Rondé Barber Details Ryan Neal Failure

October 24th, 2023

Safety Ryan Neal.

Two weeks in a row in critical moments, Buccaneers safety Ryan Neal was beaten for a huge play.

Against the Lions, Neal likely stops a deep-shot touchdown completion if he turns his head around in the end zone (on what was far from a perfect throw by Detroit quarterback Jared Goff).

On Sunday, it was Neal at fault on game-changing play. That assessment came from iconic Bucs defensive back Rondé Barber on the Buccaneers Radio Network.

With 40 seconds remaining, the Falcons had a 2nd-and-10 snap at the Atlanta 25 yard line. The game was tied at 13. Quarterback Desmond Ridder targeted tight end Kyle Pitts deep over the middle of the field into the Bucs’ zone defense.

Barber explained that Zyon McCollum was playing nickel cornerback and had a perfect dropback in Tampa Bay’s Cover-2 defense. Barber then nitpicked Jamel Dean in the zone but saved his daggers for Neal.

“It was the wrong time for him to miss an angle. His feet got behind him. He was coming out of disguise so he was late to his landmark,” Barber said of Neal. “His feet didn’t get underneath him and by the time he went to transition, [Pitts] is running by him. That’s another 20 yards and that’s the game. And that sucks.”

Man, Joe loves hearing Barber talk football.

Joe also loves seeing crunch-time plays from Bucs safeties. Aside from a fourth-down run stuff against the Bears, Neal hasn’t impressed Joe this season. He has registered zero passes defensed in six games.

28 Responses to “Rondé Barber Details Ryan Neal Failure”

  1. HC Grover Says:

    he needs some bones in that hair to look like Bob Marley….stir it up.

  2. RajBucsFan Says:

    Ronde needs to come be our DB coach

  3. LVMYBUCS Says:

    Yea I saw that but didn’t want to jump on the he sucks bandwagon. All those guys suck back there except for Winfield.

  4. Hodad Says:

    No accountability. Guys miss plays, but when it keeps happening they need to be benched. It’s up to the coaches to send the message that screw ups won’t keep starting. Delaney plays the last two games we might not be even having this conversation.

  5. RagingBrisket Says:

    Say, who is responsible for putting that guy on our team?

  6. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Let me ask a simple question, why did the Bucs let 2 competent + affordable safeties in Keanu Neal and Mike Edwards walk for an invisible ghost?

    Neal had a solid season last year and was excellent in run support. The Bucs front office made botched so many things this off-season and this teams getting exposed.

  7. Popcorn Mike Says:

    Not defending Neal but the Bucs need to get more pressure on the QB. I think baring injury Kancey will start to do just that This will help out the DB’s I think

  8. Winny Testaverde Says:

    There’s a reason this stiff was available for next to nothing. He’s Sabby The Goat like.

  9. ATLBuc Says:

    From what I’ve seen, he had a lack of adequate speed to cover his portion of the field. All of those plays that he got beat, he was running, trying to catch up to the receiver.

  10. Saskbucs Says:

    TBbucs3 – The Bucs had a great offseason. Neal looks like a swing and a miss but the other pick ups and draft picks have done pretty well. If it was a bad offseason this team would be 1-5. We have like 13 rookies on the team.

    As far as those other guys go, Keanu Neal is basically outta the league, Edwards… I can’t really comment on and he prolly would be better but can’t keep everyone and hindsight is usually 20/20. Whitehead looks like the guy we miss but he’s also in a good defensive spot with Saleh and the Jets, how good he would have looked in Neal’s spot is anyone’s guess.

  11. RGA Says:

    Losing Jordan Whitehead was huge.

  12. Tbbucs3 Says:


    Kenue Neal is a consistent contributer for one of the best defenses in the league, does that mean basically out of the leauge to you?

  13. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Whitehead losing I can understand due to cap issues, but I simply can’t argue the Bucs had a “great” off-season when you made no efforts to upgrade at running back and let key affordable players walk.

  14. Statguy Says:

    If we had whitehead right now we would have the best and youngest safety tandem in the league.

  15. Mike S Says:

    What about the offense that bagged on 13 points?

    Neal shouldn’t be the scapegoat here.

  16. Big Papi Rojo Says:

    Jordan Whitehead is an average NFL safety. He’s allowed 10 receptions on 17 targets this season. Ryan Neal has allowed 13 out of 14 receptions. At the moment, Jordan is playing significantly better but he’s still average by NFL standards. Ryan’s in a new defense. New system. Still getting his feet underneath him. If he’s still underperforming by the end of the year and shown no signs of improvement, we can part ways.

  17. David Says:

    The division leader is Falcons. Really ????? That tells you how garbage Bucs are with Baker and the Toilet Bowl. LOL

  18. delson Says:

    Whitehead and edwards would have been great resigns. Its ridiculous we had our own guys that we drafted but signed another team’s reject. Guys with knowledge of the system, expectations, camaraderie, leadership qualities from our super bowl team etc.. to go along with recent success in the system. Our defense was legit n we created holes.

