New York Giants: Pat Shurmur Only 29th Best Coach Says Sporting News

While it looks like the New York Giants are going for a longer term strategy that’s unlikely to see staff members fired after one more bad year, this could still be a make or break season for head coach Pat Shurmur, whose debut year wasn’t much of an improvement over his terrible predecessor Ben McAdoo.

Now, the Giants didn’t have a great roster this year and had holes in a number of spots such as the offensive line, which may have been the worst in the league during the first half of the season, and multiple spots on defense ranging from cornerback to pass rusher. Injuries were also a factor in the poor performance this season with various players ranging from Olivier Vernon to Odell Beckham Jr. to Landon Collins and Evan Engram suffering from varying degrees of injury problems.

However, that doesn’t completely remove responsibility from the head coach to lead the team to wins and a lot of fans didn’t have much faith in Shurmur’s strategic ability by the time the season wrapped up. Problems such as a stale and somewhat predictable offense and not leaning enough on Saquon Barkley during the early season – which was also when the Giants had their largest losing skid – led to plenty of criticisms for the rookie head coach.

Those criticisms have also led to Shurmur falling in the eyes of the media, with Sporting News ranking him as only the 29th best head coach in the NFL.

Shurmur moves up one spot after a 5-11 season, but several big questions remain in New York. Saquon Barkley is a star, but the Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr. and drafted Daniel Jones in the first round. Shurmur faces a lot of pressure to right the ship for the Giants, a franchise once known for long-term stability.

Based on last season’s performance, it seems like a fair statement. Shurmur was never going to win the Super Bowl with the roster that he was given in his first year but the Giants still ended up losing a number of relatively close games that a better coached team might be able to pull out despite the talent problem.

The team’s losses to Atlanta and Carolina, and their second losses to Philadelphia and Dallas, for example, were all very close games on the scoreboard. It’s hard to think the Giants still would have had the same result with an above average coach on board, at least for all of those games.

This season, it will be up to Pat Shurmur to move the critics wrong. And if that doesn’t happen and the results are approximately the same as last year, there will definitely be talks about finding a different man to lead the Giants forward rather than backwards in their rebuilding process.

New York Yankees: Tyler Wade Showing No Progress In AAA

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

New York Yankees fans were told to be patient about Tyler Wade after a rough start to his MLB career. Two years ago. Now in present day, not much progress has been shown by the infielder. His batting average is higher than it was, but nowhere near what it should be in the MLB.

Awful start to 2019

After starting off batting .204 in 49 big league at-bats in 2019, his results are the same in AAA. Batting .204 in 39 at-bats with the Railriders, Wade has just two RBIs and has struck out in almost half of his at-bats.

Wade is normally the leadoff hitter for Scranton, but has seen his name slip to fifth in their lineup more times than not. It’s mainly been Trey Amburgey or Mike Ford leading off. Yes, Mike Ford.

And, in just ten less at-bats, he has three fewer stolen bases at the AAA level, and his major league OBP is 21 points higher.

Time to trade him

It’s finally time that the Yankees let Tyler Wade go. He just isn’t a fit with the Yankees, and he could possibly see consistent MLB at-bats with a rebuilding team.

Come the trade deadline, Wade could be used as trade-bait to get a trade for guys like Max Scherzer or Madison Bumgarner, or potentially an outfielder.

Wade hasn’t seen any MLB success and it’s time to get rid of him. His minor league options are almost out, and he could make an impact on a rebuilding team while the Yankees could get a star in exchange.

New York Giants: Looking into the top offensive position battles

New York Giants wide receiver, Cody Latimer.

Following the NFL Draft, the New York Giants are scheduled to have a very exciting offseason period with plenty of position battles across the roster.

As the New York Giants progress through OTAs, position battles are beginning to take shape. The offensive side of the ball has plenty of talent to enjoy a productive 2019.

Some of the exciting position battles that will ensure land at right tackle and the wide receiver positions. The signing of right tackle Mike Remmers, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings, will compete against Chad Wheeler on the right side of the line.

Remmers is coming off back surgery this offseason but is expected to be fully healthy heading into training camp. Wheeler ranked as one of the worst tackles in the league last season, while Remmers lands in the bottom-middle of the pack. He should have more of an impact than Wheeler, who was an undrafted free agent out of USC. He showed flashes of competency at times but simply didn’t have the level of talent required to success consistently at the professional level.

The new Giants, Remmers, has plenty of NFL experience to help the unit succeed, especially after GM Dave Gettleman traded for right guard, Kevin Zeitler. The solidification of the right side of the line should complete a massive rebuild of the front-five. However, I do anticipate Gettleman do address the position in the next draft if not allocating cap-space towards an upgrade.

I do anticipate Remmers winning this job with ease despite Wheeler being healthy and capable.

The Giants will have a great battle for the No. 3 WR spot:

Outside of Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate, who are immediate starters, the third spot on the unit is up for grabs. Options like Corey Coleman, Russell Shepard, and Cody Latimer will all compete for the starting job. I anticipate Latimer having the best shot at securing it as he was efficient before succumbing to injury in 2019.

