Rondé Barber: Shaq > Simeon Rice

May 11th, 2020

One of the great gems of the modern broadcasting era came from Bucs icon Rondé Barber when he said Chris Conte had “the best movement I have ever seen at safety.”

Yeah, he said it.

Barber has dropped other gems since that eye-opening moment in 2015, like when he called Vernon Hargreaves the third-most talented cornerback in Buccaneers history.

This year, on a Tampa Bay 55 podcast, Barber dropped another thought-provoking take. He said Shaq Barrett is a better pass rusher than Simeon Rice was.

“Shaq Barrett, you know, how do you account for a guy coming out of nowhere and leading the league in sacks? You can’t .And it wasn’t flukish,” Barrett said. “First, I was like, ‘Who is this guy Shaq?’ I didn’t know if he was that good in training camp. And then after two weeks of regular season, I was like, ‘this guy has more tools in his tool box than any rusher that’s ever been in Tampa.’ And that’s including Simeon [Rice].

“Simeon was a hell of a pass rusher. He was long. He could turn the corner. He had counter moves. Watch Shaq Barrett surgically destroy tackles all last year. There was a reason he had [19 1/2] sacks. It was unbelievable. He would set guys up. He would run counters. He would run a rush knowing that the very next snap he was runnin’ something else. It was seriously clinical. Trust me. I found myself saying, ‘Who was Shaq Barrett so many times last year when I was watching Bucs film. And I watch all their film just because. He’s a heck of a player. He deserves whatever [pay] he gets.”

Rice, like Barrett, arrived in Tampa at 27 years old. And Rice promptly reeled off five consecutive seasons with double-digit sacks, including back-to-back years with 15.

Joe is not buying that Barrett is a better pass rusher than Rice, but Joe sure hopes Barber is on the money and Barrett has too many tools to become a mortal pass rusher again like he was in Denver.

Rice, of course, came to the Bucs as an established force and was a former No. 3 overall draft pick.

23 Responses to “Rondé Barber: Shaq > Simeon Rice”

  1. Roy T. Buford Says:

    It’s the supporting cast around the player as much as it is the player himself. It’s hard and often misleading to do straight up player comparisons in saying x > y.

    That said, the SB era Bucs D is hard to beat, but Barret, along with Vea, Suh, White, David, and others may be on their way to doing just that.

  2. Buczilla Says:

    Shaq had a great year and I’m excited to see what he does going forward, but it’s way too early to compare him to Rice yet.

  3. Gaston Spires Says:

    Look we got him now let’s get some corners and safety help

  4. BUC CHEEKS Says:

    Love Rondé, I can still picture that Eagles pick6 to go to show with his finger held high in the sky! I am surprised though it took a couple games into the regular season, to realize this dude is serious! I kept saying watch this kid in preseason, he’s going to be special. Shaq is the man! He’s definitely on pace to be better then Simeon, but that’s besides the point. This dude is gonna beast again this year! Gonna have to dig deep into those glazer pockets and pay dat man his maaaaahney$$$$$$$$

  5. Bird Says:

    Whoa. Stay in your lane bro!

  6. Bird Says:

    Shaq should play a few years with consistent numbers before any comparisons

    😂. I cant believe the Conte comments. Ouch. Conte was pretty que lastima and que terrible

  7. Matt Says:

    Exactly Roy T! It’s Vea and Suh gobbling up 3 sometimes 4 linemen giving him very favorable matchups. I’m not at all saying he isnt a solid player! He is! But his sack numbers were an anomaly and let’s not be disappointed if he only gets 9-12 sacks next year. If anything his 2019 numbers will bring more attention to him and give other guys opportunities. I think Nelson will have a big season in rotation. It’s difficult to predict sacks but he has all the tools are god-given abilities and now he has opportunity with the most important pieces coming back for another year.

    We still need 1 more veteran pass rusher for depth to solidify our roster for a post season run. 1 injury and we’re in bad shape.

  8. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    ““Shaq Barrett, you know, how do you account for a guy … leading the league in sacks? You can’t .And it wasn’t flukish,” Barrett said. “First, I was like…”

    I think you meant “Ronde said”?

