Three Giants Players That Need To Shine During Pre-Season

Where the New York Giants upgraded at several positions, they also left spots with little depth and unproven talent. Most of the uncertainty lies with the secondary and defensive unit, which will make the pre-season a very important time for some players to prove to the Giants’ regime that they are capable of playing at a high level, one that’s expected on a rejuvenated Big Blue team.

Three players that will use the pre-season to their advantage:

QB, Davis Webb:

While some players are fighting for a roster spot, second-year quarterback, Davis Webb, is fighting to be the face of the franchise. The Giants elected to pass on a quarterback in the most recent NFL draft, putting the pressure on Webb, but also instilling their confidence in him. He knows that his mentality going forward will have to be spotless if he wants to become the future signal caller for New York.

The pre-season represents an opportunity for him to display the skills he has been refining since entering the league in 2017. Coming out of Cal, Webb was raw in talent and had a lot to learn. After spending a year under center behind Eli Manning, he grasped a new sense of professionalism and passion for the game. He worked tirelessly during the offseason and began to develop chemistry with some of the Giants’ top offensive weapons.

We can expect that Manning will play sparingly during the pre-season and Webb will receive a heavy dosage of the reps, which will only benefit him and the organization as they prepare for Manning to retire in the near future.

S, Curtis Riley:

The former Tennessee Titan is entering his fourth-year in the league, and none of which have seen him as a starter, nor a consistent backup. After being brought up from the practice squad to the 53-man roster in 2016, Riley appeared in 11 games over the next two seasons (2016 & 2017).

The Giants brought Riley on to compete at as a cornerback but noticed that his skills might be a better fit at safety. Being that Riley has spent time developing his footwork and coverage skills at corner, his abilities as a corner might fit the bill for a team looking to plug in a free safety. Currently, Darian Thompson and Andrew Adams are both competing for the free safety job along with Riley, but Thompson has taken a majority of the second-string reps while Adams and Riley split them with the first-team.

The pre-season will allow the Giants to see the former Titan in action, as he attempts to make the transition to safety, similar to what Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie experiences last season. If his coverage skills can impress, he could be in a solid spot to earn the starting job.

CB, Grant Haley:

See the trend here? A of the uncertainty is in the secondary, and Penn State product, Grant Haley, will look to showcase his abilities during the pre-season. The fact that Haley went undrafted was a big surprise to most, as he played well with the Nittany Lions and displayed solid coverage skills.

Its expected that Haley will compete for the starting slot-corner spot, as William Gay has also taken reps there. He will likely be inserted with the first-team to test his actions in a live-game situation. If he can show that his speed and agility can match up with NFL talent, there’s no reason he can’t become the starting slot-corner moving forward.

Who Should Be The New York Giants’ Captains In 2018?

Appointing team captains can be a strenuous task for any team, but for the New York Giants, the same players always seem to emerge as the heads for each unit. Eli Manning on offense, Zak DeOssi on special teams, and as of last year, Jonathan Casillas on defense.

In 2018, those names might change, and several new players could find their way onto the captain voting sheet. Newly signed left tackle Nate Solder could surely be one of the Giants’ players to emerge as a potential captain, why? Because he bring s professionalism to the game that not many players have. His appreciation for his abilities and teammates ultimately bleeds over into the locker room. His former players on the New England Patriots detailed Solder as a stellar teammate and overall man.

What has shaped Solder into becoming such an excellent leader?

After battling cancer, Nate returned to the game with something to prove, something that fueled his fellow players and intimidates his opposition. He’s one of the many players general manager Dave Gettleman has added that bring a winning mentality and a skill-set that isn’t just handy on the field.

A New York Giants leader:

Another potential captain could be Alec Ogletree, linebacker from the Rams. His physicality and passion for the game is unparalleled, making him the perfect defensive captain. Usually, I would claim Landon Collins as the captain here due to his seniority with the Giants and experience, but Ogletree brings a sense of maturity and gamesmanship to a team that fell apart at the seams in 2017.

The bottom line, the front-office is making it a priority to stack the team full of leaders, something that’s required to reach the playoffs, let alone a Super Bowl. Let’s flash back to the Giants’ 2007 Super Bowl squad. Just take a look at how many leaders there were on the team: Michael Strahan, Eli Manning, Brandon Jacobs, Jeremy Shockey, David Diehl, Osi Umenyiora, Antonio Pierce, Aaron Ross, DeOssi…I’m sure I missed a few.

How many leaders did the Giants have last season? It seemed like zero to me.

Another interesting point, in the 2007 Super Bowl year, only one player, Umenyiora, made the Pro Bowl. That should give you an idea of how important leadership and confidence are to winning a game.

Sometimes, talent doesn’t guarantee success, but having a team full of players that are willing to put their life on the line to win does.

While captaining new players is usually uncharacteristic, I would assume Solder and Manning head the offensive, Collins and Ogletree the defense, while DeOssie remains the special teams chief.

Allonzo Trier Starts Off Summer With A Bang For The New York Knicks

While Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson have highlighted the New York Knicks’ draft class, one underlying player has started off the summer with a bang. Former Arizona guard, Allonzo Trier, finished the Knicks’ first summer league game with 15 points, 6 rebounds and four assists.

Trier was given ample time to shine alongside Knox, Robinson, Damyean Doston, and Frank Nitilikina. The former Wildcat played 31 minutes in the 91-89 win over the Atlanta Hawks. While Trier was 0-3 from beyond the arc, he was 5-of-6 from the free throw line and made several impressive jump shots.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsuGQRVNvJE

One of the most impressive aspects that Trier displayed on the court was his ability to initiate contact. On one specific play, he forced a defender to jump on a fake shot which drew a foul. This can be seen in the highlight clip above.

Trier also has solid movement on the court, as his off the ball positioning put him in good spots to receive the ball and drive to the basket. His step-back jumper was J.R. Smith-esque, but he seemed smoother in his technique and more articulated. One of the more interesting stats was his rebound total (6). His rebounding skills are highly beneficial, as the Knicks gave up far too many offensive rebounds last season.

It took until the second half of the game for Trier to really liven up and show his true abilities, but once he grew into the game his potential was on full display. The guard went undrafted which was a surprise to most, including Trier himself.

“It was absolutely shocking (I didn’t get drafted),” Trier said (via the New York Daily News). “I definitely believe I belong in this league and I can play and I’m as good as all these guys who were drafted. But that’s done and over with, in the past. I’m looking forward to this opportunity here and taking advantage of it.”

Trier will have to work on his defensive prowess, as it was his primary concern coming out of college. He believes his scoring abilities will be an asset for the Knicks, but he will have to become a complete player to earn a starting spot on the roster.