Ronde Barber was not only known for his on the field play in sixteen seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the five time pro bowler was also well known around the Tampa Bay community for his charitable ways as well. Those contributions was something former Buccaneers kicker and team mate Martin Gramatica reflected on most in a visit with 620 WDAE’s Ron and Ian Show on Thursday.
“I just remember what an awesome guy he was” said Gramatica. “Ronder was more than a tremendous football player cause we all know what he did on the field. He was a better person. My favorite thing is that my oldest son wants to be Ronde Barber.”
The former Buccaneers kicker and teammate of Ronde Barber said that Barber was the last link that the team had from the Super Bowl XXXVII championship Buccaneers team. Gramatica also reflected on what he called the greatest play in Buccaneers history.
“We all know he (Barber) played with a bad knee in Philadelphia (2002 NFC Championship Game). That’s (Barber’s interception for a touchdown) the signature play of the Buccaneers history” said Gramatica.
“To me that was our Super Bowl. We beat Philadelphia, it didn’t matter who they could throw out there (in the Super Bowl). They could throw out the AFC all star team out there, and we would have beat them because of the high we got off that game and Ronde’s pick sealed it for us.”
Barber's on-the-field numbers earned him a myriad of accolades throughout the years, including five Pro Bowl selections, five AP All-Pro team appointments, and nine Defensive Player of the Week awards. The Defensive Player of the Week nods put him in a five-way tie for the most in league history, along with former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and three Pro Football Hall of Famers in linebacker Lawrence Taylor and defensive ends Chris Doleman and Bruce Smith.
Known for his leadership as much as his play, Barber was selected as a team captain for nine consecutive seasons (2004-12), named Buccaneers Man of the Year in 2006 and voted the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2011.