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December 9, 2012 @ 6:38 pm
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/2 Votes

Barber Critical Of Bucs Secondary After 23-21 Loss To Eagles

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Veteran free safety Ronde Barber was visibly frustrated when discussing the Buccaneers' 23-21 loss to the Eagles following the game on Sunday. Barber carefully explained exactly why he thought Tampa Bay lost and where the problems lie as the Bucs have lost three straight games.
Veteran Ronde Barber has seen his fair share of losing in his 16-plus NFL seasons. There certainly have been losses that hurt more, or had more of an impact, but maybe none were more frustrating for Tampa Bay’s veteran safety than Sunday’s 23-21 loss to the 4-9 Philadelphia Eagles.

Following Sunday’s game, Barber stood in front of his locker and tried to be as politically correct as possible, but anyone who has covered Barber knows how much more he wanted to say. Even with Barber biting his tongue, the words were direct and to the point.

“They made more plays than we did, we didn’t get off the field, and we had some lapses in coverage,” Barber said. “Give them credit. A rookie quarterback went out and executed on two two-minutes drives better than we did on defense.”

Barber, who has never been disrespectful or confrontational with the media, had to carefully choose his words at times when asked if the Buccaneers might have overlooked the Eagles, who had eight straight losses prior to Sunday's win.

“This is the NFL,” Barber said. “I don’t give a damn if they are 3-9 or 6-6. They have been playing good for their coach and it has been showing up on film every week. I don’t think anyone was shocked or not expecting them to play their butts off for their coach the last four games of the season. I don’t want to hear it. That is a chicken … that is a terrible question. How about, they (the Eagles) play football (too).”

Barber squarely placed the blame for Sunday’s loss on his unit – the defensive backs – who gave up 381 yards and two touchdowns to rookie QB Nick Foles, who was making his fourth NFL start. Foles completed eight passes of 20 yards or more against the Bucs secondary, which consisted of Barber, E.J. Biggers, rookies Mark Barron and Leonard Johnson, second-year players Anthony Gaitor and Ahmad Black and backup cornerback Danny Gorrer. Jeremy Maclin led the way for Philadelphia with nine catches for 104 yards and the game-winning touchdown on the final play, and Avant had 133 yards on seven catches.

“It’s the NFL man,” Barber said. “We have to have guys go out and make plays when it matters. (We have to have) guys who step up and do their job better than the guys across from you. And to be very frank, we haven’t done that. Plenty of reasons for it, but I don’t care to get into them. We’re not good enough right now – especially on the back end (the secondary) – to win games like this. It is very frustrating. But at the same time, we will keep moving, see if we can get better in a week to go try and beat New Orleans.”

Barber was also very blunt when answering the final question he took from the media about him being a part of the 2002 Super Bowl championship team, which was celebrating its 10-year reunion at halftime of Sunday's game.

“It is a great honor to be a part of that team, but it had nothing to do with the product on the field [today]," Barber said. "So no, it doesn’t hurt and more or any less. It’s 2012. That was 10 years ago. And they celebrated it rightfully, but it has nothing to do with this 2012 team.”

– Scott Reynolds contributed to this story
Last modified on Sunday, 09 December 2012 19:25

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  • avatar

    Barber is supposedly a Free Safety, and Barron a Strong Safety...why the heck is Barber playing the strong and Barron the free? If anyone should be at the line, or in the box, it should be Barron, and if anyone should be playing deep coverage, it should be Barber.
  • avatar

    I really like Ronde, but i hope he retires after this season . I don't want to see the last few years of his career tarnished, by the rest of those CLOWNS that he is playing with. Nostradamus, could not predict a secondary being this embarrassing and petiful. Looks to me like they could'nt be this bad unless they tried . All i see is 6 and 10 .
  • avatar

    I think we have seen what the secondary can do or not do. What happened to the offense in the first half? The team played their butts off, but ended up one catch behind. Great teams do not need a lot of luck, but average teams win or loose because of luck and luck favors the best players. But I will say this, the play of today will not beat any average team in the NFL.
  • avatar

