New York Giants: Eli Manning Denies Competition With Daniel Jones

The New York Giants are always a team with plenty of debates and narratives around them, but right now, one of the main ones is the debate about quarterback Daniel Jones and playing time. Eli Manning has been confirmed directly as the starter this season, but that hasn’t stopped the idea that the Giants might make a switch mid season if Eli Manning’s performances aren’t up to par, which they may very well not be based on the drastic changes this year to the offense as well as Manning’s own age.

However, once again, the statements from players and coaches themselves don’t quite add up with the media narrative that Daniel Jones is going to come in later this season and take over for Manning.

According to Manning himself, it’s not a competition between him and Jones right now. “I don’t feel like it’s a competition. I feel like I’ve got to do my job and I’ve got to compete every day and try to get better every day. That’s the way it’s been my whole life, and that’s just the way I’ve always approached practice every day to improve, to earn my place on the team, to earn the respect of the teammates and to do it each year,” Manning said to NFL Network.

Manning also claims that things will continue as usual, with him aiding Jones in learning the team’s offense.

“We’ve got new guys and I’m trying to build a relationship with them and get them up to speed and so I’m just trying to do my job in the quarterback room. I’ve always been good with young quarterbacks, whoever’s been in there, trying to get them up to speed, teaching them about defenses or styles or what our defense plays,” added Manning, also stating that his goal is to help everybody on the team succeed.

From the looks of things the Giants intend to plan long term when it comes to the situation with Jones and Manning, but as last season showed, pressure tends to fall on the starting quarterback if the performances aren’t great after midseason. It’s possible there will be demands from the fans and press for Jones to start, but conceding to these demands might not go well for the Giants – Kyle Lauletta’s terrible regular season performance last season shows the dangers of rushing a rookie quarterback into regular season game time.

One can only hope that things go well for the Giants this season and they aren’t forced into a position where they have to reconsider their current stance of there being no competition at quarterback.

Three New York Yankees Snubbed From The All-Star Game

Three New York Yankees stars were snubbed hard from the 2019 MLB All-Star Game in Cleveland, Ohio. What makes it even more interesting is that some players were replaced with ones that have had worse seasons thus far. Keep reading to find out who was snubbed.

Luke Voit

Out of all three players snubbed, Luke Voit was probably the least worthy of the all-star game, but still worthy enough.

In 293 at-bats, Voit is batting .280 with 17 home runs and 50 runs batted in. His OBP is at .393 and his OPS is at .901. 32 of his 82 hits have been for extra bases.

Voit has a .989 fielding percentage and has a 1.6 WAR.

Gleyber Torres

Gleyber Torres was probably the worst snub of all position players this year.

The 22 year old middle infielder is batting .295 with 19 home runs and 47 RBIs in 278 at-bats. He has a .361 OBP and a .911 OPS. Torres has 33 extra base hits.

The second year player has a .973 fielding percentage at second base and a .964 fielding percentage at shortstop. He has a 2.6 WAR on the season.

Adam Ottavino

Adam Ottavino not getting into the all-star game absolutely blows my mind.

The first year Yankee and NYC native is currently has a 2-2 record out of relief with a 1.49 ERA. He has 50 strikeouts in just 36 and 1/3 innings pitched.

Ottavino has a 1.294 WHIP and has a 1.8 WAR on the season, and has been dominating batters with his wipeout slider.

These three players not getting into the all-star game bothers me. The MLB should take away the silly rule of each team being required to have one player represented at the game, and just select the three most worthy players at each position and one DH. For pitchers, assemble your top five starters and top 10 relievers for a 40 man roster (39 in NL without DH).

That way, it would give the best players a better shot at getting in the all-star game.

 

New York Giants: Will Sterling Shepard Finally Reach 1k Yards Receiving In 2019?

The New York Giants completely retooled their receiving corps during the 2019 NFL offseason. Odell Beckham Jr. was controversially traded to the Cleveland Browns, leading the Giants to sign dependable slot receiver Golden Tate.

