Aaron Henry corners in on switch to free safety

first_imgAfter struggling at cornerback, Henry is switching to free safety to back up Maragos.[/media-credit]Aaron Henry is not new to adversity.A torn ACL from late 2007 earned him two surgeries and forced him to redshirt for the 2008 campaign. Henry went from setting the school defensive back records for sacks one year to sitting out injured the next. In 2009, Henry is healthy and back on the field.However, a new challenge has been put before him.Head coach Bret Bielema has made the decision to switch Henry, who has been “in a little bump in the road” according to the coach, to free safety. The move places him behind starter Chris Maragos on the depth chart.“One thing that we think he can do is help us out on third down,” defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks said. “That was kind of one of the reasons we wanted to move him in (to safety). We wanted to get a guy in there with some range … and some cover ability.”Henry has not registered more than a tackle since his three against Michigan State and has yet to break up more than one pass in a game. Bielema’s decision became official during the weekly press conference Monday. The Badgers hope Henry will be more effective in his new role, allowing other players at the corner positions playing time.Although Henry is switching to safety, his sensibility and experience as a corner are what appeals to the coaching staff.“What this does is it changes us on third down,” Cooks said. “Now we’re feeling confident out there with four corners and one safety, you know, with Henry being the fourth corner and Chris Maragos the safety. You feel good about matchups.”Henry has had limited experience outside of his natural cornerback position.“I played (safety) a little bit in high school,” Henry said. “I think my sophomore year of high school I moved around, from strong safety to corner to free safety. I played a little bit of everything, but that’s about it. High school was the last time I played safety.”Henry was gradually introduced to the position.“Initially, I didn’t really take heed to it,” Henry admitted. “I didn’t really like it at all, I won’t sit here and lie to you. But whether it’s safety or cornerback, at the end of the day, you still have to come up and tackle, you still have to cover.”The move has taken place over three weeks. Prior to the Purdue game, Henry said he had begun taking a few reps in the new position in addition to his normal practice at cornerback. During the week before Indiana, he received a much higher workload there.The toughest portion of the position switch for Henry has been changing his mindset from a cornerback’s to a safety’s. The responsibilities of the safety, as a last line of defense, extend beyond those of a cornerback.“You have to do a whole lot more at safety than cornerback,” Henry said. “You’re the eraser guy. If the ball breaks past you, it’s more likely it’s going to be a touchdown. At free safety, you have to know what everybody is doing. You have to do your job, but you have to know all the calls. It’s just knowing everything.”Asked if he feels more pressure at his new position, Henry answered immediately, “No.”“I still don’t have it down pat at all,” he acknowledged. “But Chris Maragos has been helping me out. I’m definitely starting to learn more about the schemes of our defenses and our weakness.”“I think (moving to safety) has been good for Aaron,” Maragos added. “He understands the defense (and) he’s a great athlete. Just from what I’ve been seeing, from early on, what he’s been doing, he’s transferred pretty well.”Henry brings extra speed to the safety position that Maragos doesn’t quite have. He also has close coverage abilities safeties normally don’t have.“He’s got really good ball skills,” Maragos said. “He’s really rangy. He can cover a lot of field.”Maragos also voiced confidence that the biggest part of the transition, the mental aspect, will go Henry’s way.“I thought it might be a little much for him,” said Maragos. “But he’s really right along with it. He understands everything.”Henry cited Maragos as a great help and resource for him in the move.“[Maragos] has been huge,” Henry said. “He knows I can play. He’s been helping me with all the calls. … It’s more the pre-snap (part).”Henry’s coaches have taken notice of his play at his new position in practice. They have especially noted his ability to understand the intricacies of the defense.“He’s got an awesome mind,” Cooks said. “He’s real savvy. Having played corner, seeing the field from the safety’s side, it’s tremendous what he’s been able to do.”On top of everything, Maragos is enjoying the extra time he gets to spend with Henry.“It’s been fun because Aaron and I are best friends,” Maragos said. “We’ve been lockermates for the past three years, so it’s fun because he’s playing safety now and I can hang out with him at practice.”Henry didn’t make an appearance in the Indiana game last week. With Michigan coming Saturday and Henry fully integrated into the safety position, things will likely change.“We’re rolling him,” Cooks said. “He’s part of the package now.”This season has been frustrating for Henry, but it isn’t as if he hasn’t experienced some difficulties before.“It’s been rough,” Henry said. “But this is definitely a test, but I’ll just take it and roll with it. Sometimes we go through things to, in the future, make us realize what we went through. I can’t do anything about it but go out there and continue to play.”last_img read more

