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Tag:Tiki Barber
Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:11 pm
 

Manning gives well-received locker room speech

ManningBy Josh Katzowitz

When you think Eli Manning, you don’t necessarily think of the phrase “vocal locker room leader” (isn’t that right, Tiki Barber?).

But when Manning has something to say, his Giants teammates take notice, and whatever he speaks about usually makes an impact. And with still 12 days to go before New York faces the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, Manning decided to showcase his leadership skills during a team meeting just before coach Tom Coughlin gave the Giants an off-day on Wednesday.

He decided to talk about -- or maybe just reemphasize -- how the team, you know, really should go about its Super Bowl preparations in a somewhat professional manner.

“I was just telling them just a little bit how to prepare for this,” Manning said, via the NY Daily News. “Just handling all your business with tickets, getting that stuff done. Just a few things on just the mindset of this week. We’ve got to have great preparation. Prepare this week like you’re playing the game this week, because once you get out to Indianapolis, you’ve got to take a bus ride to practice and the whole schedule gets thrown off.

“We’ve got to have everything that we normally have to do during a normal work week, we’re going to try to get it done this week.”

The talk apparently made an impact.

“It was a broad message that needed to be said,” safety Antrel Rolle said. “And it was a message that was heard loud and clear by everyone. Basically this is about business. Let’s go take care of it. Let’s go get it done, at whatever it costs.”

Man, Tiki Barber would be so proud.

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Posted on: January 15, 2012 3:41 pm
 

Tiki Barber: 'I'm not trying to come back' now

Barber says his NFL comeback attempt is over and is now trying to mend some fences. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

And so it ends … again: Tiki Barber has given up his dream of returning to the NFL even though that career path had been decided for him when the NFL took a collective pass on his services this season.

"No. No. I'm not trying to come back," Barber said according to ESPNNewYork.com. "It was an excuse for me to get up off the couch and do something, and it worked, because now I'm engaged in a few different things and I feel really strong about where I am personally, and that's all that matters in life."

But Barber's not in the news because he didn't make it as a 36-year-old running back. He's a story because his former team, the Giants, are in the playoffs and Barber was looking to un-burn some bridges he set ablaze during his post-NFL career as an NBC Sports analyst.

"We tried [to set up a meeting with Giants head coach Tom Coughlin]. He said no, through his agent, (Giants vice president of communications) Pat Hanlon," Barber said of his attempt to bury the hatchet. "But one of these days I'm sure it'll happen, because as we know, time heals all wounds. And I think at the end of the day, Giants fans, despite their dislike of me at times, know that I was one of the guys that put (it) on the line every time I put on my uniform."

At one time or another, Barber had a falling out with just about everybody in New York, including his former coach and franchise quarterback Eli Manning. In 2007, before New York upset New England in the Super Bowl, Barber famously questioned Manning's leadership skills.

Eli's response at the time:

"I'm not going to lose any sleep about what Tiki has to say. I guess I could have questioned his leadership skills last year with calling out the coach and having articles about him retiring in the middle of the season, and (how) he's lost the heart (to play). As a quarterback, you're reading that your running back has lost the heart to play the game and it's about the 10th week. I can see that a little bit at times."

Last summer, after Barber had announced his intentions to return to the NFL, former players-turned-TV-analysts Warren Sapp and Michael Strahan spoke frankly about why it was an awful idea.

“I didn’t think much of him when he did play,” Sapp told Rich Eisen on the aptly named Rich Eisen Podcast. ”I mean that’s the whole point. He was a fumbler all the way through his life, and then all of a sudden, somebody taught him how to hold the ball up high and then he (left the Giants) and said, Eli (Manning) can’t lead them and they’ll never win a championship.

“That kind of lends to who I’m talking about. This is the same guy. This is all encompassed into the same thing. There’s no way you turn your back on your teammates that block for you, that gave you the ball on short fields and did whatever they did. … There’s still no reason for you to attack your teammates.”

Strahan, who played with Barber in New York, was in no hurry to defend his former teammate. “Sapp is 100 percent right,” he said. “Only thing is, if it comes to playing football, he can play.”

