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Old 08-22-2007, 01:44 AM   #1
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Default Eli fires back at Tiki

Manning responds to Barber's criticism
Associated Press, Updated 1 hour ago

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Tiki Barber wanted a more intense, fiery Eli Manning. The New York Giants quarterback gave Tiki what he wanted in a loud ripping voice on Tuesday.

Two days after being criticized on national television by Barber for a lack of strong leadership, Manning ripped his former teammate and current NBC football analyst for distracting the team last season with his early retirement announcement and his criticism of coach Tom Coughlin.
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"I guess I'm just happy for Tiki that he's making a smooth transition into the TV world," Manning said. "You know, I'll be interested to see if he has anything to say (about a team) besides the Giants, and what his comments will be on that."

Normally reserved and never one to criticize a coach or teammate, Manning seemed to enjoy going after Barber, the Giants' all-time leading rusher who retired after last season at age 31 to pursue a television career.

Speaking during the halftime show of the Sunday Night Football game between the Giants and Baltimore Ravens, Barber had said that Manning's attempt to lead an offensive meeting in the 12th week of the last season was "comical" at times.

Manning didn't find the comment funny.

"It's just one of those deals. I'm not going to lose any sleep about what Tiki has to say," Manning said. "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 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," Manning said. "I can see that a little bit at times. But I'm not going to get concerned. I'm going to go out there and play ball."

Speaking on his radio show "The Barber Shop" on Sirius NFL Radio, Barber said he was glad that Manning stuck up for himself, even though he felt his comments were tame and honest.

"Ill tell you this," Barber said. "It was not said maliciously."

Giants teammates came to Manning's defense on Tuesday.

Wide receiver Amani Toomer, who played his entire career with Barber, was stunned.

"I thought Tiki and Eli were pretty good friends," Toomer said. "It's kind of strange to have him say something like that and to make a point of it like that. Maybe he had somebody else in his ear kind of coaxing him into saying stuff, because I don't believe he really believes that. I don't know why he'd say something like that."

Manning's father, Archie, said at a charity bowling event in Indianapolis for his other son, Super Bowl MVP Peyton, that he had not counseled the Giants quarterback on how to handle the situation.

"He talked to me a while ago and said Tiki got after him a little bit the other night, and he said it's not a big deal," Archie Manning said. "He told me a whole lot of people in the Giants organization were proud of what he said.

"Eli's not a controversial guy and he's not going to be. I feel like if Eli did something like that, it would come from his heart."

Center Shaun O'Hara said that Manning is progressing as a leader, especially for a fourth-year player.

"I don't have any problems with Eli's leadership and the way he does it," O'Hara said. "He's doing it his way. I think players appreciate that. It's a shame everybody wants Eli to be somebody they think he should be instead of just letting him be himself."

O'Hara noted that Manning might be under the microscope more than most young quarterbacks because he is the brother of Peyton Manning.

"For me, you can be Johnny Rah-Rah, but if you're not doing your job, if you're not pulling your weight, it doesn't matter what you say," O'Hara said. "Being loud, that doesn't make you a great leader."

Tackle David Diehl said Manning showed his leadership Sunday night, getting the offense lined up right when the Ravens threw a couple of new looks at them on defense.

New York's new quarterbacks coach, Chris Palmer, added that Manning does everything a coach wants.

"Everybody leads in a different way," Palmer said. "If you buy any business books, there are 101 ways to lead. He'll lead in his own particular fashion."

While Barber praised Manning at times for his play, he also questioned whether he could be a leader of men and make plays when the chips were down.

"His personality hasn't been so that he can step up, make a strong statement and have people believe that it's coming from his heart," Barber said on the show.

Barber then told the story about Manning being uncomfortable talking to the offense in Week 12.

"He didn't feel like his voice was going to be strong enough and it showed," Barber said. "Sometimes it was almost comical the way that he would say things."

While Barber rushed for 1,662 yards last season, the second highest single-season total in Giants history, he also was a distraction in an 8-8 season that saw the Giants make the playoffs.

He went on record in early October saying that the 2006 season would probably be his last. He also created problems for Coughlin when he criticized him for pulling away from the running game too soon in a loss to Jacksonville in November.

It was the second time he went after his head coach.

After a playoff loss to Carolina in 2005, Barber said Coughlin was outcoached by Panther coach John Fox, a former Giants assistant.

While Coughlin refused to get involved in the controversy, he was happy Manning defended himself.

"Well, he thought about what he was going to do, and he decided he would say exactly what he felt," Coughlin said. "More power to him."

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/7...PHCP&GT1=10347
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Eli fires back at Tiki

Meow!!!!!!

And what the AP neglected to report was that Tiki actually said Ben Roethlisberger had better leadership skills than Eli, and that's why the Steelers won the Superbowl. Gasp!!!
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Eli fires back at Tiki

i think barber was a punk fool to have announced his retirement before the season was over last year. he played it up best he could, had inside the nfl do a segment on his television endeavors... heck even had a cadillac escalade commercial. fact is, his team was fighting for a chance to make the playoffs and he punked 'em. sounds to me he's willing to push some controversy on his radio show for the sake of headlines.... just shows you how much he's willing to sacrifice just to get noticed.
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Eli fires back at Tiki

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Originally Posted by j-dawg View Post
i think barber was a punk fool to have announced his retirement before the season was over last year. he played it up best he could, had inside the nfl do a segment on his television endeavors... heck even had a cadillac escalade commercial. fact is, his team was fighting for a chance to make the playoffs and he punked 'em. sounds to me he's willing to push some controversy on his radio show for the sake of headlines.... just shows you how much he's willing to sacrifice just to get noticed.
I'm by no stretch of the imagination a big Eli fan, but I agree with you on Tiki Barber. Who in the hell is he? From what I've read/seen, that guy has no room to talk when it comes to leadership ability.
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: Eli fires back at Tiki

I agree, Barber is a punk. Now he's just another media guy looking to be the story instead of reporting one. I never liked him much. He may have been a good player, but it's obvious he put himself above his team last year. I think this will come back to haunt him.
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Eli fires back at Tiki

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I agree, Barber is a punk. Now he's just another media guy looking to be the story instead of reporting one.
Agreed - he'd be much better suited to a gig with ESPN than NBC.
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Old 08-22-2007, 10:54 AM   #7
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Default Re: Eli fires back at Tiki

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Originally Posted by stillers4me View Post
Meow!!!!!!

And what the AP neglected to report was that Tiki actually said Ben Roethlisberger had better leadership skills than Eli, and that's why the Steelers won the Superbowl. Gasp!!!
i sort of got the feeling that tiki was little bit upset that the giants passed up ben and took eli.
their loss or gain
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Eli fires back at Tiki

what did Tiki say that wasn't true? I might be showing some UVA bias but.....
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Eli fires back at Tiki

I think it's more the fact that he's being a hypocrit by calling out his leadership abilities when he himself showed very little by announcing his retirement in the middle of the season, thus causing a major distraction to his team.
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Eli fires back at Tiki

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I think it's more the fact that he's being a hypocrit by calling out his leadership abilities when he himself showed very little by announcing his retirement in the middle of the season, thus causing a major distraction to his team.
how is that different that the Bus in 2004 or 2005? Bettis hinted at retirement in 2004 and then said he'd come back for 2005...

Tiki never once said "this is my last year" during the season...

ps -- hypocrite has an e on the end
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