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Land of the Giants: Off day reading material

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The New York Giants have a day off from training camp today. At least the physical part, as they will spend the day in meetings. Here are some Giants-related stories floating around the Inter-Google to keep you occupied.

Ramses Barden could be the tall target the NY Giants desperately need - NJ.com

I have been impressed during training camp by rookie wide receiver Ramses Barden, the 6-foot-6 beast from Cal-Poly. It seems like I am not the only one. The following is from Mike Garafolo.

During Saturday's one-on-one end-zone drills, Barden ran a fade to the left side of the end zone while being covered by rookie cornerback Stoney Woodson. A few plays earlier, backup quarterback David Carr didn't throw it high enough and Woodson knocked it away. This time, Rhett Bomar lobbed it high and at Barden's back shoulder, trusting (or perhaps daring) the 6-6 rookie to make the play.

Barden pivoted, separated from Woodson, jumped and reached his right hand about 10 feet into the air -- while Woodson could only remain on the ground and watch. With only his right hand, Barden snatched the ball and came down in bounds for a touchdown. ...

In a little more than a week here at camp, Barden has adjusted to the NFL about as well as anyone could have expected of a rookie making the leap from Division 1-AA/FCS Cal Poly.

The third-round pick has made plenty of catches over the top of smaller defenders, has used his big body well to create separation while grabbing a ball in traffic and has run some pretty smooth routes for a big guy. He even took a big chunk out of the "he can't get off the line quickly" criticism with a few impressive post-snap moves, including one quick shimmy that helped him blow right past cornerback Aaron Ross.

Barden's play has surprised a lot of people. Barden isn't one of them.

"I know what I'm capable of," he said. "All I'm doing is trying to be the player I can be. As far as surprises, they have to do with expectations. I didn't really come into this with expectations at all."

With his play to this point in camp, Barden is raising expectations.

"That one-handed catch was terrific. That's the kind of stuff we need," wide receiver Sinorice Moss said. "Using his size and those big hands, that's the kind of stuff you should expect from him. I know I do."

Steve Smith steps out of the shadows

From the Los Angeles Times:

The pattern will never show up in a New York Giants playbook, but it's one Steve Smith has known his whole life.

It's called deep under cover.

Despite his outstanding career at USC and two productive seasons in New York, Smith can still slip past fans the way he does defenders.

That's likely to end this NFL season, as Smith steps into a more prominent role with the Giants, who no longer have stars Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress on their roster.

Which wide receivers are earning passing grades at NY Giants camp?

From NJ.com:

Halfway through the Giants' stay at UAlbany, the largely unproven lot that is the Giants' receiving corps is having its ups and downs. A rundown of where each pass catcher stands so far.

Running back Ahmad Bradshaw hopes to be weapon in Giants' passing game

From the New York Daily News:

Bradshaw not only plans on stepping into the No. 2 running back role this season, he also wants to convince the coaches he can be Tiki-like out of the backfield.

"Oh yeah, that's a big part of my game," Bradshaw said recently. "Last year Derrick (Ward) took a lot of that role. But that's where I can complement Brandon Jacobs. I can come in and catch the ball, change up the speed, change up the pace a little bit. That'll help our offense a whole lot."

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