New York Giants: Pat Shurmur Talks Receivers After Minicamp Day 3

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

Three days of minicamp so far have showed who the top performers are for the New York Giants, and have brought about a plethora of quotes from the coaching staff on the team’s current position. Things have mostly been positive so far, with Daniel Jones earning praise on the first day and the defense getting praise on day two from their defensive coordinator. On the third day, it was a couple of receivers as well as the offense in general to be notably praised by the coaching staff.

The receivers in question would be Darius Slayton and Corey Coleman, two underdogs in the overall scheme of things who have managed to impress this offseason – with the former even more impressively being a rookie this season.

“The guy that’s made huge improvements in my eyes has been Slayton, he’s done a really good job. I think we were all here during rookie minicamp when he kind of had the yips, drops and what not,” said head coach Pat Shurmur when asked about which rookie players had impressed. “He’s really smoothed it out and he’s been making plays. He’s the first guy that comes to mind. This time of year, it’s more about throwing and catching and less about blocking and tackling.”

But Slayton wasn’t the only wide receiver to get praise. “I think him having the full process, we are going to see the best of him. He’s the first one to tell you when he came in the league, he had a lot to learn. Now he’s got an opportunity to maybe be a front-line player,” said Shurmur on Corey Coleman, after elaborating on the team’s reasons for bringing Coleman back another year after picking him up last year.

“He’s very interested in all that, he’s learning our system, he’s doing a great job learning it. He’s fast, he’s really a terrific talent, so hopefully we can get him on the field and make a difference for us,” Shurmur added on the subject of Coleman.

The receiving corps looks very different this year with the departure of Odell Beckham Jr. and the addition of Golden Tate, as well as Sterling Shepard’s stronger role being confirmed by a large contract… However, don’t count out the rookies and some of the lesser known players at the position. The Giants might not have a superstar at wide receiver now, but they do have the potential to be a deep team at the position.

New York Yankees: Bullpen Melts Down On Wednesday

New York Yankees, Zack BRitton

It was bound to finally happen.

No matter how good or how bad your bullpen is, it will have a bad night. And that’s exactly what happened on Wednesday night for the New York Yankees, en route to their third straight loss.

There were factors leading up to it. The biggest was that starting pitcher James Paxton had his pitch count capped at 85 pitches, leading to him going just 4 and 2/3 innings.

Fell in crunch time

In the sixth inning, DJ LeMahieu hit a three run home run to put the Yankees up 7-4. After, the Blue Jays scored seven unanswered runs to end the game.

Once Paxton was removed in the fifth, Adam Ottavino and Tommy Kahnle each got two outs to get through six innings. After those guys, it went way downhill.

With Jonathan Holder in for the seventh, an error by Gleyber Torres and a hit by pitch set up Teoscar Hernandez. He ripped a two-bagger down the line for a double and two runs batted in.

Zack Britton gave up a hit and a walk, before Vladimir Guerrero Jr. rocketed a sinker over the left-center field wall. Once Britton was removed, Luis Cessa came in and gave up back-to-back home runs to Randal Grichuk and former Yankee Brandon Drury. For Grichuk, it was his second home run of the night.

Now, all the Yankee bullpen can do is bounce back and do their job on Thursday. With a recent off-day, guys should be relatively rested and ready to pitch more big innings.

New York Giants darkhorse tight end CJ Conrad making waves in minicamp

The New York Giants signed Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad as an undrafted free agent.

When the New York Giants brought in tight end CJ Conrad out of Kentucky as an undrafted free agent, most didn’t think he would have a major impact. In just his second day of mini-camp, he’s shown why he deserves to be competing against professional talent.

Some analysts believed that Conrad should have been taken in the first five rounds of the draft, but fell out of it entirely due to a lack of statistical production while with Kentucky. The reason being, he was their only threat and defenses game-planned around that idea.

Why did CJ Conrad fall out of the draft?

When Conrad was invited to attend the NFL Combine, he didn’t expect to be diagnosed with a heart ailment during pre-combine examinations. His stock plummeted after the ailment surfaced, knocking him out of the draft and potentially a career in the NFL.

Luckily, the issue proved to be non-serious, allowing him to further pursue his dream as an UDFA. The issue, however, was more about his numbers than the unfortunate discovery before the combine. Conrad sacrificed a ton of personal success while playing with the Wildcats. Although, he did catch 30 passes for 318 yards and three scores last year.

At 6-4, 248-pounds, CJ is a big tight end with the ability to block and receive. Lined up with Daniel Jones under center in 7v7 red-zone drills, Conrad secured two consecutive touchdowns, proving his worth alongside the Giants’ rookie quarterback.

