New York Giants: Mobility Named As Concern For Manning By Executive

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

Eli Manning is the starter for the New York Giants this year – let’s get that out of the way first. Unless something changes midseason because of terrible performances, Eli Manning will spend the season in the starting position while rookie Daniel Jones picks up experience in the backup role before seriously contending for the starting job. It’s a method that should leave the Giants without the problems that come from starting a rookie quarterback, especially one who was a dark horse draft pick such as Jones.

It does, however, put more pressure on Eli Manning to perform this season and to not leave fans calling for the younger option waiting in the wings and putting the team in an odd position. We all saw how bad that went last season when Kyle Lauletta finally received playing time in a regular season game, and such a situation happening this season could set the Giants back in the present while hurting the development of Jones in the future.

So what does the rest of the league think with the player that the Giants are hopefully going to spend the entire season with as their quarterback?

The Athletic has released their 2019 quarterback tier rankings, and out of four total tiers, the majority of voters placed Manning in tier three. Some of those anonymous voters justified their reasons for Manning being placed there, too.

“I do agree he played OK at the end of the season, but I think he is a short-term 3. Athletically, he is so limited at this point, but the cerebral part of it is there and there is enough arm there, and he will get it out quick,” said an anonymous personnel director.

The sentiments about athleticism were echoed by an offensive coordinator. “Eli has ‘2’ moments, but if you are playing against a good pass rush and a good defense, he is greatly affected.”

The Giants did add upgrades to the offensive line this season which may help mitigate the threat of the pass rush, specifically picking up one of the better guards in the league with Kevin Zeitler and improving on the right tackle position by signing former Vikings tackle Mike Remmers, but as we haven’t actually seen this new offensive line in action it’s impossible to tell how the results will change, if at all.

Daniel Jones has been praised for being similar to Manning but more mobile, which will definitely come into the conversation if Manning does perform poorly this season, just as fans asked for Kyle Lauletta under similar pretenses last year. But the Giants may have already made their decision… It seems like they’re committed to Manning, flaws and all, and one can hope that those flaws will be minimized by the team’s upgrades in other areas this season.

New York Giants first-round pick Daniel Jones sign rookie deal

New York Giants rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones.

And there ya have it, folks, the New York Giants will officially be fielding their top pick from the 2019 NFL Draft, Daniel Jones. General manager Dave Gettleman is set on giving Jones the time to learn behind Eli Manning and understand the ins and outs of the game.

Jones is an intelligent player with solid tangible and intangible abilities. A superior athlete to Eli, he has the ability to run the ball and utilize his legs, something the Giants haven’t had in quite some time.

Jones was the last rookie to sign his contract, waiting until the final moments keeping him eligible to practice during training camp with the rest of the team. Did we really expect him to miss it?

It seems as if waiting paid off, though, as Jones will receive his entire signing bonus in year one of the deal, a good development for him. Not only is he a good football player, but it seems his negotiation skills are up to par as well.

What should we expect from Daniel Jones this offseason?

Aside from earning pre-season reps, training camp will offer his first look at live-action against full-speed defenders. During mini-camp and OTAs he looked good, even great at times, but his weaknesses also flared. Handling legitimate pressure will allow him to adjust quickly to the speed and strength of the NFL — this time will be extremely beneficial to his development.

New York Yankees: Jonathan Holder Back In Pinstripes

New York Yankees, Jonathan Holder

New York Yankees reliever Jonathan Holder has been recalled from AAA after being sent down after a shaky start to the season.

Holder, 26, had a 5-2 record but an ERA of almost 7.00 in 35 and 2/3 innings. He was sent to AAA on June 25th. Over his last seven major league outings, he has given up 13 runs and has given up 17 runs in his last 15 outings.

In AAA, Holder had a 3.48 ERA but improved each time out. He only gave up one run in his last 6 and 1/3 innings.

It’s really good to see Jonathan Holder back in the majors. He had a breakout season in 2018 and we know the potential he has to be extremely successful in middle relief. He can become one of those guys to directly relieve starters, and transition the game to guys like Zach Britton or Adam Ottavino.

