Drop The Pro Bowl, Bring In The Skills Competition

Posted: January 22, 2015 by BSRadmin in Football
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Last night the NFL had its pro bowl draft with hall of fame wide receivers Michael Irvin and Cris Carter selecting the teams. It was cool to see how these players crafted the teams and who they valued where. However that is the most effort that will go into this game as if you tuned into last year’s pro bowl (not many did) you see that while it’s nice on paper, a postseason all star game in the NFL just doesn’t produce a competitive game. These games are more about joking around and making sure guys don’t get injured, which is completely understandable for the players. However, as someone who enjoys football I’d like to suggest this change for the league. Instead of doing a game for the Pro Bowl why not do a skills competition where you can separate positions and allow competitions such as best hands for wide receivers, accuracy contests for Quarterbacks, Kickers and Punters, Lineman one on one battles, and events for every position that allows them to portray their skills. Players union should be all for this because it still allows the players to collect the Pro Bowl bonus not risk injury as well as open up another sponsorship opportunity for players who win these contests. Furthermore it could drive up ratings for a game that has lost speed and has no real defense involved. Promoting this event would be easy pitting the best the NFL has to offer in competitions and could even have for example this year’s captains Irvin and Carter draft teams and keep track of number of wins to determine a winner. Every fan would be excited to see the best go head to head at their best skills rather than a half speed game where it looks more like a flag game.

Agree/Disagree with the NFL changing the Pro Bowl to a Skills Competition?

The NFL season is in the conference championship games, which means 28 of the 32 teams are looking towards next season. Many begin to look toward the NFL draft and produce mock drafts, however I don’t believe in doing them this early with free agency and coaching vacancies still being filled. With that being said, the best available list is very important to some teams and many fans following the draft so with this in mind, here is the pre-combine Barry Sports Report Big Board:

1. Leonard Williams DT, USC
Williams is the clear top choice for this draft class as he can overpower tackles and speed past guards. He’s the rare defensive lineman that can play every down whether it’s against the run or pass, Williams was able to make an impact this year. Many were comparing him to the Houston Texans JJ Watt because of his ability to still make plays against double teams with such ease.

2. Jameis Winston QB, FSU
The off-field concerns are very present with Winston and if it weren’t for them he would be the clear top prospect on this big board. His on the field success is well marked and his ability to move around and create plays with his big frame reminds me of Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. His arm and the fact he played in a pro-style offense makes him easily adaptable to the NFL.

3. Randy Gregory DE, Nebraska
Not one of the more popular names among the average college football fan this season, but Gregory did it all for Nebraska this season. The 6 ft 6, 245 lb end has a quick burst off the edge and is the best pass rusher in this draft. Not only can he play the pass but he also has that rare Lawrence Taylor-like ability to chase down a runner on the other side of the field in the backfield. Truly one of my favorite players in this draft.

4. Marcus Mariota QB, Oregon
Throughout much of the season it seemed like Mariota would not only be the top QB in this class, but the overall top spot. Mariota’s playmaking ability and the way he’s able to make throws outside the pocket deep down the field make him a top five prospect for this draft. However, teams will need to work on his accuracy inside the pocket – which given his work ethic doesn’t seem to be to much of an issue.

5. Brandon Scherff OT, Iowa
This mauling tackle is an easy choice for top offensive lineman. His run blocking makes for some great YouTube clips and his quick drops on pass plays is something that most pro lineman don’t do correctly. The real key is his quickness off the ball and ability to be the lower man which is the golden rule.

6. Amari Cooper WR, Alabama
The Heisman finalist has the ability to break the big play every time he touches the ball. Cooper also has the ability to stretch the defense deep down the field as he is able to get separation in single man coverage. Cooper is going to work on how he breaks off against jam coverage at the next level as OSU was able to keep him at bay using jam technique with a safety over the top.

7. Vic Beasley OLB, Clemson
Beasley is a pass rushing extraordinaire as his quick first step and ability to get around the edge produced many sacks for him at Clemson. His film is a reminder of Denver’s Von Miller on film because although he’s undersized on the edge his speed is too much for any tackle to be able to handle.

8. Kevin White WR, WVU
The biggest improvement and draft stock player is West Virginia’s Kevin White. The 6 ft 3 wide receiver became a crisp route runner who attacks the ball at the highest point. The underrated part of his game is how he makes defenders miss one on one in the open field combined with his underrated speed that allows him to break big gains.

