What can we expect to see from 3rd-year running back Peyton Barber? We knew it would take some time to develop the young man who rushed for 1,071 yards and 13 TDs his sophomore season at Auburn. Analysts said he would build draft stock returning to Auburn for another season. Instead, Barber went undrafted and signed with the Buccaneers as a free agent, initially making the practice squad and then being promoted to the active roster five days later.
Having both dyslexia and ADHD has made Peyton work harder at some of the things other football players may take for granted. At Auburn he worked with then offensive analyst Bobby Bentley, now the running backs coach at South Carolina, with walkthroughs at the indoor facility, absorbing everything like a sponge. With the Buccaneers he has improved steadily from the start. “Some people can get things with classroom only, he has certainly gotta be in it, see it and let it happen,” said Bucs running backs coach Tim Spencer, who has worked with Barber the last couple of seasons.
At 5’ 11” and 225 lbs, Barber hits open holes with authority. He has also shown the ability to catch passes and pick up the blocks very well. Without stable mate Ronald Jones II, who is expected to miss some time with a hamstring injury, PeyBay should continue to see the lion’s share of carries with the usual sighting of Quizz to keep things fresh. With the return of Fitzpatrick under center and an improving defense, maybe a grinder like Peyton Barber will get to show all of us that he is “the MAN.”
Sources: ESPN.com, Wikipedia, NFL.com