Tate was a solid acquisition for the Giants. However, Golden Tate’s contract was not the most important contract signed by a wide receiver. The Giants also extended Sterling Shepard during the 2019 NFL offseason.

Sterling Shepard had a career year in 2018 and looks to be the future of the Giants receiving corps. Shepard has had a satisfying first three seasons in the NFL but has yet to total 1,000 yards receiving. 2019 might finally be the year that Sterling Shepard joins the 1,000-yard club.

Sterling Shepard Dominates The Middle Of The Field

Sterling Shepard has improved his receiving yards total each of his three years in the NFL. He improved from 683 yards to 731 yards, then to 872 yards.

2018 was a career year for Shepard. He was targeted a career-high 107 times and caught 66 passes for 872 yards and 4 touchdowns. Now without the presence of Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard should see even more targets and increase hit totals to a new career high in 2019.

Shepard makes his money within 10-19 yards of the line of scrimmage. According to Pro Football Focus, Shepard dominated the intermediate range of the field a season ago, hauling in 19 receptions on throws targeted 10-19 yards past the line of scrimmage. All 19 of those receptions achieved a first down, and 14 of them went for well more than 15 yards. On those receptions, his 19.5 yards per catch ranked fifth among all NFL receivers.

Sterling loves running routes across the middle. He was the third highest graded receiver when running in-routes in 2018. His 125.3 wide receiver rating on such routes ranked third in the NFL and put him ahead of superstars such as Odell Beckham Jr. and Keenan Allen (PFF).

Here is an example of Sterling Shepard dominating over the middle of the field in the intermediate range:

He Learned A Lot During Odell’s Injuries

Odell Beckham Jr. dealt with multiple injuries over the last two seasons with the Giants. In 2018, OBJ missed 4 games due to a hamstring injury. In 2017, Beckham, unfortunately, suffered a gruesome leg-break, causing him to miss 12 games.

A silver lining, however, would be for Sterling Shepard. That is 16 games that Shep got to see what it was like to be the team’s primary receiver. Here is what Sterling Shepard had to say about his playing time without Odell:

“I’m ready,” he said, according to Giants.com. “With Odell going down the last two seasons (with injuries), that time definitely helped me get a grasp of what being a leader is all about, and being that lead guy in the room. I think it prepared me for this moment. I was pretty vocal anyway. I’m a pretty vocal guy. That will be no problem.”

5 Things New York Jets General Manager Joe Douglas Should Do

New York Jets, Sam Darnold

The New York Jets have hired Joe Douglas as their General Manager, he’ll be taking over a franchise that has been starved for any relevancy in the past 50 years. Here are some moves he can make to get the green and white back to the promised land.

1. Get some legitimate competition for the starting Center

One position that the New York Jets haven’t had an issue with over the past 20 years has now become their biggest weakness. The past two years former General Manager Mike Maccagnan has tried to patch up the center position with two massive failures in Wesley Johnson and Spencer Long. This year they have perennial backup Jonotthan Harrison listed as the starter with no real competition to compete against him. Some options for General Manager Joe Douglas to consider are John Sullivan and Gino Gradkowski who both have experience starting at center.

2. Find your No. 2 cornerback 

The second biggest need for the Jets is finding a corner that can play alongside Trumaine Johnson. Over the last couple of years, the Jets have had Morris Claiborne manning down that spot, but after not being re-signed the Jets were left with a big hole to fill. Some names the Jets could look at are Morris Claiborne, Sam Shields, and Artie Burns. Burns is especially interesting because of his age, potential, and price tag.

3. Don’t try to change the culture

The most important ingredient to a Super Bowl-winning team isn’t what Quarterback you have, how good your line play is or even if you have an all-star team like the Browns, it’s about how good the culture in your locker room is. Yes, obviously you can’t win a Super Bowl with a guy like Blake Bortles, but with a good young core of leaders like the Jets have they can compete in a year or two with a promising young QB like Sam Darnold.

