Barber “Sounds Like A Guy Who Wants To Play”

February 14th, 2012

Bucs fans already read the rather non-committal comments from Ronde Barber to Bucs beat writer Stephen Holder at a local charity event Saturday night.

Essentially Holder, in the Tampa Bay Times, wrote that Barber was playing wait-and-see regarding his future and wondering “if I fit in” with the 2012 Bucs.

But what vibe did Holder really get from Barber? Tom Krasniqi of Primetime of WHBO-AM 1040 asked Holder that yesterday.

Krazniqi: From your conversation with him, do you have any gut feeling one way or another if Ronde’s coming back?

Holder:  Yes. I absolutely do. I got the impression, and I told him this, I got the impression that he sounds like a guy who wants to play. Because he said something along the lines of, ‘You know I’ve got to find out if I fit in and, you know, I think I know where I stand but I’m not allowing myself to commit to anything.” Well that sounds like a guy that’s trying to talk himself out of it. … But I walked away with the sense that, “Wow, that sounds like a guy who wants to play football in 2012.” I absolutely did. I told him that, like I said, and he didn’t necessarily try to talk me out of it. He just made it clear that he hadn’t made a decision yet.”

The Barber situation will be one of the most interesting of the offseason. But Joe’s going to put aside the drama for a moment surrounding Barber’s status as a Bucs icon, his potential contract demands and willingness to play a reduced role.

For Joe, the Bucs need Barber. He stays healthy. He’s still makes plays. He’s a role model. Aqib Talib is a question mark. And the Bucs hardly have a guy behind Barber that has earned the torch.

30 Responses to “Barber “Sounds Like A Guy Who Wants To Play””

  1. Bobby Says:

    I know they were grooming Gaitor for the nickel back position and I thought he showed a lot of promise. FA should be interesting this year. Grimes is out there and I expect us to make a run at him. We get him and Claiborne and we have a dangerous set of corners there.

  2. Snook Says:

    There’s no way Barber isn’t a Buccaneer next season.

  3. Dave Says:


    I agree about Claiborne and Gaitor.

    As for Ronde, it might be time to let him go or make a move to safety

  4. Fatmosh Says:

    I love Ronde, but it was painfully obvious last season that he has lost a step and really needs to work on his tackling fundamentals again.

    Because of need, I do think we should bring Ronde back, but I hope we’re not forced in the situation where he’s playing full-time, especially on the outside, where his weaknesses are exposed. Would love to have him back as our slot CB playing 30-40 snaps a game and mentoring the younger guys (like Claiborne?).

  5. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    There are 2 players on this team that I can live with playing a step or two slower than what they used to: Ronde Barber and Earnest Graham. I feel that what they bring to the table from a locker-room perspective makes it worth it. I know it doesn’t work like that and there’s a very good chance they will both be gone, but I will never criticize either’s play.

  6. OB Says:

    Joe, he will come back, just to go out as a winner.

  7. Meh Says:

    Earnest Graham? Hmm. If he has recovered from his injury, I could see it. He really outplayed expectations before he went down, and the offense got a lot worse without him.

  8. Josh Says:

    I think more than anything the fans need Ronde. Schiano talked about reconnecting with fans. It’s going to be hard to do that without Ronde on the team. They could benefit with at least one more year with Ronde before he retires eventually. Let the man retire in Tampa.

  9. Tootleloo Says:

    I agree that the Bucs need him back next year. They need his experience, leadership and effort. In my opinion, Ronde gave the second most effort on the D, only following Clayborn. Due to Ronde’s experience, he is able to be a step slow and make up for it in knowing where the ball is going.

    Also in response to Fatmosh’s post, I would love to have Ronde available if they are in the position where they needed to use an option. That’s assuming you mean that a starter went down…..or is in jail.

  10. Dave Says:

    I think it might depend on Ronde. If he is willing to come back in a diminished role, as a backup and a locker room leader, then he might be back to ease the transitiion of the new staff.
    BUT, Schiano and Butch davis might not see him fitting into their defensive scheme.

