TAMPA — Who says age matters? Not only did Buccaneers cornerback and cornerstone Ronde Barber have a tremendous game on Sunday in the big time in over the Falcons, he was honored for it today by being named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for week 3.
Barber accounted for four of the Bucs tackles on Sunday as well as recovering a fumble and intercepting Matt Ryan while defending five of his other passes. Barber, as was reported earlier today by the Bucs, myself, ESPN and Stephen Holder (in that order mind you), has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award eight times, nine if you include the time he was honored in the postseason in 2002.
“This is not the first time … but I’m glad it was with a win,” Barber said. “It was a great effort by the team. I had some standout plays in there, but I’m always humble with these types of awards. It’s nice to be recognized by the naysayers sometimes.”
It’s just yet another honor Barber has recieved since beginning his career with the Bucs in 1997. As he nears the end of his lengthy and memorable career, that all important question every footballer longs to hear their name attached to must be brought up for Ronde.
Should Ronde Barber be a Hall of Famer?
If you haven’t been following his career, Ronde Barber has earned more than just a Week 3 Player of the Week award. He’s been to 5 Pro Bowls, has been thrice named a First Team All-Pro and twice to the Second Team, is a member of the All-Decade team for the 2000’s, has the most consecutive starts by a cornerback, the most quarterback sacks by a cornerback, is the only cornerback who is a member of the 20/20 club (20 sacks and 20 interceptions in a career); in fact Barber last season became the first player in NFL History to have at least 25 sacks and 40 interceptions in a career, and has returned a punt, blocked punt and blocked field goal for a touchdown.
Oh did I mention on top of all that he has a Super Bowl ring?
Barber ingrained himself in the legacy of the Buccaneers with one single play EVERY Bucs fan who was alive at the time can easily still vividly remember. His 92 yard seal-the-deal interception for a touchdown against the Eagles in the 2002 NFC Championship game is, for some, the greatest or second greatest moment in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history.
He’s basically a lock to be a member of the Buccaneers ring of Honor, but after his 9th NFC Player of the Week award, and with all the stats he a compiled in his illustrious 14 year career the focus now needs to shift to how much of a lock Barber is for the ultimate ring of honor: the Pro Football Hall of Fame.