Just another meaningless preseason game? Not for Ramses Barden, the Giants' oft-injured fourth-year receiver who needed to prove there's a place for him in the team's plans this season.
"They're all important," Barden said of the preseason, "but for me, absolutely. This is the healthiest I've been in a while, and I want to show that the good feeling isn’t going away. I want to be here for whatever my team needs me to do, whether it’s [special] teams, offense, green zone, I’ll contribute in any fashion I can. The more touchdowns I can get, the happier I’ll be."
Barden finally got his first touchdown, albeit in the preseason, in the Giants' 20-17 loss to the Bears at MetLife Stadium. He scored on an 11-yard slant route with 5:33 to play in the second quarter, beating cornerback Charles Tillman to the inside and holding onto Eli Manning's pass.
"I got a catch early, I was able to get some confidence, and I was able to build on it," Barden said. "I watched a lot of tape this week, had a good week of practice, and everything kind of came together."
Barden said the slant route he ran is the perfect route for his 6-foot-6, 224-pound build.
"Being a bigger target is a comfort zone for a quarterback," he said. "They feel I have a natural box-out position, regardless of where they want to throw it."
Barden also made a nice catch on a 13-yard pass from Manning midway through the second quarter. He had to extend to catch the ball, and held on despite being tackled hard.
"I was excited [by his performance], and I hope I can build on it," Barden said.