With Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ legend, Ronde Barber, being eligible for the Hall of Fame this year, there has been plenty of talk about what it will take to get him in – or even if he’s going to get in.
This week on NFL.com, according to Gil Brandt, Barber ranks right up there with current Hall of Famers, but not quite within them.
Barber, the only player in NFL history with 45 interceptions and 25 sacks, ranks No. 22 on that list.
All but one player in front of him – who is eligible – is in the Hall of Fame.
So what does that mean for Barber? Does that mean he’s next in line to get in, or does that mean he’ll forever be on the outside looking in? Barber is right next to those Hall of Fame names, but he’s not within them on that list.
On stats alone, Barber’s 16 years in Tampa Bay where he recorded 1,028 tackles, 166 pass deflections, had 47 interceptions, 28 sacks, 15 forced fumbles and scored 14 touchdowns are atop most Tampa Bay franchise record lists. But, the most important stat for cornerback is interceptions, and Barber’s 47 don’t stack up against Bobby Boyd’s 57, Deion Sander’s 53 or Champ Bailey’s 52 relative to the years they played.
Barber changed the importance of the slot cornerback position, and much of the game that we see today was accelerated to this point by the success of Barber – the unconventional, small, smart, instinctual corner in the Tampa 2 defense.
Stats are good, but being unique is better.
Barber has enough of both, if you ask me.