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Following a 16 year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ronde Barber is an easy NFL hall of fame candidate according to former teammate Mike Alstott. Alstott telling 620 WDAE’s Ron and Ian show that after 10 years sharing the same uniform as Barber, he fully expects Canton, OH to be giving Barber a call to the hall.
“No question, easy” said the six-time pro bowl Buccaneers fullback. “Ronde was like that player coach for so many years recently for a young Buccaneers team.”
Alstott says he was “honored” to play with Barber and knew immediately from the time he began playing with Barber that he would be a great player in the NFL.
“Ronde just kept his mouth shut and just worked hard everyday. He absorbed the knowledge from a lot of the older guys in how to do it (play the game)” Alstott said.
“His mindset for so many years was I need to be out there with my team. That’s his character that he brought to the team. He knew we were going to count on Ronde Barber, and that was going to give us a chance to win” said Alstott.
Ronde Barber announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday night after 16 seasons in Tampa Bay. Barber He played in 241 games with 232 starts for Tampa Bay - both club records - while also recording a streak of 215 consecutive starts, tied for sixth-longest in NFL history. His 200 consecutive starts at cornerback is the most for that position in league history, and his 240 consecutive games played ranks second among defensive players since 1970.
Barber racked up 1,428 tackles - second in franchise history, behind only linebacker Derrick Brooks - 28.0 sacks, 47 interceptions, eight interception return touchdowns, 243 passes defensed, 15 forced fumbles, 11 fumble recoveries, and six additional touchdowns on fumble returns and blocked/deflected punts. He also played in 10 playoff games with nine starts, recording 50 tackles, one sack, two interceptions, one interception return touchdown, 11 passes defensed and one fumble recovery.
Former Buccaneers great and current president of the Tampa Bay Storm Derrick Brooks joined Tom Jones and Rick Stroud less than 12 hours after the Bucs officially announced that 16-season veteran Ronde Barber had retired.
Brooks played with Barber for 12 seasons (1997-2008), the longest span of any teammate of Barber's from the Super Bowl XXXVII team.
Like many of the players that shared a locker room with Barber, Brooks spoke highly of Barber's competitiveness and durability. When it came to having the defensive back as a teammate, Brooks enjoyed it thoroughly.
"It was fun to be quiet honest with you," Brooks said. "And to go through the work that we invested in this defense, playing in the nickel position, especially Cover-2, the isle as we said, perfecting our craft, being on the same page we had to, a lot of times, do that.
"That's the part that I guess is kind of hard to explain but yet brings some of the biggest joy when, I was thinking about it yesterday and even last night, just saying how we challenged each other to get better.
"The cerebral part of his game, I don't think people quite understood how smart of a player he was. And Ronde made a lot of big plays in big moments during his career and a lot of that came through [from] his preparation and his hard work.
"You think about the true ability and trust that he did as a football player. Even myself, playing a lot of games, and there was probably some situations where injury would not have allowed us to play, but the coaches trusted us to play through those injuries and with those injuries because we were able to make plays and there's no better example of anyone doing that than himself."
To listen to the entire conversation with Derrick Brooks, click the player below:
Former Buccaneer great John Lynch spoke to Steve Duemig Wednesday shortly after the news broke that another Bucs great, Ronde Barber, decided to retire.
Sharing stories and praising his teammate of seven years, Lynch spoke about Barber with a tone much deeper than just a guy he shared the field with; Lynch talked about Barber with obvious respect, admiration, and high esteem.
"I really don't think it's a say day," Lynch said, "I think it's a day to celebrate just a tremendous player who had such a big impact on an organization and a community and I think in retrospect, you look back and you always want to be one of those guys that retires when you still have something left.
"And I think, could Ronde have played another year and played well? Absolutely. I thought he played very well last year at a new position. But I think it just lined up that this is the time for him to move on and I'm excited for him and the next chapter of his life with his family."
Lynch told Duemig that he had spoken with Barber recently and that the 16-season veteran said he was leaning in the direction of retirement.
"I talked to him a couple of weeks ago and he told me this was certainly the way that he was leaning," Lynch said, "And had not made a complete decision, but this was the way it looked like he was going. I told him I supported him whatever he decided and I thought he could not make a bad decision.
"Like I said, just a magnificient, magnificent career. I remember it from the beginning; I had a great seat watching him. He was a tremendous teammate and he battled."
Already in his fifth season when Barber was drafted, Lynch talked about that battle and fight that Barber had in him and called his friend a "tremendous competitor."
Lynch went on to say that Barber "Redefined the nickel position. What he did in that position - I think Aeneas Willliams had played it well before him, but Ronde took it to the next level."
