Saquon Barkley’s Primary Mentor Isn’t Odell Beckham Jr.

It is no secret that New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley have become friends. In fact, they have been training together since before Saquon was drafted. But they have gotten a lot closer since the draft and Odell has offered help and tips to be a professional.

While OBJ may be taking Saquon Barkley under his wing a bit, he may not be his only mentor on the team. Who is then?

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Saquon on learning from Eli Manning:

Eli Manning is as knowledgeable as a coach when it comes to running on offense, and Saquon knows that. It is smart to train to learn as much as you can from your future Hall of Fame quarterback to be the best he can be.

While OBJ and Saquon Barkley may be becoming close friends, Eli Manning may be the true mentor while Saquon learns to be a true professional. While Saquon may think his questions could be annoying to Eli, I am sure that is not true at all. Eli Manning is a true team player and wants to help everybody be the best that can be.

Barkley will be an influential factor in the offense next season, and learning the offense will be of the utmost priority. Manning is the one player on the offense that knows where everybody needs to be at all times, and Barkley will need to soak in all of the knowledge he can get his hands on.

There’s no doubt that the young running back has ever had a more intelligent and talented QB to work with, which presents him with a rare opportunity. OTAs represents the first time the two have been able to work with one another, and its also the beginning of a blossoming relationship on the offense. While Manning and OBJ already have a stellar relationship, they’re both going to need to make room for one more to join the party.

New York Giants Surprise Lineman Starts With First Stringers In OTAs

The New York Giants‘ voluntary workouts are under way, and one of the most interesting units taking the field was the offensive line.

The group of big men have an expected starting unit, but one lineman took the field with the first-stringers that was surprising.

Several weeks back, we spoke about a dark-horse lineman that could steal the right guard spot from former Jaguar Patrick Omameh — on Monday, he lined up at right guard while Omameh and Will Hernandez split reps at left guard.

Former Cleveland Browns’ guard John Greco joined the Giants last season after several injuries, leaving a vacant spot on the roster. Greco played in six games in 2017, but he could emerge as a potential starter or valuable reserve lineman in 2018.

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Greco earned first-string snaps with the Giants during OTAs on Monday, making for a surprise among followers of the Giants. While head coach Pat Shurmur stated that a depth chart hasn’t been created, it can be assumed that they have an idea of what it might look like. By plugging in Greco at right guard, they might be testing his ability and if he could give Omameh a run for his money.

Omameh was signed to a three-year, $15 million this offseason, which isn’t a heavy investment considering he’s expected to be a starting lineman for the Giants. Omameh was an undrafted free agent in 2013, but has showed potential in the pass game. He has struggled in run blocking but will likely spend additional time refining his technique and skill-set.

Here’s a clip of Omameh in the run-game. His utter power is undoubtedly his biggest strength, as he proceeds to push Leonard Fournette for several more yards after he gets caught around a few defenders. Additionally, the former Jag moved to the second-level well after his initial assignment. His issue is consistency, and he will need to play with a “hog-mollie” mentality more often if he wants to solidify himself as the starter for the foreseeable future. He also struggles with maintaining his balance, which is also an issue Ereck Flowers deals with.

Greco on the other hand is a solid blocker in both the pass and run game. His most appealing attribute is his consistency, and his ability to perform at an average level at all times. He doesn’t lack effort and give up on plays, but rather displays a solid tenacity throughout the course of a game.

Here’s a clip of Greco with the Browns. What I love about Greco is that he never loses focus and always seeks another assignment. In this clip you can see him bounce off his initial block and looks to help a teammate. He immediately shifts to the left and knocks the defensive lineman to the ground, providing his quarterback more time to make a play.

The bottom line, both lineman have their strengths and weaknesses, but it will come down to who can perform in both the pass and run game consistently.

New York Yankees Flashback: Aaron Hicks and Micky Mantle IPHRs

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks
In a highlight mentioned on Saturday’s New York Yankees game broadcast when Aaron Hicks duplicated it, Mickey Mantle‘s drive in the gap in Chicago on May 20, 1958, in a 5-1 win went for his second (of three) inside-the-park home runs of the year. Mickey’s career total of six is a Yankee record.
Filling in for the ineffective and injured Chien-Ming Wang, young righthander Phil Hughes got the win when the team battered Baltimore in the Bronx 11-4 on May 20, 2009. Another tradition survived the trip across 161st Street as all the predominantly white uniforms in the stands confirmed it was Fleet Week in New York.
Eleven years passed between the two games in which Joe DiMaggio hit for the cycle, and he accomplished it for the second time on May 20, 1948. Not only did he single, double, triple, and homer in the 13-2 Yankee win over Chicago, he threw in an extra home run and almost another extra base hit, but he was robbed on a fine play by left fielder Ralph Hodgin.
Of an impressive group of Yankee May 20 birthdayers, Bobby Murcer (1946); and David Wells (1963), comprise the most modern Yanks. Outfielder Jimmy Lyttle (1946) and righthander Tom Morgan (1930) will be familiar to more experienced Yankee fans. Also born this day were Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser (1921), Japanese home run hitter Sadahara Oh (1940), and Cardinals third baseman (and Clete’s brother) Ken Boyer (1931).

