Tag:Tiki Barber
Posted on: July 6, 2011 8:17 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 8:33 pm

More talk about a Brett Favre comeback

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Here's the easiest way to tell it's summer: the "Brett Favre might come out of retirement!?" talk starts up, seemingly without provocation. At this point, it's become an annual event that's as predictable as a planet's orbit.

After Favre declared last month that “I don’t want to put my body through that anymore. I’ve been beat up enough.” NFL.com's Gil Brandt did the unthinkable Tuesday, suggesting in an live chat that "I do think Favre would be interested in talking to a team about returning." Brandt added, "But I don't see a team out there right now that would bring him back as a starter."

By then, of course, it was too late. Brandt had already uttered the word's "Favre" and "comeback" aloud, thus insuring that this would be a story for the foreseeable future.

So it's no surprise that Brandt appeared on NFL Network's Total Access Wednesday to -- you guessed it -- continue the conversation about why Favre still wants to play in the NFL for what would be his 21st season.

"Quarterbacks never want to retire," Brandt said. "Let me tell you why I think the way I think on this: First of all, Favre made an inquiry into Cam Newton; if [the Panthers] would be interested in having Favre work with [Newton] while the lockout was taking place. I don't think you make an inquiry to help somebody develop as a player in a coaching way if you don't have something in your mind about coming back to play. 

"Then I think he probably looks around the league and there's a lot of 'what ifs' -- 'what if Seattle doesn't sign Hasselbeck?' And Darrell Bevell, his coach at both Green Bay and Minneapolis, is there. ... I think Favre is enough of a competitor that if somebody said to him, 'Come on, we can use you. You might not be a starter,' I think he would come out of retirement."

Brandt admitted that he hasn't spoken to Favre or anyone in Favre's camp, but added: "The thing that triggered me on this whole thing is [Favre] wanting to help Cam Newton. I don't think you want to go out and become a coaching candidate if you feel you have time left that you can play as a player."

The NFL Network's Jason La Canfora wasn't buying it. "I can't imagine it happening," he said. "I don't know anyone who would want to bring him in right now."

Are you listening, Tiki? 

We actually believe Favre when he said he's been beaten up enough. And if he gets a hankerin' for a comeback, we'd encourage him to watch these:

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Posted on: July 6, 2011 9:59 am
Edited on: July 6, 2011 4:11 pm

Tiki's narrowed his list to Bucs, Steelers

Posted by Will Brinson

Ever since depression chased running back Tiki Barber into the NFL spotlight again, he's managed to stay in the news cycle, largely in part to the unholy amount of interviews he's given in recent weeks.

But thus far, he's only dropped clues about what team he'll be gracing with his presence when the 2011 season fires up.

Until now, anyway; in his latest chat, this time with Tom Pedulla of USA Today, Tiki offered up his preference to play for either the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"We're not looking to turn this into an auction," Tiki's agent Mark Lepselter said. "There are only a handful of coaches he would want to play for." There's just a couple of problems with this setup. First, Tiki is old, and that makes him the type of guy who won't be involved in an auction.

Tiki Time

Second, if he's narrowed down his list of choices to just two, he may find himself disappointed. That's because in order for his choices to matter, the Bucs and the Steelers have to also want Tiki.

Mike Freeman put it well in the Daily Shoutout today: "I don't think the Steelers and Bucs give a damn about Barber."

I'd agree. And I also think there are two pretty good pieces of evidence on hand as to why they don't care about Barber.

For the Steelers, Ryan Wilson's in-house breakdown of why Tiki to Pittsburgh doesn't make sense will suffice. (If you don't feel like reading: Barber's a bad fit, Mike Tomlin doesn't want the drama and Tiki's old.)

For Tampa, the biggest piece of evidence is something that's lacked: Ronde Barber's support.

This is, after all, Tiki's twin we're talking about, and he's yet to come out in support of his brother's return and/or the possibility of Tiki coming to Tampa Bay, even though he's found time to praise Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

So, yes, ironically enough, silence is the most damning evidence available for Tiki Barber.