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4. Don’t become a buyer

The Jets are in a great position to make a playoff run this year, but that is no reason for them to become a buyer. There are many holes on this team, and they have many rookie contracts coming up, so those draft picks can be used to get replacements if they are not able to re-sign everyone they want. A big reason why the Jets hired Douglas was for his ability to evaluate talent, so why limit his options in the draft to have immediate success instead of long-term success and sustainability.

5. Fire Gase if he doesn’t make playoffs year one

This seems a little harsh but honestly its what needs to happen. Adam Gase went all in on making the playoffs this year after he orchestrated the coup that allowed the Jets to land Joe Douglas. Adam Gase has all the tools he needs to make playoffs and any competent Head Coach would be able to make the playoffs with a roster that consists of C.J. Mosely, Le’Veon Bell, Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, etc.

This is the most pivotal point in franchise history, and they cannot afford to screw this up. If Adam Gase we’re to get fired a couple of candidates the Jets would look at would be Jim Harbaugh, Todd Monken, Matt Rhule, John DeFilippo, and Eric Bieniemy.

New York Yankees: Has Miguel Andujar become a trading piece?

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

The current New York Yankees team has proved to be one of the most resilient and exciting in baseball, especially with the emergence of Gio Urshela at third base and DJ LeMahieu as a rotational infielder.

One question that crosses my mind — is Miguel Andujar expendable now after they’ve found answers in the infield? There are two sides to the argument.

Does Yankees’ Miguel Andujar’s defense make him a liability?

The Yankees’ youthful third baseman had a fantastic rookie campaign at the plate, hitting .297 with 27 homers and 92 RBIs. His fantastic offensive production immediately made him the expected starter for the future at the hot corner for the Bombers, however, his defensive issues have presented a dilemma.

Are the Yanks better off trading Andujar for a starting pitcher? Or should they hang tight and see where his future takes them?

He tallied three errors in four games earlier this year before being transferred to the 60-day injured list with season-ending shoulder surgery. The fact is, his value is at an all-time low, but he’s in a similar situation to Clint Frazier. Both are offensively solid but struggle on the defensive side. The difference being, Frazier has more of an attitude and privileged mentality compared to Andujar who seems to be a true Yankee.

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I see the Yankees sticking with their young gun for the future, considering Urshela is a one-year wonder at this point — as a career .227 hitter currently batting .303 on the season, probability-wise, he’s not going to enjoy this success in future years. Keeping him around, though, isn’t a bad idea.

Andujar will need some time to recover and catch up to his former self. At this point, it seems destined that he will remain a Yankees for the foreseeable future based on his potential and likeness in the club-house. LeMahieu, who’s been solid at third base when Urshela is off, is a far better second-baseman – his natural position. There’s no need to test the waters with inexperience when continuing to develop Andujar is an option on the table.

How the New York Knicks can convince Kevin Durant to join ranks

New York Knicks, Kevin Durant

There’s a simple fact to Kevin Durant’s impending decision on where he will take his exponential talents for the next five years — the team he joins must be ready to win. The New York Knicks, however, might not be in that position next season, but it won’t matter.

Signing Durant comes with a caveat – he will likely miss all of the 2019 season due to a torn Achilles that he had surgically repaired earlier in June. This gives the Knicks a better chance at signing him, and they can utilize his experience in the meantime to mentor the younger players.

The New York Knicks can still extract value from Kevin Durant even if he’s not playing:

RJ Barrett would benefit significantly from Durant as a mentor. The issue will be this — if the Knicks do manage to convince Durant to sign with them, they will need to bring in another high-profile player to help him succeed once he returns. Persuading another max-contract player to sign and essentially forfeit a season of contention to wait for Durant’s return could be problematic.

They must insist that the current team has the talent to compete and bringing in a solid tier-two player like point guard D’Angelo Russell would be transformative. It’s seeming unlikely that both Durant and Kawhi Leonard both sign with the Knicks — reports have stated that Leonard is only willing to give the Knicks a phone-calls chance at signing him. He’s more keen on staying in California.