To hear the entire conversation with John Lynch, click the player below:
By Tom Krasniqi
The last remaining member of the Buccaneers 2002 Super Bowl title team is calling it quits. Ronde Barber has decided to retire after 16 seasons after an amazing career. That great Bucs defense will produce some Hall of Famers. Warren Sapp will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame this August. Derrick Brooks will be eligible next year and is considered a lock. And in five years, Ronde should be as well.
Barber was a 3rd round pick back in 1997 out of Virginia. He played in just one game as a rookie in 1997 for Tony Dungy. But once he settled into the starting lineup, Ronde would never leave. He started an incredible 215 straight games, a record for a defensive player since the merger. He played through several injuries throughout the streak and never made a case out of it.
One of the smartest players ever to play the game. Barber was a master at deceiving opposing quarterbacks, especially dangerous on 3rd downs when he worked out of the slot. Barber racked up 28 sacks and 47 interceptions. His pick 6 during the 2002 NFC title game against the Eagles is arguably the greatest play in the history of the franchise. What's even more remarkable about that play was that Barber was injured and still played. According to John Lynch, Barber played that game with a PCL injury to his knee.
Barber was a 5-time Pro Bowler and a 3-time All Pro. His credentials speak for themseleves. His consecutive games played streak is unmatched by any defensive player in NFL history since the merger. No defensive back in the history of the game has recorded 20 INTs and 20 sacks for their career. Ronde easily surpassed those statistical hurdles.
Barber was a consummate professional and displayed a tireless work ethic. He led by example to the younger players and was a class act to deal with in the locker room. Whether it was an uplifting victory or a disappointing loss, Ronde was always a stand-up guy in dealing with the media and that's something I will never forget. Barber will likely venture into broadcasting and any network that hires him will be making a wise hire.
When the Hall of Fame voters convene in five years, they should elect #20 on the first ballot. He belongs in Canton and he should get there no later than 2018. Thanks for memories Ronde. You will be missed.
FOX Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer tweeted Wednesday afternoon that he had spoken with Ronde Barber and that the Buccaneers veteran will be retiring:
Just got off the phone w Ronde Barber who told me he is officially retiring. "I've had a better run than I ever could've dreamed of having."— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) May 8, 2013
WDAE's JP Peterson has confirmed with Ronde Barber the report.
Stay tuned to 620 AM or 95.3 FM for breaking news updates.
Below is the official press release from the team on Barber's retirement.
Five-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XXXVII Champion Rondé Barber announced today that he will retire following a brilliant and record-setting 16-year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"Rondé is synonymous with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, establishing himself as one of our franchise's iconic players over a 16-year, Hall of Fame-worthy career," said Buccaneers Co-Chairman Joel Glazer. "When anyone thinks of Rondé, they think of a true professional and leader. He approached every day the same, giving everything he had to make himself and his teammates the best they could be. We will miss him."
Barber entered the National Football League as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' third-round selection (66th overall) in the 1997 NFL Draft, and, over the course of his career, developed into one of the most decorated players in franchise history. He played in 241 games with 232 starts for Tampa Bay - both club records - while also recording a streak of 215 consecutive starts, tied for sixth-longest in NFL history. His 200 consecutive starts at cornerback is the most for that position in league history, and his 240 consecutive games played ranks second among defensive players since 1970.
During his career, Barber racked up 1,428 tackles - second in franchise history, behind only linebacker Derrick Brooks - 28.0 sacks, 47 interceptions, eight interception return touchdowns, 243 passes defensed, 15 forced fumbles, 11 fumble recoveries, and six additional touchdowns on fumble returns and blocked/deflected punts. He also played in 10 playoff games with nine starts, recording 50 tackles, one sack, two interceptions, one interception return touchdown, 11 passes defensed and one fumble recovery.
Barber is the only player in the history of the NFL to have 25 or more sacks and 40 or more interceptions. His 28.0 sacks are second-most all-time among defensive backs, and the most all-time by a cornerback. He tops the Buccaneers' record book with his nine interceptions returned for touchdowns (including postseason), and his 14 total regular-season return touchdowns put him fourth in NFL history.
Barber's on-the-field numbers earned him a myriad of accolades throughout the years, including five Pro Bowl selections, five AP All-Pro team appointments, and nine Defensive Player of the Week awards. The Defensive Player of the Week nods put him in a five-way tie for the most in league history, along with former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and three Pro Football Hall of Famers in linebacker Lawrence Taylor and defensive ends Chris Doleman and Bruce Smith.
Known for his leadership as much as his play, Barber was selected as a team captain for nine consecutive seasons (2004-12), named Buccaneers Man of the Year in 2006 and voted the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2011.