Rondé Barber: Tougher Than You Thought

August 5th, 2023

Hall of Fame induction today.

Today is a historic day. A fifth Buccaneers player will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame around noon in Canton, Ohio.

That would be former cornerback Rondé Barber, who joins his former teammates Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, plus the late great Lee Roy Selmon enshrined in the halls of Canton.

What Barber did on the field was extraordinary. But what about behind the scenes? Well, leave it to one of the best NFL writers in the country to dig it up.

Dan Pompei of The Athletic spoke with Barber’s former Bucs trainer, Tom Toriscelli, about how Barber thought not playing in a game was completely distasteful if not shameful.

[Barber] had a strained hip flexor, so Toriscelli put the cornerback on the injury report. Barber didn’t like that.

“Hey, Todd,” he told him in the cafeteria. “Take me off the injury report and don’t ever put me on it again.”

Toriscelli was floored. “I’m like, ‘OK. I don’t even know this guy.’”

But Toriscelli took Barber off the injury report and rarely put him on another. Barber went the last nine seasons of his career without being listed on an injury report.

Pompei points out that despite never appearing on an injury report his final nine seasons, there were times Barber was hurt. Significantly hurt. Painfully so.

Barber instead so focused on the game and on winning. He refused to be distracted by an injury. If he could get on the field, he was fine.

Joe heard a story from famed columnist Ira Kaufman that Toriscelli once placed a photo of Barber in the Bucs’ trainer’s room. This confused Chucky and he asked Toriscelli why he was doing that.

Toriscelli told Chucky that he wanted to make sure the rest of the Bucs players knew what toughness looked like.

25 Responses to “Rondé Barber: Tougher Than You Thought”

  1. An Erection for Sacks Says:


  2. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Rod Munch , the fashionista that he is, will be wondering about Ronde’s dress size when he cries during his acceptance speech.

  3. Mike S Says:

    That’s a pretty incredible story. Ronde 100% deserves the hall.

  4. Tony Says:

    They should have Ronde run the secondary or the D overall. Watch that D become unstoppable.

  5. MadMax Says:

    Congrats RB20….very deserving of it! What a player!

  6. lambchop Says:

    Ronde’s enshrinement is well deserved. Congratulations Ronde for being a real one and a Buc for Life!

  7. Buc4evr Says:

    The greatest single play in Buc’s history!

  8. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Well deserved. It was a huge honor to watch him lynch brooks sapp A-train rice and Dunn play the game. Much more to thro in there but when you think of the tough bucs that punched you in the mouth this is who comes to mind.

  9. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    110% effort. Ronde barber. Led by example.

  10. garro Says:

    Ronde is everything an NFL player should aspire to. Never heard anyone say a bad word about the guy. Of course he never made the news doing stupid things like stealing ,groping, punching. Class is something many young people today know nothing of. Toughness most of all this dude was tough. Physically and mentally.

    Go Ronde, and thanks for being a special player and a special person.

    Go Bucs!

  11. NCBucfan Says:

    Thanks for all the memories Ronde! Lb for lb one of the toughest Bucs to ever put on the pewter and red! Schianos true definition of a Buccaneer Man!

  12. garro Says:

    BTW It is criminal that it took this long to get this man in the HOF!

    Go Bucs!

  13. bucnjim Says:

    Barber is pure class that’s the best way to describe him. He’s been the pride of Tampa Bay since he was drafted. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of watching him play should also know he was tough as hell.

  14. Lt. Dan Says:

    Pretty cool…! And to think just a few short years ago the Bucs only had 1 in the HOF.

  15. WillieG Says:

    I think I’ll watch the NFC Championship game vs the Eagirls tonight in his honor.

  16. garro Says:

    I am so sorry.
    I forgot to thank Ira for his hard work and dedication in his efforts to get Ronde that Bust in Canton.
    If they ever want to include guys like Ira I would put he and Tom McEwen One and One A.

    Go Bucs!

  17. Allen Lofton Says:

    A leader in every sense of the word

  18. Voice of Truth Says:

    Greatness personified

    I’ll never jump as high as I did the night he shut down the vet

    I’ll never forget him gutting through some horrible teams and being the consummate leader after the “glory years” of our D

    I’ll never forget the example he has set for greatness

  19. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    One Greatest of All-Time! Congrats Ronde!

  20. LUVMYBUCS Says:

  21. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    One of the Greatest of All-Time! Congrats Ronde!

  22. Buc1987 Says:

    Congrats to Ronde….well deserved!

  23. gp Says:

    I wonder if anyone keeps track of, statistically speaking, splash plays (offense or defense) that make the fans jump up and yell.
    If Ronde doesn’t lead that category (I think he does [for the Bucs]) he’s at least top 3.
    Considering the NFL is an entertainment business, that should at least be a consideration for the ‘Hall’. IMO(It would also get the A-Train into the mix)

  24. unbelievable Says:

    Well deserved, and LONG OVERDUE.


    Still my all time favorite Bucs.

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    That Athletic article is great, it had a bunch of stuff I never knew, in particular how hurt he was that 2002 season.