Rondé Barber Talks About “The Only Thing That Concerns Me”

December 18th, 2020

“Jason, I’m starting to like the Christmas jacket. That’s not what concerns me.”

Are the Bucs ready to win a playoff game and contend for a Super Bowl?

Buccaneers legend Rondé Barber weighed in on that this week.

Barber joined the The Eye Test podcast and was asked about whether the Bucs are where they need to be for a strong stretch run?

The iconic Tampa Bay cornerback said he isn’t confident the Bucs are contenders yet.

The reason? The Bucs’ slow starts, “the only thing that concerns me,” Barber said.

“They are notoriously, I mean terribly slow starters in football games — on offense and defense,’ Barber said. “Whatever they do around midway in the second quarter, or second half, whether it’s, you know, just getting a feel for what the other team is trying to do to them, they always put themselves in the game. If I had one concern about them being contenders, it would be that. Because you’re going to get a team, you’re going to play a New Orleans, you’re going to be down 28 points in the first quarter and there’s no way you’re winning that football game without just heroics from Tom Brady and his offense. So I think they’re close. I think they have to figure out a way to control the football, and I really believe Ronald Jones is the way to do that.”

Interesting that Barber has a very similar mindset to Derrick Brooks (watch TAMPA TWO on the home page). They smell a good team with great potential — as well as the stink of a team not playing complete games.

With three games remaining against bad teams, now is the time to fix the slow starts immediately. If the Bucs can’t do that against the Falcons and Lions, it’ll be hard to imagine them accomplishing that in, say, Seattle.

22 Responses to “Rondé Barber Talks About “The Only Thing That Concerns Me””

  1. DungyDance Says:

    Slow starts are partly a byproduct of a predictable game plan. But even with a brilliant game plan, we also have to be ready — and willing — to adjust. Adapt or die. And it isn’t already clear, these 2 things are squarely in the coaching wheelhouse.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We will get our standard 2 yards from Rojo early up the middle……he too, warns up later in the game.

    The key is Brady completing short passes……backs catching balls…..

    Brady is not comfortable early for some reason…..unable to extend drives….

  3. Bobby M. Says:

    The defense literally lives or dies off the offense. Its a bit weird but the defense rarely gets started until the offense gets into rhythm. The Falcons are a bit of a known commodity, particularly with Koetter and Ryan, i think the key for our defense will be stopping the screens. Koetter will suck the defense end and then dump it. Our tackling has been suspect….Falcons could give us a bit more of a challenge then we may want to believe.

  4. DungyDance Says:

    Not so sure we’ll be seeing Rojo in the first place, unless the false positive thing comes through. And it also doesn’t look like we have a player that can put the “foot” in football. All the more reason we need to reach pay dirt on a lot of drives, doing things effectively or differently, whatever it takes.

  5. Roy T. Buford Says:

    There is no excuse or logical reason for the way this team starts games. It doesn’t take a guy with the Barber or Brooks football accumen to know this team simply can’t play four quarters of football. And given the remaining three-game slate is just mediocre-to-bad teams, we won’t know until the first playoff game…IF they can manage to overcome slow starts with ATL and DET and make the playoffs at all.

    They should have been all over this problem against MIN after the bye week. They weren’t. Luckily they woke up near half time and pulled it out. Short of a wild card miracle where they are the highest wild card seed and the others beat division champs, the Bucs have already denied fans a home playoff game. This, with probably the best roster they’ve ever had (on paper). Hoping they figure it out, but not holding my breath.

  6. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Bucs Identify as of December 18, 2020: A slow-starting team on O and D that finds a way to win most games with second half energy.

  7. Roy T. Buford Says:


  8. Leighroy Says:

    The odd thing is that slow starts weren’t a problem earlier this year. Week 1, opening drive TD. Week 2, intercepted panthers on their 1st drive then TD. Week 3, blocked a Broncos punt 1st drive then scored a TD 3 plays later. Week 4, 1st drive TD against the chargers. The Bucs were even up 10-0 against the bears in the 1st quarter.

    Then the packers game. We all know how that started vs how it finished, but the fast starts seemed to end after that game. Why? I don’t know. But this team clearly had displayed the ability to start fast but needs to rekindle that ability and quickly.

