New York Giants: Saquon Barkley Believes Team Can Reach Playoffs

New York Giants, Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants look to be headed into what can, at best, be called a rebuilding year. The team replaced a large number of players and it doesn’t look like the Giants have the experience or even the raw talent to compete for the playoffs at this point in time. At the beginning of the offseason, there were even predictions that the Giants would end up with the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

There’s a difference, however, between the narrative from experts and the narrative coming out of the team itself, with the latter predictably being far more positive on the team’s chances. There’s been positive buzz during the mostly drama free OTAs, and now, running back Saquon Barkley has come on the record stating that the team is going to make the playoffs this year.

“I know why people may not think [so], but yes. I’m going to confidently say ‘yes’ until the day we are not, until the day we are eliminated from playoff potential I’m still going to say we are a playoff team. My opinion is yes,” Barkley said following his youth football camp, which was taken over from former Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

“I know we lost a lot of great talent. Obviously Odell — Odell is still a very good friend of mine — but at the end of the day it’s about team,” Barkley continued.

Barkley also brought up the example of the New England Patriots, who are known for winning based on their team despite having star player Tom Brady.

“They are guys who come out and work and do things right and win situational football and they win games. If we continue to do what we did last year, especially the second half, and win situational football and come back together as a team I don’t see why the sky is not the limit,” Barkley concluded.

The Giants did perform somewhat better in the second half of the season, but were already in too deep of a hole at that point to compete for the playoffs seriously. If the team is to make it in this year, they’ll have to push themselves harder than they did last year and keep it consistent through every game, not just the back end of the season. Whether or not this set of players, many of whom haven’t played with each other at all yet, can do it remains to be seen.

New York Giants: 3 rookies that could surprisingly earn starting roles

New York Giants rookie, Oshane Ximines.

As we wait upon the start of training camp, the New York Giants have obtained a good sense of who will be competing for starting roles and who will be destined for a reserve spot. The Giants drafted a ton of rookies that will have immediate impacts whether it be on a starting unit or on special teams.

Players like DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, Oshane Ximines, Dexter Lawrence, and more, are all fighting to earn their spot on the team…but some have a higher probability than others.

Three New York Giants rookies that can earn a starting job:

1.) CB Julian Love

The Giants snagged Love in the fourth-round of the 2019 NFL Draft, a player that was projected to go in the second-round. His abilities will fit perfectly in nickel-packages for Big Blue. I don’t expect him to compete realistically for an outside corner spot as Baker and Sam Beal have the No. 2 spot in their sights, but Love can certainly steal the slot-corner position away from second-year player, Grant Haley.

Haley has 11 games of NFL experience under his belt, which ultimately gives him the upper hand in the impending position battle. However, Love is great in man coverage and can stick with quick receivers. He’s one of my darkhorse players for the 2019 season.

2.) LB Ryan Connelly

The Wisconsin product is an extremely instinctive player that is fantastic at shooting gaps and finding the ball in the trenches. He’s not a massive linebacker, but he has the potential to be a three-down player.

Connelly was a fourth-round pick and will compete with B.J. Goodson for a starting job. Tae Davis could also be tossed into the mix but he’s a better cover linebacker than run-stopper, limiting his upside. Connelly can do both, which makes me think he could overtake Goodson for the starting job if he shows a bit of development this summer.

Goodson has shown flashes of quality at times, but injuries have derailed his career, and he’s awful in coverage. He’s a pure run-stopper and clogs holes well. Connelly will have to refine his tackling technique at the NFL to harness his full potential. I love his upside, though, which makes him a great player to watch out for during training camp.

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3.) OLB Oshane Ximines

The Giants are heading into the depths of the offseason with very minimal talent at the pass-rusher position. They essentially replaced Olivier Vernon with an injury-prone Markus Golden who has one good season three years ago, and third-round selection Oshane Ximines from a no-name school.

They’re banking heavy on the breakout of Lorenzo Carter and Golden to return to his former self. However, Ximines shouldn’t be slept on. He has an effective counter-punch and is extremely developed in regard to his moves for a small-school edge-rusher. He could very well beat out Golden or Carter for a more prominent, starting position. While I’m not convinced Oshane will beat out Carter, I could see him giving Golden a run for his money. Markus is coming off a serious knee injury and hasn’t played at a high level in quite some time.

