NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Eli Manning has never been one to engage in verbal sparring in the media.
But it appears that Tiki Barber’s comments on the current state of the Giants and the future of head coach Tom Coughlin rubbed the Giants’ leader the wrong way.READ MORE: World's Largest Menorah Lit In New York City To Mark Start Of Chanukah
Manning was asked on Wednesday what he thought of Barber saying that as a result of their 3-7 record Coughlin has lost the locker room and should be fired at season’s end. The veteran quarterback’s sarcastic answer spoke volumes.
“That’s nice of him. It’s good to hear from Ol’ Tiki,” Manning said according to NJ.com, adding when asked if criticism from a former player impacts the team, “Depends on your opinion of the player.”
Barber, who is far and away the Giants’ all-time leading rusher, with nearly 10,500 yards during his 10-year career, ruffled some feathers on Monday when he told The Beast 980 radio in Los Angeles, “The Giants’ players are not listening to Tom Coughlin anymore. As much as they want to pass the buck and blame the offensive coordinator, the team got rid of Kevin Gilbride and brought in Ben McAdoo.
“Now they say it’s the defensive coordinator’s fault, so maybe it’s time to get rid of Perry Fewell. At some point, it trickles uphill and it has to be Tom Coughlin’s responsibility. I’ve held off on saying it, but it is time for them to make a change at head coach.”READ MORE: Police Investigating Second French Bulldog Theft Theft On Long Island In Handful Of Days
Barber stuck to his guns during an interview with Boomer and Carton on Tuesday, saying he’s objective and has every right to be critical of the job Coughlin is doing.
The bad blood between Barber, Coughlin and Manning goes back years. Barber never really saw eye-to-eye with Coughlin during his playing days, and their relationship only soured further. After his retirement in 2007, Barber was critical of the Giants, Manning and especially his former coach. In his book, Barber wrote that 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.”
Manning told reporters on Wednesday he had not read Barber’s comments, but was aware of his general theme. He then offered his own take on the Giants’ struggles, refusing to blame Coughlin or the coaching staff.
“It’s not a lack of effort,” Manning said. “Guys are practicing hard, guys want to do well, guys are into it and excited about the week. They’re doing all the right things in the preparation. We’ve just got to keep doing the right things and take it over to game day. You can’t have the same mistakes that all costing us games.”
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