420 Posted July 26, 2006 Share Posted July 26, 2006 LINK With the Giants set to report to training camp tomorrow in Albany, N.Y., running back Tiki Barber is hoping his teammates have had a proper off-season attitude adjustment. Last year was about competing, about respectability and restoring Giants' pride. But after getting booted from the playoffs in an embarrassing shutout at home, those days are over. Now there should be one goal, Barber said -- winning the last game of the season. "In my mind the way last season ended it did take away from everything," Barber said yesterday during an interview in Manhattan, where he was busy raising awareness for his latest cause, sickle cell disease. "To get to that point and not be a shell of the team we were was egregious to me. I've put everyone on call to change the rhetoric and set the goals higher." When Barber looks at the rest of the guys who will be suiting up alongside him on Friday, he sees no reason for excuses. "We've got talent everywhere," he said. "We can win. We just have to believe it." Those in need of some mental prep work, according to Barber, include quarterback Eli Manning, who struggled with his accuracy toward the end of last year. "With quarterbacks it's all mental," Barber said. "It's not so much ability, it's a mentality that you're going to be strong. You've got to convince yourself that you're going to be good enough to perform." Looking as fit as ever after another off-season with his personal strength coach, Barber was approaching training camp with the usual anticipation and dread. Six weeks in Albany on a college dorm with 80 men isn't the kind of atmosphere a man-about-town like Barber relishes. Barber has worked hard to craft his image as the ultimate athletic role model and a guy who thinks about life outside the football field, which is where his latest campaign against a disease that affects one in 500 African-Americans comes in. "I've got a great opportunity here to say this is something that is important," Barber said. "You've got 1,600 players in the NFL and 70 percent of them are African-American, so hopefully it's something we can get other people to pay attention to." The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America has set up a Web site, www.asktiki.com, and a toll free hotline, 1-877-SCD-TIKI, for sickle cell sufferers and carriers of the disease to get more information about treatments, testing and prevention. "Whether it's because this is a largely minority disease or something else, sickle cell doesn't get the attention or the funding that the American Heart Association or the Cancer Society gets," said Willarda Edwards, President of the SCDAA. "Having Tiki work with us should be a huge boost." Any lobbying Barber might do on Capitol Hill will have to wait until after the season, which Barber hopes won't end until the first weekend in February. He said last year the offense was efficient enough but the team got "dinged-up on defense," something that general manager Ernie Accorsi has tried to address. "I love (linebacker) LaVar (Arrington)," Barber said of the team's most high-profile off-season acquisition. "He's the kind of animal of a player we haven't had since Jessie Armstead. You need a guy like that who is a tad bit crazy but respectful of the game." Notes:The Giants agreed to terms with two of their draft picks yesterday -- WR Sinorice Moss (2nd round) and S Charlie Peprah (5th round), according to individuals familiar with both deals who requested anonymity because the contracts are not yet signed. A report on profootballtalk.com indicated Moss' deal was a four-year, $3.5-million contract that included $1.9 million in guaranteed money. Someone familiar with Peprah's contract said it was also for four years and included a $158,500 signing bonus. LB Gerris Wilkinson (3rd round) will likely agree on a four-year contract this morning. OT Guy Whimper (4th round) and CB Gerrick McPhearson (7th round) are expected to sign in the next few days. The team's first-round pick, DE Mathias Kiwanuka, could take a bit longer Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now