Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers experiment with Ronde Barber at safety

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

CB 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 S Tanard Jackson and have only four safeties on the roster: Cody Grimm, Larry Asante, Ahmad Black and Devin Holland. Only Grimm has started a regular-season game.

The Bucs signed Lions free agent CB Eric Wright to a five-year contract and also have CB Aqib Talib, who is scheduled to go on trial June 25 in Texas on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

Barber may be asked to provide depth at safety or possibly 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 (Tuesday). How do we get the best 11 on the field?''

There are other safety possibilities on the roster, Schiano said, and the position can be addressed in free agency and the draft.

Barber was unavailable for comment.

Shortly after signing a one-year, $3 million contract last month, the five-time Pro Bowl selection indicated that at 5 feet 10, 184 pounds, he might be too small for safety.

"I'm tiny," he said. "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."

LB MOVES: The Bucs are considering several moves at linebacker, where they haven't replaced departed weak-side starter Geno Hayes and are undecided about whether Mason Foster will continue to be the middle linebacker.

Tuesday the team experimented with Quincy Black in the middle and had him running the defensive huddle and making defensive calls. Foster handled those responsibilities last season.

"We're so preliminary at this point, trying to figure out what's the best way to do it," Schiano said. "Not just to run the huddle, but if he's doing that, maybe somebody else can look at something else and make calls. We'll figure out who the best guys are to do that. But I think Quincy has some maturity about him. You know, he's been doing this for a little bit."

ROLL CALL: Schiano said all but one player he expected to attend the voluntary camp did; he didn't name the player. Also not attending was K Connor Barth, the designated franchise player. He hasn't signed his tender and hopes for a long-term extension.

TRYOUT PLAYERS: The Bucs had five participants who are in the camp on a tryout basis:

RB Robert Hughes (Notre Dame), FB/TE Richard Kay (Central Florida), DT Ayanga Okpokowuruk (Duke), DT Landon Cohen (Ohio) and S Ron Gerault (Rutgers).

KICKER CLAIMED: The Bucs claimed Kai Forbath off waivers, giving them a third kicker. The Bucs didn't say if the acquisition was related to Barth's status. Forbath — who at UCLA won the 2009 Lou Groza Award, given to the top college kicker — spent last season with the Cowboys on the reserve/non-football injury list with a quadriceps injury.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers experiment with Ronde Barber at safety 04/17/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 9:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'


    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  2. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now


    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.

  3. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say the Rays are out of it, but scoring a half-dozen runs in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Blue Jays was another promising sign.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off right knee surgery, often takes it easy on the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single, finishing with three more hits.

  5. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.