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New York Giants news & notes: Ross has played safety

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We mentioned yesterday that Aaron Ross finally returned to practice for the New York Giants. There has been much speculation that if Ross ever got back in the lineup the Giants on whether the Giants would consider playing either him or Terrell Thomas at safety.

Well, Ernie Palladino pointed out something yesterday that I did not know -- Ross has played safety before. And, as he told Ernie in a conversation Wednesday, he is willing to do it again.

"If I'm asked to move, I'd be more than willing," Ross said. "We're supposed to know the whole defense, anyway; know what everybody else is doing."

I can't imagine Ross being able to play more than a handful of snaps. But, if he can play some safety in long-yardage situations I would think that would be a boost to the pass defense.

The Giants assistant coaches were available to the media Wednesday. Check out all the interviews on the Transcripts page. Here are a few highlights.

Kevin Gilbride also dropped a little knowledge in his interview. He always takes a lot of heat over the distribution of carries between Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. Turns out, which back is in the game is not his call. It's up to running backs coach Jerald Ingram. Here is that part of Gilbride's interview.

Q: Is Brandon getting enough carries – not yards but carries?

A: Oh, I don’t know. As I said to you early on when all of you were complaining that he was carrying it too much and not doing it well enough, that in the end of the season I thought the numbers would reflect a solid season for him. I think I still feel the same way. When it is all said and done it will all balance out. But they are trying to get --- Ahmad at the beginning of the year was our hot runner and doing a great job. And everybody wanted to get him more carries. And now everybody wants to get Brandon more. You can’t do it all. So you try to split it up. And it is up to our running back coach, who does a great job. And Tom, again, sets the parameters that Gerald operates in. And you just hope that you have the right guy in at the right time.

Defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan is focused on finding ways to improve the Giants' porous red zone defense.

For large portions of the game we play very well, but for a bunch of different reasons, we haven’t done a great job of stopping people when they get the ball down in the red area. That has got to change because you can play great for 50 snaps a game, but if they get the ball inside your 10 and you are not putting up enough resistance to keep them out of the end zone, they are going to have seven points instead of three. You are going to have a hard time winning games. If it had to be one thing, it is very easy to pinpoint and say that would be it. Doing a better job of executing and keeping people out of the end zone and forcing field goals.

Wide receivers coach Mike Sullivan was asked a couple of questions about everyone's favorite mystery man, Ramses Barden. Here is ssome of that exchange.

Q. In terms of his skills as a receiver, we all figured he would have a little bit of an adjustment period coming from Cal-Poly. But how do you think he has been in terms of his receiver skills?

A. He came in from a program that wasn’t oriented towards a pro style passing attack, so there has been a learning curve. He certainly worked hard and there are some mechanics that have improved in terms of his route running and in terms of his releases. The next step for him is to go right over into the game and based upon his performance in the preseason, while he has showed some flashes, he also showed some areas that he needed to improve and to develop and grow. That’s what the good thing is in terms of how he has been throughout this season. Whether it’s getting sprinkled in with some reps with our offense or being part of the demonstration with the show team, he continues to improve in those areas, so that combined with some of the special teams value which you really can’t separate, those would be the two factors that I think will be critical with getting him more opportunities.

Q. During training camp he was like the star of camp, just doing physical work. Then when it got more into the games and everything he kind of faded?

A. That’s always the big test for a football player, to be able to transfer success into success from practice into a game scenario. That’s the challenge. I think one of the things when you look at the three receivers who have had the most opportunities thus far this season it’s been a combination of health, being able to be out there and stepping up when getting an opportunity. Then making plays when given opportunities. The guys that are able to do that stay out there and are the ones who are going to be out on the field the most.

Sullivan also said Barden needs to show special teams value to be active on game days.