clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Which Gamer Badges or Upgrades Would You Give to Canes Players for 2021?

New, 8 comments

We’re talking badges and upgrades here. Let’s have some fun and throw some skill boots to some players on the Canes roster.

NCAA Football: Cheez-It Bowl-Oklahoma State vs Miami Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve all been spending the offseason trying to pass time in various ways. Whether it’s rewatching the scrimmages and spring game reels on a loop, tracking commits and the transfer portal, or simply going back-and-forth with Florida State Seminoles fans on social media, the road to kicking off against Alabama Crimson Tide a lengthy one. If you’re anything like me, you might’ve spent that time behind the sticks and yelling “this game is cheating” fifty times at your tv.

With the anticipation of the upcoming season heightened every day and looking back on the several plays last season that the Canes were a Mark Pope catch or DJ Ivey swat away from making a play, I thought we should have some fun. If you could give a Madden or 2K-like player upgrade to someone on the Miami, what would you choose? Now the rules are that the badge will only boost certain aspect of their game, not transform Charleston Rambo into D’Andre Hopkins (sorry). You’ll also have to think closely about giving someone like him, RAC guy already, a surge in something he already naturally posses. There also may be a player, which surging one aspect of his game, impacts the team bigger others. Lastly, the Infinity Stone boost will be good for the entirety of the 2021 season.

Offensive Badges

Ankle Breaker
Jump-Ball Pro

Red Zone Ranger

When in the red zone, pass catchers with this ability have a better chance to win contested catches against single coverage. There are a few people who come to mind that could elevate the offense with this ability. It’s tempting to give it to Will Mallory and his 6’5” frame. He will see a ton of action in the red zone. But it’s also appealing to have your assumed top two receivers, who lack size, become real threats in this area.

Poll

Red Zone Ranger

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Will Mallory
    (106 votes)
  • 23%
    Charleston Rambo
    (41 votes)
  • 13%
    Mike Harley
    (23 votes)
  • 3%
    Other
    (6 votes)
176 votes total Vote Now

Snatch-N-Go

After securing a catch, players with this ability can quickly shift momentum, change direction, and turn the corner without sacrificing speed. They also thrive on making defenders look silly. Things like their fake-outs, jukes, spin, or hesitation jabs are more effective. We all know Rhett Lashlee is going to use the back as chess pieces, and sometimes in the passing game. A deadly playmaker like Knighton could become even more of a weapon. Or for someone like Restrepo, who has shown tremendous hands so far, a boost in the secret sauce department may get him on the field sooner than many expect.

Poll

Snatch-N-Go

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Xavier Restrepo
    (42 votes)
  • 41%
    Mike Harley
    (73 votes)
  • 29%
    Jaylan Knighton
    (53 votes)
  • 5%
    Other
    (9 votes)
177 votes total Vote Now

Max Security

A surehanded receiver is a quarterback’s best friend. This ability increases their success rate on possession catches. We all know the pass-catching woes of Pope and Wiggins through the years. Giving one of them the ability to increase their hands’ success rate may just make our wide receiver core complete. Also giving the quarterback’s safety blanket, a tight end, a catch boost can also be lethal to opposing defenses.

Poll

Max Security

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Will Mallory
    (93 votes)
  • 21%
    Mark Pope
    (35 votes)
  • 5%
    Dee Wiggins
    (9 votes)
  • 16%
    Other
    (28 votes)
165 votes total Vote Now

Jump-Ball Pro

The Canes haven’t had a go-up-and-get-it pass-catcher since Ahmmon Richards. A player that we know during one-on-ones is just going to attack the ball and come down with it. A player with this skill boost can also make aggressive catches versus single coverage.

Poll

Jump-Ball Pro

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Michael Redding III
    (79 votes)
  • 14%
    Dee Wiggins
    (23 votes)
  • 18%
    Jeremiah Payton
    (30 votes)
  • 16%
    Other
    (27 votes)
159 votes total Vote Now

Push For It

There’s nothing worse than seeing a play open up for a back, receiver, or tight end and watching them get tripped up by a shoestring tackle or taken down by an undersized defender. Players with this ability will frequently gain extra yards while being tackled. There are several players on the team that actually survive contact pretty well. There are also others who, if given the chance, an increased ability to shed tackles or fall forward may make all of the difference to our offense.

Poll

Push For It

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Donald Chaney Jr.
    (115 votes)
  • 17%
    Jaylan Knighton
    (27 votes)
  • 6%
    Charleston Rambo
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (0 votes)
152 votes total Vote Now

Blocks All Day

Your guess is as good as mine for the starting offensive line rotation this year. Jarrid Williams finished with a 69.6 PFF overall grade and pass-blocking grade 79.3 pass-blocking grade. His mark was good for the highest pass-blocking grade of the starting lineup in 2020. Jakai Clarke wasn’t that far behind with a 77.5 pass-blocking mark. PFF also credited Zion Nelson with allowing just 12 pressures and three sacks during the 2020 season. There are some good pieces returning including our mainstay center. With this upgrade, blockers with this ability will allow less frequent shed attempts by their block target throughout the game. The biggest question is do you give a jumpstart to the edges or surge the interior of the line?

Poll

Blocks All Day

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Corey Gaynor
    (21 votes)
  • 68%
    Zion Nelson
    (105 votes)
  • 14%
    Jarrid Williams
    (23 votes)
  • 3%
    Other
    (5 votes)
154 votes total Vote Now

Ankle Breaker

Truly devastating receiving threats are the ones that catch and can’t be caught. When they enter the zone with this upgrade; they have increased fakeout rates on spin/juke/hurdle after the catch. The Keyshawn Smith hype train is still going strong here. If he turns out to be the starting slot wideout, his ability to be a quick-twitch player may prove devastating for opposing teams. It’s also intriguing to make Mallory a RAC king.

Poll

Ankle Breaker

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Keyshawn Smith
    (73 votes)
  • 3%
    Will Mallory
    (5 votes)
  • 42%
    Mike Harley
    (66 votes)
  • 6%
    Other
    (10 votes)
154 votes total Vote Now

Defensive Badges

Brick Wall
Lockdown

Run Plug

Run Stuffers can singlehandedly disrupt an offense. When they get this upgrade, their ability increases to win against one-on-one run blocks. The idea of making Silvera into a true game wrecker is intriguing here. Also, having your starting MLB be a true shedder of blocks could also set the defense apart.

Poll

Run Plug

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Nesta Silvera
    (100 votes)
  • 20%
    Jon Ford
    (31 votes)
  • 11%
    Corey Flagg
    (17 votes)
  • 1%
    Other
    (2 votes)
150 votes total Vote Now

Tackling Machine

For this upgrade, defenders with this ability have a higher success rate on tackles. Both linebackers are up here because the group was truly a pain to watch last year. We don’t have to speak about the 544 yards the North Carolina Tar Heels racked up on the ground last year, do we? Frierson appears to be the guy at striker for now. Making him a tackling machine on the edge could also make us more diverse in packages.

Poll

Tackling Machine

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Corey Flagg
    (59 votes)
  • 36%
    Gilbert Frierson
    (54 votes)
  • 19%
    Sam Brooks
    (28 votes)
  • 4%
    Other
    (6 votes)
147 votes total Vote Now

Lockdown

Lockdown defenders, for this upgrade, have the talent to erase receivers from the game. Their coverage is tighter and interceptions are more frequent on contested catches. Keeping in mind that Al Blades Jr’s passer rating allowed when targeted was 28.8. This was good for third in the nation at the time. So he may not need such an upgrade. Boosting any of starting three corners would be great for the entire secondary. With dominant receivers also lining up in the slot, locking down the interior also offers an eyebrow-raising scenario when teams go three wide plus.

Poll

Lockdown

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Tyrique Stevenson
    (93 votes)
  • 15%
    Al Blades Jr.
    (22 votes)
  • 17%
    Te’Coury Couch
    (25 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (0 votes)
140 votes total Vote Now

Brick Wall

Defenders with this ability will frequently prevent additional yardage gains after the point of contact. They are also rarely faked out by ball carrier moves.

Poll

Brick Wall

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Gurvan Hall
    (30 votes)
  • 34%
    Cory Flagg
    (46 votes)
  • 31%
    Gilbert Frierson
    (42 votes)
  • 11%
    Other
    (16 votes)
134 votes total Vote Now

Rushes for Days

Pass rush wins lead to quicker block shedding. This boost increases a player’s chance to pressure the QB while engaged with a blocker. I think these options boil down to who you think will start on the edge and needs to improve their pressure moves in general.

Poll

Rushes For Days

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Jahfari Harvey
    (69 votes)
  • 20%
    Deandre Johnson
    (28 votes)
  • 30%
    Jared Harrison-Hunte
    (43 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (0 votes)
140 votes total Vote Now

Dual-Threat Defender

A player with this upgrade has a higher chance to defeat run blocks and disrupt catches. It makes sense to have our starting striker up for this skill upgrade. Both Sam Brooks and Keontra Smith are in the battle at WLB, along with other players. Adding this element to both of their current skill sets, may be the thing the Canes need to solidify the front seven.

Poll

Dual-Threat Defender

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Keontra Smith
    (46 votes)
  • 19%
    Sam Brooks
    (26 votes)
  • 43%
    Gilbert Frierson
    (57 votes)
  • 1%
    Other
    (2 votes)
131 votes total Vote Now

Ball Skills SZN

Having a playmaker on the backend is key to any great defense. And not just because we get to wear an iced-out chain. Giving our projected starting safeties this enhancement to become QB nightmares (for Bolden, a bigger one) could propel the defense to new heights. Also, a playmaking CB1 wouldn’t hurt.

Poll

Ball Skills SZN

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    Bubba Bolden
    (88 votes)
  • 5%
    Gurvan Hall
    (7 votes)
  • 26%
    Tyrique Stevenson
    (34 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (0 votes)
129 votes total Vote Now

Bonus Badges

Band-Aid Free

Band-Aid Free

Players with this badge will have an injury-free 2021.

Poll

Band-Aid Free

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    D’Eriq King
    (97 votes)
  • 8%
    Bubba Bolden
    (11 votes)
  • 14%
    Corey Gaynor
    (18 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (1 vote)
127 votes total Vote Now

Gatorade x4

Players with this ability have a chance to maintain their stamina throughout the game. They can go almost full speed for the majority of their snaps.

Poll

Gatorade x4

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    D’Eriq King
    (85 votes)
  • 22%
    Con Chaney
    (29 votes)
  • 12%
    Tyrique Stevenson
    (16 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (1 vote)
131 votes total Vote Now

Speaking of upgrades, which player on the team has to step up this year for the Canes to be successful? Feel free to drop you “others” from the polls below and comment.