Tuck says Tiki started to turn teammates off before retiring

Justin Tuck weighed in on LeSean McCoy, the least favorite running back of the New York Giants, and he’s also shared his opinion on another back that isn’t so popular in his locker room – Tiki Barber.

Yes, there are some players remaining there that still like Barber, but Tuck doesn’t sound like one of them. Visiting with “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on ESPN radio, Tuck explained that Barber did a credible job of burning bridges after he retired. The comments were transcribed by the fine folks at sportsradiointerviews.com.

“I think Tiki burned some bridges as he left the game. He said some things that maybe he shouldn’t have said,” Tuck said. “You know things of that nature. If you look back when he talked about Eli Manning and Coach Tom Coughlin and we won the Super Bowl right after that, so it was just something he probably shouldn’t have said. It’s unfortunate because I think a lot of people forget the fact of how well he played the game when he was here. You go to Giants Stadium and they put up highlights of old players. When they put up highlights of Tiki Barber they boo him, but it’s tough.

“Like I said, he said some things leaving the game that kind of left people with a sour taste in their mouth and they don’t forget that, but honestly for me I wish the guy all the luck in the world. I don’t hold grudges. I don’t wish anything negative on him, but like I said he said some things that maybe he shouldn’t have said and that’s kind of coming back to bite him right now.”

It certainly seems that way. Barber is attempting to re-start his career and it will be interesting to see where he lands. How will Barber fit in with his new team? As Tuck explains, he really started to turn teammates against him before he left the game.

“A little bit,” Tuck said. “Tiki has always been the kind of guy that has been to himself. He kind of led by example. He kind of let his play lead by example. He was never the kind of the guy who would get in the huddle and be ‘rah-rah,’ and things of that nature, which is fine, but he did kind of turn some people off with some of things he did the year he was leaving. He kind of knew he was leaving. I don’t know what his reason was. I don’t know if management said something. I don’t know. Yeah he did kind of turn some guys off.”

Can Barber turn people on to him again? Time will tell.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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