The corresponding move is that Stephen Tarpley has been optioned to AAA. Tarpley pitched 4 and 1/3 innings in the series against the Rockies, including three innings on Friday alone. He gave up just one run over the two outings.

Once back in AAA, Tarpley will have time to improve his pitching against right handers. He is completely dominant against lefties, but has struggled a ton against righties.

Holder should make his Yankee first Yankee appearance in over a month this week against the Twins. The Yankees play three against the AL Central leaders before trekking off to Fenway Park for the first time this year for four games against the Red Sox.

Hopefully, Holder will return to last year’s form to help the Yankee’s more in middle relief.

 

 

Keep doubting the New York Knicks – they could prove you wrong

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

No one is giving the New York Knicks a chance next season.  The Knicks are picked to be a bottom team or a team that is tanking again.

The most recent vote of disrespect comes in the form of ranking tiers, scattered across the internet to lure Knicks fans back into a state of depression. Tiers are when people ranked all the teams in the NBA within categories such as,  ‘title contenders’, ‘playoff locks’, ‘overrated’, ‘tanking’, etc.  In all these tiers, the Knicks are constantly at the very bottom.  Again, no one is giving the Knicks a chance, however, being the underdog has its advantages.

All of those naysayers are just fueling the fire for this young New York Knicks team.  The newest member appears to already have that fire lit beneath him.

Bobby Portis stated in an interview with Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hypes that he loves being “underrated.”  According to Portis, he is an underdog.  This is exactly the type of attitude this young team needs to have entering this season.

Yes, the Knicks are underdogs and have been for years, but this season is different.  They are fiery.  And having people doubt them and say they are tanking again is perfect.

One young player on this team, coming off his best year, Julius Randle, is looking to build off that.  Others like Dennis Smith Jr. are looking to prove that he can be the player people think.

Kevin Knox is looking to silence the haters after a historically, statistical atrocious rookie season.  As for RJ Barrett, he played in four summer league games and is 19-years-old, relax.  And Mitchell Robinson, well, we all know he is going to be a beast.

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Portis, along with new point guard addition Elfrid Payton, are looking to prove something this season. More intensity the better.  Thankfully, the Knicks got more of that with Marcus Morris.

The Knicks really have a chance to make some noise next season with this ‘something to prove’ attitude.  They are not going to contend for a title or any of that jazz, but they are on the right path to make a giant step forward in the rebuilding process this upcoming season.

New York Yankees ‘guaranteed’ a top pitcher before July 31 trade deadline

The New York Yankees are looking into Cleveland Indians pitcher, Trevor Bauer.

The New York Yankees are by no means a team starving for wins, as they currently hold the best record in baseball at 64-34. However, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use the pitching support as their starting rotation struggles to maintain its shape due to injuries and the like.

Luis Severino is still working his way back, James Paxton is clearly ailing after being shelled against the Rockies over the weekend, and there’s no doubt more knacks will arise as the season continues.

Jim Bowden reported for The Athletic that the Yankees are ‘guaranteed’ to trade for one of the following prior to the July 31 trade deadline: Trevor Bauer, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Mike Minor, Matthew Boyd or Madison Bumgarner.

Stroman has been a frequent flyer on the rumor mill for the Yanks, and his performance this year has made him a solid target if GM Brian Cashman is willing to deal. It’s expected that the Toronto Blue Jays will want a decent haul for their best pitcher currently.

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“The two starters who are most likely to be traded at this point appear to be the Toronto Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman and Rangers southpaw Mike Minor,” Bowden wrote (paywall).

“The Yankees, Twins, Astros, Phillies, Athletics and Brewers have all at least inquired on both of them. Matthew Boyd of the Tigers is also available, but the asking price is astronomical – though of course, that could change in the next nine days.”

With two essential starters either on the injured list or struggling, it’s imperative the Bombers bring in another capable starter to supplement their deficiencies.