  9. Hodad Says:

    Joe you really can’t compare Rice, and Shaq. They play two different positions on two totally different defenses. Rice is a classic D end in a 4-3 defense, and Shaq is an OLB in a 3-4 scheme. The only thing they have in common is rushing the QB. Two completely different body types, rushing from different positions of course their rush moves wouldn’t be the same.

  10. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    The year that Shaq had > Rice. Now lets see him do it again before I annoint him as better.

  11. BucBoy Says:

    Ronde seems to be drinking too much Kool-Aid! Simeon did it for years and told teams he was going to do it before games. Don’t compare one year to a career of causing havoc. Many players now have one great year to get a big contract then disappear. I hope that is not Shaq, but he won’t be seeking up on defenses this year because they will be scheming for him.

  12. gofortheface30 Says:

    Yes he was “mortal” in Denver – but a little difficult to start over 2 hall of famers. Denver happened to be incredibly deep on that D and came at you in waves from that superbowl team. Malik Jackson got a huge dollar contract, Danny Trevathan has been amazing in Chicago, Shaq of course leaving and now simply playing full time. Whenever he did spot Demarcus Ware or Von – he was disruptive, would be really surprised if last year was a fluke. 10-12 sacks this yr id be happy with, with a full yr now from JPP

  13. Dapostman Says:

    Shaq had a good total year but 9 sacks came in the first 4 weeks and 3 more sacks came in week 17. I could say teams weren’t prepared for him early and the Falcons just didn’t care late.

    That’s 12 sacks in those 5 games.

    The other 11 games he had 7.5 sacks.

    Let’s keep things in perspective.

  14. TheBradyBunch Says:

    BucBoy: They were scheming for him last year. He got off to a great start and then that slowed down for a few games. However, he came on very strong the 2nd half of the year. The difference was JPP. People seem to forget that we didn’t have JPP the first half of last year. Scheming will only get you so far. Opposing defenses this year will have to contend with Vea, Suh, Barrett, JPP, LVD, and White. Good luck with that. Now add in Vaughn and maybe J Evans in the mix and good luck defending one of Bowles blitz packages. I rewatched NFL films recap of the Bucs 2002 season. That defense was unstoppable. We won’t be that good, but this damn defense is starting to look pretty good.

  15. rrsrq Says:

    I can kinda see where he’s going, just kidding. Simeon was probably a naturally skilled pass rusher, Shaq is that guy who keeps learning, benefiting from the tutelage of Von Miller

  16. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Can’t help but to believe Shaq is a one year wonder. He definitely is good but I have to see if he can live up to the same level as last year. Pay him his 1 year franchise money but let’s see if he can top 15 sacks again before paying he $20 mil.

  17. lowercaseg Says:

    Go Shaq and Go Bucs. Hoping he does not disappear and puts on a sack attack this season

  18. 813bucboi Says:


    gotta keep things in perspective…

    he was missing JPP for how many game?….

    and it took JPP 2-3games to get into game shape….

    those 2 playing a full 16 game season, i could see both getting 15 sacks…..

    GO BUCS!!!!

  19. pick6 Says:

    even when he didn’t put the QB on the ground he was impacting the game. turnovers, pressures…he helped this defense in lots of ways

  20. Bradybru Says:

    Yes Shaq is talented, I agree, he is not just a one year wonder. Not sure why Broncos could not figure out this guy was so good.

  21. Rod Munch Says:

    I hope it’s true – but I need to see more than one season of production to say that when you’re talking about Rice, a guy who should at least be in the HOF discussion every year.

  22. Confused Buc Fan Says:

    I think Ronde is awesome …. he is DEFINITELY prone to hyperbole though.

  23. Says:

    This is a misleading title and assertion right before the quote starts.
    The real quote is Shaq has more tools in his toolbox than Simeon.

    Nothing about him being better player or pass rusher than 97.

    Take this example from a high school… The third string middle linebacker might have a better knowledge of schemes, better hands, better footwork, better technical soundness – overall a better toolbox – than the starter. He happens to be 5’3″ 160 and run a 5.0 40. The starter is 6’4″ 240 and runs a 4.7. no knowledge of game, no moves. But has other intangibles such that doesn’t need the rest of the toolbox.

    Ronde did not say Shaq is a better pass rusher than 97.