New York Giants: Golden Tate A Top 10 Slot Receiver?

New York Giants, Golden Tate

The New York Giants are looking for several players to step up their production to help make up for the loss of Odell Beckham Jr., and to an extent, the aging of Eli Manning, and one of the ones expected to make a big splash this season is newly acquired Golden Tate, who joined from the rival Philadelphia Eagles this offseason and brings a strong ability to gain yards after the catch.

Tate should end up one of the top receivers on the team next to Sterling Shepard, who has more experience in the offense and recently signed a four year contract to secure his place as one of the top players on the Giants. While it looks like Shepard could be a star on the outside, Tate should be the first team player in the slot – a position that Tocuhdown Wire has rated him quite highly at.

According to Touchdown Wire, Tate is the 9th best slot receiver in the entire league, which would certainly be an upgrade for the Giants from the previous amount of production they received from the position. Here’s some of what they had to say about Tate.

As you’d expect from a YAC monster throughout his career, Tate is a very physical player. Built like a running back, he challenges cornerbacks with his upper-body strength at the line of scrimmage, and he’s eager to a fault when it comes to giving press coverage back within the first five yards of a route. He’s also learned to work option routes at all areas of the field, and though he won’t make anyone forget Beckham, he brings a lot to the table in a favorable offense.

Tate will benefit this year from the Giants having a bit more depth than they did last year. Cody Latimer should hopefully be healthy this year to play alongside Shepard and tight end Evan Engram, who also struggled with injury but should be back in action for the start of the 2019 season.

The Giants already improved their running game last year, leaving receiving as a logical step forward for improvement. We’ll see if Tate can help with making that step forward in a much needed area.

New York Yankees: Luke Voit To The IL

New York Yankees, Yankees, Luke voit

New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit will be heading to the 10 day IL with what the team is calling “a slight abdominal strain”. Voit injured himself in the first game against the Boston Red Sox in London while running the bases.

Because of how minor the injury is and the timing of it, Voit will likely miss just six games. He should be ready to play the Toronto Blue Jays following the all-star break.

To replace him, the Yankees recalled Mike Ford from AAA. Ford, a 26 year old Princeton alumn, is batting .318 with 19 home runs in just 59 games with Scranton. He was selected to the AAA all-star game and was scheduled to participate in the AAA home run derby.

Ford has five big league hits, and one of those is a home run. He will return to AAA once Voit is healthy.

Since the Yankees don’t play next week but some minor league teams do, it will be interesting to see if the team sends Voit to the minors for work or just rests him during the four day break.

Two Notes

-Fun fact about Mike Ford: He was the 2013 Ivy League Player Of The Year as a pitcher. He was 6-0 with an ERA of 0.98 in 64 innings, and went undrafted that June.

-In other first baseman news, Kendrys Morales has cleared waivers and the Yankees have released him.

 

Are the New York Knicks an underdog for next season?

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks will enter next season looking different.  The Knicks will be young and fun to watch.

The Knicks projected started lineup will consist of, Dennis Smith Jr., RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox/Reggie Bullock, Julius Randle & Mitchell Robinson.  With that lineup, can the Knicks be considered underdogs for next season?

Without a doubt, yes.

One of the newest New York Knicks, Bobby Portis, also believes so.  Portis posted on instagram a picture of the new members of the Knicks with a optimistic caption.  “Never fall victim to believing what THEY say…just go to work! The only way, the #UNDERDOG way!! Let’s get it NYC (Statue of liberty and apple emoji) #KNICKSTAPE blessed (emojis).”

In addition to all the new players that were added, the estimated win total for the Knicks next season would add 22 wins.  So, take the 16 wins from last season, add those 22 and the Knicks are at 38 wins.  In the East, they could be looking at sneaking into the 7th or 8th seed.

The Knicks are going to be young, fun, aggressive and ready to make some noise under David Fizdale.  If the Knicks are able to learn to play together & buy into Fizdale’s philosophy, then they can certainly be like the Orlando Magic from last season.  The Knicks are going to be fun to watch next season, despite losing out on all big free agents.

The New York Knicks showed their true colors this free agency period

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

Whether the New York Knicks were reluctant to pursue Kevin Durant due to his torn Achilles or not, the reality is this — there’s no excuse for striking out on every superstar.

