Network Forums Giants Tiki Blames Coughlin for Early Retirement?
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Tiki Blames Coughlin for Early Retirement?
13 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2007 - 3:04PM #1
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Tired of Tom

Practices made Tiki think of quitting


On his first full day as a retired player, Tiki Barber lobbed a hypothetical hand grenade yesterday during a news conference to announce his hiring by NBC.

Barber several times suggested Giants coach Tom Coughlin set the wheels of his retirement in motion because of the "physical grind" through which he put players. Which led to an obvious question for the reporters who gathered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza along with the network's top news and sports executives.

If someone other than Coughlin had been his coach the past three seasons, might he still be a Giant rather than a correspondent for the "Today" show and an analyst for "Football Night in America"?

"Possibly, but that's speculation," he said. "I don't know. I'm 31 years old. I'll be 32 this year, which is way past the average for my position."

The fact Barber would even address the possibility at the moment of his hiring by NBC was another odd twist in a strained relationship with Coughlin, whose stewardship he criticized at times as a player. NBC loved it, because the network hired Barber in part for his outspokenness. The Giants likely did not, but they declined to comment.

Barber first invoked Coughlin by saying, "The grind started to take a toll on me and the principles of our head coach started taking a toll on me, so I started looking for the next thing."

To which NBC Sports chairman D ick Ebersol joked Barber would be permitted to cross his legs during meetings with NBC executives.

Later, though, Barber explained it wasn't so much Coughlin's rules as his approach to the physical part of the game that wore on him. Barber said he did not get enough time to rest and recuperate, saying, "It was a constant physical grind on me that started to take a toll.

"While it didn't show up a lot on Sundays because I had my three best seasons under him, and I give him a lot of credit of that, I could feel a difference."

Barber said the team practiced in full pads all season despite numerous injuries and said that eventually "you physically don't want to be out there when your body feels like you do in full pads.

"While it probably doesn't have a really detrimental effect on how you practice or play, it does on your mind, and if you lose your mind in [football], you lose a lot."

Barber said he discussed his concerns with Coughlin and the coach gave a little, such as when Barber told him he could not go full speed in some practices. Still, it was not enough.

"He has changed in little ways," the former running back said, "but I think he still has to come more. The game has changed. Players are different, and you have to understand them and get to know them in order to encourage and motivate them to be successful.

"Twenty years ago it was different. You could push a player until he broke down because you had 15 other guys who could come in and take his place."

On "Today," where he starts April 16, Barber will report on everything from technology to education to politics, from the news-heavy first half-hour to a planned, lighter fourth hour.

On "Football Night in America" he will analyze games and weigh in on topics such as the debate over the long-term effects of concussions, replacing Sterling Sharpe in the studio cast.

NBC so appealed to Barber that he accepted less money than ABC/ESPN and Fox are believed to have offered. His three-year contract is worth about $6 million overall. Barber would have made twice that per season playing, but he lost his passion for the job.

"Coach Coughlin was nothing but great for me as a player, but the grind took its toll on me and it really forced me to start thinking about what I wanted to do next," he said.

"That's not a bad thing. That's a good thing. At least for me it is. Maybe not for the Giants, because they lose one of their great players."

Tiki on Coughlin:

Jan. 8, 2006: After a 23-0 rout by the Panthers in a wild-card playoff game.

"In some ways we were outcoached."

"We spend a lot of time at the line of scrimmage sometimes dissecting the defense, and that allows them to bring up extra guys in the box. When we were going on quick [counts] we were effective. We were getting 4 or 5 yards per play. but we played into their scheme and it ended up ultimately costing us the game."

Nov. 22, 2006: In the wake of a 26-10 loss to the Jaguars in which the offense stagnated and the running game was inconsequential,

"I felt insignificant . . . I'm not here to be a cheerleader. My job is to help the team win."

He argued the running game should be the foundation of the offense, saying,

"This isn't rocket science. Its football."


I love Tiki but for real he needs to stop talking so much. He had his best years under Coughlin and there was no need for him to blame him for his retirement.
13 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2007 - 8:21PM #2
Posts: 0

Barber elaborated on the physical price he paid under Coughlin, a notorious taskmaster who has drawn criticism from Barber in the past.

"There'd be days when I couldn't move, on Tuesday or Wednesday in practice," Barber said. "He'd get mad at me for going half-speed, and I'd say, 'Coach, I can't do it. I'm going to be out there, I'm never going to miss a practice, but I can't give you what you want all the time.' And he understood."

Not often enough, according to Barber, who said he gave Coughlin a little advice on how he should proceed next season with the Giants.

"I think he has to start listening to the players a little bit, and come their way a little bit," Barber said. "We were in full pads for 17 weeks, and with the amount of injuries we had, it takes a toll on you. You physically don't want to be out there when your body feels the way you do in full pads.

"While it probably doesn't have a really detrimental effect on how you practice or play, it does on your mind, and if you lose your mind in this game, you lose a lot. That's something he has to realize, and I think he does."



13 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2007 - 11:23PM #3
Posts: 0

Just another reason coughlin should not be the head coach angry

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