A tearful Ronde Barber said what he will miss about not playing football is not the games on Sundays or the fame or adulation from fans.
It's coming to work every single day, one day after another, earning his pay for an honest day of labor for 16 NFL seasons.
"I think the best way to end it is to say, "I had fun,'' Barber said during a press conference at One Buc to announce his retirement. "I loved coming to work every day. Even last year when you (coach Greg Schiano) beat us up. I love football, I'll always love football. But football is just what I did, it's not who I am and I'm ready to move on. I'm ready to do what's next. You turn enough chapters in one book, you finally get to the end, you shut it, put it on the bookshelf and you pick up another book. That's what I'm going to do right now.''...
TAMPA — He would have played. Of course, he would have played again.
Had Bucs coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik told Ronde Barber in March they were counting on him to be a starter at age 38, he probably would have pulled on the pads in 2013.
"It would've made the decision (about retiring) a lot harder," Barber said Thursday. "There's a good chance that yes, I probably could've made a different decision. But that wasn't the case. I'm not averse to competition. They've been trying to replace me for years....
Ronde Barber was leaning toward retirement a few weeks ago when he sought some advice from former Bucs safety John Lynch.
“We talked a couple of times throughout the off-season like we always do about where his mind was at and I just let him know he couldn’t make a bad decision,'' Lynch said. "I thought he had options to play and Ronde is a smart guy and brings a lot to the table away from the field and I know there’s going to be people after him in the broadcast world. There are multiple things he can do and I didn’t think he could go wrong and I let him know that. I had a sense a couple weeks ago when I spoke to him it was probably coming to an end. He was enjoying golf too much....
TAMPA — Ronde Barber was at his best when he felt his worst. He told very few besides his partner in prime, safety John Lynch, that he had torn the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee prior to the Bucs' NFC title game against the Eagles on Jan. 19, 2003.
So when Barber returned an interception 92 yards for a touchdown with 3:12 left to seal the victory and send the Bucs to Super Bowl XXXVII, his rare blend of ability and durability became etched in history....
George Selvie's homecoming was short-lived.
The former USF star was released along with four other players to make room for five free agents, including four undrafted college players who participated in the rookie minicamp.
The Bucs signed North Carolina receiver Jheranie Boyd, Northern Michigan tackle Jace Daniels, Mount Union recevier Chris Denton, and Rutgers linebacker Ka'lial Glaud. Former Temple defensive tackle Andre Neblett, who played 30 games for the Carolina Panthers the past three seasons, also signed as a free agent....
TAMPA — Bucs coach Greg Schiano held the index finger and thumb on his left hand about an inch or so apart. From a height standpoint, that's the difference between Josh Freeman and rookie Mike Glennon.
Of course, the hope is maybe one day the 6-foot-7 North Carolina State quarterback will stand head and shoulder pads above the 6-6 Freeman in terms of talent. But that day did not dawn this week when Glennon was the most visible player among the 90 draft picks, college free agents and undrafted tryout players assembled at One Buc Place for rookie minicamp....
Let's hear it for the poise. As rookies last season, S Mark Barron, LB Lavonte David and RB Doug Martin not only combined to start 48 games, they took over many of them.
Martin, the 31st overall pick, had an all-time season for any age, rushing for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns and catching 49 passes for 472 yards and one score to be named to the NFC Pro Bowl team....
The Bucs couldn't keep their choice for the team's Ring of Honor a secret. But the team did surprise Warren Sapp by also announcing that his No. 99 jersey will also be retired.
"Not only will be putting Warren Sapp's name in the Ring of Honor, but we also will be telling the world that no one else will ever wear the No. 99,'' co-chairman Bryan Glazer said....
TAMPA — At 6 feet 7, 278 pounds, the only thing bigger than William Gholston is his potential.
His nickname in high school was "Too Tall" because that's what coaches told him he was when he came out for football, insisting on playing linebacker.
But wherever Gholston, the Bucs' fourth-round pick last week, has lined up, he has felt more at home on the football field than anywhere else....
Raymond James Stadium is the house that Warren Sapp built. Now he will be a permanent fixture inside of it.
Sapp, 40, the Bucs Pro Bowl defensive tackle and only the second Tampa Bay player to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, confirmed he will become the fifth inductee into the team's Ring of Honor in 2013.
"I used to go to other stadiums and I would always look to see who was up there,'' Sapp said Tuesday. "It's a great honor and I was almost speechless when the Glazers told me....
TAMPA — Raymond James Stadium is the house that Warren Sapp built. Now he will be a permanent fixture inside of it.
Sapp, 40, the former Bucs' Pro Bowl defensive tackle and the second Tampa Bay player elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, confirmed he will become the fifth inductee into the team's Ring of Honor in 2013.
"I used to go to other stadiums and I would always look to see who was up there," Sapp said Tuesday. "It's a great honor and I was almost speechless when the Glazers told me. Everyone always said it was the house that Sapp built. Whenever we played, there was always a sign that said this is Sapp's house."...
Three cornerbacks and three receivers highlight a list of 13 undrafted college free agents signed by the Bucs Monday.
The list includes Arizona State cornerback Deveron Carr (5-11, 190), UCLA receiver Jerry Johnson (6-3, 211), South Florida tight end Evan Landi (6-3, 236); Northern Illinois cornerback Rashaan Melvin (6-2, 193); Texas receiver D.J. Monroe (5-9, 175); Buffalo linebacker Willie Mosley (6-5, 251); Arizona State tackle Brice Schwab (6-7, 302); Purdue running back Akeem Shavers (5-11, 203); Western Kentucky guard Adam Smith (6-5, 325); Georgia cornerback Branden Smith (5-11, 182) UMass tackle Nick Speller (6-5, 334); Southern Mississippi tackle Jason Weaver (6-5, 305) and Rutgers receiver Tim Wright (6-4 220)....
Two-time leading rusher LeGarrette Blount saw his role reduced with the Bucs last season and on Saturday he was given a fresh start with another team.
Tampa Bay traded Blount to the New England Patriots for a seventh-round pick and the rights to former Florida running back/kick returner Jeff Demps.
General manager Mark Dominik has been attempting to trade Blount since the end of the 2012 season....
TAMPA — Sometimes, they held their cards close to their chest. Other times, they riffled the deck and sent players and picks flying every which way.
But when the wheeling and dealing ended for the Bucs on Saturday, they said they were happy with what they pulled off during the NFL draft.
What began a week ago with the trade for Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis ended six days later with running back LeGarrette Blount shipped to the Patriots for former Florida star Jeff Demps and a seventh-round pick, which the Bucs used to move up in the sixth round to take Miami running back Mike James....
TAMPA — Greg Schiano began the offseason saying he wanted to improve the Bucs' porous secondary and create some competition for beleaguered starting quarterback Josh Freeman.
By the time his head hit the pillow Friday night, Tampa Bay's coach could put a check in both of those boxes.
Having traded their first-round pick to the Jets as part of the package for cornerback Darrelle Revis, the Bucs finally got off the sideline Friday in the NFL draft....