High praise for former Buccaneer Ronde Barber came in fast and furious as soon as the new of his retirement broke late Wednesday afternoon. Super Bowl XXXVII MVP and former teammate Dexter Jackson made a stop on 620 WDAE’s Ron and Ian Show on Thursday and recalled the intensity Barber brought to the game both on and off the field.
“Ronde is a guy who I call a blue collar worker. He comes to work everyday” said Jackson. “One thing about Ronde, if he see potential and sees that you have the talent he’s not afraid to tell you.”
Jackson was named the Super Bowl XXXVII MVP with two interceptions in the lone championship game in Buccaneers history. Jackson credited Barber with his development as a player in the NFL, and was amazed by Barber’s durability as he set a team record of 215 straight starts in the pewter and red.
“He always took good care of himself. He always was getting prepared trying to make himself better” said Jackson. “A lot of people don’t realize it but when you’re off the field preparing for the next game that Sunday, getting in the cold tub and massaging out knots and Ronde did a great job of preparing for the next week.”
Jackson told Ron and Ian that Barber was a player ahead of his time and a player that a lot of young football players could look up to.
“Ronde was a great fit for the defense, one of the best ever for the defense. If you want to learn how to play the nickel position and cornerback in the Tampa two system, you need to put on a tape of Ronde Barber. That’s all you need to do.”