Giants have been busy this off season with many free agent signings and players leaving.
Here’s my predicted depth chart for the upcoming season pre-NFL draft for the New York Giant offense:

BSR_eli

QB: Eli Manning/ Ryan Nassib/ Curtis Painter:
This position is all but set in stone two time for Superbowl Champ Eli Manning. He’ll be the starting QB once the season begins and with the resigning of Curtis Painter, it seems unlikely the Giants will go QB at all in the draft after drafting Ryan Nassib in last year’s draft.

RB: Rashad Jennings/ David Wilson/ Peyton Hillis:
Rashad Jennings sures up what was a disastrous position for the Giants last year for most of the season. With Wilson’s career in jeopardy due to his injuries, plus the tread on Peyton Hillis and the fact that he’s a power back leaves the Giants with a curious decision about backing up Jennings. They could stand pat and trust Wilson and Hillis, draft a running back in the middle rounds or bring back last year’s leading running back Andre Brown, who is still a free agent.

FB: Henry Hynoski/ John Conner:
Zero chance the Giants get another fullback in the draft or free agency. Interesting position battle in training camp will be between these two as most likely the Giants will only keep one going into the regular season.

WR: Victor Cruz/ Reuben Randle/ Jerrel Jernigan/Mario Manningham/Trindon Holliday:
This is where one of the early round picks could go for the Giants. While Cruz has proven to be a great WR, the rest of the core has question marks. Hakeem Nicks left and, although he highly underachieved last year, he still had championship experience. Randle’s inconsistencies last year don’t help either – he needs to be the over the middle WR the Giants saw when he played at LSU.  Jernigan had a terrific end of the season and looks to be very similar to Cruz, but has yet to play a full season.Manningham, the Super Bowl hero, returns but not too much expected from him. And Holliday will simply be a return man in the upcoming season.

TE: Bear Pascoe/ Adrian Robinson:
This is where many think the Giants will draft in the first round, if not the second round as neither of the two players seem up to starting at this point in their careers. After the disappointing season and the departure of tight end Brandon Myers, the Giants will be looking to sure up a position that has found much success during the Eli/Coughlin era. The name that surfaces when it comes to who the Giants will draft in the first round is Eric Ebron, a 6 ft 6 pass catching machine out of North Carolina University.

Quick offensive line note: Many guys on the offensive line are flexible in terms of what position along the line they can play and thus movement among positions is very likely. This depth chart is purely based on who plays where as of right now.

LT: Will Beatty/ Charles Brown/ Troy Kropog:
Giants offensive line rebuild was fierce this off season and many of the Giants offensive line problems begin with Beatty. Beatty received a big contract extension before last season and didn’t deliver. While it was clear he was playing hurt, it is time for him to step up in a big way this season. If not, back up is there with Charles Brown coming over from the Saints and both Geoff Schwartz and Justin Pugh also able to play left tackle. It’s key to also note that the Giants may still look in the draft to get a left tackle as there is three top guys who look to be potential stars (Jake Matthews, Greg Robinson, Taylor Lewan).

LG: Geoff Schwartz/John Jerry/ Brandon Mosely:
Schwartz, the top offensive line pickup for the Giants, will be a key to stabilizing this offensive line as he did an awesome job in Kansas City; Not only did he open holes for Jamaal Charles, but he also did a great job protecting Alex Smith in the pocket. Then Jerry is an interesting story from Miami, apart from that whole Incognito-Martin fiasco, was a solid offensive lineman in Miami and will be in a backup role here in New York. It’ll be interesting to see how he acts now away from that situation as the Giants look for his character to improve.

C: JD Walton/ Dallas Reynolds:
The least stable of the whole offense right now due to the fact that starter Walton, over from Denver, has an injury prone past and Reynolds has a lack of experience. Look for the Giants to add another center in the middle rounds of the draft to improve upon this.

RG: Chris Snee/ John Jerry/ James Brewer:
Snee did an old time sports move and took a big pay cut to stay with the Giants and, although he was hurt last season, he still looks to give it another run and show he still has something left.  Jerry is also there as backup for Snee in case the injury lingers this season.

RT: Justin Pugh/Charles Brown/John Jerry:
Pugh was the best offensive lineman the Giants had last year. By the end of the last season (Pugh’s rookie year) he was really coming into his own at right tackle and seemed to be improving every game. The Giants will look toward Pugh once again to be consistent and continue to improve every game as he has potential to play the left tackle spot of blocking Eli’s blindside.