  9. alton green Says:

    WOW!!! mark it on your calendar. all 4 of you are right but let me put the Cool Whip on the pie! Just look at Curley, Larry and Moe on the sidelines. Everytime we get more than one sack, the Todd Bowles writers come out in droves. How long does it take before his light turns on. Let me give you a hint. 17-0 in the 1st qrt. you have single coverage on the fastest human on the planet. NOW there’s no need to talk about BA and BL, you guys nailed it. BL went to college where my son did. HEY BYRON, this isn’t the NCAA, it’s the NFL. Let Tommy Boy do what he does best. Dink and dunk. Then when their corners get closer, THEN you throw down the field. Then play calling is WAY too predictable. BA will NEVER convince me that Tom is calling those dumbass plays. He went to the “big dance” 9 times. That’s almost every other yr. INCREDIBLE!!!! I joked that the other teams in the AFC should give Brady a big bonus hahahhaaha

  10. alton green Says:

    I think all 3 coaches should check in at the local Motel 6 and we can lock them in. I’ll even leave a light on for them. I’ve been a Brady fan since he was at Mi. What happened there? Drove down the field and won a bowl game. What happened in his FIRST start. Drove down the field and won his 1st SB against the “greatest show on turf” What happened in the AFC champ game against the mighty Chiefs a couple yrs ago. I could go on and on. He is approaching his 50th game winning drives in his career. That’s FIFTY!!!! (50) So BA, BL, and Todd B. we’ll leave a light on for you. Why? you couldn’t find it on your own

  11. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    IF we could start out fast, we would be almost unbeatable. We play much better, with a lead, than we do coming from behind.

  12. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Scripted plays…

    If you watched the game vs the Rams, McVay smoked our defense with his first 15 plays or so. The Bucs scripted plays have not been able to dominate any team. Until BL is overruled or replaced, nothing will change unfortunately.

  13. Cannon Says:

    All it takes is one overthrow, one dropped pass, or one false start to completely derail the opening drive.

    Its funny the fine line between failure and success.

  14. Ben green Says:

    He blitzes far to much. You need good to great corners to play that way. Then in the second saints game, he never sent more than 4 on the saints first two scori

  15. Ben green Says:

    ng drives. It’s almost as infuriating than the offense

  16. unbelievable Says:

    @alton green – lol, you’re probably right about them finding the light.

    @senor harry –

    That’s b/c our “scripted plays” are exactly the same every single week:
    1st down- run up the gut for minimal gain
    2nd down – deep shot for an incompletion
    3rd down – low percentage pass to our 3rd or 4th receiving option
    4th down – punt

    Every week, every opponent, same exact thing. Rinse and repeat.

  17. unbelievable Says:

    Ronde should be concerned about all the missed tackles and missed receivers too.

  18. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Missed tackles: Oh yeah, another big one from last game. I though Sabby Piscitelli had mass reproduced and returned to the Bucs. The Bucs D looked like the Welcome Wagon as they all held out their arms to embrace the visitors running by them.

  19. Show Me the TDs Says:

    They don’t seem fired up at the start of games. It’s like they need to get slapped around a bit before getting angry. Kind of like the Hulk. But also like the Hulk in Avenger Infinity War, a good team will be our Thanos if we keep starting slowly. The Bucs need some angry music and maybe hire Ray Lewis for some pre-game motivation.

  20. JimbobBucsFan: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    The slow starts on offense could be a a failure to meld of the minds of BA, TB and BL. That would mean that Brady sees and executes the game plan differently than Leftwich in spite of all of their “apparent” communications with each other leading into the start of the games.

    That would not account for the slow starts on the defensive side however. That would be a a lack of a meld among TB and his staff.

    It all falls on the shoulders of Bruce no matter what else!.

  21. Jeffbuc Says:

    Slow starts comes down to coaching. Plain and simple. They game plan all week and think they have the best game plan to attack there opponents offensively and defensively. We get out coached every game. Even in our wins we were mostly outcoached. But luckily we out talented the team we played. Chargers up big packers were up 10-0. We outcoached the panthers twice and the broncos. Other than that you can say we out game planned the bears. But didn’t make proper halftime adjustments that game. The 2 saints games, the chiefs, rams, chargers, Vikings. All out coached us in the first half for sure. No doubt there game plan was varsity to our jv

  22. Jeffbuc Says:

    If we do that in the playoffs on the road. 10-0 will be to much to overcome and we will be done by the end of the first half