. He’s also scrappy while some of these guys are busy grab A$$ing and congratulating the opponent. The smart young players should take a page out of his book on how to be a real professional football player.

  17. Bucnjim Says:


    Try watching a game dude! Barber is the only person making game changing plays on this entire D. Maybe he could lead if he wasn’t so busy babysitting for Raheem and covering for everyone else in the secondary.

  18. Meh Says:

    Barber has never been the ‘leader’ type. He’s a great player, a good guy, and sets a great example, but not everyone has leader in them. That shouldn’t be a problem.

    Furthermore, considering where he is in his career, I’d prefer one or more of the younger guys step up so we can have some leadership into the future.

    Really a non-story here.

  19. jvato24 Says:

    Hey Thomas is being funny today

  20. kappa08 Says:

    The team needs MEN…guys that come off their front foot and GO. Honestly it was a mistake getting rid of Cadillac and Ruud…sure they may not be elite…but they were solid and could at least been the leaders Ronde will NEVER be…that leading by example crap is over rated…you need someone that puts the fear of God in those BOYS…..

  21. Jeff Says:


    I love Ronde. However, in this instance leadership simply means holding guys accountable. In the past the Bucs had others to fill this role, both players and coaches. Now, they desperately need someone to get in a guy’s face–I ask you–who else can do this? Whether Ronde WANTS to or not, it’s his responsibility as a borderline Hall of Famer to take on that role, in my opinion. It is not enough just to give 100% himself, the team needs vocal leadership.

  22. Bucnjim Says:

    I agree with you that this team is in dire need of a player who is a vocal leader. He11 even Brook’s wasn’t much of a vocal leader. We need to go back to Sapp, Lynch & Culpepper to get the in your face type of player. I see Ronde all the time and he’s just not that type of guy. Most of the leaders on this team are on offense (Freeman, Faine, DJ, Penn etc..) It may be counter productive, but I could see Hanesworth barking orders at some of the young guys. If he’s still here that is! I hear he didn’t show up for practice.

  23. FlBoy84 Says:

    Dominik has mentioned in more than one interview that he discounts the importance of veteran leadership and feels it’s the responsibility of the coaches to provide that. If that’s the case, then as FlBoyinDallas mentioned, it could be a long road for awhile. That “one voice in the room” mentality may have been part of the reason Brooks & Dunn (not the band) were released at the start of this era.

  24. Leighroy Says:

    Yasinkas hates Barber.

    He consistently campaigns against Ronde (right or wrong) for being a HOF candidate. I am completely unsuprised Yasinkas would call out Barber for not being a leader.

    Guess what Pat, sometimes the best leadership isn’t done with your mouth, but with the work ethic you display on the practice field, and the mentality and attitude you project on Sundays. I don’t think anyone can question those facet’s of Ronde’s leadership, so “STFU” Pat.

  25. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Leighroy is right, Ya-stink-as has something against Ronde.

    How can Ronde, who is playing better than anyone on the team outside of DJ, be blamed for this debacle?

    So, according to Ya-stink-as’ logic it would be better if Ronde played like McCoy but was more of a vocal leader.

    Players can speak up all you want, but if great players dont play “coordinated and disciplined” they will lose games. The coach is paid to ensure that doesnt happen

  26. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    Donald Penn said the exact same thing last night on his radio show

  27. Captain Stagger Says:

    That balance of lead by example and get in your face is very rare. Sapp did it, Farve, Manning, Ray Lewis, but Brady seems to be the epitome. He does everything right from effort to exicution, which gives him the right to grab a 350 DLine man by the face mask and set him straight. If this is Freemans team, he needs to get in some peoples faces.

  28. redbone13 Says:

    Sucyinkis , another idiot who never played a sport in his life unless cheerleader counts , running his mouth about something he knows nothing about . get your nose back up the pats and jets and leave a class act like Ronde alone , he’ll be just fine