The Knicks need to approach Durant carefully, basing their negotiation around youth and the potential they have. Players like Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Barrett, Damyean Dotson, Dennis Smith Jr., all have the flash and potential to be the next wave of greats in the league. If Durant wants to complete his legacy, leading a young team to the playoffs is certainly the way to do it.

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In Leonard’s case:

It doesn’t seem as if joining an already competitive team is a driving force in his decisions, given his recent Finals victory with the Toronto Raptors. Widely thought of as the best player in the league at the current moment, joining a youthful Knicks team would solidify his desire to lead a team of his own and help bring the best out of young talent.

It will be interesting to see how he goes about free agency, but if Durant is convinced to come to New York, it will certainly be a catalyst in bringing others as well.

New York Giants quarterback says Saquon Barkley is best player he’s ever seen

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

If you haven’t seen it for your own eyes yet, New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley can fly. His hurdling abilities and long-jump are just other attributes to add to his already impressive skill-set.

From averaging five yards per rushing attempt to 81.7 yards per game, Barkley is one of the most dynamic running backs in the NFL after only one season. Some might argue that his breakout runs compensate for his struggles in short yardage situations, but running 70 yards for a touchdown every game is something most, if not all RBs in the league fail to produce.

His winning of the 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year award attests to his massive talent and what he represents for a Giants team that has struggled to win games in years past. As amazing as it is to enjoy Barkley from our television or even at live games, the idea of seeing him excel on a daily basis is that much more exciting.

Backup quarterback, Alex Tanney, expressed his elation of his teammates, stating:

“Almost every day in practice he does something where you look to the guy next to you and go ‘Did you see that? I’m not sure I’ve seen that before.’ He’s one of the most athletic and talented players I’ve ever been around,” Tanney told The Register-Mail on Friday. “At the same time he’s hardworking and he cares about his teammates. He’s starting to build a leadership role.”

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The talent and atmosphere general manager Dave Gettleman has built in just 1 1/2 years has been stellar — the veteran leadership of Eli Manning who has taken the criticism and drafting of Daniel Jones in stride and the youthful presence of Barkley has transformed the locker room.

With Jones learning behind one of the game’s best preparation oriented passers, the future is looking bright for a young Giants team.

 

New York Giants News, 6/30 – The secondary is finally coming together

New York Giants, Julian Love, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

Imagine thinking about the Giants’ secondary last year and realizing behind No. 1 corner Janoris Jenkins, they had Eli Apple who was traded mid-season, B.W. Webb, an inconsistent corner, and an undrafted rookie in Grant Haley starting in 11 games.

The reality is now apparent, the 2018 season was never supposed to be competitive. However, the future is now in the works. After drafting DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, and Corey Ballentine, the secondary is now looking far more efficient and tenacious.

Baker, and aggressive corner that has shined this offseason, will likely emerge as the No. 2 corner. Sam Beal, a 2018 Supplemental Draft pick, has the potential to compete, but missing time due to a personal reason has seen him fall behind.

The Giants’ late first-round pick has the potential to overtake Jenkins in 2020 if his development continues at a consistent rate. Love, a fourth-round pick that “stook out like a sore thumb” according to GM Dave Gettleman after the draft, will compete at the slot corner position with Haley.

Finally, a secondary worth talking about. A unit that will develop exponentially in 2019 and can be elite with a year of experience. With a lack of pass-rush legitimacy, I expect the young corners to get plenty of action. The 2020 draft will present the Giants with the opportunity to bolster their defensive side in the trenches.

Nonetheless–

Your Giants top news of the day!

Dan Benton (Giants Wire) – Rod Smith on early impression of Giants: ‘It’s a first-class organization’

Ed Valentine (Big Blue View) – Giants’ 90-man roster: FB Elijhaa Penny showed his value last season

Dan Schneier (247 Sports) – 10 reasons to be optimistic about the New York Giants in 2019

Anthony Rivardo (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants: Every Position On Offense Ranked From Best To Worst

John Fennelly (GMEN HQ) – Can the New York Giants win with Pat Shurmur?