  19. Bobby Says:

    Hey just thought of a really good idea. Bowles has a buddy, Bowles has 2 buddies that are offensive gurus. One of them os on the staff. Bucs have a guy named Tom Moore on the staff. Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Tom Moore Peyton Manning’s OC!!! I say put Tom Moore in as OC right now. Then have Bowles rely on Bruce Arians consultation on week to week basis as well. Come on Bucs use your resources!!! Bruce Arians and Tom Moore are accessible for the Bucs!!! We need there imput on the offensive sode of the ball now!! BA was Peyton’s OC before Tom Moore was too. Come on Bucs we are a former Super Bowl winning front office and coaching staff snd the Bucs can’t figure this out!!???

  20. unbelievable Says:

    I’ve been saying it for weeks: He’s the weakest link in our secondary.

    I think Deel Delaney has earned some more playing time at safety TBH.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    Delson … ‘Whitehead and edwards would have been great resigns. Its ridiculous we had our own guys that we drafted but signed another team’s reject.’

    Would’ve loved to have re-signed either Whitehead or Edwards, but salary CAP at the time didn’t allow, so they were allowed to test the waters & signed elsewhere. Happens to every team every year. The priorities last year appear to have been (1) clean up as much of the salary CAP mess as possible; (2) re-sign Dean; (3) re-sign LVD & Nelson; (4) add several much-needed FAs to fill key starting holes (Mayfield, Gaines, and yes, Neal). JL met those priorities, it just hasn’t turned out (yet) the way we would’ve hoped.

    The bigger question to me is always ‘When you identify a problem, how to you FIX IT?’ Unfortunately we knew that our depth in the Secondary was marginal when we started the season. Bucs have FOUR Safeties listed on their roster: Winfield, Neal, Izien & Merriweather. Delaney & Hayes are listed as DBs (and supposedly capable of playing multiple positions). Hayes & Merriweather have gotten ZERO def snaps thus far, so probably aren’t the answer at this point. Delaney has gotten about 20% of our def snaps filling in at Safety & CB. He has the most experience in Bowles’ defense, so he’s probably our only viable option at this point IF Neal continues his pursuit of mediocrity.

  22. Bucsfanman Says:

    It’s two-fold, IMO. Neal is definitely struggling at times. However, it appears to occur on plays where we are bringing the house. The blitzers aren’t making it home and the WRs are getting open.

    I’m with D.R. on this regarding identifying then solving the issue.

  23. BucsFan81 Says:

    What’s crazy to me is this team still can’t play zone. Hell I think even the announcers for the game brought it up Sunday about how much better they play man and when they are playing zone they are out of position a lot. This is as frustrating as running up the middle over and over for no gain or loss. If you suck at doing something and it’s the end of the game maybe play man instead of that’s what you’re better at with the game on the line.

  24. BucU Says:

    For me there will be no more dissapointments from this team the rest of the season. Why? Because I expect nothing from them at this point. We all know who they are now.

  25. garro Says:

    Are these guys still being coached is my question to Ronde.

    That sounds like we were gambling with the game on the line to me.

    Go Bucs!

  26. delson Says:

    @Defense Rules

    I agree cap was a major issue they deserved a bump in their salary. My thing is, just like Trask our draft picks are utilized during uncommon situations. Its hard 4 us 2 grade their potential when they’re used 4 fill in positions. We take chances on veteran players in free agency and hand them starting roles. Ronald jones had up and down games but I chalk that up 2 forcing him 2 run inside the tackles. Leonard fournette had a solid playoff run but I had a feeling thats all he would be. He was resigned Jones labeled as not reliable. With the speed jones has, outside runs and screens would have benefitted our offense along with his development. We’d rather use wr screens 2 mike evans to spread apart the defense. In a way it was a 1 dimensional offense with RJ. How many receiving running backs has Tom Brady developed in New England? Instead of developing RJ we signed fournette. So with that being said unless Trask lights it up IF he gets a chance we will be drafting a qb soon. To sit on the bench behind the next veteran qb we sign. Perhaps a fresh blood HC can evaluate talent rather than “always going vet”. Not saying fire Bowles, I like his 3-4 but we dont take chances on skill players or stock the shelves with them. Our secondary was stocked now depleted. Yes run more press man and press zone with blitzes switch up n quit backing our secondary off the LOS.

  27. Bucfan1988 Says:

    Ryan Neal is garbage for what Bowles expects from his safeties…

    Seattle had him playing in the box, not as a free safety in coverage…

    Dee Delaney deserves to be in there now.
    He’s playing ok….has 2 picks this year as well 🤷🏻‍♂️

  28. Bucsfantim Says:

    Why is it we can all see Neal is our worst safety in the last decade…. But the coaching staff CANT see that?