Can Kyle Lauletta Be The Next Franchise Quarterback For The New York Giants?

As we all know, the New York Giants did not get a future franchise quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.  They drafted a franchise running back to pair with a generational wide receiver instead. They also started to rebuild the franchises most important position on the field, the offensive line.

Despite adding several high quality players to the offensive side of the ball, Giants fans still crave an answer at quarterback. The solution ‘could’ be Kyle Lauletta.

Lauletta was not the most sought after quarterback going into college or coming to the NFL.  He knew that to capture his dream of playing in the NFL, it would be an uphill battle. Lauletta has always had a chip on his shoulder since being rejected by some of the big schools that looked at himPenn State for example.

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Instead, he went to Richmond where he was still able to play football, but his dream of playing in the NFL appeared to get further out of his reach.

However, Lauletta made the very most out of his experience at Richmond.  He was not the flashiest of QBs, but he got the job done. From everything I have read, seen and heard, Lauletta’s football IQ is ‘very high’.  That can be noted simply from Kyle having four different offensive coordinator in his career at Richmond. Sophomore, Junior and Senior year, Lauletta still threw for over 3,000 yards in each season with a different OC.  

Learning new plays, schemes, route patterns, the whole sh-bang, isn’t easy with a new OC, but Kyle made it work.

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I know what a lot of you may be saying, ‘Well, it’s the FCS’.  Yeah, but while Kyle was there, he made Richmond better. Anyway, Kyle was able to work on his mechanics despite not having a great arm. With that being said, I believe that his arm is more than capable.

You want to know why? Because he’s accurate.

Lauletta earned a completion percentage of 64.9 and had a TD-INT ratio of 28-12 in 2017. Throwing in the NFL is all about throwing to a spot and having that tiny window to fit the ball through the defense to your receiver. That’s what I’m looking for in a quarterback and that’s what Kyle Lauletta can do. Ever season in Lauletta’s college career has seen an increase in completion percentage, which bodes well to his potential in the NFL. Further development from professional coaches could be exactly what he needs to reach his potential.

What about his arm strength issues?

Arm strength can be increased, and he already has a leg-up on other backup quarterbackshis footwork and timing.

While at Richmond, Lauletta was able to time footwork to match up with the receiver’s route breaks. Yeah, I’d say that’s one leg up on the competition. That’s something that many quarterbacks coming into the NFL lack, and he’s mastered it already. If you don’t have those two crucial skills, then making a precise NFL pass will be a lot harder.

Adding all three of those abilities together, the timing, accuracy and footwork, I’m going to say the Giants could very well have their quarterback of the future; this is looking past any of his other weaknesses.  Those mechanics are something that NFL teams can work with and what we should be excited about.

Some of you may not like this comparison, but I’m making this comparison through a draft profile only. I’m not looking at what this quarterback has done throughout his career, because nobody thought this man would have accomplished half of what he has.  Tom Brady. Similar to Lauletta, Brady’s NFL draft profile did not scream professional quarterback. It was a very rough scouting profile and no one could have guessed that Brady would have turned out like he has. Again, I’m basing this solely off of the combine scouting reports and profiles, ‘weak’ and ‘rough’.

Lauletta could be one of these hidden gem quarterbacks, similar to Brady, but who knows what the future has in store. One person who I have the utmost faith in when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks is Ernie Accorsi, former Giants general manager.

Accorsi was responsible for drafting John Elway, Bernie Kosar and, of course, Eli Manning.  I think all of those quarterbacks panned out just fine. Accorsi said that Lauletta could be the ‘steal’ of the draft.  He continued, ”you can increase arm strength, but he has everything else.”

Yeah, I’m sold.  I shouldn’t have had to look into everything else after I heard this from Ernie, because he knows quarterbacks. His resume when it comes to drafting quarterbacks speaks for itself. I think the Giants might have found their guy for the future. I’ve heard NFL ‘experts’ say that Lauletta would be the perfect successor to Tom Bradyjust from that, I think we got ourselves a winner.  I’m not putting all my eggs into the Lauletta basket and saying he’s the next Brady, but I’d say this is a pretty good start for the Giants.

