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NFL players not the same

Posted May 13, 2013 by Ira Kaufman

Updated May 13, 2013 at 03:55 PM

BY IRA KAUFMAN

TAMPA—Ronde Barber has seen them come and go.

Between the time Barber broke in as a cornerback with the 1997 Buccaneers and his retirement from the NFL last week, he witnessed a change in attitude among his peers.

“The player has evolved over the years,’’ said Barber, a third-round draft pick out of Virginia who struggled as a rookie. “It starts early for these guys. They’re praised and recruited and labeled ‘can’t-miss’ at 15 or 16 years old. You know about guys in high school now. It’s just insane to me.’‘

Over his 16 seasons, Barber saw a new wave of players enter the league with a sense of entitlement.

“So they get here and they don’t have that fear of failure,’’ he said. “I used to say in my second or third year in the league that one of the things that drives me is I don’t want to fail at this. This isn’t given to me. You can see some of the opposite of that with the guys where they know they’re good and it’s a different mentality.’‘

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