Here’s how each New York Yankees target has performed so far in 2019:

Marcus Stroman - Toronto Blue Jays (28 years old)
20 G, W-L: 6-10, 3.06 ERA, 117.2 IP, 93 K/34 BB, 1.249 WHIP, 0.8 HR/9

Trevor Bauer - Cleveland Indians (28 years old)
22 G, W-L: 9-7, 3.67 ERA, 144.2 IP, 170 K/56 BB, 1.182 WHIP, 1.4 HR/9

Madison Bumgarner - San Francisco Giants (29 years old)
21 G, W-L: 5-7, 3.65 ERA, 125.2 IP, 127 K/26 BB, 1.178 WHIP, 1.2 HR/9

Mike Minor - Texas Rangers (31 years old)
20 G, W-L: 8-5, 2.86 ERA, 129.0 IP, 131 K/45 BB, 1.163 WHIP, 1.2 HR/9

Noah Syndergaard - New York Mets (26 years old)
19 G, W-L: 7-4, 4.36 ERA, 119.2 IP, 118 K/31 BB, 1.228 WHIP, 1.1 HR/9

Matthew Boyd - Detroit Tigers (28 years old)
20 G, W-L: 6-8, 4.13 ERA, 120.0 IP, 160 K/24 BB, 1.133 WHIP, 1.6 HR/9

No matter who the Yankees elect to trade for, all of these options are solid and can immediately leave their mark on the season. They will help exponentially once playoff time rolls around.

 

New York Giants: Will The Secondary Or Defensive Line Be Better In 2019?

The New York Giants‘ defense has undergone numerous changes this offseason. They have seen two star defenders leave, Landon Collins and Olivier Vernon, opening big holes in both the secondary and the front seven.

But the Giants have also made plenty of acquisitions to try to patch these holes. They revamped their secondary in the 2019 NFL Draft and also added a stud rookie defensive lineman to their already solid young core.

This raises an interesting question for the 2019 NFL season. Which unit will perform better? The secondary or the defensive line?

Why The Secondary Might Perform Better

The New York Giants‘ secondary has been one of the league’s worst over the past two years. In 2017, the Giants’ secondary allowed 252.4 passing yards per game (ranked 31st in the NFL). In 2018, the Giants’ secondary allowed 252.8 passing yards (ranked 23rd in the NFL), showing minimal to no improvement.

Fortunately, Big Blue has made some major changes to help improve the backend of the defense. New York drafted three defensive backs in the 2019 NFL Draft (four if counting Sam Beal). These young cornerbacks wi

The Giants should have a solid new cornerback duo in Janoris Jenkins and DeAndre Baker. Jenkins has been a solid player with the Giants the past three seasons and Baker is a talented young rookie that New York drafted in the first-round.

But the Giants are not just set on the outside. At slot cornerback, the Giants have bounds of talent. Grant Haley is heading into his second season after a promising rookie season that saw him break up 2 passes and total 33 tackles in only 10 games.

But the Giants now have options at slot cornerback. Julian Love was the Giants’ steal of the draft in the fourth round. He could see playing time at both slot cornerback and free safety.

The Giants’ best new defensive addition this offseason was Jabrill Peppers. The Giants acquired Peppers in a trade with Cleveland, and Jabrill should instantly be the Giants’ best defender. Peppers is a playmaker all over a defense, as he has experience playing just about everywhere.

In 2018, most of Jabrill’s snaps were played at safety (281 snaps), but he played a lot of snaps at linebacker (172 snaps), edge (133 snaps), and slot cornerback (108 snaps), too, according to Pro Football Focus. The Swiss-Army Knife Julius Peppers was able to snag an interception, a sack, and record 79 combined tackles.

The Giants’ new secondary has a lot of young potential. But this unit is not the only piece of the defense with a lot of potential.

Why The Defensive Line Might Peform Better

The New York Giants’ defensive line is vastly underrated as of right now. They have an immensly talented young core that should serve them well for the next decade (if Gettleman manages to keep everyone tigether).