New York is supposed to be an attractive and appealing place for big-time players looking to further establish themselves in history. Taking over a team and organization and making it something of their own, but ownership seems to be too involved.

James Dolan, the owner of the Knicks and CEO of Madison Square Garden, is the perennial problem that Knicks fans face every year. Passing on one of the best players of all time because of an injury is simply blasphemous, especially when you consider the value he would bring to RJ Barrett and the other young talents collectively learning on the roster.

Dolan did a disservice to every single fan and player by not attempting to bring in Durant, instead, he snatched Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, Wayne Ellington, Bobby Portis, and Reggie Bullock. Second and third-tier players that will help the Knicks to another losing season and hopefully another lottery pick at this point.

The New York Knicks are in purgatory:

Without the likes of a max-contract player, the current team is nowhere close to being a legitimate competitor. It seems, however, that Knicks management, aka Dolan, was resistant when it came to putting their money where their mouth is. Passing on Durant, not even having an interview with Kawhi Leonard, losing Kyrie Irving to the Brooklyn Nets before free agency even opened…

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The current state of the team and front office is in shambles, in fact, they’re an embarrassment to the basketball world and a consistent let-down to the fan-base. There’s reason to riot against the powers above that simply don’t understand the concept of winning and the influence of New York.

It makes you appreciate the influence and attempt by Carmelo Anthony. He was the only player that even dared to drag the Knicks out of the ashes. Clearly, no other superstar is even willing to tread foot in a place that seems to end careers before they start. Making Dolan obsolete seems to be the only way out of this dark age, but there’s no end in sight.

We just have to pray consistent losing and high draft picks fixes the issues that have plagued the organization for years.

5 New York Knicks Questions Ahead of Summer League

New York Knicks, Allonzo Trier

With the New York Knicks beginning their Summer League games starting Friday (against Zion Williamson no less), I wanted to take a look at the roster and ask some pertinent questions. Here’s hoping for an exciting Summer League!

Knicks Summer League Roster:

 

  • Tim Bond, G, Eastern Michigan
  • Amir Hinton, G, Shaw University
  • Zak Irvin, G, Michigan
  • Lamar Peters, G, Mississippi State
  • Speedy Smith, G, Louisiana Tech
  • Allonzo Trier, G, Arizona
  • VJ King, F, Louisville
  • R.J. Barrett, G/F, Duke
  • Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky
  • Ignas Bradzeikis, F, Michigan
  • Kris Wilkes, F, UCLA
  • Henry Ellenson, F/C, Marquette
  • Kenny Wooten, F/C, Oregon
  • Tyler Cavanaugh, F/C, George Washington
  • Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette HS

 

How Will RJ Barrett Perform?

The question on the forefront of everyone’s minds is what third overall pick RJ Barrett will do in Las Vegas. In the past, Knicks first round picks have stood out in Summer League, and Barrett should be no different, as he will be facing competition that is likely not up to par. I fully expect the young star to wow, but if he doesn’t, it’s totally fine. No player’s amount of success in Summer League, or lack thereof, is a guarantee of what he will be at the next level, and Barrett is no different. 

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Will We See Improvement from the Sophomores?

The two players that Scott Perry selected in his first draft, Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson, as well as UDFA Allonzo Trier, will all be on this year’s Summer League Roster. After each showing flashes of promise as rookies, it is time to see whether the several months of training has paid off and whether these three players can take a step forward. It would certainly be disappointing to see these guys struggle in the Summer League since the competition is so weak.

Who Comes Out Of Nowhere?

Summer League is also a great opportunity for players who were overlooked stand out. The Knicks have several potential breakout candidates on this year’s squad. Two-way player Kris Wilkes of UCLA has all the talent in the world, and could easily outperform expectations. Keep an eye on UDFA Amir Hinton, Division Two’s leading scorer last season. Hinton, who played at Shaw University, averaged 29 points per game last season.

Can Iggy Bradzeikis Follow the Mitchell Robinson Path?

Last year’s second round pick, Mitchell Robinson, had an up-and-down Summer League and left most thinking he’d spend a good amount of time in the G League. However, he clearly showed promise, and ultimately was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team. This year’s second rounder, Michigan’s Ignas Brazdeikis, will be attempting to earn minutes on the Knicks NBA squad despite a loaded frontcourt. He’ll be a full go for Summer League, and it will be interesting to see if he shows enough promise to excite Knicks fans. It won’t take much, Iggy.