Bth New York Giants rookies are showing promise:

The two already seem to be developing unexpected chemistry in the red zone, something that could be beneficial down the line. The Giants, though, have several tight ends including Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, and Scott Simonson on the roster, which will limit Conrad’s exposure to game-action.

I’m excited to see CJ perform during pre-season and see what he’s capable of in a live scenario. He certainly has the size and motivation to become an integral part of the offense, but can he defeat adversity and crawl his way onto the football field during the regular season? That’s the question I’m asking myself when I consider his translation.

Why the New York Yankees Should Trade Clint Frazier this Summer

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

New York Yankees Outfielder Clint Frazier has heard his name mentioned around the trade deadline for multiple years. But each time the deadlines rolls around, the team has decided to hold on to him. Frazier, a former first-round pick by the Indians, has recently been under fire for his poor play in the field. After his recent disastrous seventh inning against Boston, which resulted in the Red Sox scoring three runs, many fans are ready to move on. Could this be the year that the Yankees’ Front Office finally moves on from ‘Red Thunder’?

Why the Yankees Should Trade Clint Frazier This Summer:

His Improved Trade Value

Prior to this season, Frazier had a .240 batting average, four home runs, and 18 RBI in his Big League career. This season though, he has had a bit of a breakout campaign. He’s batting .275 with 11 home runs and 30 RBI in 43 games this season. At only 24-years-old, Frazier still has plenty of time to develop into a great player, something perspective teams will be intrigued by. With the Yankees believed to be targeting an elite starting pitcher at the deadline this summer, Frazier would be a great piece of a possible trade.

The Defensive Struggles

To be successful in the MLB, you need to be able to both field and hit well. And if you are not the best fielder, you need to be one of the elite hitters in the game. Frazier is not a good enough hitter yet to be a full-time DH though. He needs time to develop into a consistent hitter before he can be excused for his poor defense.

With the Yankees being one of the favorites to play in the World Series this year, they need players who excel in both parts of the game. They can’t afford to have players who struggle mightily at one aspect of the game. If the Yankees want to beat the best teams in October, each player needs to be one of the best at what they do.

The Crowded Outfield

Frazier has greatly benefitted from the injuries the Yankees have dealt with this year. With key outfielders such as Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge on the bench for most of the year thus far, Frazier has had no competition to take him out of the lineup.

When Stanton and Judge return, the outfield will be crowded and there might not be a spot for Frazier. Being a young player, Frazier needs time to develop and needs to be playing every day to get better. When the Yankees are at full strength, that opportunity will most likely not exist.

His Character Issues

After the game against Boston this past Sunday, Frazier refused to speak to the media. His poor play on defense allowed Boston to pull away in that seventh inning; but instead of addressing his mistakes, he chose to hide and not speak. He’s not ready for the spotlight of New York.

Part of being a professional athlete is handling yourself well with the media. When you make a mistake, the media is going to do their best to get a response from you. It is your opportunity to own up to your mistakes and make things better. Frazier didn’t own up to his game-changing mistakes though. He needs to be playing in a place where the media is much more relaxed than New York. He is mentally not ready to be under a microscope each game.

 

New York Knicks: Kyrie Irving spotted in New York as rumors swirl

New York Knicks, Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics

To add even more gas to the rumor-mill fire, Kyrie Irving was seen in New York. Was he potentially meeting with the Knicks? Maybe, or was he just enjoying some time in the greatest city in the world…

The Knicks have been linked to Irving recently as they prepare to drop two max-contracts this offseason on star players. Both Kevin Durant and the Celtics star are in the running to join the Knicks in the Mecca of basketball, however, nothing is set in stone.

The New York Knicks will have to fight for Kyrie Irving:

It was rumored that Irving could be interested in the Brooklyn Nets, which could create some confusion considering he’s in New York, a short train ride or deluxe Uber in Irving’s case to Barclay’s Center. Hopefully, he’s taking the shuttle train from Grand Central straight to Time Square and a short city walk down to MSG.

Hosting Irving will be interesting, considering the treatment he’s received throughout his career. The injury-prone point guard would be a perfect fit alongside Durant, said every Knicks fan ever.

Binging in both players would instantly improve the roster and move some of the youth into reserve roles, which would ultimately be beneficial for their development. It would also create a strong foundation that would limit the star’s fatigue.

If the Knicks are in competition with the Nets to lure Irving to New York, they need to ensure him he will have a co-star to utilize and the 3rd overall pick to further bolster the team with talent. They currently have Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson. Dennis Smith Jr., Allonzo Trier, and Damyeon Dotson on the team. All of which gained exponential experience in 2018, putting them in a position to succeed next season with two max-contract players added to the roster.