He racked up a solid 190 yards and one score six total games last year. He’s productive when on the field and has the speed to beat corners deep. He’s not the most refined route runner, but he has trustworthy hands — 68.8% catch-rate in 2018. However, I wouldn’t rule out Coleman as a candidate to earn the role as well.

Coleman, a former first-round pick, has struggled to live up to expectation after breaking his hand early on while playing for the Browns. The Giants found a use for him as a kick returner, but the acquisition of Jabrill Peppers diminishes Coleman’s value.

The Giants invested a second-round tender in the pass-catcher, as they have seen glimpses of the potential most saw as he exited college. I don’t expect Russell Shepard to realistically contend for the third spot, but we’ve seen crazier things happen before.

New York Giants: Does Daniel Jones Have A “Super, Super Strong Arm?”

New York Giants rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones during voluntary OTAs.

Golden Tate, the newly signed receiver of the New York Giants recently had some strong praise for Daniel Jones, the Giants’ new soon-to-be franchise quarterback. Golden Tate praised Daniel Jones for having a “super, super strong arm.”

The Giants drafted Daniel Jones with the 6th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. This was a move that was met with a ton of controversy. Many analysts have been highly critical of both the Giants and Daniel Jones.

A knock on the Giants is that they reached on Jones and took him too high. Many predicted him to be available with the 17th pick.

One specific criticism that analysts have had on Daniel Jones has regarded his arm strength. Many analysts claim Jones has a “weak” or “average” arm. Golden Tate disputes this claim. Let’s get to the bottom of it.

Argument For The Strong Arm:

At the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, Daniel Jones seemed to show off above-average arm strength. This was demonstrated in his ball velocity numbers.

Daniel Jones was recorded throwing the ball with a velocity of 53 miles per hour to the left, and 54 miles per hour to the right. This number was surprising to many of the naysayers since 54 miles per hour was the same as “strong-arm” quarterbacks Tyree Jackson and Drew Lock.

Jones’s velocity number of 54 miles per hour was also comparable to Patrick Mahomes’s 55 miles per hour. Patrick Mahomes won MVP in 2018 behind his strong arm that is capable of throwing over 90 yards.

If Daniel Jones does have an arm comparable to Patrick Mahomes, he will be a star. However, there are some statistics that indicate Jones might not have the strong-arm the velocity numbers imply.

Arguments Against The Strong Arm:

According to the New York Post, almost all analysts were in agreement about one thing with Daniel Jones: “he does not have a superior arm.” Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com was noted saying that Daniel Jones “lacks elite arm strength.”

“I like the guy but I’m not sure how dynamic his arm is,’’ said an NFL talent observer specializing in quarterbacks. “I’m not sure what type of arm talent he has. He doesn’t have a great arm, doesn’t have an elite arm.’’ – New York Post

The Draft Network is a credible and reputable website of draft scouts and football talent evaluators. According to The Draft Network, “Jones simply does not have ideal arm strength to reach far downfield, despite the mustard he can put on his short throws.” This quote would actually support the velocity numbers discussed earlier in this article.

The velocity numbers are indicative of Jones’s strong arm throwing the ball in the short to intermediate range. However, they do not indicate an ability to keep the velocity as the distance of the throws increase.

Many also point to Jones’s film to make the case against his arm strength. There are a few plays that fans and analysts point out to demonstrate a lack of arm strength from the Giants’ new quarterback.

Plays like the one presented above are concerning. Daniel Jones will need to be more consistent with his deep ball velocity. He is consistent enough in the short to the intermediate range to be successful in the NFL. However, his deep passes could use some work.

One encouraging note for Giants fans regarding Daniel Jones’s arm strength: it can (and probably will) improve. Neither Peyton Manning or Tom Brady were considered to have cannon arms coming out of college. However, both quarterbacks improved their arm strengths drastically once they reached the NFL.

New York Jets: Sam Darnold preparing to take big leap in 2019

New York Jets, Sam Darnold

The New York Jets didn’t hesitate to throw quarterback Sam Darnold into the fire last season, skimping him of playmakers on offense and protection on the offensive line.

Being sacked 30 times surely didn’t do his confidence any favors, yet he still earned 17 touchdowns through the air. However, he will look to improve upon his 57.5% completion percentage, a number that speaks more about his lack of talent at the wide receiver position rather than his inadequacies throwing the football.

The fact of the matter is, Darnold can be elite, but he will need to learn how to utilize talent. With players like LeVeon Bell and Jamison Crowder joining the Jets, the second-year passer will have playmakers to employ that trump any he’s ever worked with before.

Bell has the ability to break a big play at any moment and will be Darnold’s best friend in the passing game. A security blanket like Bell will open up the door to tons of offensive plays, especially screen passes and the play-action.

How did Sam Darnold look in the first team practice?

The young quarterback was stellar in the Jets’ first open practice on Thursday. While OTAs aren’t the best source or indication of success, they show the fundamental works of any given player. In those terms, Sam looked like a franchise signal caller.