Can the Knicks Win The Whole Thing?

Bovada gave the Knicks the best odds to win the Summer League Championship, at ten-to-one. With a roster that is loaded with young talent, winning the title seems feasible, if not likely. After the Lottery and Free Agency, Knicks fans could use a morale boost. Let’s go win it all.

 

Were the New York Knicks right to withhold max contract from Kevin Durant?

New York Knicks

As one of the best players in recent memory in the NBA, a torn Achilles shouldn’t have even been factored into the decision to pursue Kevin Durant for the New York Knicks this offseason. Modern medicine is good enough to see torn Achilles and ACL’s recover to 100%, but owner James Dolan figured he’d save himself some cash…so it seems.

The Knicks, once again, have played themselves, finding themselves with several second-tier free agents instead of premium talent. At the very least, bringing in Durant could have persuaded others to come to the Mecca of basketball as well.

While Julius Randle, 24, is a solid young power forward that will help the Knicks over the next three seasons, he’s no Durant. However, the other side of the story is still a positive one.

The New York Knicks are still headed in the right direction:

While the Knicks didn’t convince any superstars to join the ranks, they’re still on a good path moving forward with a ton of youth on the team and a potential star in RJ Barrett.

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As we dive into the roster — Kevin Knox, Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Damyean Dotson, Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr., there’s plenty to be excited about. The issue simply presents itself as time. Waiting for the youth to blossom into veteran talent is the cost of building through the draft and failing to bring in proven players that can influence the team now.

It’s not what Knicks fans want to hear or wait for, as another failing to address vital additions to the team costs us more of our lives to watch a struggling franchise. Dolan, the unanimous winner for the most hated owner, will remain seated in his current position, which guarantees more issues.

Hopefully, the likes of Scott Perry and Steve Mills can mask the deficiencies and extract the success we are all so hungry for.

3 reasons why the New York Giants will be far better in 2019

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants surely underwent a full rebuild in 2018 and are still putting the puzzle pieces together through the NFL draft and free agency. The primary method of growth should be through the draft, as following a youth agenda helps with building success for the future and beyond instead of plugging holes with aging veterans.

The reality is, GM Dave Gettleman is doing what Jerry Reese failed to do many times over. We are now beginning to see the benefits of good drafting.

Here are 5 reasons the New York Giants will be much improved in 2019:

1.) The secondary

Last season, the Giants pushed forward with Janoris Jenkins being the only trustworthy corner, and even he has struggled in recent years. Behind him, defensive coordinator James Bettcher was forced to utilize B.W. Webb who’s no longer with the team and Grant Haley, an undrafted corner out of Penn State.

Fast forward one year and the Giants are stocked full of cornerback talent. DeAndre Baker out of Georgia, a physical and tenacious player that will slot in behind Jenkins to start his career, Julian Love out of Notre Dame, an expected talent in the slot to compete with Haley, and Corey Ballentine, a late-round pick that has the tangible traits to develop into a solid player in the NFL.

We mustn’t forget about Supplemental Draft pick Sam Beal either, a young player that has shown flashes of quality during the offseason. He’s an unknown and is coming off a shoulder surgery that kept him off the field in his rookie campaign. There’s much more optimism around this group than before.

2.) The offensive line

In just two seasons Gettleman has managed to piece together an atrocious offensive line. Ridding the team of Ereck Flowers and swallowing his pride with Patrick Omameh. I for one, appreciate his releasing of Omameh after realizing the mistake he made instead of holding on to a below-average player for far too long (see Jerry Reese and Flower).

After signing left tackle Nate Solder and drafting Will Hernandez in 2018, he went ahead and brought in the No. 1 pass-protecting guard in Kevin Zeitler from last season and signed right tackle Mike Remmers.

Believe it or not, this line is finally in a place to provide Eli Manning with more than two seconds in the pocket. It will also benefit Daniel Jones exponentially once he takes over as the starter.

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3.) Saquon Barkley

Considering the fact that running back sensation Saquon Barkley eclipsed 2,000 all-purpose yards in his rookie season, it’s only fair to assume he will continue to improve at such a young age.

