The pairing of rookie Mark Barron with 16-year veteran Ronde Barber at safety has had a big impact on the improvement of the defense. Barber is making the transition after spending his entire career at cornerback.
"It's good. This is our first real, full experience with it," Barber said. "And Mark is going to be good, man. He's big and he's fast. He's got some great football instincts. It will be a good combination. He has still got some things to learn, he's willing to learn them."
In Friday's 30-28 preseason win over the Patriots, Barber lined up in the slot in a three-receiver set and undercut TE Rob Gronkowski, tipping a pass that was intercepted by Barron and returned 22 yards for a touchdown.
Barber said he's still learning the defense and new position. "It's a little bit of an adjustment," Barber said. "Your feet definitely have to be a little bit slower. But I made a career on being able to read a quarterback and dissect plays as they're happening. That's been a real fun thing and challenging thing."
|About the writer|
Rick Stroud has been the lead Bucs beat writer for The Tampa Bay Times for many years and his game reports and news updates are a prime source of information for Buccaneer fans in the Bay area. He also often makes guest appearances on the JP Peterson show on 1010 Sports Radio.