Oct 192006
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October 18, 2006 New York Giants Injury Report: SS Gibril Wilson (toe) and LB Carlos Emmons (pectoral muscle) are officially listed as “questionable” for the game against Dallas on Monday night. WR Sinorice Moss (quad) and HB Derrick Ward (foot) are listed as “doubtful.”

Tiki Barber Will Likely Retire After the 2006 Season: During his previously scheduled conference call session with the Dallas media yesterday, HB Tiki Barber was asked about Tuesday’s New York Times report about him leaning toward retirement after the current season is over.

“I’ve been considering it for a few years now,” said Barber. “It comes a point where your body just doesn’t want to take it any more, you see other opportunities out there. I’m excited about the rest of my life as well as I am about this football season. So we’ll see what happens…I’ve never wanted to be a running who was just hanging on just because I could because my past record of accomplishment. I wanted to be someone who was productive and elite form when I was playing. If I wasn’t able to do this, then I’d do something else.”

When asked if anything would change his mind, Barber responded, “I don’t know if there is anything that would change my mind. I’ve had a lot of opportunities…I’ve been involved in a lot of different things outside of football and they’ve piqued my interest, whether it’s philanthropy or working at FOX or doing radio shows or writing children’s book, now more advanced books. There are a lot of different things I’ve been involved in that have piqued my interest over the years and I really want to get into.”

“I think it’s a lot of things in combination,” continued Barber. “The attraction of all those outside interests, it’s the fact that next year I’ll be 32 years old. I know that at some point as all running backs do, it’s not a gradual decline. It’s like you step off a cliff – from 1,500 yards rushing to 400 yards rushing. And the fact that I’m getting old. My body is beat up. I’ve had a lot of carries over the last few years. Fortunately, knock on wood, I’ve been healthy. I haven’t missed a game in about six years. I know at some point that will come to an end. I think the biggest thing is, and I recognize this, most players get kicked out of the NFL. They don’t go out on their own terms. Being someone who takes a lot of pride in what I do, I kind of want to go out on my own terms.”

When asked if he has already mentally retired, Barber replied, “Do you agree with that after last week? I considered retiring after last year and I had 1,860 yards. I don’t necessarily agree with that. I think the mind-set of what you want to do with retirement, at least for me, is different. A lot of guys talk about retirement when they feel like don’t have it any more. For me, it’s not about that. It’s about other things, things that have literally been in the place for me for eight years now. It’s a plan. it’s not by accident the things that have happened to me in my life, outside of football.

Literally, I’m just eager to do that. I know football is going to come to an end at some point and I want to go out on my own terms.”

Barber was also asked if the Hall of Fame mattered. “It does, but not really because it’s subjective,” said Barber. “It’s not something you can look at somebody and say this guy is a Hall of Famer or this guy is not. I know for running backs, it’s largely based on numbers – how many rushing yards did he have in his career? That will determine whether he’s Hall of Fame caliber. But my career has been different than most. For my first three years, I didn’t have 1,000 yards rushing. I developed my worth as a player doing other things, being a punt returner, being a third-down back. Eventually my role grew. Then the rushing yards started coming. But I’ve always done different things. I’ve been versatile. I haven’t necessarily just been that guys who is going to carry the ball 35, 40 times a game and end the season with 1,500 yards every year.”

Barber was also asked if the possibility of a Super Bowl would bring him back. “Probably not,” replied Barber. “There comes a time…and it’s different for everybody, it’s not something you can put your finger on. Over the course of a career, you realize that this is a young man’s game. The pounding that you take. On Thursday afternoon, I still feel like I just got up. You realize it’s a young man’s game and it may be time for me to go on and do something else.”

Barber seemed even more definitive on Sirius Radio yesterday. “After that (playoff loss to the Panthers last season), the thought of going through the short little offseason where we don’t do anything, through mini-camps, through training camp, through preseason, through 17 weeks of the season just to get back to that point was daunting, daunting to even imagine how I was physically going to be able to do it after the pounding that I took all season with 411 carries. Now imagine having to go through that again? We’re not even a third of the way through this season. Go through that again and then get bounced out again, maybe even get close and say, ‘God, I’ve got to do that one more time.’ My mind and my body and my heart are telling me I don’t want to do that anymore.”

“He has made up his mind that he wants to retire,” said Barber’s business agent. “There’s no pomp and circumstance here. He’s made his mind up.”

Tiki Barber Named “NFC Offensive Player of the Week” Again: HB Tiki Barber has been named the “NFC Offensive Player of the Week” for his performance against the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday. In that game, Barber carried the ball 26 times for 185 yards and caught three passes for 42 yards. Barber had eight runs in the game of at least 10 yards.

This is the sixth “NFC Player of the Week” award that Tiki has received in his 10-year career.

Quotes: OC Shaun O’Hara on the Giants’ mental approach this year: “Everybody tried to label us when we were 1-2. I’m sure you’ve been hearing it from the players, but our mentality is just play the week. Just play the game on Sunday. Don’t judge. Don’t get too high on yourself when you win, don’t get too down on yourself when you lose. Of course some people get down on you when you lose and they’re the same people that pat you on the back when you win.”

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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