Report: Tiki writes in book that he might still be playing if not for Coughlin

Updated: September 5, 2007, 12:28 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Tiki Barber has already used the television airwaves to rip his former team and now the retired Giants running back reportedly is criticizing them in print.

In excerpts of his new book "Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond" obtained by the New York Daily News, Barber writes that he might still be playing if Tom Coughlin weren't still coaching the Giants. The book goes on sale Sept. 18.

"If Tom Coughlin had not remained as head coach of the Giants, I might still be in a Giants uniform," Barber writes, according to the Daily News.

[Tom 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.

Tiki Barber

"[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," Barber wrote, according to the newspaper. "I had lost that. He had taken it away."

On his radio show "The Barber Shop/Sirius NFL Radio" on Tuesday night, Barber disputed the New York Daily News report, saying he never wrote in his upcoming book that he would still be a member of the Giants if Coughlin did not return. However, Barber did say Coughlin played into the factors of why he left.

Barber credits Coughlin with solving his chronic fumbling problems but wrote that he believes it was his performance that kept Coughlin employed by the Giants. Under Coughlin, Barber ranked among the NFL's top five rushers; in the three seasons beginning in 2004, Barber gained 1,518 (fifth), 1,860 (second) and 1,662 yards (fourth).

"It's a double-edged sword, because as much as Coach Coughlin helped me, I also helped Tom Coughlin," Barber wrote, according to the newspaper.

According to the Daily News, Barber also claims in the book that he was shorted about $10 million in his career by the Giants, who underpaid him compared with other top running backs.

Last month, Barber criticized Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Barber had said that Manning's attempt to lead an offensive meeting in the 12th week of the last season was "comical" at times.

After sarcastically noting that Barber was making a smooth transition from the playing field to television, the normally reserved Manning said he could have questioned Barber's leadership last season for calling out Coughlin and then having articles about him retiring in the middle of the season. It turned out to be a major distraction for the Giants.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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