EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Coach Tom Coughlin was one of Tiki Barber's favorite topics — and targets — during Barber's playing days and nothing has changed in retirement.
The Giants' all-time leading rusher says his former coach faces a crisis because of the media perception he is losing the team after two straight one-sided losses.
Barber, who had blowups with Coughlin before retiring after the 2006 season, noted that once the perception appears in the media, it becomes reality.
"When you're fighting against something that's not necessarily real, you make it real," Barber said Thursday in a telephone interview to publicize his induction into the Giants' new Ring of Honor. "That's why he's at a crisis. He needs to figure out a way to get control of the situation, whether it's playing better and not making mistakes, whether it's having a group of players like he did in previous years stand up and take accountability."
Coughlin said he has gotten a good feeling in the locker room this week. "We are determined," he said. "We have great resolve."
Defensive captain Justin Tuck defended the team's leadership.
"I think people have gotten leadership misunderstood," Tuck said. "Everyone thinks a good definition of leadership is how much you talk. I disagree. I think the leaders on this football team go out every day and bust their butts on the practice field, the weight room, and the meeting room. That's what leadership is about."
Barber, twin brother of the Bucs' Ronde Barber, doesn't know what type of reception he will get Sunday night. A fan favorite as a player, he angered fans by criticizing Coughlin on his way out, then saying quarterback Eli Manning's leadership qualities made him laugh.
"I've never said that Tom is a bad coach," Barber said. "I think he's a great coach. My issue with him — and he knows what it is because we had plenty of discussions — (is) about how you treat people. I think his biggest evolution has been in how he has respected his players and how he's gotten them to play for him.
"That's why they won the Super Bowl in 2007, and I think that now the team and he need to find that mutual center of respect."
Report: Suspended Buc to enter rehab
TAMPA — Bucs safety Tanard Jackson, suspended for at least a year after a third violation of the league's substance-abuse policy, is preparing to enter a drug rehabilitation center, NFL.com reported. Jackson isn't required to attend rehab, NFL.com reported, and the team's fourth-round pick out of Syracuse in 2007 plans to finish his college degree while he serves his suspension.
new mcduffie trial: Miami-Dade Judge Michael Genden tossed an $11 million damage award and ordered a new trial in a lawsuit over a career-ending toe injury suffered in 1999 by former Dolphins receiver O.J. McDuffie. Attorneys for Dr. John Uribe argued there were fundamental errors in the May trial involving use of a medical manual as evidence. McDuffie was awarded $11.5 million, later reduced to just less than $11 million.
blackouts: The Chargers' home game against the Cardinals will be blacked out. The team with the NFL's eighth-highest prices said more than 6,500 tickets were unsold. … The Rams requested a 24-hour extension to sell the remaining 6,000 tickets for Sunday's game against the Seahawks and avoid a blackout, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Bills: Two starters — linebacker former Gator Andra Davis (shoulder) and defensive end Marcus Stroud (left ankle) — will miss Sunday's game. Starting cornerback Terrence McGee's status is uncertain after he missed practice with a knee injury.
browns: Inactive the past two games because of a high ankle sprain, quarterback Jake Delhomme practiced and hopes to play Sunday against the Bengals.
Jets: Cornerback Darrelle Revis will miss a second straight game because of a strained left hamstring. Revis says he feels "a lot better" this week, but won't play until he's completely healthy. Also, former Ravens defensive end Trevor Pryce, 35, signed, reuniting with coach Rex Ryan.
Packers: Linebacker Frank Zombo says he was fined $7,500 by the league for his hit on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler on Monday. Zombo was penalized for roughing the passer.
Rams: Running back Steven Jackson missed a second straight practice with a groin injury. It's unclear if he can play Sunday.
ravens: Running back Ray Rice said his bruised right knee should not prevent him from playing Sunday at the Steelers.
saints: Leading rusher Pierre Thomas (left ankle) will be a game-time decision Sunday. Also, John Carney, 46, will handle the kicking duties, ESPN reported.
seahawks: Offensive lineman Chester Pitts, experiencing soreness in his surgically repaired right knee, was released.