After a slow start to the 2017 season, Bucs’ running back Peyton Barber came on strong, finishing the last five games of the season with 335 rushing yards on 78 carries - good for a 4.29 average - and one touchdown.
It wasn’t enough to keep Tampa Bay from drafting Ronald Jones out of USC in the second round, but as we all know, competition is the best motivator in the NFL.
Barber knows this, which is why he decided to shed some weight in the offseason in hopes to elevate his game.
Bucs Nation’s Evan Winter was able to grab a quick interview with Barber on how he plans to improve his game, his weight loss, and what it’s like to play with a veteran in Jacquizz Rodgers and rookie in RoJo.
BN: So, coming into your third season, you absolutely killed it those last five games. Double-digit carries every game and over fifty yards every game, how do you look to build off that for this year?
Barber: Just like what you said, man. Just keep on improving. I feel like I can improve on all aspects of my game, so that’s what I plan on doing this year.
BN: What are you necessarily looking to improve on?
Barber: Everything. More touchdowns, more rushing yards, more receiving yards, better pass protection. You know, just helping the offense be more efficient.
BN: You look quick out there. We can tell the weight loss has really helped out. What made you decide to go through with that?
Barber: You know, it was me just maturing. I’m really starting to care about my diet and what I eat.
BN: What’s it like having a rookie like RoJo and also a vet like Quizz to lean on? How does it feel having both ends of the spectrum?
Barber: I get the best of both worlds. I get a vet to teach me everything and I get a rookie who I can teach things. But at the same time, both of them are going to push me.
One item of speculation throughout the offseason has been how this group feels more like a “team” than in recent years and Barber’s mindset helps back this up.
Big things could be in store for Barber in 2018, which would equal big things for the Bucs.