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Buccaneers Great Ronde Barber Gets Overdue Call To Canton

Mike Zarrilli. Getty Images.

I've loved the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the last 26 years. Back when I got really into football, they were known for a zone based defense called the 'Tampa 2' which was a hybrid variation of the Cover 2 defensive scheme. What made that scheme great was:

- A good pass rush 

- A Middle Linebacker who was athletic enough to drop to the deep middle of the field

- Physical Cornerbacks that could press and jam Receivers at the line and keep eyes on the Quarterback

- Good tackling across the board

The Bucs had a good pass rush with Simeon Rice, Warren Sapp and others up front that would constantly speed the opposing Quarterback up. They had an athletic Middle Linebacker in Shelton Quarles and previously Jamie Duncan and Hardy Nickerson that were fast enough to cover the deep middle of the field. Their most physical Cornerback who rotated from Outside Cornerback to Nickel Cornerback and really revolutionized the position was a 5'10" 184 lbs. player named Ronde Barber. He was also an outstanding tackler and blitzer. 

He was an ironman at the position, starting an incredible 215 games straight. He was a 5x Pro Bowler, a 3x 1st Team All-Pro, a member of the 2000s All-Decade Team, and in a member of Buccaneers Ring of Honor. His numbers have been Hall of Fame worthy for over a decade as he finished with and is the only player in NFL history to have 45+ interceptions and 25+ sacks. He also had 14 non-Offensive TDs (4th all-time) and won a Super Bowl and owns the signature play in Buccaneers history with his pick six to close the door on the Eagles in the NFC Championship game on January 19, 2003.

Barber has been a finalist the last three years and I've been doing my part to campaign for his enshrinement in Canton by digging up old All-22 video of him (it only goes back to 2011). He was an absolute dog at both Corner and Safety.

(2011 tape)

(2012 tape)


Congratulations Ronde Barber! Looking forward to seeing your in Canton!