New York Giants: Dalvin Tomlinson Is An Unsung Hero On Defense

New York Giants, Dalvin Tomlinson

The New York Giants have a young defense with lots of unproven talent. New York invested heavily in their secondary this offseason, drafting three defensive backs in the 2019 NFL Draft (four if you count Sam Beal). They also traded for the young, multi-skilled safety Jabrill Peppers.

One area of the Giants defense is not as unproven as the secondary. The defensive interior is arguably one of the best young units in the NFL. The Giants have a lot of talent on their defensive line.

B.J. Hill proved himself in his rookie season. Rookie defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence is almost a can’t-miss prospect, as he is destined to be an excellent run defender at the very least, but he will need to prove he can rush the passer as well in the NFL. No one on this defensive line has proven himself quite like Dalvin Tomlinson.

Dalvin Tomlinson Stats And Highlights:

The Giants drafted Dalvin Tomlinson in the 2nd round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Ever since then, he has been a solid, consistent player on the Giants’ defensive line.

Tomlinson has finished with 50 or more tackles in each of his first two seasons. In 2017, Dalvin totaled 50 tackles, and in 2018 he totaled 59. He improved his tackles for loss total to 5 in 2018 after posting only 1 in 2017. Dalvin Tomlinson is not a flashy player, but he gets the job done.

Tomlinson not only gets the job done, but he gets it done at an incredibly consistent level. In 2018, Dalvin Tomlinson had the longest active streak of tackles without a miss with 60. Dalvin has only missed one tackle in his two-year NFL career. This is an extremely advanced level of consistency for a player entering only his third NFL season.

The Giants traded away Damon Harrison Sr. during the 2018 NFL season. Harrison is arguably the best run-defending nose tackle in the NFL. Many assumed the Giants would severely miss Damon’s impact, but Dalvin Tomlinson made sure that was not the case.

Tomlinson ranked as the 9th best interior defensive lineman in the league according to Pro Football Focus after switching positions to nose tackle midseason. The position change was because of the Damon Harrison trade. Dalvin Tomlinson filled the hole left in the middle extremely well, posting an 83.1 overall PFF grade.

Dalvin has racked up 24 defensive stops against the run in two years in the NFL. He is proving to be a true brick wall in the middle of Big Blue’s defensive line. He has been a great run defender his during his first two seasons in the NFL. There is no reason to believe that will change.

Dalvin Tomlinson will continue to develop and will continue to be one of the best young defensive linemen in the NFL. He might not be flashy enough to receive extra media attention, but he gets the job done consistently. Opposing offenses will have to gameplan around Tomlinson due to his ability to stuff the run.

New York Knicks losing out on Kyrie Irving could spell end of Kevin Durant deal

Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Kyrie Irving

Let’s take a moment to consider how Kevin Durant feels towards signing with the New York Knicks. He sees a team that’s perennially bad and struggles to compete at a high level, but he has the opportunity to change that narrative on the biggest stage at Madison Square Garden, the Mecca of basketball.

Durant sees the youth agenda they’ve adopted and the young players currently on the roster to help him succeed if he elects to take his talents to New York. However, he alone won’t be able to change the course of the franchise, a co-star will be needed to succeed.

My primary concern is: If the Knicks strike out on Kyrie Irving will it cause Durant to go in a different direction?

I don’t necessarily think that Durant is relying on Irving to come to the Knicks, as there are other stars on the market. Players like Kemba Walker and DeAngelo Russell could fit the bill and convince the Warriors star to come to the Big Apple anyway, but Irving is a special talent and is the better option, despite his injury history.

It really depends on who Durant wants to play alongside and if the Knicks can convince them to join the ranks. Other options would be Kawhi Leonard who will likely stay with Toronto, Jimmy Butler, and Klay Thompson who is rumored to stay with Golden State.

The Knicks need to be involved with every player worthy of a max contract this summer – it’s even possible they pursue an Anthony Davis trade, however, a deal of that magnitude would take away a majority of the youth they’ve added in recent years.

A combo of Durant and Davis would be an exciting thing to watch, utter dominance on a daily basis. Hmm, maybe that could be something to consider.

At the end of the day, I would conclude in saying losing Kyrie would surely put the Knicks at a disadvantage when it comes to landing Durant. Further lowering the probability around a deal that’s far from reality doesn’t help.

 

 

New York Giants: Daniel Jones has one major advantage over Eli Manning

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Daniel Jones.

If there’s one thing that New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has proved over the course of his career, it’s that you don’t need to be a mobile passer to win the Super Bowl. Tom Brady can further attest to that statement, but the Giants are taking the position in a bit of a different direction with rookie, Daniel Jones.

