Subs came up big in a Giant victory

Ramses Barden (13), stiff-arming Luke Keuchly, caught nine passes filling in for Hakeem Nicks in New York's win. Getty Images
Ramses Barden (13), stiff-arming Luke Keuchly, caught nine passes filling in for Hakeem Nicks in New York's win. Getty Images
Posted: September 22, 2012

Coaches always tell their backups to be ready. A play or an injury often separates them from being a starter or - at the least - a contributor.

With the New York Giants, that happened to running back Andre Brown, wide receiver Ramses Barden, and rookie cornerback Jayron Hosley over the last six days, and boy did they take advantage.

Brown, who has been cut seven times by five teams since 2010, carried 33 times for 184 yards and three touchdowns filling in for Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) in wins over Tampa Bay on Sunday and Carolina on Thursday. Coming into the season, he had two career carries for minus-1 yard.

Barden, who had nine catches last season, had nine receptions for 138 yards in the 36-7 rout of the Panthers filling in for Hakeem Nicks (foot). The third-round draft pick caught 15 passes in his first three seasons.

Hosley has started the last two games with Prince Amukamara (ankle) and Michael Coe (hamstring) hurt, and he came up with his first career interception Thursday.

Upset with Newton

Panthers receiver Steve Smith said he "lit into" Cam Newton about his actions on the sideline when the young quarterback was replaced late in the fourth quarter of the 36-7 blowout loss to the Giants.

Smith said he was upset when Newton sat sulking on the bench instead of getting up to watch backup Derek Anderson and trying to learn from his own mistakes.

As a team captain and the elder statesman of the team, Smith felt something needed to be said to the 23-year-old Newton about the importance of remaining positive and better handling adversity.

Newton declined comment through the team, which has the weekend off.

No settlement in sight

The NFL and its locked-out officials met twice this week but remain far apart in settling their financial dispute, sources told ESPN.com.

Despite substantial discussion, "significant" and "serious" economic gaps remain and no further talks are scheduled, a source said.

The regular officials have lost an average of more than $50,000 each so far. The average official made $150,000 last year for a 20-game season. They have missed seven game assignments, including preseason.

The NFL locked out the regular officials in June and has been using replacements as the season enters its third full weekend. Many players, coaches, and fans have been upset with what they say is poor officiating. The NFL has warned teams that it won't tolerate confrontational behavior toward the new officials.

What Brown can do

Two years after a messy breakup with the team he led to its last NFL championship, the team he gave everything to for nine seasons, and the team he left at the peak of his playing career, Jim Brown wanted to make one thing clear.

"I am forever a Cleveland Brown," he said.

The Hall of Fame running back, who had been estranged from the organization after he was relieved of his duties as a senior adviser, attended an alumni golf outing Friday with some of his former teammates.

Brown, 76, hopes to work again for the Browns and said he'd meet Saturday with incoming owner Jimmy Haslam III, who recently purchased the Browns for $1 billion from Randy Lerner. Brown wants to have an impact on some of Cleveland's young players and believes he can help the Browns accelerate their turnaround.


This article contains information from Inquirer wire services.

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