 

 

New York Yankees: Domingo German Struggles In Second Straight Start

New York Yankees, Domingo German

For his second straight outing, New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German had a rough go of things on the hill, this time against the Boston Red Sox. On Sunday against the Royals, he went five innings and got a no decision. However, on Saturday, he didn’t even make it through four innings.

All a matter of location

We all know that Domingo German has killer stuff, it’s just a matter on if he can locate it.

On Saturday against the Red Sox, German went 3 and 2/3 innings, giving up three runs off of six hits and two walks, also registering eight strikeouts.

That stat-line just proves that it’s all location. He only got 11 outs on the mound, and eight were via the strikeout.

Now lets take a look at a few different at-bats. To lead off the top of the fourth inning, German was facing Xander Bogaerts and threw a change-up to him on a 1-1 count. Because change-ups are basically slower fastballs that break a bit, you want to keep the ball low in the zone. German didn’t, and instead left it middle of the zone and the result was a shot to left field.

Now, a little earlier in the game, Brock Holt singled on an 0-1 fastball right down the middle. The ball was intended to be down and in, and it just didn’t go as in as it was supposed to.

And, something German had trouble with was pitching to the bottom of the order. Both Holt and Sandy Leon got two hits off of German, and both batters were hitting under .200 entering the game.

We all know that Domingo German can be a lights out pitcher, he just needs to locate the ball better to have some more of the success he was having early in the season.

 

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley Confident In Rookie Quarterback Daniel Jones

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants stunned the world in the 2019 NFL Draft and selected Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the 6th overall pick. This was a highly controversial decision and has even been called a “terrible” pick. However, the Giants’ 2018 1st-round pick completely disagrees.

Saquon Barkley, the Giants’ 2nd overall draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, has shown great support for the Giants’ new quarterback. The 2018 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year spoke to the media on Saturday about his new teammate.

What Saquon Had To Say About Daniel Jones:

Daniel Jones has big shoes to fill once he takes over for franchise legend Eli Manning. Manning has won two Super Bowls with the Giants in his sixteen-year career. Saquon Barkley thinks Daniel Jones can do the same:

“Everyone has something to say and right now people are saying it was an awful pick,” Barkley said Saturday at West Essex High School following his Pro Camps Youth football camp. “But, when he wait ’til he wins two Super Bowls, they’ll be saying ‘what a great pick!’”

Eli Manning has also given Daniel Jones praise during OTA’s. Manning referred to Jones as a “good kid” who “throws the ball well.” Barkley thinks Jones threw the ball especially well at the Giants’ latest practice.

Jones “went crazy” and “had himself a day” in Friday’s OTA practice, according to Barkley. Check out this perfect pass by Jones to Coleman from Friday’s practice:

https://twitter.com/GiantsQBWatch/status/1133817637203456000

Daniel Jones has been learning from Eli Manning and is patiently waiting for the day he gets to show off his “super, super strong” arm strength. Until then, Jones will continue to put in work and light up the Giants’ practices.

New York Giants: Golden Tate thinks Eli Manning will help him succeed

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

The New York Giants acquired former Philadelphia Eagles receiver Golden Tate this past offseason after trading away Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns. By no means is Tate expected to replicate Beckham’s production, but he will surely have an impact on the offense in 2019.

A primary slot-receiver, Tate will be a security blanket for quarterback Eli Manning, similar to the role Sterling Shepard has played in recent seasons. Both are effective in the short/intermediate game which will ultimately dictate the speed and style of the offense moving forward.

Tate is very excited to start working with Manning, a two-time Super Bowl-winning passer. He has been impressed with his knowledge of the game and ensuring Tate has the best opportunity to catch the ball in the open field. Understanding coverages and enabling Tate to utilize his yards-after-catch efficiency will be the priority in 2019.

New York Giants: Golden Tate comments on Manning’s abilities

“His understanding of the game,” Tate told NJ Advance Media. “As a savvy receiver — specific to my situation, I play in the slot a lot — you want to have a guy who is really good at reading coverages so he doesn’t throw you into any headaches. Eli’s knowledge of the game is great.”

“Talent-wise, I still think Eli is very productive,” Tate said. “I think he still has a very strong arm.

 

What the New York Knicks should do if Kevin Durant deal falls through

Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant

Being a New York Knicks fan is not easy – one day Kevin Durant is 100% confirmed and the next he’s going to the Clippers. The fact of the matter is, there are no guarantees in the NBA, especially when it comes to the Knicks and their wheelhouse of mistakes.