New York Giants: Coach Shurmur Opens Up About First Day Of OTAs

The New York Giants have begun their annual OTA workouts ahead of the 2018 season. On the first day, several players made impressive plays to highlight the day — Davis Webb was one of those players.

Webb hit on a long-ball to Roger Lewis in the endzone for a touchdown. Coach Shumur stated after pracite:

“Everyday Davis Webb does something a little bit better.”

The sophomore quarterback spent a majority of the offseason working out with a personal trainer and tight end Evan Engram. Webb’s continued efforts off the field have been impressive, and his footwork and accuracy have benefited greatly.

The entirety of the team looked solid as the rookies finally connected with the veterans on this warm Monday.

“The guys competed well and challenged each other…now we need to recover and get better for OTA No. 2 tomorrow.”

Shurmur spoke about left tackle Nate Solder — his presence as a leader is a major contributor towards the success of the team. Solder brings an elevated talent to Eli Manning’s blind-side and a stellar human being to complement the locker room.

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“Nate Solder is a true professional. We talk often about leadership…Nate is a very steady force. As you get to know him you get to appreciate what a tremendous person he is.”

Odell Beckham Jr. returned to team activities for the start of OTAs, as his commitment to the team is on full display. Beckham was seen doing mild warm-up routines, but he was not involved in real-game action.

“Odell looks good…he’s out here chomping at the bit. He wants to do more but we’re making sure everything is healed to the fullest.”

Taking their time with OBJ is the bet move, as rushing him back from a broken ankle would not be intelligent. Bringing him back slowly will ensure that his ankle is fully healed and that he’s prepared to take on a full workload come September.



New York Mets Series Preview: Miami Marlins (5/21-5/23)

After a huge three game sweep against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the New York Mets look to keep the momentum going against the Miami Marlins. The Marlins are dead last in the NL East with a 17-29 record, but are still considered to be overachieving. The Marlins just lost two out of three games to the first place Atlanta Braves. They finished off the series by blowing a five run lead in the bottom of the ninth. The Mets swept the Marlins in their only series this season.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(5/21, 7:10 PM) Eliser Hernandez (0-0, 2.25 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (0-3, 13.86 ERA)

(5/22, 7:10 PM) Caleb Smith (2-5, 4.22 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (2-3, 5.92 ERA)

(5/23, 7:10 PM) Dan Straily (2-0, 3.60 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (4-0, 1.75 ERA)

Big Sweep For the Mets

The sweep against the D’backs showed flashes of what made the Mets so great in 2015 and 2016. They had terrific pitching and clutch hitting to go along with a strong bullpen. Michael Conforto looked like a new player up at the plate and showed why he was an all-star last year. The Mets also kept themselves in the NL East race for first place at 3.5 games out. The sweep was a huge “pick me up” for the team and they look like they have their energy back to what it was in April.

Everyone knows how good Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard are, but after they pitch the Mets rotation is full of question marks. Wheeler and Steven Matz have been inconsistent and Vargas does not look like a big league pitcher at the moment. For the Mets to be a World Series contender they need consistency from the back end of their rotation. For Vargas and Wheeler these games are important for them to get on track, especially after an important sweep.

Floppin’ Fish

It does not surprise many people that the Marlins are last in baseball in home runs and RBIs. After trading away most of their valuable assets, there are many unproven players throughout this Marlins roster. J.T. Realmuto has been their lone brightspot on the team since he has returned from his injury. He leads the team with a .313 average and has been a staple at the top of their order.

The Marlins are one of the youngest teams in baseball which means there is still a lot of room to grow for many of their players. Brian Anderson and Jarlin Garcia have shown a lot of potential and that they deserve to be a part of this team’s future. Top prospects Lewis Brinson and Dillon Peters have struggled big time in their first full season’s in the big leagues. Brinson is hitting .160 and Peters has an ERA of 6.31. Since the Marlins are in a huge rebuild mode, there is still plenty of time for them to get better.

Matchups to Look Out For

Starlin Castro vs. Jason Vargas: 3-8 (.375) 3 Doubles, 2 Walks, Strikeout

Asdrubal Cabrera vs. Dan Straily: 3-8 (.375) 2 Doubles, Walk, Strikeout

J.T. Realmuto vs. Jacob deGrom: 2-12 (.167) 4 Strikeouts

Jose Reyes vs. Dan Straily 2-11 (.182) 4 Walks, 2 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

J.T. Realmuto career batting 1st in the order: .341 AVG, 2 HR, 19 RBI, 13 Doubles

Michael Conforto career in the first inning: .350 AVG, 15 HR, 32 RBI, 11 Doubles

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For Game 1 of this series we chose:

-Miami Marlins OVER 3.5 Runs

-New York Mets will NOT win by OVER 1.5 runs

-Asdrubal Cabrera OVER 0.5 EXTRA BASE HITS