-The Buccaneers announced on Tuesday that legendary cornerback Rondé Barber, who pioneered the nickel position as today’s NFL knows it, will be inducted into the Buccaneers Ring of Honor during halftime of their game against the New York Giants on September 22. Barber played 16 seasons with the Buccaneers but said on Tuesday that span felt short compared to the seven years he’s waited for this particular honor.
To read a wonderful tribute to one of the most prominent players to put on a Buccaneers uniform, read this from Scott Smith.
-Speaking of Rondé, and of Scott Smith for that matter, Barber was a guest on the Salty Dogs podcast immediately following the announcement. Barber reiterated what a special honor it was and how much the Buccaneers, as well as the Tampa community, mean to him.
-The Buccaneers played host not only to Legends and former teammates of Barber’s for the press conference, but also to the Miami Dolphins for two joint practices ahead of Friday’s preseason contest at home.
The air was a little different at practice with Miami’s bright turquoise jerseys on the practice fields. Though both practices ended up in the indoor facility due to weather, they both open and afforded fans the opportunity to see some real competition between the two teams. The starters got a lot of reps going against Miami’s starters each day.
The teams help situational periods where they worked on things like two-point conversions and goal line scenarios. Overall, the Bucs’ offense was pretty successful in these scenarios and team drills brought a lot of good looks from the Bucs’ defense that seemed to put a stop to a majority of Miami’s efforts. The Dolphins had some success in seven-on-seven drills, especially on Wednesday but take it with a grain of salt with a lot of screen and checkdown options thrown. When there’s no pressure from the line, checkdowns shouldn’t happen, essentially. It was definitely encouraging.
Miami’s return also brought the return of former Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
He got to reunite not only with his old teammates, but even his old head coach in Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles. Fitzpatrick is more familiar with a Todd Bowles’ defense than most and look for him to be cautious in Friday night’s game.
-Head Coach Bruce Arians again detailed the plan for Friday’s preseason game and what to expect from a playing standpoint.
"With as much [practice] as our one’s are getting today and tomorrow, I don’t think it’s necessary probably to play them much in the ball game – maybe a few more plays than last week,” Head Coach Bruce Arians said on Tuesday during joint practices. “If things go as well as they did early offensively, it’ll probably be the same. Defensively, the same – just because of the work we’re getting this week. If we weren’t working together this week, we’d probably play 20 plays [or] 25."
If you want a few things to keep an eye out for during the primetime contest, check out my Preseason Picks.
-A new episode of In the Current dropped on Wednesday night. Go behind the scenes of the Bucs’ preseason opener in Pittsburgh and get to know tight end O.J. Howard: the ice cream man.
-In the spirit of more #content, with just 25 days until kickoff, I released another Behind the Buccaneers podcast, this time with running back Peyton Barber. We sat down to lunch in the Bucs’ dining hall and he told me about graduating college this offseason, his aspirations outside of football and which Marvel super hero he would be if he had this choice.
The countdown to season kickoff is on! The Bucs are kicking off the NFL’s 100th season with a FREE Tim McGraw pregame concert for all fans with a ticket to the home opener on Sept. 8! Get your tickets today.