Follow me on Twitter @scooochie for more Giants, Knicks and Yankees coverage.

Here’s What David Diehl Thinks About The Giants Going Into The 2018 Season

New York Giants, John Mara, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants are well on their way to success in the coming months, given their draft picks and offseason acquisitions pay dividends. Trading for a premier linebacker and addressing the offense with Saquon Barkley and Will Hernandez elevates the team’s potential significantly.

Former offensive lineman David Diehl spoke to about his aspirations for the team, and why the Giants will be as competitive as ever.

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“You’re going to be looking at a completely different offense. Now you have Saquon Barkley, to Will Hernandez, to Nate Solder, and now coming back with a healthy Odell Beckham Jr., you’re looking at a dangerous offense that can do a lot of things. A lot of people have been talking about Pat Shurmur coming in, and we know the success that he was able to have in Minnesota, but people aren’t talking enough about Mike Shula, who was the offensive coordinator in Carolina who was able to use Christian McCaffrey unbelievably last year.

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Ensuring that the Giants make the most out of Barkley’s abilities will be a priority going into the 2018 campaign, and Big Blue added just the guy to make that happen. Former Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator Mike Shula was brought on to assist HC Pat Shurmur in calling the offensive plays.

Shula played a massive role in utilizing Christian McCaffrey last season, helping him earn 435 rushing yards and 651 receiving yards. The Stanford product also contributed seven total touchdowns. Now, we must realize that McCaffrey holds only a fraction of the ability Barkley brings to the table, as he can block, run with power, and catch the football.

We are truly lucky to have a player like Barkley on the offense. Shula will help find creative ways to get Barkley into open space and exploit holes in the opposing defense.

Diehl further stated:

“Add that Saquon Barkley piece along with an upgraded offensive line and Eli Manning, a veteran quarterback like he is, I know it’s going to be a completely different season and it’s going to be an incredibly competitive football team.”

Several teams including the Los Angeles Rams and Minnesota Vikings have made the transition from worst-to-first in the last two years, which attests to the Giants potentially doing the same. They addressed the offensive line, linebacker corps, defensive line, and running back position. In fact, signing Barkley helps the running back position, wide receiver corps, AND the offensive line. He’s the definition of killing three birds with one stone.

The Giants ranked near the bottom of the league in every offensive category in 2017 — 31st in points (15.4), 21st in yards (314.2), 19th in pass yards (217.4), and 26th in rushing yards (96.8). Those numbers will undoubtedly see a major increase in 2018, as GM Dave Gettleman ensured that he addressed every statistic with fresh personnel.

The Day the Red Sox Lost to a Red Sox Fan (And the Yankees)

New York Yankees

One of my best friends in High School was the son of a local weatherman. He often had access to decent seats at a few sporting events, including some New York Yankee games. This worked out well for us since we were both huge Yankee fans, and his father took us to games on more than one occasion. It’s been about 25 years, so the memories are a bit fuzzy. But one game stands out above the others, if only because of the shear ridiculousness that precipitated in the upheaval that was the 9th inning.

It was September 18, 1993, and Buck Showalter’s Yankees were just wrapping up their first winning season since 1988. It was also the first of 25 straight winning seasons (so far) and thus the beginning of the next Yankee dynasty. The ’93 Yanks featured some names that give the nostalgic fan goosebumps to this day. Players like Mike Stanley – one of the most unsung catchers to wear pinstripes, and Jim Leyritz – the powerful clutch hitting utility guy graced the field in those days. Then there was Tartabull… Velarde… Stankiewicz…

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Wade Boggs had just joined the Yankees from free agency that year. Paul O’Neill was new to the franchise as well, having been acquired from the Reds in exchange for Roberto Kelly that offseason. Bernie Williams was a full timer for the first time, his third season in the majors. Don Mattingly was still two seasons away from calling it a career.

