Tampa Bay's ageless Barber keeps on keeping on


Tampa Bay's ageless Barber keeps on keeping on

How long has Tampa Bay defensive back Ronde Barber been playing football for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?He was a third-round pick in the 1997 NFL draft. The same draft that yielded Orlando Pace to the St. Louis Rams at No. 1 overall, Darrell Russell to the Raiders at No. 2 overall and Adam Treu to Oakland in the third round at No. 72 overall. Or six picks after Barber was scooped up by the Buccaneers.Or think of it this way -- he was drafted less than three months after President Bill Clinton was sworn in for his second term.Five Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pro selections, 46 interceptions, 1,203 tackles and a late-career position switch later, Barber is still doing it. And the 37-year-old, who has made a seamless transition from cornerback to free safety brings his seeming ageless ability to Oakland Sunday.RELATED: Ronde Barber career stats 2012 game logs
"I think if youve played as long as I have, if you havent seen it all, youre just not paying attention," Barber said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters on Wednesday. "Ive seen just about anything offenses can throw at me and defensive schemes can throw it at me. Theres obviously little things that you pick up and with this new staff Ive even picked up new stuff, because my previous 15 years is basically the same type of system."Ive had three different head coaches, but the defense stayed pretty similar so I was very comfortable in that. With this one, Ive had to adjust, have to get used to some new things, but its all the same."Thus far, in moving from the famed "Tampa-2" zone defense to a more hybrid "man," Barber already has three interceptions, matching his season totals from the past two years, with a 78-yard pick-6 against Kansas City's Brady Quinn on Oct. 14.Barber was one of, if not the first veteran rookie Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano sought out after being hired."At the time time, Ronde wasn't sure if he was going to come back and thank goodness he did," Schiano said. "He has just been an awesome contributor, not only on the field but off it he has been a leader. We have a fairly young team and Ronde serves as a great role model and example for the younger guys. How to prepare. Even at this stage of his career, the guy is incredible in his preparation, both mentally and physically. Great mentor for our guys."And the position change?"I think it has gone as well as you could have hoped for this late in your career," Schiano said. "But Ronde is a football player so I think the challenge of a new position really energized him. He has attacked this thing in a great way and he is in great physical shape. You worry as you get into the latter part of the year, can he sustain?"We'll be smart with him, but he is in great shape and playing at a high level."Barber was also playing at a high level a decade ago, when his Buccaneers met the Raiders in San Diego for Super Bowl XXXVII.It is not a fond memory for the Raiders or their fans, and why would the 48-21 Tampa Bay victory be a highlight in the East Bay. But in Tampa Bay, well, it's all so far away for Barber, who, along with the Raiders' kicking duo of Shane Lechler and Sebastian Janikowski, are the only players still with their respective teams form that game."I never think about that," said Barber, who started at right cornerback in the Super Bowl and had four tackles. "That seems like a lifetime ago. Obviously Im the only one in the building other than (third-year general manager) Mark Dominik. Is that right? I may be mistaken. There may be a couple of people, but football people theres not many of us left."Thats not something that ever comes up. Obviously, when people bring it up you recollect and remember. But it really doesnt seem like the same career. Thats a long time gone for me."

Norman targets Crabtree, Cooper in postgame rant after Raiders loss


Norman targets Crabtree, Cooper in postgame rant after Raiders loss

Josh Norman isn’t afraid to speak his mind, especially about opposing receivers who he feels slight him in some way.

Raiders wideouts Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper were his latest targets, subjects of a postgame rant following Washington’s 27-10 victory over the Silver and Black.

Washington’s premier cornerback said the duo talked trash to him during pregame warmups about big numbers they planned to post against Washington’s secondary.

That didn’t happen in an awful day for the Raiders offense. Crabtree had one seven-yard catch on the night and two drops. Cooper was even worse, with a six-yard catch on five targets and a crucial drop.

That gave Norman license to fire at the typically reserved Raiders receiving corps. Norman says he took the pregame exchange personally.

"What was personal, other than them getting their tails whupped?" Norman said, with quotes via "I mean, first and foremost, you don't come up in here and say what you're going to put up on somebody. Two hundred yards? (Crabtree) didn't catch two balls. He only caught one, huh? So please, whatever you do, do not run your mouth if you're a wide receiver and expect to show up on Sundays, because I'm telling you, we are here and we are waiting.

