Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tiki Barber didn't like that Tom Coughlin made him the focal point of the offense and helped him to his best seasons ever.

As you can read at the Fanhouse, Tiki Barber is still complaining about Tom Coughlin, saying that while he has no personal problems with Coughlin, "I don't like the way he coaches."

I wonder which part of Coughlin's coaching Barber disliked more: the way Coughlin helped him eliminate his fumbling problem, or the way Coughlin focused the Giant offense around Tiki Barber's skills?

As I pointed out in November, before Tom Coughlin became the Giants' head coach, Tiki Barber was a good RB. In his seven years on the team, he had three 1,000 yard seasons, and was a very effective combination as a runner and receiver. He had a problem with fumbles (9 fumbles and 6 fumbles lost in both 2002 and 2003; an average of 8.75 fumbles from 2000 to 2003), but he was an effective football player.

When Coughlin took over the team, Tiki Barber became great. With career highs in rushing attempts, Barber's fumbles still declined (he had 9 total fumbles in three seasons). He had three absolutely incredible seasons:

2004: 1,518 rushing yards, 4.7 average, 2,096 yards from scrimmage (#1 in NFL)
2005: 1,860 rushing yards, 5.2 average, 2,390 yards from scrimmage (#1 in NFL, #2 all-time).
2006: 1,662 rushing yards, 5.1 average, 2,127 yards from scrimmage (#5 in NFL)

Tiki Barber was a decent RB before Coughlin was the Giants' head coach: he wasn't a dominant rusher, but he was an effective rusher/receiver with a fumbling problem. When Coughlin was the Giants' head coach, Barber was one of the best RBs of all-time, with incredible rushing averages and totals and all-time great yards from scrimmage totals.

So when Tiki Barber says "I don't like the way he coaches," I don't know if he doesn't like the way Coughlin helped him to historic yards from scrimmage seasons, helped him to become one of the NFL's best RBs, helped him to lower his fumbles, or allowed him to flourish in a system designed to showcase his skills.

A coach's job is not to get his players to like him, but to get the most production out of his players. Sometimes in order to get the most production out of his players, a coach is required to use methods that, indeed, the players themselves don't like. But given Tiki Barber's success under Tom Coughlin, it appears to me that Coughlin was very successful at getting the most out of Barber, whether Barber liked it or not.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:44 PM

    Tiki Barber is an attention seeking clown. Who else would announce that he plans to retire when in the race for a wild card. He talks of leadership of Manning, but where was his leadership. He developed into a good runner who learned to hold onto the ball, but he will always be remembered as a runner who had 2 good years, unlike Micheal Irving, who won Superbowls. I'd take Irving any day over a clown like Barber

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  2. jayster1:55 PM

    tiki barber is a traitor to the giants nation when you retired the first thing you do is to talk trash about your old team thats a no no you dont see number 56 doing that thats why the fans love 56 2 time champion and now barber is an outcast and hated by giants fans and a loser and a bad nfl analyst

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