Comparing both Jones and Manning is easy – they both utilized coach David Cutcliffe to help them develop their fundamentals and professionalism. Jones’ arm technique closely mirrors the Manning’s, it’s almost scary. His attitude towards the media and outlook on life is as bland as Eli’s, but the rookie has one major advantage to his game.

Daniel can run, fast…

When the Giants drafted the Duke product with the 6th overall selection, they were looking at the tangible and intangible traits he brings. Replicating Manning is a great thing, especially if he can mimic his past success, and star running back Saquon Barkley has already advocated for Jones and his abilities.

The rookie quarterback has already begun putting his separating skill on display, taking a read-option for a big gain faking out the entire defense in the first day of minicamp.

Having that addition attribute will benefit the offense in two ways. It will allow head coach Pat Shurmur to utilize Jones on roll-out passes, and it will force the defense to appropriate a QB spy on Daniel, taking a player out of coverage and focusing him on the quarterback.

It will open up the field for his receivers and Barkley in the flat. If the Giants can get Barkley in man-coverage, it will put them in an advantageous position to move the ball down the field.

Manning has limited the efficiency of the offense at times, as his inability to run allows the defense to sit back in coverage and void his progressions. It’s a simple system that relies heavily on time provided by the offensive line and quality route running, if those two factors down mesh, Manning struggles and is forced to check down to Barkley or a crossing route.

Jones will open up a different portion of Shurmur’s playbook, something that will be very exciting to watch in the future.

Should the New York Knicks Consider Re-Signing Carmelo Anthony?

The New York Knicks roster could look very different at the start of next season. New possible additions of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, etc. are up for debate until July 1st.

If the Knicks were to sign 2 max free agents, they will need to sign some players to veteran minimum contracts.  One player that still does not have a team is former Knick, Carmelo Anthony.

Melo has had two stints with teams, Thunder and Rockets, that did not go well.  It appears, via his Instagram, that he is working and still wants to play.  However, if re-signing with a team in general, would Anthony understand his role?

Say the Knicks got Durant, another max player and re-signed Melo.  Melo, 35-years-old, would be coming off the bench.  He would be required to do certain things that he is not capable of.

Anthony would be required to score and play defense, in limited minutes.  However, Melo is a gunner and plays no defense.  He would not understand his role with a team, which we saw both in Oklahoma City and Houston.

Melo played with Russell Westbrook and Paul George then with Chris Paul and James Harden.  It did not work out in either places.  Why would it would in New York, again, when it is not his team and he is playing third, fourth, or fifth fiddle to Durant and Irving or Walker.

Anthony would be looking to get a ring as his career comes to an end, which is might already have ended.  If all goes according to plan for the Knicks, they could have this opportunity.  But, this should not even be a thought.

As much as, some, Knicks fans would love a Anthony-Knicks reunion, it is not in the cards.  Fans should all enjoy the ups-and-downs we had with Melo.

New York Giants: Top News 6/6 – A quarterback battle has begun

New York Giants

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

If Eli Manning wasn’t the guaranteed starter based on past success for the 2019 season, rookie quarterback Daniel Jones might have a legitimate case to earn the job.

Both passers had a great day in the second mini-camp practice, but Jones really showed his abilities, throwing dimes with zip and control all afternoon. He hooked up with undrafted tight end CJ Conrad for two consecutive scores during red-zone drills.

Jones has progressed very well through the first few days of camp as he begins to gather himself and the jitters that come with being a rookie in the NFL. As the 6th overall pick, Daniel has a ton of expectation to live up to, and he’s done a fantastic job up to this point proving his worth.

Check out this clip:

This clip shows Manning tossing the ball towards the sidelines. The arch on the pass certainly isn’t ideal, as it will allow NFL defensive backs to track and break on the ball. Jones throws a much tighter spiral towards the boundary, which is a clear testament to his youth.

However, a little competition is exactly what you want, especially since Eli hasn’t had some in quite some time. It might be good for him to take it up a notch and begin playing like his job is really on the line. This is generally the first time we’ve seen Eli with something to lose…his job.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day!

Greg Joyce (NY Post) – The Daniel Jones craze hasn’t yet reached Eli Manning

Dan Salomone (Giants.com) – Who stood out on Day 2 of Giants minicamp?

Chris Pflum (Big Blue View) – James Bettcher likes his defense’s competitiveness and Lorenzo Carter’s development

Dan Benton (Giants Wire) – Giants felt Jabrill Peppers’ leadership immediately

Anthony Rivardo (Empire Sports Media) – The New York Giants Offense Will Benefit Greatly From Daniel Jones’s Running Ability