He dropped a dime in the bread-basket of WR Robby Anderson on a 43-yard bomb down the sideline. He also sniped Quincy Enunwa across the middle in a tight window. New head coach Adam Gase and his offensive genius will help Darnold reach his potential. Coaching a stripped Miami Dolphins team limited the potential of the talented coach, but joining an organization with solid playmakers and a great young quarterback to help develop should extract the most out of his abilities.

I’m extremely excited to see what Gase and Darnold can accomplish as a duo.

 

 

New York Giants: Daniel Jones’ biggest con isn’t a problem

New York Giants rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones.

When the New York Giants were linked to quarterback Daniel Jones in the 2019 NFL Draft, most knocked his arm strength, stating that he wouldn’t be able to make the necessary throws in MetLife in September.

So far, Jones has done nothing but impress his new teammates, and even the veterans have advocated for his talented arm and what he can do on the football field. The Giants recently signed wide receiver Golden Tate to supplement the loss of Odell Beckham Jr., and while he won’t replicate his production, he offers a solid set of hands for Eli Manning to utilize.

Tate is the quintessential possession receiver, hauling in 65.5% of passes thrown his way in 2018 and 76.7% in 2017. He has some of the best hands in the league and will offer a safety net on third down and a consistent threat throughout drives.

The new pass-catcher shot down any concerns over Jones’ arm-strength, stating:

“He’s doing a good job,” Tate said of Jones. “If you just look at talent-wise, the guy has a super, super strong arm. He can move around a little bit. But with quarterbacks you just never know because it’s such a mental game.”

“The good news with Dan’s situation is he is sitting right behind a Hall of Fame-type quarterback, so he is going to have an opportunity to learn some incredible tools that can help him in the future. I hope it’s kind of like that Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers situation eventually.”

How the New York Giants will help Daniel Jones grow:

Jones learning behind Manning should assist in his development tremendously. The benefits of learning from the two-time winning Super Bowl quarterback should help Daniel grow in regards to his preparations and reading progressions.

The Duke product was very decisive in college, making the right decisions frequently, but he often took the safer route due to the lack of talent at the receiver position. With better quality pass-catchers around him, Jones should see his confidence heightened over the course of the 2019 season.

The New York Knicks Are Not Promised Anything

The New York Knicks future is 6 months away.  Free agency is what every fan is counting down to.  It might as well be 6 months from now.

One thing Knicks fans must remember is 2010, the year LeBron James was a free agent.  That year, some Knicks fans ‘locked in’ the James basket and were disappointed.

It appears, fans are doing the same thing in regards to Kevin Durant. The question is – are we setting ourselves up for failure?

Just because the Knicks play in New York, does that mean they are owed anything?  No.  They are already the most valuable franchise and play in the biggest market.  But, does that mean they have to be good?  No, after years of torment, maybe we deserve it.

As fun as it is to talk and speculate about Durant, it might not happen. Fans are getting all excited and and locking in Durant, similar to James.

Now, the Los Angeles Clippers appear to be ‘major contenders’ to the Knicks for Durant, according to Marc Stein.

However, while the Knicks are still the favorite to land Durant, it is not a guarantee.  The Knicks are going to need a backup plan.  They will continue to move forward with youth, but their will be a lot of cap space to play around with.

So, before we continue engaging in more Durant rumors and speculation, think back to 2010.  Remember how fans felt after getting excited for James and then were let down.  I know I was.  May we pray to never feel the sense of hope cloud our judgement – the Knicks always find a way to mess it up.

Giants news, 5/25: Golden Tate advocates for Daniel Jones

New York Giants rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones.

Good morning New York Giants fans!

The biggest knock on New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones as he was preparing for the NFL was his arm strength. Jones was limited to the number of deep balls he attempted in college due to the lack of talent at wide receiver, but when he did his passes would often float to their destination.

Jones throws lofty passes with plenty of air, but it’s primarily on his deep balls. This could be perceived as a good thing, given the placement is in stride with his receiver and there isn’t a safety over the top.

Check out the clip below -  a perfectly placed ball that was dropped by his intended target. His receivers accounted for 33 dropped passes in 2018. Imagine three rookie Evan Engrams on the field at the same without his speed or playmaking ability.

Newly acquired WR Golden Tate advocated for the young passer, stating that he has great arm strength and will benefit significantly from Eli Manning’s mentorship. Personally, I love how the players in the locker room are interacting at this stage in the offseason. The positivity and success-driven mentality make a huge difference in the development of rookies.

It’s important for the new players to be present for team OTAs to develop chemistry early on. Hopefully, they can adapt quickly in hopes of providing quality play during the regular season.

Nonetheless-

Here is your New York Giants news and coverage:

Ed Valentine (Big Blue View) – Giants’ 90-man roster: In C.J. Conrad, did Giants find the next Jason Witten?

John Fennelly (Giants Wire) – Giants’ Corey Ballentine practices for first time since shooting

John Fennelly (Giants Wire) – Giants’ Michael Thomas: Sam Beal has learned to be a pro

Alexander Wilson (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants: Darius Slayton needs to fix one major issue

Check out my Twitter for Giants commentary and conversation!