New York Yankees: Game Review, April 4, 2018

The New York Yankees took on the Tampa Bay Rays again in the Bronx this afternoon for the conclusion of a two-game set. It will be a game that like yesterday, will go down in Yankees history.

Yesterday Didi Gregorius was the star of the show. Today it was the lethal combination of the BIG THREE, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez who all hit home runs in a game for the first time since Stanton joined the team. And each was a two-run jack.

Stanton’s came in the first inning and according to Statcast, was the hardest hit ball of the young season at 117.9 mph, traveling 458 feet.

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Sanchez followed up with in the third inning and his teammate Judge in the fourth.

The Yankees also got a gem from ace Luis Severino who threw 7 1/3, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits with 1 base on balls and 7 strike outs. Severino notched his second victory in as many starts.

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Adam Warren and Aroldis Chapman finished the pitching duties to secure the Yankee victory by the score of 7-2 and sweep the Rays in the two game set.

How many more times the BIG THREE combine as they did today remains to be seen. But today could have been the first of many nightmares for opposing pitchers.

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Tomorrow evening the Yankees meet another divisional rival, the Baltimore Orioles at home. Remember the early starting time of 6:35 EST.

New York Giants: Here’s What The Starting Offensive Line Might Look Like

The New York Giants are bound to see a major improvement on the offensive line going into the 2018 season. They acquired left tackle Nate Solder for $62 million over four-years, and left guard Patrick Omameh for $15 million over three-years.

General manager Dave Gettleman also retained center Brett Jones and moved former LT Ereck  Flowers to the right side to compete at RT. Flowers and undrafted sophomore Chad Wheeler will battle it out for the starting role.

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Predicting what the offensive line might look like is difficult, as it all depends on the draft, but let’s give it a try nonetheless.

LT: Nate Solder

Solder will immediately improve the Giants’ and Eli Manning’s blind side. This should give Manning more time to allow him to find his receivers more frequently. In 2017, Manning was forced to get rid of the ball in less than three seconds on average due to the inability of the offensive line to block.

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LG: Patrick Omameh

The departure of Justin Pugh left a huge hole at left guard for the Giants, and they decided to look towards the Jaguars for support. Seeing that Leonard Fournette had such a successful year, Gettleman took a flier on former Jaguars left guard Patrick Omameh.

C: Brett Jones

The Giants signed Brett Jones to a modest deal in the hopes of plugging in him at center. After former center Weston Richburg went down with a concussion, Jones filled his spot valiantly. Moving into the 2018 season, Jones should get his opportunity to perform as a starter for a revamped Giants offense.

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RG: Will Hernandez

This is my wildcard. I’m predicting the Giants trade back in the draft and go after UTEP lineman Will Hernandez late in the first round (Bills 22nd overall pick). Plugging Hernandez in would immediately improve the right guard position and hopefully solidify the line for years to come.

The UTEP star lineman is 6-foot-2 and 327-pounds. Hernandez has short arms and a smaller frame, but his power is unparalleled. He’s ferocious in the run game and simply overpowers interior lineman at the point of attack. He would be a stellar addition to a team trying to piece together a decent offensive line for Manning.

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RT: Ereck Flowers

I have an odd feeling Flowers is going to revitalize his career at the right tackle position. While he struggled mightily at left tackle, he could see an improvement on his dominant right side. Adapting to the right tackle position from a technical standpoint could be Flowers’ biggest challenge, but if he can tackle (that’s all he did against edge rushers last season) that obstacle he could end up surprising everybody.

New York Giants’ DC James Bettcher Opens Up About Defensive Schemes

The New York Giants hired former Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher to fill the shoes of Steve Spagnuolo after the lost 2017 season.

Bettcher has entered the organization with a new scheme, new expectations, and a better history. Bettcher has produced one of the NFL’s most feared defenses on a yearly basis, and it all revolves around being relentless.

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“The game is about playing hard, physical and smart. Our guys are going to be relentless.”

“I can talk until I’m blue in the face about playing hard, smart and physical, but it’s up to players to hold each other accountable and believe in it.”

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The Giants lost their confidence early in 2017, seeing several players face suspensions and locker room tension result in fights between teammates. That’s not the New York Giants way, and it had to be dealt with accordingly.

It was expected that Bettcher would be bringing his familiar 3-4 scheme to the Giants in the move, but it seems as if a hybrid defense might be better fit for a team with a strong defensive line roots.

