Great piece in the New York Daily News Sunday about Ramses Barden. Seems his dad, a former basketball player, didn't think Barden was tough enough for the gridiron.
"When he asked me to play football, I said 'No,'" Al recalls. "But he kept begging me. 'They think I'm afraid to play, Dad.' You know, California has the reputation of being laid back, and I thought he didn't have that New York street toughness about him. And I said, 'Well, if he went and played football, maybe he'd be a little tougher.'
"The first time I went to a game, I see him coming down the field, and the ball's up in the air coming toward him, and these two defensive backs are coming toward him. I didn't even want to look. I said 'Oh, they're going to kill my kid.' Then he leaps up, grabs the ball with one hand, comes down, knocks both guys down and takes off and scores a touchdown."
That's a scenario I would love to see Barden repeat over and over as a Giant for the next 10 years or so.
- Pat Kirwan of NFL.com has a look at the importance of third-down defense. He expects the 2009 Giants to be among the league's best in this important category due to their volume of pass rushers.