"Don't come out here and tell me what you're going to do. Show me. You're going to have to run through me to get that."

It’s hard to imagine the quiet, often stoic Cooper inciting a rivalry with words. Crabtree has had a previous squabble with Seahawks corner Richard Sherman back when he was with the 49ers, but even he's typically quiet during the course of a game.

"Sherm was right,” Norman said. “(Crabtree) ain't going to say he's sorry, but I don't think he's sorry," Norman said. "He sucked, to be honest with you. You don't come out here and do that extra stuff, man. We don't play that out here."

Norman had several public exchanges with rival receivers, and may find motivation from these beefs.

"Whatever that young cat said, Coop, go and take it back," Norman said. "Crabtree? I have nothing to say to you. Yes, I may be Cover 2, but I'm Cover 1 too. I'm Cover 1, Cover 2, Cover 3 and Cover 4. All of them. All of the ingredients to make a perfect attack. We do all the extra stuff. When you come out on this field, you going to see about us."

Raiders snap count: Sean Smith the odd man out


Raiders snap count: Sean Smith the odd man out

LANDOVER, Md. – The Raiderss cornerback corps was completely healthy for the first time all season. That meant there would be an odd man out of the typical three cornerback rotation.

TJ Carrie started and played every snap in a 27-10 loss to the Washington football club on Sunday night at FedEx Field. David Amerson missed only two plays. Rookie Gareon Conley was a featured member of this group, entering in sub packages.

Sean Smith, by contrast barely played at all. Healthy again after missing last week’s game with a neck injury, Smith took three defensive snaps early in the game and never saw the field again.

He was charged with covering tight ends and struggled to blanket veteran Vernon Davis, allowing two catches for 44 yards and a touchdown in as many targets.

He didn’t play much after that touchdown pass. Antonio Hamilton was a fourth cornerback later in the game.

Snaps for Nicholas Morrow continue to rise. The undrafted rookie played 42 snaps from the middle linebacker spot in the sub packages.

Mario Edwards Jr.’s hot start continued and brought an increased workload. He played solid run defense and had two quarterback hits.

Here’s a look at the snap count for the entire Raiders team.

Quarterback – Derek Carr 51
Running back – Marshawn Lynch 16, DeAndre Washington 16, Jamize Olawale 7, Jalen Richard 6
Wide receiver – Seth Roberts 45, Amari Cooper 44, Michael Crabtree 31, Cordarelle Patterson 26, Johnny Holton 7
Tight end – Jared Cook 41, Lee Smith 12, Clive Walford 4
Offensive line – Gabe Jackson 51, Kelechi Osemele 51, Rodney Hudson 51, Donald Penn 51, Marshall Newhouse 51, Jon Feliciano 1

Defensive line – Khalil Mack 51, Mario Edwards 43, Denico Autry 39, Eddie Vanderdoes 39, Treyvon Hester 26, Justin Ellis 26 James Cowser 16
Linebacker – Cory James 68, Bruce Irvin 54, Nicholas Morrow 42, Marquel Lee 23
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 68, David Amerson 66, Gareon Conley 46, Sean Smith 3, Antonio Hamilton
Safety – Karl Jospeh 68, Reggie Nelson 68

Shalom Luani 27, Keith McGill 27, Tyrell Adams 27, James Cowser 21, Jamize Olawale 19, Antonio Hamilton 14, Johnny Holton 13, Cordarrelle Patterson 13, Xavier Woodson-Luster 12, Nicholas Morrow 10, Jon Condo 9, Marquette King 9, Marquel Lee 9, DeAndre Washington 8, Lee Smith 8, Jalen Richard 8, Khalil Mack, Mario Edwards 8, Denico Autry 8, Jon Feliciano 8, Treyvon Hester 8, Eddie Vanderdoes 7, Bruce Irvin 6, Giorgio Tavecchio 5, Karl Joseph 3, Gareon Conley 3, Justin Ellis 3 Gabe Jackson 2, Marshall Newhouse 2, Kelechi Osemele 2, Clive Walford 2, Vadal Alexander 2


QB EJ Manuel