Check out the best news from yesterday!

New York Giants News, 6/28 – DeAndre Baker treats mom with first paycheck

 

New York Yankees: Voit Leaves Game With Injury

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The injury bug has bitten the New York Yankees again.

Luke Voit left Saturday’s game against the Boston Red Sox in London with an apparent injury. He was seen limping around the bases.

By the looks of it, we believed that it was a foot or ankle injury. However, reports say that the injury is in his abdomen, just beneath his belly-button.

It’s not known his status at this time. The Yankees won’t be completing any more tests until Sunday. He may very well be able to play through his injury.

If he does go onto the IL, DJ LeMahieu would play first and Thairo Estrada would likely crack the lineup either at second or as the designated hitter.

New York Giants: Every Position On Offense Ranked From Best To Worst

The New York Giants‘ offense had a rocky 2018 season. They struggled to score points outside of garbage time in the first half of the season. Fortunately, the offense came alive during the second half of the season, giving New York some hope and momentum for the future.

Today I will be taking a look at every position on the Giants’ offense and ranking them from best to worst. The best positions are those that need no upgrades or minimal upgrades. The worst positions are those that need imminent upgrades.

1. Running Back

The New York Giants’ backfield is undoubtedly the best position group on the roster. The Giants’ backfield features the 2018 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, Saquon Barkley. Barkley is arguably the best running back in the NFL after only one season.

Saquon broke numerous records as a rookie as he totaled 2,028 scrimmage yards and 15 total touchdowns. Barkley is an elite player for the Giants and is set to have a monstrous 2019 season.

However, the Giants have solid depth behind Saquon Barkley, too. Wayne Gallman proved himself to be a solid running back that could be capable of starting if the Giants did not have Saquon.

Gallman flashed his potential in 2017. He ran the ball 111 times, gaining 476 yards on the ground with 4.3 yards per carry. Gallman also provided quality snaps as a receiver in 2017. He caught 34 passes on 48 targets for 193 yards, 5.7 yards per reception, and 1 touchdown.

2. Right Guard

The Giants offensive line has gone through a major overhaul over the last two seasons. In the 2019 offseason, New York made a huge upgrade at the right guard position.

The Giants acquired right guard Kevin Zeitler in a trade with the Cleveland Browns. Zeitler should step in and be the Giants’ best offensive lineman from day one.

Kevin Zeitler is arguably the best pass-blocking guard in the NFL. Kevin Zeitler allowed only 11 total pressures in the entire 2018 NFL season. That is an incredibly impressive number. To put it in perspective,  Patrick Omameh and Jamon Brown combined to allow 39 pressures in only 14 games last year.

3. Left Guard

The Giants struck gold in the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. After drafting Saquon Barkley with the 2nd overall pick of the draft, Dave Gettleman drafted another stud in round 2.

Will Hernandez was projected to be a 1st-round pick in mock drafts leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Luckily for Big Blue, Big Will slid into the 2nd-round and fell right into the New York’s lap.

Hernandez was impressive during his rookie season. Hernandez allowed just 23 total pressures this season, earning him a 97.3 pass-blocking efficiency grade, third-best among rookie offensive linemen. An impressive stat that PFF notes is that Hernandez only committed two penalties on 1,027 snaps. That is incredibly clean and efficient play from the young “Hog Molly.”

4. Wide Receiver

The Giants’ wide receiver position suffered a huge loss in the 2019 offseason. New York traded away arguably the team’s best player in Odell Beckham Jr.

However, this position is still one of the team’s best on offense. The Giants signed young, up-and-coming slot receiver Sterling Shepard to a contract extension. Shepard has seen his yardage totals increase each of his three seasons in the league and is prepared to break out in 2019.