The NFL announced today that the patented goalpost dunk that has been done by recently retired Tony Gonzalez and all pro tight end Jimmy Graham has been banned. Many have come out in defense of the goalpost dunk saying that the NFL now stands for the no fun league. But why do we need to have a celebration of somebody dunking the ball over the goal post? Why not act like players that have been to the end zone before?

The act of dunking the ball is a pure individual showboat in a sport that is team orientated. Eleven guys helped make that play a score and the guy showboating the game needs to return to handing the ball to the ref and celebrating on the sideline with your team. Many greats didn’t need to showboat when they got in the end zone, most notably Barry Sanders who often visited the end zone after making up to ten guys miss to get there. He didn’t need to showboat by spiking the ball or doing a dance, so why should a guy who catches a goal line route showboat without his team? Furthermore the game doesn’t add anything by someone doing this, if anything it delays it by making the ref go get the ball. The NFL has done right with this and although it will get a lot of disapproval for this move it is a team game and thus individuals show boating shouldn’t be allowed. Not to mention you can look like Vernon Davis trying to do the goalpost dunk.

1. Nobody will ever get the perfect bracket. After one weekend and two rounds of games, nobody is still perfect. Only 18% of people picked the first game of the tournament correct, according to ESPN.

2. It’s time we stop calling seeds eleven through thirteen “Cinderellas.” These teams are now getting national exposure during the season, whether it be preseason tourneys or non conference games or there conference tourneys. Also, AAU basketball has evolved to the extent where smaller school players are often up against the big name guys for years thus removing the intimidation factor.

3. Freshman lead teams will often fail. We are two rounds in and already most of the big name freshman have been sent packing. (Jabari Parker,Andrew Wiggins, Tyler Ennis).

4. With the new hand-check rule in the NCAA, the refs have become more important in the flow of the game; this isn’t a good thing. As you may have noticed, many “soft,” or otherwise tick tack calls, have been made and big time players are ending up in foul trouble.

5. Foul shooting has been a game changer. The national champ may be the team with the best foul shooting (sorry NC State), as shown by all these fouls that teams have been tested with. Late game clutch free throws many have failed in this spot.

6. We are not far away from a sixteen seed beating a one seed. In the four 1 vs. 16 games, the average margin of victory was 14.5 and three of those games were close as Albany and Coastal Carolina both had leads in the 2nd halves of their games.

7. The ACC, being the super basketball conference, was highly overrated this season – not to say it won’t be in the future, especially with Louisville also joining next season, but this year was a highly disappointing showing as only one ACC team made it to the sweet sixteen.

8. The SEC was the most underrated conference this year as all three of the teams that made the tourney are in the sweet sixteen and the conference carries a 7-0 record in the tourney.

9. Shabazz Napier may be the next Kemba Walker. So far in both of UConn’s tourney games he has found a way to hit the big shot and dominate the basketball, proving to be the best player on the court.

10. Kentucky being an eight seed is the worst decision the tourney committee made.

11. If you leave Luke Hancock open with less than five minutes left in the game, you are going to lose the game. This is nothing out of the blue considering he was the most outstanding player in last year’s tourney.

12. We have seen the last of one of the best scorers in college basketball history. Doug McDermott lost in the 2nd round of the tourney in an abnormally bad game by his standards. But he will get the legacy of being the fifth highest scorer in NCAA history and having the best nickname in the tourney, Dougie McBuckets.

13.  If “Defense wins championships” holds true, then Virginia will be the national champ. Virginia came into the tourney allowing 55 PPG and has lived up to that stat having allowed 59 and 60 points in their two games in the tourney.

14. Boxing out is a lost art in the NCAA. All tourney long offensive rebounds have been easy to come by and has been the down fall of some teams in the tourney. Most notably Arizona State, whose failure to box out on two air balled three pointers let Texas get the put backs in and win the game at the buzzer.

15. Clock operator has made the spotlight and it isn’t good news for the NCAA. The end of one of the best games in the tourney thus far was marred by a clock operator forgetting to start the clock on time and allowing for UNC to think it had more time than it actually did.

16. Stanford or Dayton will be an elite eight team and it is no fluke.

17. Never bet against Harvard in the second round. Always bet against them in the third round.

18. At least one play in team will make a run. Last year it was LaSalle into the sweet sixteen, now it’s Tennessee finding itself in the sweet sixteen. With a dangerous front line that looks to make a even longer run.

