Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 6/14/12

Many questions surround the New York Giants tight end position going into the upcoming season. A plague of injuries last season leaves Big Blue searching for a player to come in and earn the number one spot. The previous starter, Jake Ballard, who is expected to miss the 2013 season while still recovering from a torn ACL and microfracture knee surgery, was waived by the team and unexpectedly claimed by the New England Patriots.

So who will step up and fill the void? The answer could be three year pro Bear Pascoe. The 26 year old, former sixth round pick by the San Francisco 49ers suddenly finds himself in excellent position to claim the number one tight end position. The irony is that Pascoe and Ballard happen to be very good friends and were actually roommates during their time together on the Giants. When asked about their relationship, Pascoe had nothing but good things to say.

"Me and him were real close," he said. "You hate to see him go, but you wish him all the best of luck, and he’ll do great wherever he goes."

Though Pascoe hates to see a good friend leave the team, he realizes the opportunity that is presented to him. With no clear number one tight end he understands this is a chance to show the coaches his ability and earn a starting position on the roster.

"I'm excited about it," Pascoe said. "This is a big year for myself."

Pascoe has seen limited production during his three years with the team. His most memorable play being his only touchdown reception coming off a six-yard pass from Eli Manning in last year's NFC Championship Game. He then went on to catch four passes for 33 yards in Super Bowl XLVI. Bear's biggest strength is his blocking ability allowing him to see playing time at the fullback position as well. Pascoe is confident that he will be able to step in and keep the offense clicking as well as it did last season. He's also confident Manning will have no problem using him as a target.

"He’s not worried about me. He knows I’ll be in the right spot. That’s kinda where we’re at right now," he added.

Even though he's currently taking reps with the first team, Bear knows that it won't be easy keeping it that way. There are several other options eager to show off their talent and make the case that they should be the top tight end.

There's also Travis Beckum, who suffered a torn ACL in the Super Bowl but is expected to recover fully in time to play the entire upcoming season. He is a young, versatile player who's speed allows him to be shifted all over the field in somewhat of an "H" back role. Due to his superior receiving ability, he will likely see more time on the field in passing situations than Pascoe will.

The team was very active in the offseason attempting to fill the void left at tight end. General Manager Jerry Reese went out and signed free agent and physical freak, TE Martellus Bennett to compete for the starting job. Bennett has spent his young career backing up Pro Bowler Jason Witten in Dallas. Needless to say he is anxious to show his ability. With the uncertainty at the TE position, he sees the Giants as a great opportunity to prove he is a starting quality player in this league. After signing a one-year contract, he will have only one chance to show the organization what he's got and prove to the team that he can be a long term solution at tight end.

The Giants also helped to solidify the depth at tight end by spending a third round draft pick on Adrien Robinson. The athletic stud from Cincinnati is considered a raw talent but possesses the potential to become a solid player in this league. GM Jerry Reese went as far to call him the "Jason Pierre-Paul of tight ends." Though Robinson may not be expected to contribute right away, look for him to one day compete hard to be the number one tight end for the Giants.

These players won't sit back and allow Pascoe to just take the prize. They will do whatever is necessary to show the coaching staff that they should be the starter. Bear knows this and is ready for the battle to begin.

"My plan right now is to just work hard and make our team better, and hopefully take over that No. 1 spot. But I got some great competition out there," Pascoe said. "The way I look at it is, it’s anybody’s game."

One thing is for sure, the tight end battle will be a great one to watch for at training camp this summer. No matter who starts this season, with Eli Manning at the helm, its hard to believe we'll see any decrease in productivity at all from the tight end position this season.

Also…

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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