Rondé Barber Not Buying Hype On Bucs’ Secondary

July 13th, 2023

Ranks defensive backfields.

Joe really believes the Bucs’ secondary has a chance to be a lockdown unit.

However, a Bucs icon is not feeling it.

Bucs great Rondé Barber, just a few weeks from being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, decided to list his top secondaries in the NFL this fall (yes, still in the throes of List Season). And the Bucs’ secondary of Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean, Antoine Winfield and Ryan Neal doesn’t even make Barber’s top-seven secondaries.

Barber, typing (dictating?) to, ranked his top-seven secondaries in ascending order:

7. San Francisco
6. Dallas
5. Seattle
4. Denver
3. Eagles
2. Baltimore
1. Jets

Joe isn’t saying those secondaries are bad. But really, the Bucs slapped around the Seahawks last year. Even jumping Scotty Miller found holes in the Seattle secondary.

Joe maintains the Bucs’ secondary could be the strength of the team pending disgruntled Devin White’s desire to play.

37 Responses to “Rondé Barber Not Buying Hype On Bucs’ Secondary”

  1. Tim Says:

    At least as far as the starting outside CB’s are concerned, I kind of agree with them not being exactly top shelf. I’ve always seen them as like a Donnie Abraham/Brian Kelly combo. Good, yes. Capable, sure. Elite? Not quite.

  2. RuKa Says:

    At least someone is truthful and realistic. Huge respect for Rondé for always being a guy with his own opinion and with a realistic view on things.

  3. Hodad Says:

    Let’s see where they’re all ranked after this season. This season, the one that hasn’t begun. Last year, was last year, that’s why you take all these rankings, and predicitions with a grain of salt.

  4. BillyBucco Says:

    It depends what metrics you are ranking them on.
    I remember a few years back, both Dean and Davis were in the Top 5 in passes defensed.
    Throw in Winfield and Neal’s coverage rankings and they are Top 5.
    Now if you look at interceptions ONLY, Bucs are probably bottom 5.

  5. Lt. Dan Says:

    I gotta go with Ronde on this one. Last year, especially late, the secondary looked average at best but truth be told – they were a below average unit. The loss of ballhawk Mike Edwards will be felt.

  6. HC Grover Says:

    With HC/DC running the plan they could be shredded.

  7. DBS Says:

    Watched this secondary for a long time always be the weak link. Roasted and burnt. They have been they the part that let teams get right down the field into scoring position. Not buying it either.

  8. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    They were ranked 28th in giving up passing TD’s, and ranked 24th for Int’s. Numbers back up Ronde.

  9. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    When has are secondary not been middle of the road with Bowles so he’s kinda right

  10. NCBucfan Says:

    Most of those teams in the top 7 have a monster pash rush. That will make or break us this year. I think kancey and ya ya will bring some much needed juice this year in that dept. It is a make or break year for JTS! Also D White was an average blitzed last year.

  11. Voice of Truth Says:

    Honesty is the best policy Ronde, thank you for having some integrity!!!

    We’re have a good group of starters and no depth

  12. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:


  13. Beeej Says:

    I’m not seeing this–Winfield is a near all-pro, our new safety is better than most–both our corners have very low completion %’s against

  14. Dooley Says:

    Our secondary should be fine. We’ve got a 4-5 man camp battle for NB & CB4 so it’s not solidified, but I’m probably most excited to see how Neal-Winfield compliment each other along with the rest of our defense. Tons of young talent to evaluate through camp & the preseason.

  15. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Weird list.

    Baltimore wasn’t even average in pass defense last year lol. 23rd in average passing yards given up.

    I literally google “Baltimore secondary” and the first thing that comes up is “Is the Ravens secondary good enough to hold up in the AFC?”

    Other pass rankings:

    San Fran 16th (even with a much more elite front 7 than us).

    Seattle 17th.

    Denver 12th.

    We were 9th.

    Come on Ronde…

  16. ocala Says:

    I want the Bucs to win every game, but let’s live in the real world. The Bucs have a good secondary, but they are not an elite secondary.

    Bucs Roster:

    QB Bottom 5
    RB Bottom 5
    OL Bottom half of the NFL
    WR Top 5
    TE Bottom 5
    DL Middle of the NFL
    LB Top half of the NFL
    DB Top half of the NFL
    Head Coach Bottom 5

  17. Tony Says:

    Even Ronde is still questioning everything with the secondary. That kind of says something right there. They need to have somebody like him in there running the D or at least the secondary.

  18. Jeff Says:

    Bucs secondary will be average at best with zero pass rush.

  19. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    BillyBucco Says:
    “Now if you look at interceptions ONLY, Bucs are probably bottom 5.”

