The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 5-9 and may not make the playoffs this season, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have good players.
The Bucs have two players that will make the trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl in February, and both of them play on the defensive side of the ball.
The National Football League announced Wednesday that Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber and weakside linebacker Derrick Brooks have each earned a trip to the Pro Bowl.
This will mark the second time in Barber’s career that he plays in the Pro Bowl. He’s recorded 92 tackles, which ranks fourth on the team, and three sacks, three interceptions, 11 passes defensed and two forced fumbles. In addition to those stats, Barber has scored two touchdowns on fumble recoveries.
“I didn’t know about it until just now,” said Barber. “I am excited about it. I was there in 2000 and thought that I have had good seasons since then. I think everybody recognizes that and I am glad to be going back.”
Brooks’ Pro Bowl nomination is his eighth, which sets a franchise record. He’s recorded a team-leading 150 tackles, three sacks, one interception, three forced fumbles and four passes defensed.
Brooks joins Jack Lambert, Lawrence Taylor, Mike Singletary and Reggie White as the only defensive players to be selected to eight straight Pro Bowls, to have won the AP Defensive Player of the Year award and a Super Bowl.
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden was happy to hear that Barber and Brooks were heading to the Pro Bowl.
“That’s great. I’m so excited for him,” said Gruden. “Here’s a guy who truly deserves it. I thought he was overlooked a little bit the last couple years. He’s had a great season and we’re happy for him, obviously. Derrick Brooks is another great football player who’s well-deserving, and we’ve got some alternates that we feel very strongly about also.”
Some were surprised by the fact that Bucs defensive end Simeon Rice was not voted to the Pro Bowl. Rice, who has notched 12.5 sacks this season, said it was no big deal.
“I can smile about it. I remember back in the day, I would have been pissed about it,” said Rice. “I am the best this league has got. I am the best this league has at a defensive position. I have never spoken those veins, but I know it. The teams that I have played know it. That’s the real nod and I get paid like it. I am well-respected in that means. It is just a game we play. That’s just how it is. There are a lot of players in this league that are under-appreciated. It is what it is. It is not a big deal to me anymore.”
Did you like this article? Want more inside scoop on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Click here to become a Pewter Insider today and know about Bucs news before it happens. uccaneers merchandise in the world.