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Coughlin challenges Barber's claims

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Interesting that Tom Coughlin didn't duck the subject when he was asked at the NFL scouting combine this morning about Tiki Barber's statements that Coughlin's practice regimen hastened his retirement.

"It hurts, because I've held this player in high regard and he performed his best years of his career under us and I'm very proud of that," Coughlin said in the Journal News.

"I don't know what this is all about. To say I had something to do with his retirement, I don't quite follow it. I'm not speaking out of school when I say discussions about retirement started last spring."

Good for Coughlin. If Barber didn't want to play any more, that's fine. He should just admit he didn't want to put himself through the NFL grind any longer, instead of trying to make people believe Coughlin pushed him out the door.

Hey, Tiki, you ungrateful moron, that's no way to treat a guy who turned you from a decent yet fumble prone back into a guy who will one day get Hall of Fame consideration.

Before I took this gig at Sports Blogs Nation, I had gone on record on my personal site as stating that Barber's career was Hall of Fame worthy.

I still believe that. I have also gone on record as stating that, considering his disdain for the coaching staff and his constant divisive comments, the Giants will be better off without him next season. I stand by that, too.

I loved Barber as a player. As a person, though, he has turned out to be a lot less likeable than I thought.

It's time to turn the page, and probably the channel whenever I see Tiki's mug on TV from now on.

Your thoughts?