Tiki Barber: Running backs have to overcome fear of blocking


Former Giants running back Tiki Barber offered up some thoughts this week about how current Giants running back David Wilson can develop into a great player, and he said that overcoming a fear of blocking is a key part of it.

Barber admitted to ESPNNewYork.com that he was “horrible” at pass protection as a rookie and said that developing as a pass blocker is crucial for Wilson or any other young running back who wants to make it in the NFL.

“There’s two reasons why,” Barber said. “You don’t know how to do it and you are scared to do it. Unlike in college where you have smaller linebackers who are really designed to drop in the zone and cover wide receivers in the slot, in the NFL you get these linebackers who are 250 pounds and can do those things, as well. It is intimidating when you give up 50 pounds to a guy.”

Wilson showed a lot of promise with the ball in his hands last year, but the Giants hesitated to use him as their No. 1 running back in part because he hadn’t proven he could protect Eli Manning. Barber said that Wilson can become a “fantastic” all-around player if he figures out how to put it all together.

“He is as dynamic a player at that position that the Giants have ever had,” Barber said. “So it is just a matter of him learning those little intricacies of what it takes to be great.”

If Wilson can be as great on the field as Barber was, the Giants will be very pleased.

18 responses to “Tiki Barber: Running backs have to overcome fear of blocking

  1. Yes, Tiki did some things that earned him justified disrespect. But he was and is a pretty intelligent person. His perspective on why some RBs struggle to learn pass blocking is insightful – I’ve never read that before. He also made the point that a RB in the backfield during a pass play is the only other player who sees the field from the QB’s perspective – something that hadn’t occurred to me before.

    I found this piece helpful in trying to figure out why the Bolts’ Ryan Mathews has failed to learn pass blocking in the NFL. I think Tiki could help an RB such as Mathews or Wilson if he were brought in as a special consultant to teach one thing – how to become an effective pass blocker as an RB.

  2. It must have been that fear of blocking that caused Tiki to put the ball on the ground so often.

  3. Why does Tiki think the Giants care about his advice? Or him for that matter.

    Wilson is a different kind of back anyways. And he can at least block long enough to be a decoy for Eli to get the ball to when things break down.

    He has way too much to say about his former team. Time to give it a rest.

  4. Look at Tiki trying to ride his good comment wave for some brownie points haha.

    its more about how he went about the Eli comments that got him in trouble with NYG fans than the actual comments..everyone in NY and outside know Eli talks and sounds more like rain man than peyton and at times sounds corney and might make you laugh..

    but when you retire like you did and go on TV and first chance bash your old teams coach/QB– lose/lose

  5. Hate him all you want, at 40 or however old he is he’s still probably better than whoever you’re trotting out at rb.

  6. With these last two public comments made by Tiki,
    first defending Strahan and now these positive words about Wilson, one would almost think that he was trying to win back the hearts of Giants fans…

  7. Did Tiki Barber hire some new PR people? Why is this gerbil of a human being talking so much lately? Nobody likes him or respects him, so he really should dry up and blow away.

  8. Tiki experienced the fear of fumbling, got over it, then decided he was a media darling. He lit that career on fire, then decided he could still play. Nobody agreed, and now he talks for free. He should spend some quality time with Donovan McNabb. They have a lot in common.

  9. Just so im clear, running backs aren’t afraid to get tackled by these 250lb linebackers, but when they actually get to hit them, its scary.

    got it.

  10. 1) Why is Tiki Barber still talking.

    2) Why does the media keep going to him for quotes.

    He was never great. The Giants got better when he left. His attempt at a media career was a travesty. It seems to me that Brian Pontbriand would be a better interview.

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