Time has softened Barber, it seems. He now recognizes that Eli is a top-flight quarterback and has had a lot to do with the Giants' success.

"Here's what I look for when I'm looking for an elite quarterback. Someone that no matter the circumstances -- whether you're playing great, whether you're playing horrible -- has that unfettered drive to succeed," Barber said.

"That's what Eli has learned over the last five or six years -- from the early days when I saw him where everything used to rattle him -- to now. No matter what happens, he's always into the football game and doing something to help his team win. That's my definition of an elite quarterback, and why Eli is in on that conversation now."

Too little, too late? Probably.

But Barber sounds like he's working through the five stages of grief and after denial, anger, bargaining and depression, he's finally on acceptance. And trying to get on with the rest of his life.

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Posted on: September 30, 2011 1:02 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 3:45 pm
 

Plax: Tiki 'better than half the backs' in NFL

Posted by Will Brinson

A few years ago, Tiki Barber and Plaxico Burress were teammates. This summer, they found themselves together in the rare "left the game, got older and returned as free agents after being released by their old team for obvious reasons" category of players.

As we all know, Plax got signed (by the Jets) and Tiki landed just one tryout (with the Dolphins). The lack of interest in Tiki cemented what seemed obvious: he's too old to play running back in the NFL. As it turns out, though, his buddy Plax disagrees.

"It's crazy," Burress said to the New York Post about Barber not getting run with a team. "He's better than half the backs in the league."

OK, that's just wrong. Like, factually incorrect -- there are 90 running backs that have one or more carries this season. Guys who are listed lower than 45 (half!) include Steven Jackson, Darren Sproles and Arian Foster.

Tiki Barber is, quite clearly, not better than any of them.

The real problem is that Burress probably remembers Barber as the guy he played with back in New York, and not the guy who's been out of football for a few years and is now 36, an unacceptable age for a starting running back in the NFL.

Additionally, Burress doesn't seem to be taking into account the fact that Tiki is a) looking for money, so he'll be relatively expensive and b) a huge danger to be a locker-room distraction.

Oh yeah -- also on that list above? Larry Johnson. Who because the Dolphins signed him not once, but twice -- instead of bringing Barber in -- serves as perfect proof that Tiki's time is done in the NFL.

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Posted on: September 10, 2011 10:02 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2011 4:16 pm
 

For the gambler in you (Week 1)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Each Saturday, we’ll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by bodog.com for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you’ll read all week. Because if you can’t lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what’s the point of watching sports at all?

Top-five Super Bowl picks

New England Patriots 11/2 
     
Green Bay Packers 7/1

Philadelphia Eagles 15/2  
    
San Diego Chargers 11/1

New Orleans Saints 12/1

Bottom-five Super Bowl picks

Cleveland Browns 100/1

Washington Redskins 100/1 
             
Carolina Panthers 125/1

Cincinnati Bengals 150/1

Buffalo Bills 150/1

The big change in the Super Bowl odds has to do with Peyton Manning and the Colts. Bodog’s head oddsmaker Adam Young explains: "When someone as important to a team as Peyton Manning is questionable for one or more games to start a season we are almost forced to pull down their season win total and divisional odds and in turn those of the Texans.  We have left up the Super Bowl odds with the Colts moving up from 16-1 to 20-1 and the Texans down from 28-1 to 20-1."

So, my advice: don’t put your money on the Colts. Instead, I’d put your money on New Orleans to win the whole thing.

Will Tiki Barber play in a game in the 2011 regular season? 
       
Yes 3/1   

Nope. Only the Dolphins have thought enough of Barber to give him a workout, and we’re not flabbergasted enough to think that somebody else will be that desperate to give him another chance.

Who will be the first coach fired in the 2011 regular season? 

