Thursday, August 30, 2012
Barden builds on momentum
By Kieran Darcy
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A week ago, people were speculating about whether Ramses Barden would even make the Giants' regular-season roster.
But after his performances in the team's final two preseason games, Barden can sleep peacefully heading into cutdown day on Friday.
Ramses Barden was the game's leading receiver, with four catches for 31 yards.
The 26-year-old wideout followed up a good game against the Bears last week with another solid performance in the Giants' 6-3 win over the Patriots on Wednesday night.
"I wanted to build, keep building, adding something new every week," Barden said. "I'm in a good rhythm, and plan on continuing."
Against Chicago five days ago, Barden had three catches for 46 yards -- including his first professional touchdown, preseason or regular season.
Against New England, Barden hauled in all four passes targeted to him, for 31 yards, and had another reception negated due to a penalty on the offensive line.
"Nah, I don't get upset about that stuff," said Barden, when asked about the penalty. "Stuff happens, we're gonna work to get it fixed. I'm never gonna blame anybody for anything. I make mistakes -- hopefully I didn't make too many tonight. Guys competed, we battled, we finished."
The fourth-year veteran sounds like an emerging team leader -- and he said he tried to display some leadership Wednesday night, when the Giants were featuring mostly young players trying to make the team.
"We were struggling to find a rhythm on offense," said Barden, "and I tried to be that calming voice and encouraging voice for everybody that was on the field with me."
Barden, drafted in the third round in 2009, has always been an intriguing prospect because of his size (6-foot-6). But he's had a hard time staying on the field in his first three NFL seasons -- playing in just 17 games, with just 15 career regular-season receptions. But suddenly he looks like a candidate to replace Mario Manningham as the team's third wide receiver, or at least be in the mix for meaningful snaps.
"That's what I bring to the table -- big range, big target, great hands, try to make the tough catches, tough plays," Barden said. "Now that I've got that rhythm, I just wanna keep going and continue to make plays for my team."