The Giants recently traded away Jason Pierre-Paul and his massive contract, a deal that gave the Giants an additional third-round pick and exiled a huge salary-cap hit.

In 2018, the defense might have a revolving feature, meaning they can switch to a 3-4 or 4-3 on specific plays, making it difficult for the opposing offense to break down their schemes.

One of the players Bettcher raved about was safety Landon Collins. The upcoming season will be Collins’ third year as a professional, and having a versatile and dynamic threat in the secondary only helps Bettcher get his defense where it needs to be.

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EXTRA:

Defensive coach Gary Emanuel gave us reason to believe Olivier Vernon will be a de-facto linebacker in the new defensive system, stating:

“Olivier Vernon is an outstanding football player and great young man. He’ll learn all the coverage’s and be able to make the transition in this defense.”

Hopes are also high for second-year player Dalvin Tomlinson:

Dalvin Tomlinson is a great athlete. He comes from a great program and had a good year last year and should be able to keep progressing.

New York Giants Draft Profile: Christian Campbell

As the New York Giants are likely to look to the draft to improve their secondary and attempt to replace Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Christian Campbell is a player they have shown interest in.

Last month, during Penn State’s pro day, the Giants met with the defensive back and they plan on hosting him for a visit later this month.

Campbell, 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, has experience at both corner and safety with the Nittany Lions. Finishing 2017 as Penn State’s most consistent corner, Campbell has the size, speed, and work ethic to become an NFL starter.

Strengths

  • Good height and long reach
  • Good footwork and speed
  • Uses long arms to break up short, underneath routes

Weakness

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  • Thin frame, lacks strength
  • Will miss tackles in run support
  • Has to work on consistency in technique
  • Loses composure on deep balls

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Summary

The Giants could be targeting Christian Campbell in the fifth-round of this years draft; he could potentially even be an undrafted free agent. Though he may not be a day one starter, he has the physical tools and work ethic to develop into a starting role. It would not be a surprise if he is drafted in the sixth or seventh round to the Giants and, with the proper coaching, become a quality starter.

 

 

 

The Many Mistakes of New York Giants Owner John Mara

New York Giants, John Mara

When the New York Giants fail to perform – John Mara says everyone including him is accountable. Does that mean there is a scenario where he could step down? Now, the errors of his ways:

1. Do you fire HOF Head Coach Tom Coughlin, General Manager Jerry Reese or Both?

John Mara allows Jerry Reese to hose him into throwing Coughlin under the bus!!! Wrong, so wrong. See Jacksonville under Coughlin, See Giants under Jerry Reese. LOL.

2. Players take a knee and aid the polarizing movement spreading across the country. The NFL is taking a beating and John Mara stands idly by while his fan-base goes up in flames.

Does John Mara provide leadership or explain the #giantspride brand to Vernon, Snacks or The Humble? Nope, crickets……

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3. A failed head coach and a soon to be fired general manager go to ownership for permission to end Eli Manning’s consecutive game streak.

Who does John Mara side with? Who takes the place of the Hall of Fame franchise quarterback? None other than now Chargers backup quarterback Geno Smith. Brilliant.

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4. Giants leadership in need of a major overall. It is time to hire a General Manager and Head Coach. What does Mara do?

Reportedly interested in John Dorsey, Cleveland moves most decisively and makes the hire before the Giants are ready. Then a Patriots General Manager / Head Coach Candidate tandem is available, John Mara elects to avoid the scrutiny of fresh eyes for the second time and instead selects an old comfortable former employee Dave Gettleman. Not bold, not brave, no new blood.

5. Odell Beckham Jr debacle has been building for over a year.

Does John Mara lay down the law to the player or seek to trade him? No, the fan base gets double talk and the player gets mixed messaging.

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6. Who is running football operations?

The owner should hire the General Manager and fade to the background. In this case, John Mara seems to micro manage and undercut the General Manager. Who is in control of the draft board? John Mara seems too involved.

7. Was the future of Eli Manning a part of the General Manager hiring decision?

The end game on Eli Manning should have openly been discussed between John Mara, the new General Manager and Eli Manning. He has earned that. After the banishment of Coughlin, there needs to be a plan in place here for Eli. What is that plan? Bueller, Bueller, Bueller…

This ends where it starts. What is the benchmarking of John Mara and how does he get held accountable? He isn’t Wellington Mara. This team isn’t 100 percent owned by the Mara family. The world should know the New York Football Giants are in good and accountable hands.