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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs experiment with Barber at safety in first minicamp under Schiano



The Bucs oldest player may be asked to learn a new position.

Cornerback Ronde Barber, 37, who recently agreed to return for a 16th season, took reps at safety during the first minicamp Tuesday under new coach Greg Schiano.

Last week, the Bucs released safety Tanard Jackson and only have four on the roster -- Cody Grimm, Larry Asante, Ahmad Black and Devin Holland. Of that group, only Grimm has started a regular-season NFL game.

The Bucs signed Lions free agent cornerback Eric Wright to a five-year contract and also have cornerback Aqib Talib, who faces a trial June 25 in Dallas County on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

So Barber may be asked to provide depth at the safety position -- or possibly -- could play there during the regular season.

"That’s one of those (experiments),'' Schiano said. "I think Ronde can certainly do it and did a good job today doing it. We’ll see. Again… how do we get the best 11 on the field?

"It was mentioned Ronde was working at some safety. We obviously have some other guys on the roster that play safety. There are safeties that are still in the draft, there are safeties that are still available through free agency. We'll kind of just figure it out, we'll work through it. It's a work in progress. But we'll have two opening day, I promise.''

Barber was unavailable for comment Tuesday. But shortly after signing a one-year, $3-million contract, the five-time Pro Bowl cornerback indicated that at 5-foot-10, 184-pounds, he might be too small to play safety.

“I’m too small to play safety. I’m tiny,'' Barber said. "After (today’s) workout out here, I’m like 180 pounds. I’ll fit in where I fit in. they know that I’m here to help this team win, no matter what role I’m in.”




[Last modified: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 6:31pm]


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