Tuesday, June 28, 2022

QB linked with Broncos makes USFL debut

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Quarterback Eric Barrier, who was serving a rookie minicamp with the Denver Broncos, made his USFL debut on Saturday, June 11 against the New Jersey Generals.

With 13:06 in the second quarter, the Michigan Panthers brought the barrier into play.

Barrier only played a few games before starter Josh Love was brought back on.

However, Love threw an interception early in the third quarter, and head coach Jeff Fisher decided to reinstate Barrier.

Barrier immediately sparked a spark in the Panthers’ attack. He immediately led the Panthers on a 68-yard touchdown drive, which was activated by a 22-yard touchdown pass midfield to Joe Walker.

As a result, the Panthers took a 20-19 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Barriere put the Panthers within field goal range and their lead grew to 23-19.

Unfortunately, the generals reacted. At 2:28 of the fourth quarter, quarterback Luis Perez beat wide receiver Darrius Shepherd off the touchline for a 17-yard touchdown to take the lead.

The Generals won the game 25-23.

Still, it was a solid debut for Barriere. The Panthers have struggled all season. They currently have the worst record in the USFL at 1-8.

Before Barrier came into play, the offensive was struggling to get going as they scored zero points in the first quarter.

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Quarterback play has been a recurring problem for the Panthers this season.

They selected former University of Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson with the first overall pick in the USFL draft. Patterson struggled as he only had four passing touchdowns in six games. The panthers renounced him on the 25th.

Former Broncos first-round pick Paxton Lynch is also on their list, but Lynch hasn’t done enough on the field to win the starting job.

This season, Lynch has appeared in five games and made two starts. He has completed 32 of 53 passes for 275 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

The Panthers signed their current starter Josh Love on May 11 after he was fired by the Pittsburgh Maulers. They signed barrier on May 20thbut he had not appeared in a game until Saturday.

Given their circumstances, it’s shocking that Barriere wasn’t given playing time sooner.

Barrier was one of the country’s best varsity players in East Washington. He had the second most touchdowns at FCS last season (46). He also won the Walter Payton Award, the FCS equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.

He was unselected in the 2022 NFL draft, and the Broncos invited him to rookie minicamp. However, they never signed him.

As a freshman, Barriere has many advantages, and the Broncos have already shown interest in him. Also, the Broncos currently only have three quarterbacks in their 90-man roster (Russell Wilson, Josh Johnson, Brett Rypien).

Barrier is scheduled to start for the Panthers next week.

If he plays well in the USFL, the Broncos could give him another chance.

Former Broncos first-round pick Paxton Lynch is also on their list, but Lynch hasn’t done enough on the field to win the starting job.

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