9. Landon Collins SS, Alabama
This is a safety with a Kam Chancellor type of feel as Collins is able to come up and lay big hits in the run game. His game doesn’t end there though, he also can read QB’s eyes and is very intelligent to pick his spots to separate the ball from the WR as well as play in zone coverage.

10 Shane Ray DE, Mizzou
Much like Beasley Shane Ray uses a quick first step off the edge to get ahead and push the tackle toward the backfield. He got stuck sitting behind Kony Ealy and Michael Sam, but really had a big season his junior year and is that edge rusher many teams will be looking for in this draft.

11. Davante Parker WR, Louisville
6 ft 3 and quick for his size, Parker has the best after catch ability in this draft class as he is a constant threat to take one to the endzone.  Parker needs to improve his route running at the next level to get himself into space to make the catch and break those big plays.

12. Cedric Ogebuchi OT, Texas A&M
His pass blocking in the fast moving A&M offense makes him an instant top prospect as he was able to use his big hands and ability to get out quick to keep ends at bay all season. Run blocking will need work at next level as he fails to get to second level on plays where he should be able to.

13. Danny Shelton DT, Washington
Shelton is a disruptive defensive tackle who stopped many rushing attacks up the middle for Washington this season. He would be an instant boost to almost every run defense in the NFL next season with his ability to get in the backfield and strength to plug up holes.

14. Benardrick McKinney ILB, Mississippi State
The best inside backer in this draft. He showcased his skills to get involved in the run defense banging with guards, but also proved he has the athleticism to go man to man with tight ends and running backs.

15. Melvin Gordon RB, Wisconsin
Another Heisman finalist. Gordon was a tank at Wisconsin racking up yards almost at a Barry Sanders pace. Behind the Wisconsin system, he showed he can battle in the trenches for the “3  yards and a cloud of dust” and also can get to the outside and break a big play.

16. Dante Fowler Jr.  DE, Florida
He gets high marks for his effort as he is quick and strong, but what stands out most is how he will never give up on a play whether it’s in pursuit or getting after the QB. His effort at the next level should allow him to turn into a solid pass rusher.

17. Trae Waynes CB, Michigan State
This draft isn’t very deep at the corner back, however Waynes is a raw prospect with great size and speed coming out of a Dantonio defense he knows how to come up and make tackles.

18. Todd Gurley RB, Georgia
The trend of running backs not going in the first round should end between Gurley and Gordon. If not for the torn ACL, Gurley would be a top ten prospect as he seemed like a man amongst boys this season up until his suspension/injury. His power and speed, if healed correctly, would allow him to be an instant starter and big play runner upon entry to an NFL game.

19. Andrus Peat OT, Stanford- Peat’s game tape is very underwhelming, but he has all the tools to be a good tackle at the NFL level with big hands, the size and strength look for his game to continue to grow and improve from year to year.

20. Shaq Thompson OLB, UCLA
I don’t know whether he will play outside backer at the pro level, but he will fit somewhere on the defense as he has far too much size and speed not to play somewhere. Very raw player with big splash plays in coverage as well as in the backfield that wows on film. The worry is he disappears on film and is, as stated before, very raw so would need work on fitting the scheme of defenses.

Who do you think is the top prospect?
Agree/disagree with these rankings?

Welcome Back, Spags!!!

Posted: January 15, 2015 by BSRadmin in Football
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Earlier today, the New York Giants filled their biggest opening of the off season at defensive coordinator with Steve Spagnuolo. Spags had previously been the defensive coordinator of the Giants when they won the 2007 Super Bowl and, as I’ve said before, there was no better fit for the Giants than Spags. Now that the hire has been made official, here are some things to look for with the Giants defense as far as personnel and scheme:

Blitz, blitz and more blitz
Spags is a guy who loves to send 6 to 7 guys in passing situations to create mismatches and put the QB under pressure.

Look for safety blitzes
If Antrel Rolle is brought back he would be the perfect fit to come crashing off the edge, which is part of that mismatching speed off the edge package that Spags is a fan of.

Look for him to be fiery on the sideline
Spags is far different from Perry Fewell, the Giants last defensive coordinator, which should bring out the best of the Giants defensive players.

Testing the star corners
The Giants will see what they have in their two starting corner backs in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukamara as they will be on an island in the Spags defense more than they ever have before.

Today’s an exciting day for Giants fans everywhere.
Are you happy to see Spags back?

Big congrats to OBJ!  Yesterday, Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants outstanding wide receiver, was named rookie of the year by the Pro Football Writers Association. This news shouldn’t come as any surprise as Beckham’s 108.8 yards per game was a rookie record. His final numbers were 91 receptions, 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games this season. In the process, he may be the first Giant rookie to save the General Manager and head coach’s job – and for that we thank him.