With an improved offensive line and a likely more efficient Manning, Barkley will reap the benefits of defenses unwilling to stack the box in fear of Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard dancing in the open field. We can’t forget about Evan Engram either.

Barkley has learned how to operate at the NFL level and avoid taking big hits. He’s an instant game changer and knows he’s more than capable of beating defenders in the open field. Moving forward, I expect him to be a more impactful factor as a blocker for Manning and to keep opposing defenses honest to open up the field for the receivers.

 

 

New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez escapes injury, Luke Voit not so much

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees enjoyed a clean sweep of the Boston Red Sox over the weekend in London, putting up a combined 29 runs in two games. However, two influential players, Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit, were forced out due to injury on two separate occasions.

Sanchez, who caught a ball on his left thumb, stated that the finger was sore and would need to be evaluated, but shouldn’t be cause for concern moving forward.

According to the NY Post:

“There was one pitch I caught in my thumb. It’s a little sore, we will see the next couple of days and see how I feel,’’ said Sanchez.

“Not yet, I am going to see them soon,’’ Sanchez said, when asked if he had undergone tests. “I think I am going to be fine, it’s just sore. Ice it well and it should be fine.’’

The All-Star catcher has had a fantastic season up to this point, seeing his defensive skills elevate one year after a tough campaign all around. He allowed 18 passed balls last season in 67 complete games, while only allowing five in 47 games this year. He’s also hitting much better — .261 BA with 23 homers and 54 RBIs, surpassing his numbers from last year while playing in 27 fewer games.


Luke Voit, the starting first baseman for the Bombers, pulled his lower abdomen running the bases after a fifth-inning double on Saturday. He was seeing jogging lightly on Sunday during practice but the injury is cause for concern

“There is concern. I don’t know yet if it will take him out of action for any extended periods. We will take advantage of the off day [Monday],’’ Cashman said before Sunday’s game, in which Voit didn’t play. “Currently no tests are scheduled. If they change that decision we will let you know. He said he is feeling better. I don’t think there is anything new from [Saturday night]. He had a little discomfort. If it is something that will take him off line for a period of time then I think it is going to take a few more days to figure that out.’’

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I anticipate he will be placed on the 10-day injured list while he works his way back from the ailment. There’s no reason for him to play with Edwin Encarnacion on the roster and more than capable of filling in while he recovers. Abdomen issues can be sneaky and re-injuries are frequent with strain.

Especially when considering the flexibility required to play first base, it’s better the Yankees take it easy with Voit and ensure he’s 100% healthy before testing him out in live-action.

 

New York Giants News, 7/2 – The offensive line finally has a leader

New York Giants, Kevin Zeitler

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

Being plagued with inadequacy at one of the more important units on any given NFL team is certainly one way to guarantee failure. The Giants and former GM Jerry Reese were keen on giving veteran quarterback Eli Manning little to no time in the pocket, and they seemed content with that fact as long as Odell Beckham Jr. was happy and producing or Reese’s pride wasn’t taking a beating.

Fast forward several years and GM Dave Gettleman has made the appropriate moves to compensate for years of lackluster drafting and offensive line allocations. Bringing in Nat Solder and Will Hernandez last year was just the beginning of a team-wide overhaul.

So far in 2019, he’s managed to secure Kevin Zeitler and Mike Remmers, but the former gives us optimism. Already making an influence as a leader on the team is Zeitler, teaching the young Hernandez and becoming the mentor he needs to excel at the NFL level.

Having Solder to learn from in his rookie year was beneficial, but having a player at a similar position, the top pass-protector in the NFL at that certainly will help him develop even further in the season ahead. Zeitler will be much more than just a force at right guard, he will help elevate the play of every player on the line, something the Giants have been missing from quite some time.

Nonetheless–

Your Giants top news of the day!

Dan Schneier (247 Sports) – Eli Manning envisions a better New York Giants offense in 2019

John Schmeelk, Dan Salomone, Lance Medow (Giants.com) – Cover 3: Which road trip should Giants fans make this season?

John Fennelly (GMEN HQ) – Kevin Zeitler has become a mentor on the Giants’ offensive line

John Schmeelk (Giants.com) – Rookie CB Baker adds physicality to secondary

Pat Leonard (NY Daily News) – Lorenzo Carter will inherit Olivier Vernon’s former workload

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