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Susan O’Leary – Alderney – Esports challenge accepted

first_img Susan O’Leary, AlderneySusan O’Leary, CEO at Alderney Gambling, says Esports betting throws up major regulatory challenges, but the industry needs to take them on to safeguard its future.Esports has come a long way in a short space of time. From a small number of hardcore enthusiasts duking it out from their parent’s basements to professional teams going head-to-head in front of capacity crowds at the world’s largest entertainment arenas, Esports is now a global institution.Last year, the Esports sector generated revenues in excess of $890 million according to SuperData Research, with viewership figures smashing the 210 million mark. Those figures are expected to rise to $1.5 billion and 600 million respectively by the end of the decade, according to Newzoo.Esports’ rapid rise from niche interest to blockbuster franchise has, naturally, seen it intersect with the gambling industry. Like other sporting activities, fans want to bet on their favourite players, teams and the outcomes of contests, allowing them to engage on a higher level while adding additional value to their experience.The speed at which Esports has arrived on the scene has left the gambling industry gasping for breath, however. Operators have moved quickly to offer their customers markets on all the major contests, but the sector has also created a new type of wager known as skin bets, which account for most Esports gambling revenue.Skin bets see players stake virtual goods such as swords, shields, costumes, etc from the games. Eilers & Krejcik Gaming estimate the market to have been worth $5.1bn in 2016 while cash betting was a fraction of that at $750m. It’s a big business, and one that looks set to continue growing over the coming months and years.There is a dark side to Esports wagering – particularly skin betting and to a lesser extent cash bets. The sector has been, and remains, unregulated. This means the whole industry, especially those operating betting businesses, are exposed to major scandals that could have catastrophic long-term consequences.The most serious of which is underage gambling. It must be remembered that Esports is hugely popular among millennials – those aged between 18 and 32 – and it would be naïve to think those aged 17 and younger are not also playing games and wagering on the outcomes of contest through skin bets.The sector is crying out for regulation. Not only to protect punters, but also the integrity of professional players, contests, leagues, tournaments and the operators, suppliers and service providers plying their trade in the market.The sector needs to move fast if it is to safeguard itself from a potential crisis; all stakeholders – from streaming services to bookmakers, governments to internationally recognised regulators – need to come together and thrash out a battle plan that facilitates ongoing industry growth, but that is also secure and sustainable.Esports presents a number of unique challenges; skin betting is a new phenomenon those providing oversight need to learn more about, the industry is absolutely global and not bound by borders, new and exciting betting platforms are being introduced all the time and currencies are sometimes virtual, sometimes real, and often both.It requires collaboration; regulators and governments need to listen to tech providers to learn what products they offer, how they work, and where they are exposed to manipulation. Operators and suppliers must understand the need to protect players and be compliant with internationally-recognised gold standards.While the regulators such as the Alderney Gambling Control Commission will license bookmakers offering odds on Esports, they won’t regulate the industry itself. To do this, the sector needs to establish its own governing body to provide guidelines and oversight.For bookmakers, it will give them the confidence to offer greater odds and more adventurous markets. It will provide a fairness gauge against which to offset their risk, and ensure match-fixing issues are recognised and handled appropriately.It is time to bring the dark side of Esports into the light. Lessons should be learned from daily fantasy sports and the DraftKings data leak scandal that kick-started a regulatory revolution. If the Esports industry acts now it can circumvent scandal and lay the foundation for a long and prosperous future.It is a hugely innovative, massively exciting, technologically ground-breaking industry that should be cheered and celebrated. It also needs to take responsibility to ensure those betting on contests are properly protected, and that the foundations it has built over recent years stand strong in the future. StumbleUpon GG.Bet scores ESL Counter-Strike & Dota 2 global partnerships July 15, 2020 Related Articles Luckbox: How the return of live sport has affected esports betting July 10, 2020 Share Winning Post: UK racing must put its best foot forward … July 20, 2020 Share Submitlast_img read more

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