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Posted on: June 29, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 4:52 pm

Hot Routes 6.29.11: Carson's Cincy home: sold

Posted by Ryan Wilson
  • First the Bills get new uniforms and now Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly says that the team was wise to pass on a QB early in the April draft. Turns out, Kelly thinks incumbent Ryan Fitzpatrick is more than capable.
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Posted on: June 29, 2011 9:09 am
Edited on: June 29, 2011 9:32 am

Podcast: Free agency could be a frenzied hot mess

Posted by Ryan Wilson

For no official football, there's plenty going on in late June and we cover a lot of it in the latest Eye on Football podcast.

Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith are meeting in Minnesota in the hopes of ending the lockout. And then there's Terrell Owens, 37, who has no plans on retiring … even though he recently had ACL surgery. We're not sure who will have a need for him at this stage of the proceedings, although he's destined for Canton. (Right? Right.)

Related geriatric talking points: Tiki Barber, you may have heard, wants to return to the NFL. Tiki's sort of like Terrell in that he can be problematic in the locker room, but the difference is that even TO had supporters. We have yet to hear one person -- including twin brother Ronde -- come forward in Tiki's defense.

Finally, we discuss Pete Prisco's top 50 free agents list. For the most part, we agree, although Michael Huff at No. 11 might be a tad high.

Talking starts below.

Just hit the play button and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download.

Posted on: June 28, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 5:38 pm

Sapp unimpressed with Huff's preparation

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We still may be without football, but former NFL player and NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp has been a one-man news-generating machine in recent days. Last week, he hopped on the "Anybody but Tiki" bandwagon, telling Rich Eisen “I didn’t think much of [Tiki Barber] when he did play. …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."

On Tuesday, Sapp, who played 13 NFL seasons in Tampa Bay and Oakland, appeared on the Ben and Skin Show on KESN-FM in Dallas. He had this to say about former Raiders teammate safety Michael Huff, who will be a free agent when the lockout ends.

“Michael Huff leaves something to be desired,” Sapp said. “I watched Huff for two years, not pick a pass off in practice. I seen him make a couple plays, lately. I’d really be interested to see his tape and watch his last couple of years because his first two make you want to throw up watching him practice.”

Huff was the Raiders' 2006 first-round pick (seventh overall), and his professional career can kindly be described as inconsistent. In five seasons he started 66 of 80 games, had seven picks and 38 passes defended. If Huff's numbers are a reflection of his practice habits, it's another reason for teams to be wary of him in free agency. In fact, Huff's midweek preparations used to make Sapp nauseous (figuratively ... we think).

“I went so far with Michael Huff, and you can ask him this, that my last day in Oakland, I waited in the parking lot for Michael Huff," said Sapp. "I waited in the parking lot because I wanted to talk to the young man because he made me want to throw up watching him practice. I mean, the scout team would complete ball, after ball, after ball. I’m like, ‘You’re not going to make one play? I mean, you’re not even going to put your hand on it and knock it down?’”

Sapp's last season in Oakland was 2007. That year Huff had just one pick but did register 11 passes defended. Last season, Huff had three interceptions, two forced fumbles, seven passes defended, and the Associated Press named him to its 2010 All-Pro second team.

We're guessing Sapp remains unimpressed.

(Turns out, it's not just Sapp who questions Huff's ability. Before the 2010 season Scouts, Inc. wrote that "Huff needs a lot of work on route recognition and reading the quarterback's eyes when in off coverage" and that "he has struggled to establish himself in the secondary." Scouts, Inc. didn't list Huff as one of the top-10 players on his own team, and he tied for 69th among all NFL safeties. Yikes.)

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Posted on: June 27, 2011 1:26 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2011 1:49 pm

Eli Manning prefers Plaxico on Giants to Tiki

Posted by Will Brinson

Though Tiki Barber and Plaxico Burress might not be the most sought-after free agents on the market, they've arguably generated more discussion than any other players out there.

This is also somewhat interesting as the pair used to be teammates but generally aren't considered possibilities to re-join the Giants. Still, what if you had to pick between them? Who would you take? And if you had to force one person in the world to make that choice, wouldn't it be Eli Manning?

Of course it would.

Fortunately, Dan Patrick did just that on his show Monday morning, asking Eli to pick between the two free agents.

“Probably Plaxico,” Manning said via Michael David Smith at PFT. “He has probably fonder memories, winning a Super Bowl, that catch for the touchdown in Super Bowl XLII. Tiki just ended on a bad note. It’s really a shame, he should be remembered as a great Giants running back and a terrific player — because he was — but the way he went out he burned a few bridges.

"So I think Plaxico would probably be welcomed back a little quicker.”

The fact that Eli picked Plax isn't particularly shocking, especially considering the criticisms Eli and Tiki swapped last year while Tiki was working for NBC. Eli also addressed that criticism on the DP Show.

“I responded back and I think guys liked to see that from me,” Manning said. “I didn’t want it to be a deal where it’s me vs. Tiki . . . but I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing.”

Of course, there's also the fact that Tiki's a running back who's well past his prime, which is a pretty good reason the Giants wouldn't want to pay him money to truck the football.

Plax might struggle to get the hang of football again as well, but the curve for a possession wideout is substantially smaller than someone even trying to play the role of a third-down back.

Besides, it's not as if prison's any worse in terms of forcing his skills to deteriorate than a broadcasting booth.

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Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:03 pm

Sapp, Strahan latest to call out Tiki Barber

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We mentioned it in Hot Routes this afternoon, but we might as well delve into the gory details since there's not much else going on. Warren Sapp and Michael Strahan, former players who now make their living as television analysts, are the latest to say that Tiki Barber should stay retired.

Sapp, who played 13 NFL seasons for the Buccaneers and Raiders, was blunt: “I didn’t think much of him when he did play,” he 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.”

And that's the thing, Barber was a tough downhill runner. His biggest issue now, apart from the fact that he's 36 and last played in the NFL in 2006, is that he's not known as a locker room guy.

“I think it plays into the minds of some of the teams that will probably go, ‘Well, he can come in, he can be productive. We think he can. But how does that play into the chemistry of our team?’” Strahan said. “So I think that’s important if you’re a GM. That’s what you’re going to look at if you’re a head coach. Now, if you want guys that are going to give you production, that’s going to work hard, is going to bust his butt, you’re going to get all of that … But the other part, I’m not sure myself.”

Tiki's Return?
Which is basically what everyone has been saying since Barber un-retired in March.

Two related questions: has anyone defended Barber? We can't recall a single person stepping forward and saying, "Tiki would be a great addition to any NFL team!" Also: anybody else find it peculiar that Ronde, Tiki's identical twin who still plays with the Bucs, hasn't spoken up on behalf of his brother?

Maybe Ronde doesn't want to get involved (which is completely understandable). Or perhaps he doesn't think Tiki should return to football, either. We've mentioned it before (as have the commenters), but it's a strange juxtaposition, Tiki and Ronde. One player disliked by his former teammates, and another who appears to be well respected by players, coaches and fans, quietly plodding along, often playing at a Pro Bowl level during his 14-year career.

When the lockout ends and training camps begin, Tiki very well could get his opportunity to make an NFL team. It's just that history, age, and a lot of former players (some of them teammates) are against him. 

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Posted on: June 24, 2011 3:37 pm

Hot Routes 6.24.11: Negotiations go on and on

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • As CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman reports, the owners and players are negotiating again today. They’re just not doing it in person.
  • Jets WR Brad Smith, who’s been working out with Mark Sanchez at player-led workouts, thinks it’s a bit awkward for him to be with potential former teammates. That’s because Smith is a free agent and doesn’t know if he’ll be back in New York next season.
  • CBSSports.com’s own Andy Benoit, writing for the NY Times, ranks his top-10 safeties in the NFL. Unlike Pete Prisco, Benoit doesn’t think Troy Polamalu is overrated at all.
  • Looks like we have another locked-out football player who’s taking up boxing to stay in shape. That would be Chargers RB Mike Tolbert, who says boxing is the roughest workout he’s ever had.
  • The Jets will not be traveling to Cortland, N.Y., this season for their regularly-scheduled training camp. Instead, because the lockout hasn’t been lifted, they’ll prepare themselves at their regular home in Florham Park, N.J. The Jets plan to return to Cortland in 2012.
  • In a heartwarming tale, 136 members of the Chiefs organization traveled to Joplin, Mo., to help clean up the town that was decimated by tornados.
  • Warren Sapp and Michael Strahan don’t think former Giants RB Tiki Barber should attempt a comeback. In the case of Strahan, there are clearly still some hurt feelings for the way Barber criticized the Giants after he retired and became a network analyst.

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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