    Rondé has talked about this previously, and he seems to weigh interceptions higher than many people. Therefore, this ranking doesn’t surprise me.

  20. Buc4evr Says:

    Not surprised, the secondary could be better if the quarterback was put under more pressure. But opposing QBs just have too much time. JTS is one of the reasons why the secondary will struggle this season. It all hinges on the pass rush and Tampa’s is not good.

  21. Lokog Says:

    Me either i just don’t see this whole team being consistent and competitive we are gonna have a loafer playing inside linebacker. We can’t get to the quarterback he gonna have all day to throw. We couldn’t catch a cold if it was limping on the road. I hope in wrong but that what my gut tells me

  22. Stanglassman Says:

    You can help but remember that in 2020 they had the Bucs secondary ranked #32. I much rather be the disrespected scrappy underdog. I felt weird being the free agent bought all star team. Make TB stand for Tampa Bay again. I can’t wait for training camp.

  23. Ugotrobbed Says:

    Maybe Barber and the rest of that secondary wouldn’t have been as good if he didn’t have those 7 guys playing in front of them??

  24. Saul Says:

    The secondary is overpaid and with no results. How many times have you seen a team with 3rd and long get a first down on a easy pass on the secondary too many times to count.

  25. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Our secondary, our secondary? Give me 5 lawn chairs. At least they won’t embarrass us in front of national tv. With lawn chairs, they’re gonna get what they see.

  26. 80forBrady Says:

    Hey Lawn Boy,

    Five lawn chairs are always going to fold up and end up in the basement.
    Is that what you are saying about the Bucs? (Not that I necessarily disagree with your assessment given the coaching genius of Couch Toad Bowels)

  27. Destinjohnny Says:

    JTS being out best pass rusher should help out our secondary……?
    We have a marginal group with no depth.
    Maybe we should bring back the 1st round draft pick VH3
    To fortify it??

  28. Infomeplease Says:

    If the defensive line can’t bring more pressure and sacks then last year, and if Bowles plays soft zone 85 % of the game, it will be another long season!

  29. Bojim Says:

    I haven’t been confident of the secondary in many years. Even when we won the SB.

  30. mark2001 Says:

    Well. If Ronde feels that way, who am I to argue? He probably knows more about what he is looking at than we all do, put together on this board.

  31. David Says:

    Those starting 4 should be at least top 10 in the NFL. The problem is depth. Same with David and White and what is behind them.

  32. westernbuc Says:

    Hard to complain. Those are all really good secondaries. Be curious what his ranking would be if he included coaching

  33. Rod Munch Says:

    Neal was literally let go from a RFA contract – I have no idea why people are thinking he’s guaranteed to be a good starter. I hope that’s the case, but Seattle didn’t get rid of him for no reason.

    So when you look at the Bucs, they got borderline great corners, the best safety in football, and a guy who Seattle let go for nothing despite being cheap and young.

  34. BoricuaBucfan Says:


    Not sure what Bucs you were watching back then but Donnie Abraham an Brian Kelley were both Probowl corners whom have led the league in ints. Kelley 01 An Abraham in 99 I believe.

  35. garro Says:

    Hmm Ronde’s HOF opinion on players playing in the same postion versus Joes very honored opinion?

    Sorry Joe gotta go with Ronde on this one.

    Go Bucs!

  36. Dooley Says:

    “Neal was literally let go from a RFA contract – I have no idea why people are thinking he’s guaranteed to be a good starter. I hope that’s the case, but Seattle didn’t get rid of him for no reason.”

    “The Seahawks added an excellent safety in free agent Julian Love. Sadly, they gave up their own budding star in Ryan Neal. Love better be worth it.”

    “First, let’s look at what the Seahawks are losing in Ryan Neal. Now entering his sixth year in the league, Neal had a breakout season in 2022. As he did in his four years with the Hawks, he was mainly used as a substitute for injured players. The difference last year was that Jamal Adams went down in the very first game. Why the Hawks played Josh Johnson instead of Neal is inexplicable, but once he got the starting gig, the former Saluki standout proved his worth. In 10 starts he broke up eight passes, had an interception and a sack, and a passer rating against of just 63.9”

    All of this was outlined shortly after our front office pounced on Ryan Neal <24hrs after Seattle withdrew his RFA tender. Gotta get with the times Rod, the fact Neal was available has less to do with his ability and more to do with what Seattle was doing in their cap & safety room.

  37. Rod Munch Says:

    Dooley – no team is letting go of cheap young talent, regardless of who they sign. Hopefully they made a really stupid mistake, but you don’t get cheap young talent for nothing unless someone makes a huge mistake.