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Former Buc Ronde Barber: “It Became Apparent To Me This Off-Season That I Wasn’t Willing To Get Myself Ready To Play Again”

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(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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The Drive Wednesday 5-15-13 -Ronde Barber joins The Drive with Steve Smith in studio to talk about his 16 year career in Tampa Bay, if he thinks he belongs in the NFL Hall of Fame, his thoughts on Steve Smith as a wide receiver and we discuss his Superbowl run with the Bucs in 2002.

The 16 year NFL vet of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers talks with Taylor and Marc on The Drive about his decision to leave the game this past week.

“I got to do it the way I wanted.  It became apparent to me this off-season that I wasn’t really willing to get myself ready to play again”

“The decision was pretty easy this past week although the it is pretty hard to get up and make it official”

Ronde is a member of the 40 and 20 club in the NFL 4o interceptions and 20 plus quarterback sacks so we ask him if he thinks he’s worthy of being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.

“You can ask the guys that I played against, if at the end of the day that’s worthy of Hall consideration then I’m happy to be in that conversation”

With Steve Smith in studio he asks his former opponent what players have come to Ronde and asked for advice but just haven’t panned out in the NFL.

“Its not because I’m overly gifted, its not because I haven’t been hurt, and haven’t had to play through stuff, its because I don’t want you to take my job.  its a grind and when guys take on that mentality they last a long time.”

As Ronde said to Peter King in a SI article on Monday “to me Panthers Steve Smith was the toughest guy I faced” so we ask him about the amount of respect he has for Steve.

“I knew it because he wasn’t the biggest…size was his weakness but he didn’t use it as his weakness.  Smitty was always out working everyone else”

Finally Steve Smith asks Ronde what his plans are for his retirement.  Steve gives him a few ideas like laying in bed eating rocky road ice cream.

“I’m going to enjoy being around the family.  Football consumes you for about 7 or 8 months out of the year.  But eventually I’ll probably settle into a roll in tv on one of the networks.”

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