CB Ronde Barber is the Bucs' all-time interceptions leader, but where does he rank in team annals when it comes to tackles?
Ronde Barber has more interceptions — 37 to be exact — than any other player in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history. He also ranks second in Buccaneer history in tackles, with 1,065, and is tied for 10th in sacks, with 23.0.
Oh, and he also happens to be one of the six players in franchise history who have scored on a punt return.
That last bit was a fluke of sorts. It was in Chicago late in November of 1998, Barber's first real season of NFL play (he had appeared in just one regular-season game as a rookie in 2007). When Jeff Gooch broke through the line late in the second quarter and got a hand on a punt by Chicago's Mike Horan, a statistical oddity was born.
Horan's kick fluttered off towards the right sideline. Because it crossed the line of scrimmage, it wasn't technically considered a blocked punt. Thus, when Barber, who was a blocker on the punt return unit, scooped up the loose ball just barely inbounds and five yards past the line of scrimmage, he was suddenly an official punt returner. Barber weaved through several Chicago "defenders" to reach the end zone for the first of his remarkable 12 regular-season non-offensive touchdowns (so far).
That story, admittedly, is not told by the raw numbers. It takes some background information to explain why Barber joins Karl Williams, Jacquez Green, Vernon Turner, Joey Galloway and Clifton Smith as the only players in franchise history to run back a punt for a touchdown, even though Barber is the only one of the six never to line up as a primary punt returner.
But, hey, it's a fun story, one that springs to life out of the stats with a little bit of elucidation.
If you're a long-time Buccaneers fan, you probably have similar stories…and maybe you'd like some statistical backup. Well, in case you weren't aware, there is an impressive historical database right here on Buccaneers.com.
Every run, pass, touchdown, interception and return has been recorded for posterity in the Buccaneers.com all-time records section. This isn't just the leaders, this is every player to touch the ball since 1976.
Use it to settle arguments. Who has more career receptions as a Buccaneer, Mike Alstott or Warrick Dunn? (You'll be surprised at how close it is.) Who did Barber pass to take the interceptions lead? How high has Matt Bryant climbed on the team's all-time scoring list?
Are you wondering what the answers are to the above questions? Check out the Buccaneers.com historical archives to find out. In the meantime, here are a handful of notes pulled from those franchise all-time lists: