Bucs CB Barber Named Defensive Player Of The Week

January 23 – Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber was named Defensive Player of the Week on Thursday for his performance in the NFC Championship Game last Sunday. Barber recorded three tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, one interception and four passes defensed during Tampa Bay's 27-10 win over Philadelphia.

Despite the fact that he had an impressive 2002 campaign, Tampa Bay starting cornerback Ronde Barber was not voted to the Pro Bowl last month. But last Sunday, Barber earned something much more important than a second consecutive voyage to Honolulu, Hawaii -- the Bucs secured a trip to Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego, California.

Barber played a significant role in helping the Buccaneers down the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday 27-10, On Thursday, Barber was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance during the Bucs-Eagles NFC Championship Game.

"I didn't even know about that until a second ago," Barber said of the award on Thursday morning. "It's good. I had a pretty good game. In that type of game, it's a championship game, probably the biggest game in Bucs' history. All those things considered, I'm pretty honored to have that designation."

Against the Eagles, Barber recorded three tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, one interception and four passes defensed. His forced fumble came on a corner blitz from the strongside of the field. Not only did the play give Tampa Bay's offense the ball, but it also stalled Philadelphia's drive, which was in Bucs territory.

But no play was bigger than Barber's 92-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Although Tampa Bay had a 10-point lead with under 5:00 remaining in the fourth quarter, Barber's pick allowed the Bucs and its fans to breathe a lot easier and start celebrating since the play sealed the Pewter Pirates' trip to Super Bowl XXXVII.

Barber finished the regular season ranked third on Tampa Bay's No. 1 ranked defense in tackles with 76. He also notched three interceptions and 20 passes defensed.

Tampa Bay's defense finished the regular season ranked No. 1 against the pass, but only strong safety John Lynch was voted to the Pro Bowl last month.


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