Inspired Ronde Barber begins training camp No. 16
Ronde Barber reported for his 16th training camp on Thursday, but this one is different in many ways for the Buccaneer great.
For one, Barber is changing positions for the first time, moving from cornerback to safety (he’s still likely to play cornerback in certain situations, however). What’s more, Barber is playing for a new coach, the fourth of his career, and is part of a roster that’s changed dramatically since his friend, former coach Raheem Morris, was fired in January.
It seems the makeup of the team and the goals of coach Greg Schiano have inspired Barber, even though he’s been playing pro football since some teammates were in middle school.
“He’s done a really good job of presenting his message and clear vision for what he wants out of this football team,” Barber said of Schiano. “Every coach does that. . . But he does demand a lot of us. There is no confusion.
“Our expectations aren’t to be a rebuilding team. He’s coming in here to win. That’s good. I personally appreciate that.”
Barber also appreciates the personal test he faces in learning a new position. Defensive backs coach Ron Cooper said Barber’s desire to learn and his work ethic surprised the veteran assistant coach.
“I didn’t know guys actually worked like that,” Cooper said.
But some do, which is how Barber has survived to his 16th season.
“I just want to play and win,” Barber said. “It’s not very often you get to play 16 years but to find new challenges in your 16th year, with new opportunities to challenge yourself. I’m very comfortable not staying status quo and finding ways to better myself and this football team. (There is) no apprehension at all.”