I loved that rotation too. Melido Perez’s best days were behind him, but he was still my dude. Melido was actually my name in Spanish class that year. The amazing Jim Abbot was the #2 guy, and that day was exactly 2 weeks after he no-hit Cleveland… WITH ONE HAND. I’ll say it again, a guy named Jim, with no right hand, threw a no-hitter against a Major League Baseball Team. Whoa…

It was Jimmy Key’s first season in New York as well. He was the bona-fide ace of the staff, and he was on the mound that day. Mo Vaughn got things started early, smashing a flyball to deep right for a 2-run homerun. Tim Naehring, now the Yankees VP of Baseball Operations, scored the other run on that shot. Key battled all game long, lasting 6 innings while throwing 125 pitches and earning 3 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks.

Here’s the video of that insane 9th inning comeback:

Nate Minchey was the starter for Boston that day. It was the second start of his career, and he would only have 10 more starts afterward. He somehow managed to hold New York to only 1 run on 6 hits and a walk in 6 innings though, not bad. The one run surrendered was on an O’Neill line drive down the right field line for a solo homer, and that is how he ended his day.

Not much happened after that until the bottom of the 9th, where the Yankees found themselves down 3-1 with the bottom of the order on deck. Matt Nokes started things off, and promptly grounded out an 0-1 pitch to the shortstop John Valentin for the first out. Bernie was next, and he hit a 1-1 pitch for the same result. Now here’s where it gets weird…

The 9 hitter, Mike Gallego, comes to the plate and takes a 2-1 meatball from veteran reliever Greg Harris off his right fore-arm. Now the Yanks have the tying run at the plate, so Showalter opts to pinch hit Stanley for Velarde. And hey, it’s a solid move. Stanley > Velarde, all day every day.

Unfortunately, Stanley pops up the 0-1 pitch to Mike Greenwell in shallow left for out number 3. Ballgame ov… Nope. Ballgame not over! A millisecond before the pitch was thrown, some kid runs out from foul territory behind third and third base umpire Tim Welke calls time. You can actually lip-read Greenwell cursing the kid out in the video replay.

After the kid gets dragged off, the Red Sox manager Butch Hobson is incredulous, yet despite his protests the play will be done over since time was called before the ball left Harris’ hand. Everyone goes back to their stations, and the Yankees have a second life.

Harris once again sets up to throw 0-1 and hangs a curve ball that Stanley smacks through the hole between Valentin and third for a base hit, and now there’s runners at 1st and 2nd with two outs. At this point I remember we moved down to the front row and were beating the wall senseless, since clapping didn’t feel sufficient. My friend’s father, the weatherman, was also there with us along with the anchorman from the station he worked at. You could smoke in the stadium in those days, and Don (the anchorman) had been chain-smoking the entire game.

The stadium was beginning to erupt. 10 years of frustration had been slowly alleviated all season long, but it was still there, and this felt GOOD.

Showalter points an authoritative finger toward first, indicating that he wants Gerald Williams to pinch run for Stanley. Stanley could hit, but Gerald could run. Next up, THE Wade Boggs, who bounces a 2-2 curve perfectly between Vaughn and second baseman Scott Fletcher for yet another groundball base hit. Scott did get to the ball but by then it was too late, and Boggs was safe. Gallego scores. 3-2 Boston with men on first and second, 2 outs.

Dion James walks to load the bases, and now it’s Mattingly’s turn to bat. Stankiewicz pinch runs for Boggs at second. Yankee Stadium is a burning cauldron of excitement and venom as Donnie “The Hitman” Mattingly, aka Donnie Baseball steps to the plate with bases loaded and a .571 batting average in such situations that year, against the hated Red Sox of Boston.

And just like that, I remember it in slow motion, Harris throws just about the flattest curve you’ll ever see, and Donnie effortlessly lines it to shallow right. It was pretty much the same exact spot that Boggs hit his, just a little harder, so it made it all the way to right fielder Bob Zupcic.