    Lastly, anyone who disses Barber at this point...go f- yourselves.
  • avatar

    matador, that's real nice. You don't think that I don't appreciate what Rhonde Barber has done for this team over these many years? This is a good time for Rhonde to think about going out with his head held very high. So many great players stay too long and it tarnishes what they have achieved and yes that is my opinion. that is my opinion.
  • avatar

    You are right. That was immature of me, and that post should be deleted. I am just angered that idiot fans would be pointing fingers at Barber when the rest of the team sucked as badly as they did this game. We have no depth and piloted talent, courtesy of terrible drafting for year after yr. Yet when a true fan expresses this, including questioning Free who has, I'm sorry, a just plain stupid grin on his face missed play after mossed play, we are given a heaping of grief. Love the team? Yes. Did you go to the 49ers domination, then the NFL Championship game in Philly (when I personally saw the same dumbsh-- grin on McNabb's face driving away after the game that I see on Free's face now), then the SB, then keeping season tix even moving 1000 miles away, and subscribing to DTV as a 2nd service just for NFL ticket? I didn't think so. Take a breath before you give me grief for defending Barber for being disappointed with an under-talented Buccaneers team, or for pointing out Josh's failings which may ultimately prove terminal to this franchise during his tenure.
  • avatar

    Josh = elite = not. At least this game he looked off the eventual receiver. Twice. Which is 2x more than usual. If Josh doesn't figure out the mental part of he game we will be trapped in 7-9 to 9-7 mediocrity indefinitely. Freeman apologists, I would appreciate an apology for the heat you've given those of us unafraid to call him out for his obvious shortcomings. Go Bucs...next yr
  • avatar

    Freeman is only 24 yrs old guys lets not forget he is still young and is getting better 25 td's and 8 int's
  • avatar

    Horse, to which plays were you referring? Teams have been deliberately throwing away from Ronde all season. Yes, he had that one ticky-tack penalty against Denver, but that went uncalled every time Denver did it and you can't really blame him. Philly went after everyone in the secondary EXCEPT him today.
  • avatar

    LordJim; In my opinion I believe it is time for Rhonde to start thinking about going out at still almost at the top of his game. I don't believe he has another year of the Rhonde we knew. Brooks stayed one year too long and so did Alstott. Yeah I know I will get knocked on this, but it is my opinion.
  • avatar

    When Ronde was asked what he thought about the the secondary's execution today. Ronde said he was all for it! (channeling John McKay)
  • avatar

    Freeman needs competition at QB spot he has been in the NFL for 4 years and his play is not consistent please tell me who named this clown a franchise QB.
  • avatar

    Barber was as disappointing as all the other DB's, but they are rookies and he is not. It might be time for him to consider retiring after this season and we draft a bigger and faster FS.
  • avatar

    Yea secondary sucks big time EJ Bigger has been getting beat for 3 seasons and still he plays for the Bucs. I remember the Kelly, Lynch and Barber days ahhhh I miss those types of players. What the hell are we going to do next season when Barber retires? I feel his pain let me say what he couldn’t say in the above article, Biggers, Johnson, Wright and the rest of you scrubs in the back field how in the hell did you make it into the NFL please for the good of the team retire and stop embarrassing the team and yourself. Don’t give me the rookie crap football is football, DAMN.
  • avatar

    I can understand Rhonde's frustration. The game was won on the last Eagles' offensive play, however, our offense and defense left plenty of plays on the field. The team has done well to patch holes all season long but I feel it may be catching up to us.
  • avatar

    Lets remember Barron is still a rookie...Doesnt excuse his play, but he should not be placed for all the blame...
  • avatar

    He is daydreaming out there...period!
  • avatar

    Can someone tell me what role Mr. Barron is suppose to play on this defense? For a #6 pick who should be making some impact plays, I have not seen any. Where are the passes defended? Knocked down? Intercepted? Tackles for losses.. He needs to be challenged by this coaching staff .
  • avatar

    This actually might be the worst secondary i have ever seen since 1985 and thats saying alot
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