Tiki Barber’s new book – “Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond” does not hit shelves until September 18th, but already the former back’s words are causing quite a stir. In following along with former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, who took a few underlying shots at former coach Bill Cowher in his autobiography, Barber is making even more opinionated comments about current Giants coach Tom Coughlin. The line that has sports talk show lines in New York today lit up is as follows: “If Tom Coughlin had not remained as head coach of the Giants, I might still be in a Giants uniform.” Ouch. Talk about taking a shot. Coughlin’s seat is hot enough in New York with the Big Blue, and now Barber, who just last week took some shots at QB Eli Manning, says that Coughlin is a reason why he retired.
The words of Barber in the book goes on to say: “[Coughlin] robbed me of what had been one of the most important things I had in my life, which was the joy I felt playing football,” Barber wrote. “I had lost that. He had taken it away.” The back did enjoy some of his best years under Coughlin, including him ranking among the top five rushers in three straight seasons, starting in 2004 with 1518 yards, 2005 he ran for 1860 yards, and then in 06 he rushed for 1662 yards before stepping down at the end of the Giants loss to the Eagles in last years playoffs in Philly.
The back even stated in the book that the Giants underpaid him about $10 million. On a positive note, he did say that Coughlin stopped the back from fumbling, which was a huge problem for him in the early part of his career. “It’s a double-edged sword, because as much as Coach Coughlin helped me, I also helped Tom Coughlin,” Barber wrote. It’s been said before, and it will be said again – Barber’s bark is bigger than his bite. He continues to shoot his mouth at players, in and out of the Giants organization, and now is doing the same to his former coach. It will be interesting if Coughlin takes the Eli approach and laughs off the Tiki comments, or just let’s them go right over his head as he prepares his team for opening day.