    If they had to say goodbye to him, I have no problem with it. He lasted 2 more years than i thought he would but it is probably over.

    Quite honestly, until they have a couple years of winning and a better economy, this is not going to matter one bit as far as attendance.


    What ever happened to Myron Lewis? Has he shown any promise?

    Seems like a wasted pick when EJ Biggers is playing ahead of you.

  12. Joe Says:


    What ever happened to Myron Lewis? Has he shown any promise?

    He can’t stay healthy; can’t stay on the field.

  13. stevek Says:


    Let’s hope that changes for Lewis and McCoy.

  14. bucfanjeff Says:

    Gaitor, in a limited role, looked pretty impressive to me. He looks like a guy that with a little experience will be pretty good. Time will tell.

  15. RED MAN Says:

    Anyone who has watched a game the past 2 seasons knows Ronde has become a liability. I highly doubt he would accept a reduced role. Our secondary sure wouldn’t be so concerning at this point if pop star would have picked up a FA or two last offseason knowing Ronde was well past his prime, Aqib will never clean up his act and the only thing Tjax can wrap up is a blunt. Great idea giving him a contract extension btw.

    Look forward to next season.
    Every WR in the league

  16. stimpy Says:


    You make a good point. From a fans perspective it would be good to have him back. But also as a leader and to help the new coaches get their message accross. If they even need the help.

  17. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    @Red Man,

    First of all, who on this team last year wasn’t a liability? Perhaps that may be a result of other factors versus Ronde being horrible as you suggest. Besides, I happened to watch every game for about the last 15 years, and couldn’t disagree more. Does he get beat from time to time, yes. What corner doesn’t? Does he get picked on, absolutely not. That honor goes to Biggers or Lewis (when he’s actually healthy). Please tell me one game where he was getting abused repeatedly last year. I bet you can’t, because I’d be willing to bet you have no idea who he covered in any of the games. But go ahead, please try to come back with some bogus info, which only further shows how off-base your claim is.

  18. eric Says:

    I sure hope Ronde gets one more year. He has earned it. If we dont win this year it wouldnt be because of him.

    He might even get us a couple of his patented picks at key times.

  19. RED MAN Says:

    @ Hawaiian
    Please re-read my initial comment. As this article is about Ronde, I chose to direct my comments on the subject at hand. I specifically said the past TWO years, not fifteen that he’s been a liability. I think he has had a great overall career but it’s clearly time for him to hang up his cleats. I also said our entire secondary is concerning so that would imply I’m talking about more than just Ronde. I guess the fact that he missed 22 tackles (most by any CB) is bogus info. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you when reading other comments…you may completely miss the point being made!!

  20. stevek Says:

    Ronde’s play slipping was minor compared to the $$$ paid for the most worthless LB in the game, Q. Black.

  21. Thomas 2.2... Says:

    Hawaiian is right. Ronde isnt perfect at this age but he is still leaps and bounds better than our other options. I want him to keep playing.

    I respect him as a player, does he miss tackles? Yes. Is it because he has more 1 on 1 opportunities than probably any other corner in history against monstrous backs like Turner, Stewart, Thomas etc? Absolutely.

    Ronde is still tough, instinctive and smart. Biggers is awful, Talib a loose cannon liability, Lewis is worse than Biggers. Cut all 3 – keep Ronde, Mack, draft Claiborn, sign a mid level FA.

  22. Jared Says:

    I don’t care if Ronde retires or plays here. I just don’t want him to play for another team. Furthermore, I’m not sold on Claiborne in the draft its a draft deep with CB’s and a CB at 5 is just as big of a risk as drafting a RB. That’s when you, instead of drafting need, you draft the best player on the board which is clearly Trent Richardson. Just sayin’.

  23. Josh Says:

    In a world where trust, belief and accountability are to be preached it seems to me that an aging icon would be welcomed with open arms. Magic can’t happen without chances being taken at some level. I hope they don’t forget that.