Jack Del Rio 3/1

Tony Sparano 7/2

Gary Kubiak 11/2

Marvin Lewis 15/2

Tom Coughlin 15/2

Mike Shanahan 10/1

Norv Turner 10/1

Lovie Smith 12/1

Andy Reid 15/1

Field 2/1

You have to think the decision to release David Garrard and start Luke McCown until Blaine Gabbert is ready to play will seal Del Rio’s fate. At least with Garrard as the starter and with Manning out for the time being, you’d think the Jaguars would have a chance at the postseason and the chance to save Del Rio’s chance. There’s no chance now.

Terrelle Pryor -- total starts at quarterback in the 2011 regular season  
    
Over ½ (+110)

Under ½  (-140)

It’s the Raiders. Of course you go with the over.

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Posted on: September 6, 2011 9:49 am
 

Agent says Tiki Barber 'has moved forward'

Tiki Barber and his agent were "flabbergasted" but not "devastated" that no NFL teams were interested in his services. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

On Monday, Sports Illustrated's Peter King wrote that Tiki Barber and his agent, Mark Lepselter, were "flabbergasted" that none of the 32 NFL teams had use for the 36-year-old former running back who last played in 2006. King added, "I hear he’s devastated that no team gave him a chance."

The response -- from both fans and media -- was the same: no organization, no matter how desperate, needed a guy closer to 40 than 30, four years removed from his last meaningful snap, and worse: not considered much of a teammate. (On the upside: it was the first time in internet history that writers and commenters were in agreement on, well, anything. Tiki Barber: bringing the world together.)

Paul Schwartz of the New York Post spoke with Lepselter, whose story differs from King's retelling of it.

“That is not correct,’’ he told the Post Sunday. “I never said he was devastated. That term never came out of my mouth.’’

Does that mean the word "flabbergasted" did? Because it conveys the same message -- that somehow, two people on this planet couldn't conceive of a scenario in which Tiki wasn't welcomed with open arms back into the league four years after leaving it to pursue a television career. Plus, as PFT.com's Michael David Smith points out, "King never attributed the word 'devastated' to Lepselter — that was King’s word, based on how he has heard Barber is feeling. (Barber is free to clear it up and tell everyone how he’s feeling, but he isn’t talking to anyone right now.)"

And it appears Barber won't be talking anytime soon, either.

“This is the last time I am speaking on this subject in any way, shape or form." Lepselter continued. “You can’t worry about the things in life you can’t control and Tiki has moved forward accordingly."

So there you have it. Barber and Lepselter are moving on. For how long depends on if an NFL team needs running back depth at some point in the coming weeks and months. The Dolphins were the only team to give Barber a workout and that was in August.

CBSSports.com's Michael Freeman heard from general manager whose team needs running backs that Barber wasn't in his plans because, simply, "I don't trust him. That's pretty much it."

We'll say it again: there's always the UFL.

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Posted on: September 5, 2011 5:00 pm
 

Podcast: Peyton Manning's injury, Tressel, Week 1

Posted by Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

CBSSports.com's Pick-Six Podcast never takes a break. Or we thought that Labor Day meant we were supposed to work and accidentally showed up to the office. Whatever. While we're here: get your iTunes subscribtion on right here.

You can also listen below, when we talk about Peyton Manning's injury, Jim Tressel's non-suspension suspension, whether Randy Moss is coming back, whether Matt Cassel will start in Week 1, Sean Payton's contract, why Tiki Barber is so laughable and much, much more.

Hit the play button below to listen (and did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes?). If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.



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Posted on: September 5, 2011 11:14 am
Edited on: September 5, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Tiki, agent 'flabbergasted' by lack of interest

Tiki Barber and his agent were "flabbergasted" that no NFL teams were interested in his services. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

It started back in March, when former Giants running back Tiki Barber announced that he was coming out of retirement to offer up his services to any NFL team in need of a 36-year-old, four years removed from his last snap and not particularly popular with his teammates (line forms to the right, please don't push).

Turned out, guys who had played with Barber couldn't get in front of a microphone fast enough to speak on his leadership skills.

“Tiki Barber, the football player, great player, will be very productive probably in certain situations,” ESPN analyst and former teammate Antonio Pierce said at the time. “Tiki Barber, the leader, the person in that locker room? He is not going to do anything for your team. Now if that is the guy you think you are bringing in, you might want to look in another direction.”

