Make us your home page
Instagram

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' Ronde Barber is considering playing a few more years

TAMPA — Cornerbacks are often made to feel like they live on an island, isolated against a receiver with solitude as their only other companion.

Ronde Barber has learned to embrace that feeling after 14 years. By adding to his glittering resume, becoming the only defensive back to record 40 career interceptions and 25 sacks with a pick Sunday at San Francisco, he's enjoying it.

"I was joking with somebody Sunday, it's kind of cool to make your own club," Barber said Wednesday. "I never intended it, but now that I'm here, it's good to be here."

At 35 and in the final year of his contract, Barber said he may want to stick around a little longer. He said being part of the youngest team in the NFL has rejuvenated his career.

The Bucs are 7-3 and one game behind Atlanta in the NFC South heading into Sunday's game at Baltimore.

Asked if he has been rejuvenated, Barber said, "A hundredfold. I can't put it into words, really. That being said, I'll try.

"I come into work every day and it's not like I'm grinding. … It's like I'm coming to hang out with a bunch of young kids, and they make me feel like I'm their age. It's not working the other way where I'm trying to make them mature.

"I'm excited to go out to practice. I'm excited about Sundays. I'm excited to watch them play but also to see what they can do. … I've never, ever been around guys this talented. … It's been a good year."

Barber is compiling more Pro Bowl numbers. He is second on the club with 69 tackles, and he has a sack, a forced fumble and eight passes defensed. His three interceptions rank second on the team to Aqib Talib, who has five.

"He's playing with high energy," coach Raheem Morris said. "He's certainly our leader, our leader by example. He's dominating on the football field."

Barber said at the start of this season that it would likely be his last. But he has never ruled out continuing his career.

"I'll take it to the table in February or March, whenever that time comes," Barber said. "I'm not even ready to look across that bridge yet. But I am at the end of my contract. It's got to be a mutual wanting of each other (him and the Bucs), but we'll see.

"There's a lot more that goes into it than what's going on at the current time. I can't say that I'm completely done. Mark (Dominik, general manager) and Raheem will help me make a decision one way or the other."

Barber credits much of his success to former defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin playing him in the slot as an extra defensive back on passing downs.

A third-round draft pick out of Virginia in 1997, Barber played in one regular-season game as a rookie. Midway through the next season, he took over for Anthony Parker as a starter.

Offensive coordinators didn't know what to make of Barber's ability to rush the passer. For several years they didn't account for him with anything other than a running back. Now he routinely encounters guards and tackles.

This week, the Pro Football Hall of Fame asked for Barber's jersey and gloves for an exhibit to commemorate his 40 interceptions and 25 sacks. Whether a bust of Barber will join those items when his career ends remains to be seen.

"Five to 50 years later, they argue about whether (your career) was good enough (for the Hall of Fame), how you stood out amongst your peers," Barber said. "It'd be nice to be in that conversation."

As for the record, Barber has more time to distance himself from the field.

"I'm sure someone will come along and challenge that eventually," Barber said. "Just putting it all together is what I'll cherish most about it. I've played a long time. When you play a long time, you have a chance to put together some decent stats."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Ronde Barber is considering playing a few more years 11/24/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 9:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. The 10 silliest names for college football bowl games

    College

    The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl hadn't even been officially announced when SBNation called it the silliest bowl name ever. Ten others worthy of consideration:

    Logo for the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. [MATT BAKER | Times]
  2. For starters: Rays looking for third straight win

    Blogs

     

    Austin Pruitt faces the Blue Jays tonight at the Trop.
  3. USF football and the undefeated degree of difficulty

    College

    TAMPA — In the wake of the latest solar eclipse, USF fans eagerly await the next astronomical phenomenon.

    USF head coach Charlie Strong leads his team during practice last month in Tampa. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  4. Nature Coast puts unbeaten streak on the line vs. IMG White

    Footballpreps

    BROOKSVILLE — Nature Coast currently rides a 22-game regular-season win streak, but first-year football coach Cory Johns was not around for any of those wins. Neither was most of his coaching staff. This is an entirely new campaign with new obstacles ahead.

    Nature Coast offensive lineman Louis Miele (66) blocks a Sunlake defensive player during the Clash 4 Clayton football scrimmage and fundraiser Aug. 12 at Springstead High School.
  5. Crosstown rivals Bloomingdale-Newsome kick off season

    Footballpreps

    LITHIA — In a week filled with area football rivalries, there is a game on the east side of Hillsborough County — Bloomingdale vs. Newsome — that has matured into a classic crosstown battle, complete with classic cliches.

    Bloomingdale wide receiver Ed Amos charges through a drill a few days before the big rivalry game against Newsome on Friday night.