Williams scores easily. Zupcic fields and throws a nice looking one-hopper to the plate but catcher Tony Peña is unable to field it cleanly. It doesn’t matter because Stankiewicz was already crossing the plate for the winning run. Ballgame over, for real this time. Bedlam ensues.

I don’t remember much after that. I know the halls were filled with fans who were over the moon. This was 11 years before the Red Sox finally ended their curse, so their fans were still few and far between, however one Boston fan would turn out to be the hero that faithful day. The following morning, I looked at the recap of that game in the sports section of the Hartford Courant. I read it over and over, and I’ll never know if this is true or not, but it seems plausible… my favorite part of the article was where they had indicated that the fan on the field was, in fact, a Red Sox fan. The Hardball Times claims it was “some jaggoff Yankee fan” but I remember.


How Does Chad Wheeler Stack Up Against Ereck Flowers At Right Tackle?

As we journey forward into the 2018 season, there seem to be few complications for the New York Giants after two of their biggest voids were filled with LT Nate Solder and first-round pick Saquon Barkley.

Now, locking up the New England Patriots star left tackle for five-years should put a smile on the face of most Giants fans, but there still remains an issue on the right side of the line. There’s no doubt that as long as Solder is healthy he will be the starter at left tackle this season, but now Ereck Flowers known to be one of the biggest busts for the Giants, will have to go up against UDFA Chad Wheeler for the starting position at right tackle.

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Being that the Giants did not pick up Flowers’ fifth year option on his rookie contract, clearly depicts the lack of trust they have in Flowers on the left side.

Even though this may seem as if it’s the end of the road for Flowers in a blue uniform, a dim chance has presented itself. Chad Wheeler, with 11 games of experience, enters his second season against a three-year vet in Flowers.

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We can assume the days of Eli Manning taking big hits are a thing of the past, meaning at 37-years old, Manning is going to need top tier protection. GM Dave Gettleman made stacking the offensive line a priority during the offseason — we know that when Eli has a solid defense and a bit of time, he can achieve great things.

Now there has been a lot of discussion about everyone else besides Wheeler, but he can be the X factor that the Giants need now more than ever if they are to make a Super Bowl run these next few years.

How did Wheeler perform in 2017?

In week 10 of the 2017 season, Wheeler was asked to lineup against four-time Pro Bowler, Justin Houston. On that rare day, the Giants allowed zero sacks and one QB hit in 68-plus minutes (overtime play). The Giants’ running game also picked up 110 yards on the ground. The rookie lineman played an essential role in leading the Giants to one of their three wins.

The pressure is on for both Wheeler and Flowers, but Wheeler may have the advantage due to his prior experience and development at right tackle.

Reinforcements have arrived:

The addition of Saquon Barkley provides something the Giants’ offense hasn’t had since Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs… A RUNNING GAME!

One that will take the load off of not only Eli but the offensive line as well.  The focus will at first be turned to Nate Solder giving Flowers and Wheeler some time to really develop and understand their role on this Giants’ offense. If the Giants can find a way to make it happen on the O-line at both left and right tackle, then we’re looking at one of the most well rounded teams in the NFL.

Flowers may have only played left tackle for the Giants, but he spent most of his time in college as a right tackle. Hopefully, that experience that he had playing in college can be resurrected, and restore stability to the offensive line that brought Eli manning and the Giants two Super Bowl victories. Leaving us with a memory of how Chad Wheeler gave Flowers the motivation to play up to his potential.

The New York Yankees Stalled in Washington but Lead in the AL East

The New York Yankees and Washington Nationals played to a 3-3 tie in Nationals Park on Tuesday night before inclement weather shut the game down in the sixth inning.

Masahiro Tanaka was on the mound for the Yankees and struggled in the early innings. He gave up a solo home run to Anthony Rendon in the first inning, followed by run scoring hits to Andrew Stevenson and Pedro Severino in the second inning to make the score 3-0.