AP APTOPIX COWBOYS GIANTS FOOTBALL S FBN USA NJ

A Giant Reunion

Posted: January 12, 2015 by BSRadmin in Football
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The NFL off-season is in full swing for the New York Giants – and we’ve started to see some big changes.
Ownership has already decided to hold onto longtime head coach Tom Coughlin and in turn, Coughlin has decided to make a change at defensive coordinator, letting go of Perry Fewell. Which leads to the next topic of discussion, who will replace Fewell? The three potential candidates for Fewell’s position are:

  1. Raheem Morris, the current Redskins defensive backs coach. Morris seems like he’d be an overwhelming long shot for the position given the lack of connection to the Giants and the way the Redskin’s secondary was picked apart this season.
  2. Pepper Johnson, the current Buffalo Bills defensive line coach. Johnson played for the Giants under Parcells as an ‘in your face’ linebacker and has coached in the Bill Belichick system for years as a linebacker and defensive line coach. The issue with Johnson is that he coached for the Patriots for 14 seasons and was passed over when the defensive coordinator job became available for the younger Matt Patricia; it leaves us wondering why? He has also never been in charge of the whole defense throughout his time as a coach.
  3. The final candidate and the guy the Giants should be hiring (In my opinion) is Steve Spagnuolo. Spagnuolo’s blitzing scheme as defensive coordinator of the Giants in 2007 helped them win the Super Bowl. Since then, he has bounced around being the Rams Head Coach for a couple seasons, a disaster season as Saints defensive coordinator (which looking at that roster isn’t surprising because coaching needs talent to flourish) and then finally, becoming Ravens secondary coach where he coached up players like former Giant Will Hill to have a performance in prime time shutting down Jimmy Graham. More than that, his defenses always rank near the top of the league in sacks – and the Ravens were no different, tying for 2nd in the league with 49. While some may deflect that stat because he’s the secondary coach, the fact is he knows how to disguise coverage long enough for pressure to get there and that’s exactly what the Giants couldn’t do in big spots this season. Giants should rewind to 2007 hire Spagnuolo and bring back the pass rush that put fear into every QB that season.

Who do you think the Giants should hire? Vote or comment. Let’s talk.

 

The Case for Tom Coughlin

Posted: December 22, 2014 by BSRadmin in Football
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Tom Coughlin’s tenure with the New York Football Giants has been a roller coaster ride of great ups and downs. It seems every time there has been talk of him losing the team or the franchise firing him the team responds and with great emotion and with some of their best football. The last couple weeks has been no different while the Giants are enduring a tough season implementing the new Ben McAdoo offense, the players have never stopped playing hard or trying to turn it around.

There are those who will say the last two losing seasons is enough to get rid of the coach and that the players have stopped listening to him. However, yesterday’s game was the perfect example of Coughlin’s influence on the team.  Early on in the game Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants’ stand out rookie, caught a touchdown pass and spun the ball while appearing to say something to the defender. This action received a fifteen yard penalty for taunting, upon getting to the sideline Coughlin had a conversation with Beckham. Well, later on – after a number of late hits and questionable moves by Ram defenders – Beckham caught a deep touchdown from Manning and simply handed the ball to the ref. It would have been easy for him to talk trash to the Rams, who most would agree played a dirty play, but instead he listened to his coach, scored the touchdown and moved on.  Coughlin then came out today and defended his star wide receiver to the press – which is something players love about him. Coughlin may chew a player out on the sideline but he avoids ever having it leave the locker room.

A couple numbers to keep in mind: the Giants have 23 players on injured reserve (most in the NFL). Since joining the Giants in 2004, Coughlin is tied with Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots in Superbowl wins (2). Coughlin currently holds a 96-79 record as coach of the Giants in the regular season and is 8-3 in the playoffs.

But above all the numbers, the main point is this: who can better coach this team and lead this franchise right now better than Coughlin? Nobody!

Agree or disagree? Vote in the poll and/or comment below.

 

This weekend, the New Jersey Devils hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals. The Devils split the two games beating the Lightning 3-2 in a shootout on Friday night and losing to the Capitals 4-0. Both games had two goals that will be candidates for goal of the year.

First, Patrick Elias pulls the spin-o-rama and puts one past Nabokov.

Then on Saturday night, Alexander Ovechkin puts the dangles on the Devils defense for an incredible goal.

Both of these goals were great displays of skill, but which is the better goal? You decide: