Saturday, December 17, 2011
Opposing voice: Ronde Barber
By Todd Archer
TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber must look around at his current teammates and say, ‘Who are these guys?
In his 15th season, Barber is by far the most tenured player on the NFL’s youngest team. He is the link to the Buccaneers’ glory years when he, Warren Sapp, John Lynch and Derrick Brooks were savaging offenses for a long time under coordinator Monte Kiffin.
Barber has started more consecutive games (196) than any cornerback in NFL history. He has played in 221 straight games, the second-longest streak in the league among active players. He is Tampa Bay’s all-time leader in interceptions with 43 and leads the team this year with three.
“I’m going to keep going to at least these three games and then see what’s next,” Barber said. “I’m not sure how long I could go. As long as they want me and as long as I want them and I can still do it and I’m still productive, I’ll keep doing it.”
Tampa Bay’s seven-game losing streak has bothered him, but not to the point where it will drive him out of the game.
“I try not to get emotional about the record or what not,” Barber said. “Obviously it comes into play. It’s definitely food for thought, but I’ve been coming to work and it’s been like this a lot … I’m choosing to continue to play. It pays the bills and feeds my family. I appreciate that. It’s meticulous. I’ve got a lot of work to do week in and week out and I enjoy that on Sundays with wins. It’s been a little frustrating not seeing the rewards of it this season, but it doesn’t change my manner and approach to what I do.”