Unfortunately, Tanaka’s home run rate is rising, as noted by Katie Sharp:

Tanaka has allowed the most home runs of any pitcher over the last two seasons with 57 and he is currently tied for fourth in Major League Baseball with nine.

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After the second inning, Tanaka appeared to settle down and he eventually retired the last nine batters in order.

Tyler Austin broke out of a 0-23 slump, going 2-2 with a single, a three-run homerun  and a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 3-3.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone told Brian Hoch of

“I always like the matchup with Tyler against a lefty,” manager Aaron Boone said. “A few really good at-bats — the single to start things, obviously the homer. Deep at-bats. That last at-bat was a real battle with Gio where he almost hit another one out, chasing them back to the wall. Really good at-bats from him in what we felt was a good matchup for him.”

Austin carried the offense on his back last night with the home run and a sacrifice fly responsible for all the Yankees’ runs.

On a day when released it’s power rankings boosting the Yankees (28-12) to the number one spot, supplanting the Boston Red Sox (28-14), now in third place, the Yankees took over the lead in the American League East as the Oakland Athletics beat the Red Sox 5-3 Tuesday night.

The game has been rescheduled to resume play at 5:05 Wednesday afternoon and the Yankees will be even more determined to beat Washington and maintain the top spot in the standings.

New York Mets 40-Man Roster Overview: Buddy Baumann

The New York Mets recently called up and sent down left handed reliever, Buddy Baumann, to add another lefty to their bullpen. The Mets claimed Baumann of waivers from the San Diego Padres in late April.

Baumann was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 7th round of the 2009 MLB Draft. From there he started what would be a long journey to the big leagues. He went on to pitch five innings the same year with the Burlington Royals in rookie ball. 2010 was his first full year in professional baseball. He went 4–2 with four saves and a 2.24 ERA in 31 games (14 starts) for the Wilmington Blue Rocks. This was the first and only time in his career where he pitched 100 innings.

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In 2011, Baumann went 4–3, with 2 saves and a 4.29 ERA in 25 games (17 starts) for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. He spent the following season being used solely as a reliever for the Naturals. In 32 games, he went 3-2 with a 4.12 ERA. Baumann spent 49 of his 53 innings in 2013 with Omaha Storm Chasers in Triple-A. He pitched 53 innings, struck out 72 and has a 2.55 ERA. Over this time, Baumann was never regarded as a top tier prospect and this contributed to his long stay in the minor leagues.

He spent the 2014 and 2015 season with the Storm Chasers. Over 74 games (18 starts) he pitched 167.1 innings, struck out 152 batters and had a 3.12 ERA. He elected to become a free agent after the 2015 season after never pitching in the big leagues with the Royals.

Fresh Start With The Padres

The San Diego Padres signed Baumann to a one-year major league deal for the 2016 season. He was sent up and down many times and had a 3.14 ERA in 27 games with the El Paso Chihuahuas. The Padres finally called him up in mid July, but he threw one pitch, got an out and was sent down the next day. After more of the same he finished his 2016 season with a 3.72 ERA in 11 games as a Padre.

Baumann spent much of the 2017 season on the DL, but did manage to get into 23 games with the Padres. He had a 2.55 ERA over 17.2 innings and held left handed batters to a .148 batting average. Baumann only got into one game with the Padres in 2018 and was shelled for five runs. He was also suspended for one game because of his role in a fight between the Padres and Colorado Rockies.

Can Baumann Help The Mets?

After the Mets claimed Baumann off of waivers they sent him to the Las Vegas 51s. He has only allowed one run in 4.2 innings before he was called up. Baumann was taking the roster spot of Hansel Robles who was put on the disabled list last week. He served his suspension during Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Baumann was only up for a couple of days and was sent down for Jacob deGrom. He figures to find his way back to the big leagues because the Mets like to have fresh arms in the bullpen.

Baumann features a fastball (89-91), slider (82-85) and a changeup (81-83). He is not your typical lefty specialist because over his career he has held righties to a .228 batting average and lefties to .163. He can potentially fill the role of a much needed second lefty in the bullpen.