Alongside Shep is another proven talent in Golden Tate. The Giants signed Tate this offseason after trading away Odell. Tate has had three seasons with 1,000 or more receiving yards and made the Pro Bowl in 2014 with the Detroit Lions. Since 2014, Golden Tate has lead the league in forced missed tackles with an insane 118 missed tackles forced.

5. Left Tackle

Left tackle might be the Giants’ most underrated position on offense. Nate Solder gets plenty of criticism, but not all of it is deserved. Solder struggled early on in the 2018 season but delivered during the second half of the season.

Nate Solder allowed six sacks and 20 total pressures through the first eight games. However, he rebounded in a big way over the second half of the year, allowing only one sack and 13 total pressures.

6. Tight End

2019 might be the year that Evan Engram finally breaks out and reaches his full potential. Evan has flashed his potential throughout his first two seasons but he has hit roadblocks along the way.

In his rookie 2017 campaign, Engram was a poor blocker and had a slight case of the drops. He was still a spectacular playmaker, totaling 722 yards and 6 touchdowns. Unfortunately, during his second season in 2018, Evan Engram suffered from injury causing him to miss 5 games.

When Engram was on the field he played great. When he was on the field and Odell Beckham was off the field, Evan played exceptionally well. Engram averaged only 36.7 yards per game prior to Beckham’s injury. After Odell went down, Evan’s average jumped all the way to 80 yards per game.

8. Quarterback

Eli Manning is a franchise legend. The 16-year veteran has won two incredible Super Bowls with the Giants and is top-ten all-time in just about every major quarterback statistic, such as passing yards and passing touchdowns.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Eli Manning’s time in New York will come to an end sooner than later now that they have drafted their next franchise quarterback in Daniel Jones.

Manning has been declining the past two seasons, which is why his position is so low on this list. According to Pro Football Focus, Manning has failed to grade above 70.0 in each of the last four seasons, and his 94 turnover-worthy plays over the previous four years are eight more than the next closest quarterback in that span.

Daniel Jones is a completely unproven rookie that has faced lots of controversies whether or not he was deserving of the 6th overall pick so he cannot push the quarterback position higher on this list.

I hope as much as anyone that Eli Manning proves us all wrong and rebounds in 2019. I hope as much as anyone that Daniel Jones shocks the world and becomes one of the greatest players in franchise history. But until we see them play at a high level, the quarterback position will be one of the worst on the offense.

9. Center

The center position is definitely one of the Giants’ weakest. The Giants have two players who will compete for the starting job in Spencer Pulley and Jon Halapio. Both players are capable of being starters, but they are not extraordinary.

Jon Halapio was injured in week 2 of the 2018 season. He was

Spencer Pulley was one of the lowest graded players on the Giants in 2018 according to Pro Football Focus.  Pulley played in 13 games for the Giants last year and started 9 of those games. Spencer Pulley certainly is one thing: durable. But he is not an elite talent and the Giants should not hope to see him starting in 2018.

10. Right Tackle

The Giants basically put a band-aid on a broken bone here in the 2019 offseason. Right tackle was the worst position on the Giants’ offense in 2018 and it still is in 2019.

The Giants began the season with all-time draft bust Ereck Flowers starting at right tackle. After 5 games the Giants wised up and cut Flowers. Chad Wheeler then took over the starting position and stayed there for the remainder of the season.

Unfortunately, Chad Wheeler was not too much of an upgrade. According to Pro Football Focus Chad Wheeler was the second-lowest-graded starting offensive tackle in the NFL last season. Wheeler also allowed an insane 45 total pressures in the 2018 season.

The Giants knew they needed to upgrade the right tackle position in the 2019 offseason, but it was slim pickings. Towards the end of free agency, the Giants finally found their guy. Former Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Mike Remmers signed with the Giants.

Remmers is an upgrade, but he still is not on the level the Giants need their right tackle to be. Remmers allowed 42 total pressures in 2018 and is coming off of back surgery. Mike Remmers was playing out of position at guard in 2018, so he should be a bit better at right tackle in 2019. However, the Giants should still be looking to upgrade this position again soon.