Barron to patrol secondary for Tampa

Four years removed from punishing ball-carriers as a superb high school linebacker, Alabama safety Mark Barron carved out a reputation as quiet but effective secondary leader for the Tide. He earned the distinction of being the first safety chosen in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted the Mobile native (St. Paul's HS) seventh overall in the first round.

Mark Barron almost certainly would have been in the 2011 NFL draft except for a rare torn pectoral muscle injury suffered in the 2010 Auburn game. Subsequently he was sidelined, missing the Capital One Bowl and spring practice. After recuperating he returned to be a key figure in the 2011national championship season for Alabama.

‘BAMA Magazine/' caught up with the premiere safety on the red carpet outside Radio City Music Hall prior to the 2012 NFL Draft.

Pre-draft comments

Post-draft comments transcript Source: NFL

Q. Now that you're a Buccaneer, what does that mean to you?
Barron: "I don't really know too much about the team's tradition, but I guess I'm about to learn now. What it means to me now is that I know what I'm working toward, and I know who I'm working for."

Q. How well did playing at Alabama prepare you for the NFL?
Barron: "I feel like it greatly prepared me for the next level. Everything we do is pretty much the same way it's done in the NFL as far as football, and the way we work out and we practice. I feel like I'm very prepared for that next level."

Q. It's a warm weather place, but obviously you played in Houston. Is it an advantage to stay down in that warm environment for you?
Barron: "Yeah, most definitely. It's something I'm comfortable with already, so that should also help the transition, as well."

Q. You've been to Tampa before? You've been to the city?
Barron: "I don't really know too much about the city. I did go on a visit to Tampa, but I didn't get to move around too much in the city. I was just at the football complex. Hopefully it won't take me too long to learn my way around."

Q. Do you know anyone down there?
Barron: "I do not think I have any friends down in Tampa."

Q. Did you think you were going to Dallas?
Barron: "I wasn't sure. I knew there were a few teams ahead of them that wanted me, and I didn't know exactly how they were going to handle their situation so I wasn't sure about it. I didn't know where I was going at all."

Q. Did you want to go to Dallas?
Barron: "I was going to be happy with wherever I went."

Q. You're not saying you're not happy to be in Tampa?
Barron: "Not at all. I'm very happy."

Q. Talk about how much you're looking forward to working with Greg Schiano and what his plan is for you.
Barron: "I don't know exactly what his plan is for me, but whatever he needs me to do, I feel like I can go in and get it done."

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