19.  Nik Stauskas is far more than a stand in the corner and wait for the pass to shoot the three and he has displayed that in this tourney.

20. Arizona and Florida have been the most enjoyable teams to watch from a pure basketball standpoint great ball movement and unselfish all the way around. Which makes sense as it seems they are on a collusion course to play in the NCAA Final.

The Best and the Worst of the 2014 NFL Free Agency

Posted: March 21, 2014 by Matthew Barry in Football
Tags: , ,
NFL Free Agency has often been seen as a very minor portion of the NFL off season with few players moving from team to team. But as of late, free agency has boomed as more and more players are changing teams and this year set a record with over a billion dollars spent among NFL teams in free agent signings. With all of this action and movement, let’s see who got the worst and best of the busiest free agency in NFL history.
Here are the bottom five:
BSR_RexRyan

5. New York Jets: Their spot at number five is due to the lack of moves given the current cap space the Jets have (third most in NFL). However, they did go out and sign wide receiver Eric Decker, who will help bolster their WR core, but won’t give Geno Smith the help on the outside because outside of Decker and Kerley, no WR on the Jets separates themselves; this will lead to further struggles for Geno. They cut corner Antonio Cromartie, leaving second year corner Dee Milner as the number one corner on the outside who in the past has struggled and swapped tackles with similar talent. Overall, a very unimpressive start to the John Idzik era as Jets GM.

4. San Diego Chargers: Chargers didn’t lose anybody, but did make some signings that left me puzzled to say the least. They immediately go out and pay big money on Colts running back Donald Brown when they already have a stable of Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead in the backfield. Then they spent the rest of free agency signing backups such as Kellen Clements and Kavell Connor for a team that seemed to be trending upward last year, they didn’t do much to improve that this year.

3. Dallas Cowboys: Anytime you lose a future hall of famer on a defense that was historically bad the season before, it’s an automatic disaster off season. Before free agency had started, they resigned Tony Romo to a large deal but then side stepped the win-now move by cutting Demarcus Ware, who some would say was the face of the franchise and the leader in the locker room, than let anyone else who played defensive line go. The only thing that salvaged their free agency period was the signing of Henry Melton, who, by the way, is an absolute run stuffer.

2. Kansas City Chiefs: Biggest turnaround in NFL history last season.  They began this off season by losing five players off that team in the first ninety minutes of free agency. Overall, they lost key starters on an offensive line that proved to be a strong point last year. Even more troubling for the Chiefs is the fact that with all those losses, they failed to address their struggles at the wide receiver position and thus could turn this offense into a walking disaster next season. Overall, Kansas City took a very large step back this off season.

1. Carolina Panthers: Carolina took their team from last season and said goodbye to them this free agency. They lost Captain Munnerlyn, Mike Mitchell, Ted Ginn, Brandon LaFell and, most surprising, the cutting of Steve Smith: the face and heart of the franchise. Couple that with the retiring of two starting offensive linemen that were not replaced, and you have the shell of a team that was thought of last year as a Super Bowl contender. While they did franchise Greg Hardy, which was a plus, they lost too much to move them out of the worst free agent team this season.

Moving on to the top five:

BSR-TomBrady

5. Washington Redskins: They didn’t try to make a major splash, but Washington did very well for themselves in free agency addressing needs and also, the franchising tagging of Brian Orakpo is huge for a growing defense. Washington made a lot of solid signings, among them are upgrading the defensive line with Jason Hatcher, and adding depth at WR and linebacker. Overall, Washington filled some needs and didn’t use a ton of cap to get it done.

4. Tampa Bay Bucs: While reading this, many will point to the releasing of Darrell Revis and say the Bucs lost throughout free agency, but getting eighteen million of cap off the books for a guy who was having issues since he got there isn’t a bad deal especially for a team that is rebuilding. They added Verner, who is a young up and coming corner, and got Anthony Collins, a solid offensive tackle from Cincinnati and a quarterback who has experience with new head coach Lovie Smith from his time in Chicago. Overall, Tampa did a solid job retooling and building up for the future with this free agency class.

