CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 24: Steve Smith #89 of the Carolina Panthers is tackled by Ronde Barber #20 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will honor Ronde Barber's 200th consecutive start during the team's home (and season) opener against the Carolina Panthers on September 9. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that every attending fan will receive a commemorative Ronde Barber gym sack, while there will be free parking offered in 'select lots' and all non-alcoholic concessions will be offered at half price in both General and Club levels. Tickets for the game will go on sale this Friday.
The Bucs have struggled with blackouts in recent years, and are clearly trying to make every home game a special event. The Ring of Honor induction of Paul Gruber will take place on October 14 in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs, while the throwback game will be held one week later when the Bucs face the New Orleans Saints.
As for Barber, this move confirms that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have decided to hand him the starting job at free safety, as if that wasn't clear enough already. With 199 consecutive starts he is the leader in consecutive starts among all active players as well as the all-time leader among cornerbacks. While he won't be adding any more starts at cornerback (barring a rash of injuries at the cornerback position), Barber will continue to start at safety.