  24. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    @Red Man,

    No, I read and understood your post quite well. That missed tackle statistic is very misleading. When we actually had a good defense, we swarmed to the ball. Rarely would we have to make 1 on 1 tackles in open space, because we had so much speed on defense. Maybe you might remember #55, he was always near the ball. Every single play! Hell, half the time I don’t even know what LB’s are in the game with us, because they are out of the screen a second after the snap. Look at how many times Ronde has had to tackle WR’s, TE’s, and RB’s in wide open space over the last 2 years. I don’t give a damn who the CB is, most would struggle trying to tackle Darren Sproles, Michael Turner, Roddy White, etc. in open space. He’s made a bunch of those tackles, but he has missed some as well. The only reason he has more misses than the other CB’s is because he’s actually in position to make tackles. Guess who has the most tackles of all our CB’s? Think that’s a coincidence? He was BY FAR our best corner last year. Please try to argue that point.

  25. Brandon Says:

    Red Man,

    He may have missed 22 tackles, but the man attempted 101, which is far more than the next guy on the list. This suggests that he throws his body around and comes off of blocks even when not in ideal position to make tackles. Other CBs allow themselves to be blocked, or simply hold the point to contain RBs inside, while Barber comes off of blocks to make the tackles himself. He misses tackles because of aggressiveness. You read the stats and don’t watch the performance on the field, therefore, you’ve missed the point.

  26. Brandon Says:


    Are you talking about football or David Blaine… or Copperfield… or the Lakers…or Disneyland?

    I know Barber is an excellent role model and Buccaneer icon. If he is willing and ABLE to play, then he should be back, no questions asked. I think he’s earned that. He doesn’t deserve damnation from some random fan that read one stat and assumes he is over the hill.

  27. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    No Brandon, apparently we haven’t been watching the games over the last 2 years. He has more missed tackles, so he must be terrible. I remember the one game where Tony Gonzalez scored a TD on him. This obviously proves that he can’t play CB in this league anymore.

  28. Capt.Tim Says:

    Lmao- some of the same clueless posters that are attacking Ronde, are the same idiots that thought Talib and Biggers were good players last year!!

    Lol- clueless then, and even more clueless now

    We have a good, talented young DLine, with some depth, lil experience.
    We have the worst LBers who have ever disgraced an NFL field. Bar none. The suck uncontrollably.

    We have the worst Secondary in the league, with no new rising talent.

    Our young QB regressed horrorifically last year.
    We have talent at WR, need some speed. Blount rocks, got nothing else at RB
    OL is ok, but aging. Penn is great, Joseph played great, still weak at pass defense. Faine has lost a lot. Zuttah should be at center. Trueblood is still not very good.

    Defense is priority. Need completely new LBers and secondary.

    If we accomplish that( which I doubt), we could be quickly competitive!

    But I doubt we will, because this is almost an exact copy of a post I posted last year- only added part about Freeman regressing/Gaitor/ Zuttah, and we did nothing last year

  29. Josh Says:

    I did not mean to imply that he is over the hill. I don’t read stats because I don’t have the room in my head. I do however pay for Sunday ticket and watch every game even though I can’t afford it. I’m addicted to this team and the story lines that come with it which is what led me to this site.
    I thought he was one of the few bright spots last year on defense, however Schiano and Butch might want to go in a new direction with younger legs. I would just hate to see Ronde leave Tampa in a similar manner in which Brooks left with more left in the tank. The magic I am referring to is kin to the likes of Rocky, Seabiscuit and every other underdog story that captures the hearts of saps like me.

  30. RED MAN Says:

    I fully realize he’s made more attempts than our other CBs, as he’s played far more snaps than them. It’s not solely due to his “aggressive style” like some of you are claiming. My intitial point, which I still don’t think many of you have read, is that our entire secondary is a huge problem and I don’t see Ronde taking a reduced role on this team. He is not capable of playing effectively every down anymore, and with the exception of the role model Talib, no one else in our secondary is qualified either…which I blame pop star for (like I said in my 1st post). Would it be nice for Ronde to return for another year in a reduced role and ideally coach up Claiborne and another FA CB, absolutely. I just think he’s got too much competitiveness and pride to accept that type of role.