A look back at an under-rated Buccaneers running back

Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Peyton Barber didn’t have the most exciting stint during his time with the Buccaneers, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t moments to appreciate.

Not sure why, but Peyton Barber came to my mind earlier today. I generally try to block out this section of Buccaneers history due to the mediocrity that we saw on the field week-in and week-out, but hindsight paints guys like Barber in a different light.

The thing that stands out the most about Barber’s time in Tampa was that a large chunk of the fanbase was constantly waiting for Ronald Jones to take the next step.

Every rep that Barber was on the field for the better part of his starting career was just taking away from the second-round pick that was supposed to fix the run game.

That fix never came.

Instead, the Bucs got a couple of decent seasons out of Jones, but his overall career in Tampa was more disappointment than anything. A lot of missed potential.

As a very vocal supporter of the Ronald Jones bandwagon, I can now say that I was wrong. I didn’t appreciate Barber enough in the moment, even if his stats weren’t excellent.

Barber was the opposite of Jones. Less natural talent and ability, but all the fight in the world. The former Auburn back fought his way from being an undrafted free agent to a starter in the NFL, and that is nothing to shy away from.

Yeah, the stats on the ground weren’t great with Barber in the lead, but have they really been with anyone since Doug Martin? Leonard Fournette, who is the best since Doug, has almost identical success on the ground to Barber. The passing game is a different story.

It’s a shame that Barber was never able to experience the success with this team, but that is just the nature of the NFL. Hard workers and character guys get passed up for talent all the time. Should the Bucs have still moved on from Barber for RoJo? Probably. But the end of Jones’ career in Tampa should have people remembering the years with Peyton Barber working his butt off with a bit more fondness.

Here’s to hoping he gets another shot with someone else.

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