First up on Big Blue’s feroucious defensive line is Dalvin Tomlinson. Tomlinson has been described by Pro Football Focus as one of the NFL’s secret defensive superstars. This is because of Dalvin’s incredibly efficient play throughout his first two professional seasons.

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. Tomlinson has also racked up 24 defensive stops against the run in two years in the NFL. His continued development will make him one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL.

Next up is one of New York’s brightest young stars on defense, B.J. Hill. Hill was a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and he played much better than his draft stock in his rookie season.

Hill proved that he is an excellent interior penetrator in 2018. B.J. set a New York Giants franchise record in 2018. His 5.5 sacks were the most ever by a rookie in Giants history since the sack became an official statistic in 1982. The 5.5 sacks were also the fourth most by a rookie this season.

Last but not least, the Giants’ latest addition to the offensive line, Dexter Lawrence. The Giants drafted Dexter Lawrence with the 17th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Lawrence is a young stud with tons of potential who could make an impact instantly.

Dexter Lawrence is known for his incredible work in run-defense, but he is also a criminally underrated interior pass-rusher. In three years at Clemson, Dexter totaled 131 tackles and 18 tackles for loss. But Dexter Lawrence also racked up 33 total pressures in 2018 (T12th in draft class) and he also had the third-highest pass rush productivity percentage in the draft class, applying pressure on 13.8% of his snaps.

The Giants’ defensive line has the potential to be one of the best young defensive lines in the NFL in 2019. The secondary has a lot of potential, but the talent is not as proven as the defensive line. Personally, I think the defensive line will perform better out of the two units because the secondary has too many young and unproven players. However, both units should surprise and be a lot better than most expect them to be this season.

New York Giants to bring veteran safety Tre Boston for a visit

New York Giants bring in Tre Boston for a visit.

Prior to the start of training camp, the New York Giants will bring in veteran safety Tre Boston for a visit. The seasoned defender could be a good grab for a team that’s relying heavily on Antoine Bethea to sure up the defensive backfield.

Finishing 2018 on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals, Boston put together a solid season. Ranking as the 24th highest-graded-safety as per PFF with a 74.1 overall grade, he proved he can still be a capable starter. Allowing just 18 receptions on 30 targets for 189 yards and two scores, Boston would be a cheap signing that can act as a quality reserve option.

One thing I like about Boston is his injury history, playing in 72 of a possible 80 games in five seasons. He’s collected 17 passes defended in the past two seasons alone.

Going into a new situation last season, he forced an incompletion percentage of (26.7%) which ranked fourth among safeties with at least 10 targets. Additionally, his 61.0 passer rating was the sixth-best among safeties. In all likelihood, Boston would be the backup to Bethea who’s a sure tackler.

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What would Boston offer the New York Giants?

I do like Tre’s versatility, however, as he can play free safety and strong safety, giving the Giants a utility option to interchange between the two in case Jabrill Peppers misses any time.

Keep an eye on this development as the Giants could very well sign him to a cheap deal.

New York Yankees: What Chad Green means to the Yankees

New York Yankees, Chad Green

The New York Yankees are known to have the best bullpen in baseball. Behind Chapman, Britton, Ottavino, Green, Cessa, and Hale, the staff holds the third lowest ERA among every team at 3.76, just behind Tampa Bay and Cleveland. A big reason why the Yankees hold that is because of Chad Green.

After his rocky start to the season and tune-up in Scranton, he has been dominating hitters. In the months of May, June, and July, he has only allowed six earned runs in 28.2 innings pitched. In that time, he has fanned 41 hitters while only walking four (Baseball Reference).

Green has taken on the “opener” role when the Yankees choice to use that strategy in some series. Among those eight games that Green has started, he has allowed just three earned runs over 11.2 innings while fanning 19. Another notable fact – the Yankees are currently undefeated in each game that Green has opened. The reason why Green might be so successful in the opener role is because he was primarily a starter when he began his professional career.

