When Tiki Barber announced his comeback this offseason, it was met with a tepid reaction by many NFL observers. For good reason: Barber, now 36, hasn’t played in four seasons at a position where comebacks aren’t exactly the norm.
While the reasoning behind Barber’s comeback has been met with plenty of speculation, his twin brother Ronde Barber, a 14-year veteran, offered some insight as to what is really driving Tiki.
“When you retire, you inevitably create a void,” Ronde explained. “I think two or three years after he retired, the void was there. He felt good about where he was in his life. Obviously he’s had some issues, but he felt it was the right time to go back and do something he loved.
“He thinks he can do it. Physically, he’s healthy now, much more so than he was when he retired. He was beat up. In his mind, he had enough of football. I think he thinks he can get ready. He looks the part. He’s ready to prove to himself that he can do it again. Part of that motivation is probably from me still playing, as well as a lot of our peers. He doesn’t see his four years out as an obstacle.”
It’s not entirely fair to ask Ronde if his brother will ultimately be successful in his comeback attempt. But while Ronde openly “doubts” there’s a place for Tiki within the Bucs’ youth movement, he can also see why he’ll prove critics wrong.
“I’ve never seen Tiki fail on the football field, ever,” Ronde said. ”Football is one of those things where if you’re talented enough, you can force your will on the situation. He’s definitely talented enough.”
Ronde also discussed the topic with Rich Eisen on “NFL Total Access,” an interview you can check out in the video above.