Ronde Barber’s Return And The Bucs Defense

March 6th, 2013

Know someone who doesn’t Bucs like graybeard cornerback/safety Ronde Barber? Well, if you do, that person may be the only soul who does.

Barber, who Joe believes should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday, is the definition of class. Great football player, good guy, outstanding teammate — he’s got it all.

Joe’s good friend Justin Pawlowski, “The Commish,” the noted local NFL draft guru who can be heard weekday mornings with co-host Gary Shelton on WHFS-FM 98.7, is as much of a Barber fan as the next Bucs partisan. He worships Barber for who he is and all that he has meant to the Bucs over the course of three decades.

But in a recent podcast on his station’s website, Pawlowski walked the tightrope of what others may perceive as heresy when he suggested Barber, who Justin believes will make an announcement by the end of the week on his immediate future, might actually help the Bucs defense by retiring.

“So many people want to blame the corners. Yes, the corners on this team were atrocious. They were bad. They will be improved this offseason But it is not just corners that lead to a poor secondary, that leads to one of the worst pass defenses in NFL history. There is a safety back there as well,” Pawlowski said.

“You drafted Mark Barron for a reason and the reason you drafted Mark Barron wasn’t to have him play center field for you. That is not his strength. It sounds asinine to me that you would draft a player for his certain ability and then put him in position for him not to use that ability.

“They have to find a center fielder that is good in pass coverage and make plays as a ballhawk.”

Pawlowski’s point is that Barber was playing run-protection, his strength, but that put Barron out on an island where he was both exposed and out of position, which stunted his growth.

Barron struggled in pass coverage during the second half of the season. Joe attributed that to hitting the rookie wall.

It is an interesting theory Pawlowski has and not an indictment on Barber.

Perhaps in mere hours, we could learn Barber’s future — if any — with the Bucs. Though as Joe reported earlier today, Barber has yet to have his annual sit-down with Greg Schiano and rockstar general manager Mark Dominik. Though Joe’s confident reservations have already been made at a pricey Tampa steak joint to discuss football and Barber’s future while breaking bread.

15 Responses to “Ronde Barber’s Return And The Bucs Defense”

  1. Kryq Says:

    Just read the Atlanta falcons are in the Revis hunt now !

  2. 1976Buc Says:

    I’m hoping a deal can be worked. His leadership and professionalism will be sorely missed.

  3. Buc Fan #238 Says:

    Joe, please get rid of the MikeInTampa2 troll already.

  4. HFXBUC Says:

    This is why Vaccaro would be a good pick at 13. Barron isn’t great in coverage but he’s above average for a ‘strong’ safety, and adding Vaccaro would give us a safety duo that’s perfect for a pass happy league and division.

  5. Vern4499 Says:


    Is the only reason you comment to be negative? Are you a panthers fan?

    @joe please get rid of this guy like Buc Fan #238 said. Besides him love the sight.

  6. BucNasty!! Says:

    Thank you somebody finally agrees. Barber is probably my second fav Buc (behind brooks) but heis clearly hurting us n the overall scheme of things. Yes he still makes plays but when u hinder others with your play its the exact opposite of what MVP players do MVP players make other around then better. I’m all for retiring the number 20 n the stands an h can have the key to the city but as a buccaneer fan himself he should do what’s best for the team…… An with that being said what’s best is for him to b the assistant secondary/corners coach

  7. 4everBucsFan Says:

    I really thought that Ronde Barber Day last year was a precursor to Ronde finally hanging up his cleats at the end of the season, at least, I took it as a subliminal hint.

  8. FlBoy84 Says:

    Think most knowledgable fans saw a similar thing last year. Would’ve loved to see a guy like Jarius Byrd back there with Barron. Would hope the team sees it a similar way and brings in a compliment to Barron either through FA or the draft.

  9. loweredexpectations Says:

    Phillip Thomas from Fresno state was hands down the best ball hawking safety I’ve ever seen in college football. Dude gets absolutely no love! watch him fall in the second… buccs would be careless to not acknowledge moving up for this guy

  10. grasshopp427er Says:

    i would bring ronde back even if i had plans of replacing him as the starter. i would not draft anyone because we have ronde, and ahmad black played well IMO when given a chance. we need a corner in the 1st rnd. i would not draft a safety before the 5th rnd and tell ronde he is my guy if he wants the job. if he walks at least we didn’t push him out the door. if he stays, he gets to start the first 4 games…after that it would be open competition between him and black. we need a 1st rnd corner and at least 1 probably 2 free agents. biggers, gorrer, b. jackson, l. johnson are all decent back-up guys if you have 2 capable starters and a nickle in front of them.

  11. grasshopp427er Says:

    ronde has been up and down at times all thru his career but i will take my chances with him any day.

  12. buccanay Says:

    I’ve been wondering this as well, and am surprised more knowledgable Buc fans havent questioned this. Everyone want to praise Barber, and rightly so for his past contributions to the Bucs, BUT he was the starting FS on the worst pass D in history. In reality, Barron played more of the FS role. WHY!?! IMO, it was to cover up the deficiencies of Barber playing is space. pawlaski is exactly right…we need a real FS and let Barron play the position he was drafted to play.

  13. Mike J Says:

    I think that youth needs to be served. It is a nice group of free agent safeties this year.Let Barber retire with class.

  14. JonBuc Says:

    Thanks for all the great memories #20! It’s time….he could certainly play on…but even he knows it’s time I believe.

  15. hamilton Says:

    he is right.