Part of the reason why Green is having so much success is because of his control of his pitches. Everyone knows free 90s means runs given up. Green has only allowed eight walks this season, which shows why his ERA has improved in the last three months. Take a look at this chart from Fan Graphs, you can see how consistent he is in the zone.

Green’s 2019 ERA might not show the dominance and effect he has had on the Yankees’ success this year. Part of the reason why it is high is because of his early season struggles. However, he is someone that manager Aaron Boone knows that will come in and throw strikes. And with how the Yankees swing the bat, as long as they get the outs they need, they will win ballgames.

Brooklyn Nets: Kyrie Irving brings a consistency to the point guard position

Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Kyrie Irving

The Brooklyn Nets enjoyed elite point guard play for the first time since 2012 when Deron Williams was still on the team and the organization was just relocated from New Jersey to Brooklyn. Fast forward seven years and the entire concept of Brooklyn lured both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to the smaller team in New York.

Irving, though, brings a consistency to the point guard position the Nets haven’t seen in quite a while. D’Angelo Russell was fantastic in 2018, averaging 21.1 points per game and 7.0 assists. He was an All-Star and helped carry the Nets into a playoff appearance, despite losing in the first round to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The influence of an everyday premium point guard is significant, and the team will see the benefits this year. Irving has only dipped below 20 points per game (season average) twice in his eight-year career, the last being in 2015-16 with 19.6.

The primary issue with Irving is that to be quite frank, he’s a little crazy, and players have a hard time developing chemistry with him. He’s a very self-centered player, never averaging over 6.9 assists per game throughout his entire career (has never been top 10 in this category). While a number of Nets players were actively recruiting Irving to the Brooklyn, including Spencer Dinwiddie, it seemed as if he was coming all along.

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Irving is more offensively gifted than D’Lo, recording fewer turnovers and more points per game consistently. But while Russell seemed to elevate the players around him, at times Kyrie only helps himself. With Durant not on the floor for a majority of 2019, we will see how influential Irving really is, and if he can will the newly built team to a second consecutive playoff appearance.

A question arises — should the Nets have kept the youthful D’Angelo Russell in favor of signing Irving to a max deal?

New York Jets: This Season Is A Fork In The Road For Leonard Williams Career

Leronard Williams, New York Jets

New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams aka “Big Cat” has been a fan favorite and a reliable player since being drafted in 2015. He was regarded as the best player in the class before the draft. The expectations for the DE were high right off the bat.

Williams delivered with a pro bowl appearance in his first season. He finished with 3.0 sacks, 63 tackles, 7 TFLs, and 20 QB Hits. Williams was disruptive and immediately made an impact. He continued that in his sophomore campaign with 7.0 sacks, 68 tackles, 11 TFLs, and 19 QB Hits (Pro Football Reference).

Then in 2018, his production dipped with 47 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 3 TFLs, and 25 QB Hits. It became apparent that the double teams were hurting him and he needed back up. The Jets brought in Henry Anderson who had a phenomenal year but didn’t really help Williams much.

Leonard put up good pressure numbers but continued to lack his dominant presence shown earlier on when he had back up. This was evidenced in his 5.0 sacks, 42 tackles, 11 TFLs, and 20 QB hits. This seemed to be Williams ceiling with the Jets if backup never showed up.

Then the Jets took the monster from Alabama, Quinnen Williams. Just like that, the Jets formed a Williams 2x duo that will wreak havoc and kept Henry Anderson along as well.

It has become evident Anderson and Quinnen Williams will be big pieces on the defensive line for the future. Leonard Williams is in jeopardy, however. The Jets aren’t going to bring him back if he disappoints this upcoming season.

This is a contract year and without a doubt the biggest year of Williams’ career. A fork in the road one might call it. Two directions, two results, and one season to prove his worth once and for all.

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Will he step up and show what he can do and earn himself an extension or will he disappoint and end up in a situation with his future up in the air? There is no doubt in my mind the disruptive pass rusher can be a productive player in this league, but his dominance has faded as double teams became more prominent.

Hopefully, adding a quality player like Quinnen will allow him to return to his former self.