ALAMEDA -- Ronde Barber of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is following a familiar trail blazed by such luminaries as Ronnie Lott, Rod Woodson and Albert Lewis in going from cornerback to safety.
Charles Woodson of the Green Bay Packers made the same move this year.
The Raiders' Michael Huff is going in the opposite direction, a safety for six years who was asked in Week 3 to be a cornerback.
Barber concedes Huff has the more difficult task.
"That's not a transition you see very often," Barber told reporters by conference call. "Actually, I can't think of anyone that's done it."
Barber and Huff will have pivotal roles in their new positions when the Raiders host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
One of the NFL's most decorated players, Barber played cornerback for 15 years and contemplated retirement before new Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano persuaded him to continue as a free safety.
He terms his transition "seamless," and he has three interceptions to prove it, including the eighth return for a touchdown in his career, a 78-yarder against Kansas City. Barber has also returned four fumbles in his career for touchdowns.
"I looked up his age today, and he's 37 years old," Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer said. "But he absolutely flashes on film. He makes plays, he's great in coverage. He'll come up and tackle Adrian Peterson. He's everywhere."
In the same way Palmer was challenged by a new offensive
He said the playbook looked as if it were in a foreign language, and Barber had to study as he hadn't in years. In terms of opposing offenses, there isn't much the Raiders can concoct that Barber hasn't seen.
"I think if you've played as long as I have, if you haven't seen it all, you're just not paying attention," Barber said. "I've seen just about anything offenses can throw at me."
In contrast to Barber's smooth switch, Huff found himself beaten repeatedly against Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and Denver's Peyton Manning. In retrospect, Huff said he can see where it was of some benefit, even if it was hard at the time.
He was moved to cornerback by coach Dennis Allen because the Raiders were missing both starters, with Ron Bartell sidelined by a broken shoulder blade in Week 1 and Shawntae Spencer by a foot injury in Week 2.
"I believe in D.A. and that they would put me in position to be the best corner I could be if I was out there," Huff said. "I just want to do whatever is best for this defense."
After the rough outings against Pittsburgh and Denver, Huff played much better against Atlanta after the bye week. And in the Raiders' past two wins, he has been in coverage for 84 pass plays and has given up one catch for 2 yards.
"I don't think Willie Brown has anything to worry about yet," Allen said, referring to the Raiders' Hall of Fame cornerback. "But he has improved. That's what we expect and will continue to expect every day he has an opportunity to go out and work. He'll get a little bit better every week."
Bartell, who said Huff has been asking questions and aggressively taking to his new position, joked, "I think he's a hell of a lot better corner than he is a safety. He takes pride in it. It's backwards for him, and he's been serious about it."
With Bartell returning as soon as Nov. 11, Allen isn't sure whether Huff will remain a corner or move back to safety.
"It doesn't matter," Huff said. "It's just a name. I want to be out there making plays."