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June 2, 2013 @ 8:45 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/3 Votes

Barron: New Teammates, New Number and A New Confidence

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Bucs safety Mark Barron struggled, as all of the secondary did at times in 2012, but showed flashes of why Tampa Bay selected the former Alabama stat No. 7 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. Barron talked about his rookie season recently, switching jersey numbers and also losing Ronde Barber as a teammate.
2012 saw Buccaneers rookie safety Mark Barron – like the rest of the secondary – struggle with consistency at times.

In the first game of the year against the Panthers, the former Crimson Tide star had a terrific beginning to his NFL career with three tackles and two pass breakups. The Mobile, Ala. native also notched a highlight-reel hit on Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith, and another gem in the second half where Barron came from nearly half way across the field to knock a deep ball down that would have resulted in a big play for the Panthers.

In Week 6 against the Chiefs, Barron had what would be his only interception of the year, and that game was – statistically speaking (eight tackles, one pass break up and the interception) – the best of his rookie season.

Barron ended his inaugural season with 88 tackles, 10 pass breakups and one interception

Barron, although impressive at times, had stretches of games where he looked like exactly what he was – a rookie. But Tampa Bay and Barron are expecting big things in 2013.

Last week Barron stood in nearly the exact same spot where he had stood 12 months earlier as a bright-eyed rookie, and talked about his first year in the league and what he wants to accomplish in 2013. With a full season under his belt, Barron was talking like a veteran after Tampa Bay’s first week of OTAs (organized team practices).

“[Somewhat I feel like veteran but] there are still some things I want to improve on,” Barron said. “I am a lot more comfortable, I will say that. Just coming out here and getting to work and getting a feel for my new teammates. And hopefully be the best we can be.”

One of his mentors, veteran safety Ronde Barber, chose to trade in his cleats for a microphone. The loss of Barber was a blow for Barron.

“I was not excited about him not coming back,” Barron said. “I felt like I still has some things I could have learned from him. But I can’t be selfish like that. He felt like it was that time for him and he had a great career so he can probably still teach me things. We can still stay in contact and teach me some things. I wish he would have come back, but it is what it is.”

Although Barber retired the Buccaneers and Barron feel like he can improve by being around the two newest members of the secondary, Pro Bowlers Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson.

“Knowledge [is what they bring to the table],” Barron said. “Just like with Ronde Barber (last year). There were certain things I wanted to learn from him as far as just studying the game. And I picked up some things from him and now I have two different players I can pick up more things from. I just feel like I am in a great situation where I can learn from different players and pick up a lot of things.”

Bucs fans will have to get used to seeing Barron in a new number this year as Barron gave up his No. 24 to Revis and instead will wear Myron Lewis’ No. 23 (Lewis is now wearing No. 31).

“I’m still the same [player] it isn’t anything but a number," Barron said “The number doesn’t make the player, the player makes the number – so it’s all the same. He [Revis] can have that. I am going to make something out this number 23 I have on.”

Speculation has run rampant about what it took to get Barron to give Revis his No. 24 jersey, but Barron was tight-lipped when asked by the media.

“We don’t have to discuss all that,” Barron laughed. “We are just to talk about I have No. 23 and I am going to make something out of the new number I have.”

Last modified on Sunday, 07 July 2013 21:10

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  • avatar

    I still recall that 4th quarter, 4th down play at Atlanta last season. What a great play Barron made by knocking the ball out of the large, sure-handed, future hall of famer Tony Gonzalez. I hope that play is a hint at what the future holds for this promising player.
  • avatar

    I like to think of the Bucs new secondary a lot like Seattle's secondary (who most agree is the best in the league). Besides Revis, Richard Sherman is the best shutdown corner in the league and Earl Thomas is a top 5 safety. BUT what I noticed is that Kam Chancellor and Branden Browner were never even heard of before all coming together with the former two guys. My point is that good players become exponentially better when surrounded by other good players. I really think the Bucs secondary will set fire this season!
  • avatar

    Breaking news: Myron Lewis has #31! Not Breaking news: He won't have it or any other Bucs number for very long.
  • avatar

    Mark, PR is my home website. Not complaining and still love the PR niche for reporting on the Bucs. All of the other local websites (I comment on all using same name) have (1) Formatting, (2) user links, and (3) video. Any of these planned for the future? Will remain faithful if no changes. Go Bucs, Go PR!
  • avatar

    Looks like he learned one of Ronde's favorite phrases, "It is what it is."
  • avatar

    It seems like it is tough for any early 20's kid to be anointed the "chosen one" by his team and his fan base. I wasn't too surprised to see Barron struggle in his first year, but I'll be surprised if he doesn't take a big step forward this season. Now that he's settled in a bit and doesn't have to put it all together on the fly this year, I think he'll trust his instincts a lot more and, as a result, make a lot more plays. With the head he has on his shoulders and that positive attitude he brings to his craft, I expect nothing less than high level play from him this year. Keep up the good work, MB.
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