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Tiki Barber is Tom Coughlin's Best Friend Right Now

Former player says team is slipping away from coach

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Tiki is in Tom's corner.

    It hasn't been a particularly good week for Tom Coughlin.

    People are piling on him from every direction as they realize how long the Giants have been a bad team, and for how undisciplined the Giants have been this season. Discussions of his job security aren't hard to find, nor is it hard to find people openly longing for Bill Cowher to come in and replace Coughlin on the sideline. The man is in need of a friend and he got one in an unlikely place.

    Tiki Barber has never been a fan of Coughlin's. He criticized him when he was still playing for the Giants, made headlines by ripping both the coach and Eli Manning during the 2007 season and he piped up again on Wednesday in his new role as a Yahoo! Sports commentator.

    "I don't know if he's completely lost control of the team, but it's definitely slipping away. You saw it last week with some of the comments Antrel Rolle talked about, with leadership, and overcontrol that the coaching staff and the organization had over the players. Sometimes that affects you and carries over into the game. And right now Tom Coughlin is at a crisis. His job is certainly in jeopardy, particularly because of how they played last year to close out that stadium. We all know how embarrassing that was."

    Right now you're probably saying to yourself that Barber doesn't sound particularly friendly, so how does this help Coughlin? 

    It helps because Barber is about as unpopular a former star player as you could ever hope to find. Plenty of folks felt he turned his back on the Giants when he retired and his affinity for slamming the Giants smacks of a guy trying to make a name for himself by spitting on the people who helped make him famous in the first place. That impression was cemented when his extramarital indiscretions found their way to the front page, a moment that sent Barber's post-football career into a downward spiral. Now he's trying to get back in the game by once again ripping Big Blue. 

    Every time someone brings up Barber's comments on Thursday, there's also a mention of the 2007 rip job and it doesn't take much to connect the struggles of that season to the unlikely Super Bowl title that came a few months later. That's going to make Giants fans protective of their coach and turn the anger they're feeling about recent days toward the erstwhile hero.

    They'll get to vent that anger on Sunday when Barber is inducted into the team's Ring of Honor at halftime of the Bears game when Barber will become the first player to be booed a two different ceremonies (he was also jeered when the 2000 NFC champs reunited) honoring great moments in the history of a sports franchise.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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