(Albany, NY- August 3, 2009) -
When Ramses Barden walked out of the Colonial Quad dining hall after practice Monday morning, most reporters stationed outside were confused.
"He looks too big to be a receiver," said one cameraman when asked if the tall player in the black hoodie was indeed Barden.
In street clothes, the 6'6", 227-pound receiver resembles a rebounding specialist more than a speedy wide receiver who gallops a 4.48 40-yard dash.
But on the field, Barden fit right in with the other young receivers trying to earn one of the Giants' top two wide receiver spots; he was running precise routes and out dueling defensive backs for jump balls.
Both rookie wide receivers, Barden and Hakeem Nicks, got their first taste of training camp Monday morning and impressed fans and coaches alike.
The comparisons to Burress do not affect Barden. He's foucusing on doing what he's done to make it this far: making plays.
"(Replacing Burress) is not something on my mind," Barden said. "My goal is to learn the playbook. Everything else that comes after that is icing on the cake."
It will be up to a host of young wide receivers to help the duo of rookie receivers learn the playbook and the concept of the offense.
Though they lack sufficient experience, guys like Steve Smith and Sinorice Moss are now the veteran leaders of the receiving corp. They learned from Burress and Toomer; now they must pass down that knowledge to players barely younger than they are.
"(Nicks) was getting frustrated because he wasn't getting balls," Smith said. "I told him to keep his head in it and to stay focused. The opportunities are going to come and just make sure you're ready."
Moss has also taken it upon himself to get the duo up to speed.
"I'm going into my fourth year; I know the offense, I know the dos and don'ts. I can teach Hakeem and Ramses what to do," he said.
As both players digest the playbook, they will receive reps with the second and third teams, but Coughlin said that both players would receive time with the first unit.
"Right now those guys are up to here trying to learn what we do, and that's the first thing," he said. "Lets see if they can comprehend all the things we're asking them to do."
David Sanchirico is in Albany this month to cover training camp for blogNYG.com, Bleacher Report, bigblue101.com and SNY's Giants' Football Blog....