When offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride was asked for a review of the position this week, he talked about last year's third-round pick, Jerrel Jernigan. He talked about this year's first-round pick, Rueben Randle. He even called undrafted rookie Brandon Collins "really, really impressive."
Barden, the team's tall third-round pick from 2009, wasn't mentioned. He's not even surprised, according to the New York Daily News.
"I practice well," Barden said Thursday. "The next step for me is to carry that over with confidence to the game. Everybody knows what I can do. It's (about) being able to do that in September."
Barden struggled under the bright lights when called upon last year. The chance is there to get snaps as the No. 2 or No. 3 receiver until Hakeem Nicks gets healthy, but it's also possible Barden doesn't make the team. The Daily News called Barden a "long shot" to get the No. 3 role once Nicks is healthy. Veteran Domenik Hixon is also in the mix.
"I'm here to be the man," Barden said when asked about his goal this year. "Plain and simple. There's no explanation needed."
Barden is at that point in his career where he either has to step up quickly or the team will truly forget about him for good.