3. New York Giants: They came into free agency as a team with many holes in the offensive line, running back, line backing core, and secondary and walked out with almost every single one answered for making it a top three off season. They acquired Oakland down hill running back Rashad Jennings, who had 1,000 all purpose yards in twelve games with a team that struggled to pass the ball. Other key signings are former Chiefs right guard Geoff Schwartz , corner back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and linebacker Jamell McClain from the Ravens. But the biggest move the Giants made was resign middle linebacker and key to the turn around of the defense at the end of last season. The only thing that kept the Giants from further moving up was the loss of Justin Tuck who was a captain and leader on this team and while it, understandably, wasn’t the highest priority it is still a loss that will be felt.

2. New England Patriots: The Patriots didn’t resign or sign many, but anytime you add a top three corner in the game to your secondary, you instantly fill a need and are able to takeaway the top wide receiver on the other team. I am of course talking about Darrell Revis who got a one year deal, almost a ‘prove your worth’ deal in typical Patriot fashion. But they didn’t stop improving their secondary there, they went out and added another top corner from the Superbowl winning Seahawks in Brandon Browner. While he will be suspended for the first four games of the season for a team like the Patriots, that is no big deal as they have depth and are a playoff team year in and year out. Overall the Patriots went out and got their secondary up to play top wide receivers in the league worthy of the number two spot.

1. Denver Broncos: The number one overall spot goes to a team with a bitter taste in their mouth from last season, the Denver Broncos. The Broncos built on their defense, signing future hall of famer Demarcus Ware and former Patriots corner back Aqib Talib and hard hitting safety TJ Ward to that secondary. Once Peyton gets the lead that defense is going to be tough to come back against with Von Miller and Ware coming off the edge.  Yes, they lost Eric Decker, but they went out and replaced him with Emmanuel Sanders. Overall, the Broncos have put together a free agent class that tops the NFL and leaves them in great position for the Superbowl.

Do you agree with these rankings? If not, which team would you change?

BSR Bracket Challenge

Posted: March 18, 2014 by Matthew Barry in Basketball
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s that time of year again: March Madness.

You know what that means? Brackets on brackets.
So this year I’ve opened up the Beat BarrySports challenge on ESPN.com.

Think you have what it takes to beat BarrySports? Come join up! It’s completely free and easy to do, just follow the link, sign into ESPN and fill out your bracket.

Let the games begin!

http://games.espn.go.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/2014/en/group?groupID=528039

NCAA Bracket

As the NFL combine closes, the New York Giants, who hold the 12th pick in this year’s draft, has many needs that could be addressed with this pick.

Management seems to be leaning towards taking one of the top three offensive tackles, if they’re available, which is Jake Matthews, Greg Robinson and Taylor Lewan. While Matthews and Robinson are expected to go in the top ten, Lewan could fall to the Giants which would be the value pick given the struggle of the offensive line last season.

Another popular route would be tight end Brandon Myers who was recently cut by the Giants after his struggles last year; there are some good tight ends in this draft class. The choice at 12th, if available, would be Eric Ebron of North Carolina. Ebron is a solid run blocker and athletic as a receiver which with the impending loss of Hakeem Nicks could really bolster the passing offense.

Another direction they can take is a linebacker. Now, the Giants never really take linebackers in the first round, but there are some studs in this draft. For example, if Khalil Mack ever fell to them, they would be silly not to take him. Another possibility is Anthony Barr out of UCLA – this big, fast pass rusher seems to be more suited in a 3-4 defense, but has athleticism and could adjust to the 4-3. Now if they go best player available in the draft at the 12th pick, it could be intriguing to take a guy like Justin Gilbert out of Oklahoma State. Gilbert has the size and speed to shut down teams number one WRs and could pair with Amukamara to have a solid one-two punch at corner back.

Overall, there are a lot of possibilities and holes that need filling in the draft and this is when Jerry Reese makes his big bucks and needs to pick the best player for the Giants.

What are your thoughts?:

Darrelle Revis Getting Traded Again?

Posted: February 27, 2014 by Matthew Barry in Athlete Spotlight, Football
Tags: , , ,

Miami Dolphins v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Bucs had a very down season after great expectations in the preseason. Much of that came on the blockbuster trade with the Jets to acquire shutdown corner Darrelle Revis. Now it seems he may move again this off season with new head coach Lovie Smith and his cover 2 scheme, not a great fit for Revis. While the Bucs have not shopped Revis nor have they explored it too much, rival executives have been pursuing and do believe a deal is very possible due to the new scheme of the Bucs and the fact that Revis is a sixteen million dollar hit on the cap for next season. What do you think: