Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber reveals that he is leaning towards returning to Tampa Bay for a 15th season in the forthcoming Pewter Report Conversation on PewterReport.com. "I'm still playing well. I'm still enjoying this," Barber told Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds.
In the forthcoming Pewter Report Conversation on PewterReport.com with legendary Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber, the all-time interception leader in franchise history is pondering a return to the Buccaneers for what would be his 15th season. When asked definitely if he would play another year in Tampa Bay, Barber, who will be an unrestricted free agent in 2011, said, “I don’t know” before indicating that he is leaning towards returning.
“Well, let me answer this the correct way,” Barber said. “The situation is not just a ‘Do I want to come back next year?’ type of situation. It’s just not. There are plenty of factors involved. Do they want me back? Will I be motivated in the offseason to come back? Will Raheem [Morris] want me to come back? Am I in [defensive backs coach] Jimmy Lake’s plans to come back? There is more than just one factor.
“If you ask me if I want to come back without all of those other factors, I would probably say yeah. I’m still playing well. I’m still enjoying this. I still like being in this building. But there is a lot more that goes into the decision than that. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I’m going to make that decision a good while after the season is over. It’s too easy to make emotional decisions now or the day the season ends. There will be some factors that will lead me one way or the other – one of which is if we even have a season next year.”
Of course Barber is alluding to the fact that there may be a work stoppage in the NFL if the owners and the NFL Players Association cannot agree to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement in the upcoming offseason. Right now, Barber is focused on having fun, and that means improving the Buccaneers’ 8-5 record in an attempt to make a surprising playoff push.
"It’s been a good year on the field and off the field," Barber said. "It’s been fun watching the team grow. Obviously, we’re still young. It’s fun. You see guys like Myron Lewis starting to figure it out where he looked clueless in training camp. You see Arrelious [Benn] come along and watch young guys develop. Now I see where coaches come from and why they enjoy it so much. When you have a perspective of being around a long time it’s nice to see guys mature. We’re doing it. It’s fun. It’s fun to watch Raheem mature and his role as a head coach kind of turn in to what it’s been. It’s been nice.”
Barber leads the Bucs in passes defensed with 13 and is third on the team in tackles with 84. He also is second on the team in interceptions with three and has one sack and one forced fumble. He recorded the 40th interception of his career in Tampa Bay’s 21-0 shutout win at San Francisco and became the only player in NFL history to record 40 picks and have at least 25 sacks.
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