Ronde Barber (Jamael Oronde Barber) was drafted by the Buccaneers in the 3rd round (pick 66) of the 1997 draft. A one team man, he played his entire 16 year career in Tampa.
Ronde’s identical twin, Tiki, was also drafted in ’97. Going in the 2nd round to the Giants (pick 36). There must be something in the genes as Tiki carved out a nice 10 year career as running back for the Giants.
Slow Start to Super Bowl
Barber made only 1 appearance as a rookie but going on to play 241 times for the Bucs – a franchise record. Barbers best year stats wise was in 2001, when he lead league with 10 interceptions and had his first of 3 All Pro selections. However his best, as in favourite, year would have been the following season. When the Buccaneers won their first Superbowl.
Barber was instrumental in Tampa’s post season success that year, with an interception in each of their first two games. Including a 92 yard pick 6 against the Eagles in the Conference Championship round. The following week the Bucs beat the Raiders 48-21 to win Superbowl XXXVII in San Diego.
All Decade Man
Alongside his Super Bowl ring and 3 Pro Bowl appearances Barber was also voted to 5 Pro Bowls and got himself a place on the NFL All Decade Team of the 2000s too.
The Record Maker
Barbers importance to the Buccaneers can not be understated. He’s their all time leader in appearances (241), Interceptions (47) and Defensive Touchdowns (12, 8 Interceptions, 4 Fumble Returns). As well as those he’s also joint top for the Bucs with one Safety – which he recorded in 2011 against the Bears at Wembley Stadium.
It’s Barber’s standing in the league that is somewhat understated, and may be corrected with a vote into the Hall of Fame this Saturday. Barber has the most solo tackles of any defensive back in league history. He’s tied joint 7th all time for the most consecutive starts by any player (215). Another record for his position; 215 is the most consecutive starts by any defensive back, ever. He’s the only player in league history to have over 45 interceptions and over 25 sacks.
Third Time Lucky
This is Barber’s 3rd crack at the Hall of Fame, an honour few would say he doesn’t deserve. Getting the nod the night before Tampa play in another Super Bowl would be a nice story for Barber and his beloved Buccaneers.