Weeks and months passed, but the story remained unchanged: former teammates had nothing nice to say about Barber (and twin brother Ronde's silence on his brother's comeback attempt was, well, pretty awkward), and NFL teams were uninterested.

Once the lockout ended and training camps opened, Barber had a grand total of one workout, with the Dolphins, who chose not to sign him instead settling on Larry Johnson (who was subsequently cut a short time later).

Then, on Saturday, teams had to reduce their rosters to 53 players, and the rest of the weekend was spent rejiggering depth charts based on the names hitting the open market. The Bears signed former Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather, the Bengals added returner Brandon Tate, the Jets claimed wide receiver Mardy Gilyard, and the Ravens inked center Andre Gurode. Through it all, not one NFL team called Tiki.

Tiki Barber: A Brief History

Sports Illustrated's Peter King sent this tweet Saturday: "So 2,880 men went to NFL camps this summer; 1,696 made rosters. None named Tiki Barber. And on roster shuffle weekend, his phone never rang."

In King's Monday Morning Quarterback column, he expanded on Barber's plight.

"I tried to reach Barber on Sunday, but he wasn't talking. I hear he's devastated that no team gave him a chance. You might wonder if teams would bring him in after the first game of the season, so his contract wouldn't be guaranteed, and that could still happen. But with no team calling [Barber's agent Mark] Lepselter with even a hint of interest, it's more likely teams would start with backs who've been in some football competition this summer.

"Lepselter told me Sunday: 'We are flabbergasted that Tiki has not had an opportunity with any team, especially when rosters were at 90 players this year. I certainly thought some team would be intrigued to see what he had left in the tank.'"

We've been through this before but … why? Why would any team be intrigued by a 36-year-old with a history of rubbing teammates the wrong way? Where's the payoff? An NFL general manager can just sign an eager-to-prove-he-belongs 22-year-old with fresh legs and no sense of entitlement for very little money. That Barber is still on his couch is the exact opposite of flabbergasted.

So while Barber may still be out of work, there is good news: he's getting married! It gets better: there's a standing offer to join former coach Jim Fassel in the UFL.

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Posted on: September 2, 2011 12:01 am
 

Daniel Thomas continues to need work

D. Thomas has many improvements he needs to make to his game (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

One issue we really haven’t discussed when we’ve written about the Dolphins trading for and giving a two-year deal to Reggie Bush or when we’ve talked about Tiki Barber trying out for Miami or the addition of retread Larry Johnson is how the team feels about second-round pick Daniel Thomas.

Well, when the most exciting thing you’ve done since you were drafted was to have your name attached to a porn event, that pretty much says it all. In other words, Thomas hasn’t done much in training camp.

As told by the Miami Herald, Thomas is having a tough time transitioning to the pro game, as evidenced by the grocery list of improvements Thomas needs to make. That includes being more physical, running with more explosion, being less tentative, keeping his legs churning, getting his pad level lower and keeping his shoulders squared.

"I would say that's about right," Thomas told the paper. "I've just got to lower my pads and trust my blocks and everything like that and I'm trying to get better here at practice and carry it into the next game."

And when Chad Henne and coach Tony Sparano are imploring you -- or, you know, yelling at you -- to hit the hole harder, it’s probably a good idea to listen.

That’s one big reason Thomas played tonight in the Dolphins preseason finale vs. the Cowboys, writes the Palm Beach Post. What Sparano wanted to see the most: improvement by Thomas -- who carried the ball eight times for 36 yards -- on his pass-blocking.

“In the beginning it was overwhelming a little bit,” Sparano said, via the Post. “But (running backs coach Jeff Nixon) has brought him along and he stepped in there pretty good three or four times today.

“This is something new to him, (but) he’s doing it and having success doing it and he knows that’s really going to be what, at the end of this thing, gets him on the field too,” Sparano said. “You know you’ve got to be able to protect the quarterback and I think he’s done a really good job doing that.”

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com