Durant has reportedly purchased a house in New York, a potential indicator of his plans to move to the Mecca. However, I’m still not convinced until the deal is official. The fair question to ask is:

What should the New York Knicks do if Kevin Durant takes his talents elsewhere?

A simple strategy would be to continue building through youth and developing the young stars on the team. The Knicks must go out and draft RJ Barrett, a player that averaged 26.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 5.1 APG when Zion Williamson was out for six games.

Adding his offensive capabilities and defensive prowess will impact the team immediately. One season of development for Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Allonzo Trier should see the Knicks win more games in 2019. Losing Durant shouldn’t deter the Knicks from going after other high-profile free agents, though.

Adding a player like Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker would make all the difference on a team of youth talent. A seasoned veteran point guard would be a perfect beneficiary. The Knicks will have about $70-73 million in cap space to sign two max contracts. If Durant isn’t willing to bring his talents to New York and the Knicks want to look into positions excluding point guard, here are a few options.

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-Klay Thompson

The chances of the Knicks luring Thompson to the Big Apple is low, but he’s still a possibility in free agency. Chances are that he stays with the Warriors, otherwise, the only other expected destination is Los Angeles.

-Tobias Harris

The Philadelphia 76ers will likely attempt to keep Harris for the extended future, making New York an afterthought. However, he is a quality player that averaged 18.2 points per game in 2018. He’s had a pretty consistent career, hovering around the 20 points-per-game average. He would be a great addition for the Knicks, but only if they can bring in a top free agent as well.

Other options:

-Jimmy Butler

-Khris Middleton

-D’Angelo Russell

-Nikola Vucevic

It’s fair that we consider the other players available in free agency, but Durant simply offers the most value at this point in his career. Averaging 26 points-per-game this season in addition to 5.9 assists shows what he’s capable of. Giving him a team of young players to manage could be the icing on the cake for his already illustrious career. Lebron James has attempted to do a similar thing in Los Angeles, but it hasn’t panned out up to this point.

I don’t believe that Durant alone can be the difference maker for the Knicks that would take them to a potential finals game. They need multiple players including two max-contract stars to really make this team competitive.

A starting lineup consisting of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr., Mitchell Robinson, and Durant would be one of the best in the league. However, the talent around the NBA might not see this group make the Eastern Conference Finals.

Instead of draft RJ Barrett, the Knicks have explored the idea of trading back into the draft to find one or two players that compliment Durant and Irving well. This upcoming draft is considered a 3-player draft, which doesn’t promote this idea very much. It’s an interesting idea nonetheless.

New York Giants: Top News 6/2 – Eli Manning has gas left in the tank?

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

Good Morning, New York Giants fans!

Another Eli Manning homer has surfaced! His name is Golden Tate, newly acquired receiver for the Giants. Is he a homer or does he simply think Eli can still get the job done?

Tate commented that Manning sees the game extremely well and still has a strong arm…should we believe him or cough it up as friendly teammate chatter. Eli has always been a quality quarterback in the slant-game and on short post-routes. I imagine Tate will be a major benefactor of that reality.

Extending Sterling Shepard should further indicate that head coach Pat Shurmur wants to utilize the slot-position more frequently in his second season running the offense. Both Tate and Shep can play inside and out, which will create unpredictability and open up the field for Eli.

Additionally, I’m very excited to see the play-action in full form. A poor offensive line hurt Manning’s ability to properly carry out an effective play-action simply because he didn’t have much time to scan the field. Adding Kevin Zeitler and Mike Remmers should increase his efficiency from the pocket. His overall production should actually see a jump because of the line, something general manager Dave Gettleman prioritized this offseason.

Nonetheless–

Your top Giants news of the day!

Dan Benton (Giants Wire) – Things ‘slowing down’ for Daniel Jones as he caps a solid week of practice

Ed Valentine (Big Blue View) – Giants’ 90-man roster: WR Bennie Fowler competing for spot in crowded field

Matt Lombardo (NJ.com) – Here is the Giants’ current unofficial offensive depth chart

Alexander Wilson (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants might have a darkhorse linebacker in Tae Davis

John Fennelly (Giants Wire) – Giants’ Golden Tate specializes in making tacklers miss

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