New York Giants: How the remainder of 2019 can be a success

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

When the New York Giants and head coach Pat Shurmur announced that veteran quarterback Eli Manning would start the 2019 regular season, most assume they had playoff hopes. Just two weeks later, rookie quarterback Daniel Jones was injected into the starting team and given the green light to start his career with Big Blue.

However, the 2019 campaign was never a farewell tour for Manning or a playoff-contending season. Two years into a rebuild doesn’t precisely scream competitiveness, but the decision to start Jones was. Whether the team won this year or next, flipping the page on a 15-year chapter headlined by Manning was necessary.

The Giants now sit at 2-6 on the season and have lost four consecutive games. Instead of being sellers at the trade deadline, they bought into the idea of bolstering their defensive front with Jets’, Leonard Williams. Sending a third round and compensatory pick to the team across the street showed their confidence in the foundation of the team, despite recent losses.

Losses aren’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when considering the fact that the Giants were never supposed to be a playoff-contending team this season. Ironing out the weaknesses on both sides of the ball will give general manager Dave Gettleman an idea of where resources need to be allocated. To name a few — offensive tackle, linebacker, outside linebacker, cornerback, and free safety.

A large portion of the current lackluster positions will cost the Giants a pretty penny. Luckily, they have plenty of draft capital to inject into the offensive line and linebacker position. Rookie Ryan Connelly was impressing before tearing his ACL. He logged 20 combined tackles and two interceptions in four games, quickly developing into the best option at inside linebacker for Big Blue, overtaking Alec Ogletree in the middle of the defense, one of the highest-paid linebackers in the league.

Part of the rebuild process is bringing in place-holders. Ogletree is one of those placeholders, as the Giants now have a future option in Connelly at linebacker. The Giants can effectively cut Alec after this season, and he will count just $3.5 million in dead-cap, compared to the $11.25 million he will count this year.

What is the priority for the New York Giants moving forward?

The remainder of the season will be centered around developing Jones and giving him every last minute of experience he can soak up. Adapting new defensive lineman Leonard Williams is also in the same boat, and the defense now has something to work on before the offseason. Finding the right players to fill essential roles is Gettleman’s focus, and he has always preferred the trenches.

New York Knicks: Head coach David Fizdale gets overzealous in loss

New York Knicks, David Fizdale, Julius Randle

After a stellar start to the 2019-20 season, rookie guard, RJ Barrett, came crashing back down to earth against the Washington Wizards, as the New York Knicks failed to top 90 points in a disappointing loss. Losing 83-95, the Knicks will look to bounce back against the Boston Celtics in a tough matchup, and hopefully, Barrett can bounce back after a lackluster performance.

The Duke product shot 4-for-11 from the field and 1-for-4 from downtown, logging just nine points on the night. His -20 +/- rating was his lowest this season, but Barrett struggling was expected at some point. After playing lights out basketball and showing his immense potential and quality across four games, RJ proved he’s also human. The real test will be how he rebounds after a poor performance and if it will derail his fantastic start to the season.

The New York Knicks might be experimenting too much:

Head coach David Fizdale was keen to utilize Barrett as his starting point guard on Wednesday night. While he has played well in moderation at the position, Fizdale might have got enthusiastic about the idea of featuring him right off the bat.

Frank Ntilikina, the Knicks’ reserve point guard, finished the contest with seven points, four assists, four rebounds, and earned a +2 +/- rating. He was far more effective than Barrett at point guard, which makes sense considering his experience at the position and defensive expertise.

It will take significant time for Barrett to develop into a starting quality point guard if Fizdale elects to continue utilizing him in that fashion. I believe that the Knicks should keep Barrett as a shooting guard and move forward with Nitlikina at the helm, considering his defensive qualities and overall potential. Providing him with confidence could be the key to finally unraveling his potential, but inserting him into the lineup off the bench might hold him back from playing his best basketball.

New York Giants news, 10/31 – Alec Ogletree a goner? Dave Gettleman’s methods

New York Giants, Alec Ogletree

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

With the trade deadline coming and going, most believed the New York Giants would be sellers, but they stayed pat and kept all of their veteran players.

Janoris Jenkins, Nate Solder, and Alec Ogletree all remained with the team, but that doesn’t mean general manager Dave Gettleman doesn’t have plans for them. All three serve a purpose this season, and the New York Giants must climb out of a 2-6 funk to prove they can be a competitive team moving forward. That’s why Gettleman ended up being a buyer, trading for Leonard Williams of the Jets.

The defensive lineman will add a commanding presence alongside Dexter Lawrence, but he’s in the final year of his rookie contract, which means he will get paid this offseason. Gettleman sacrificed a fifth-round pick to do be the first one to offer him a new deal.

However, Gettleman’s methods stretch further than just trading and signing new players. When it comes to players already on the roster, maximizing their value becomes the priority, especially when they’re overpaid and underproducing.

Ogletree is a prime example of that ideology. He hasn’t been the most effective linebacker since his inception with Big Blue last season, and that will likely spell the end of his tenure in New York. This season, he counted $11.25 million against the cap in dead money, and next year he will be just $3.5 million. Cutting him shouldn’t be the priority, though. Finding a suitable trade partner will be the focus for Gettleman, as unloading his $3.5 million in dead-cap is essential.

Tying up money in non-existent players spells “doom” for most franchises. Gettleman took the $16 million hit on Odell Beckham Jr. this season, which resulted in a first-round pick, a third-round pick, and safety Jabrill Peppers. A solid return, but it restricted the New York Giants from signing other players this season. Signing big-money free agents this past offseason would have been redundant, considering rookie quarterback Daniel Jones was the priority — giving him ample experience and developmental time.

Next offseason will be the “all-in” period for Gettleman, who will need to fill positions such as inside linebacker, outside linebacker, offensive tackle, and free safety.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

Paul Schwartz – Leonard Williams is getting used to his new Giants reality

John Fennelly – Evaluating Giants rookies at the midway point
Matt Lombardo – Giants blueprint: How Dave Gettleman can complete rebuild this offseason after disastrous 2-6 record at midseason

Alexander Wilson – The New York Giants could build a monster defensive line with new addition

Cay North – Trade Deadline Leaves New York Giants With Awkward Second Half Of 2019

New York Yankees: 3 players to replace Didi Gregorius at shortstop

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius

If New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius isn’t re-signed this offseason, finding his replacement could be difficult. Gregorius is an average hitter with an above-average glove .979 fielding percentage last season coming off a significant injury. In 2018, he committed just six errors over 132 games with a .987 fielding percentage.

The Yankees shortstop is a quality option, and his lefty pull at the plate is dangerous during home games featuring the short right porch. However, Didi wasn’t the same this past season, hitting .238 over 82 games and 324 at-bats. This was the lowest he has hit since 2014. A decline in offensive production could give general manager Brian Cashman the green light to explore other options.

Here are three shortstops the New York Yankees could look into:

1.) Jose Iglesias

The former Detroit Tiger shortstop played one season with the Reds this season, hitting .288 with 11 homers. He’s not much of a slugger, which could be a turnoff for the Yankees, but he’s a high contact hitter that struck out far less than Gregorius in comparison.

Iglesias struck out 70 times last season compared to Didi’s 53, but he also played in 64 more games. Also, his defense statistics were phenomenal, as he was the best in that category for the Reds last season. Many were baffled that his name was on the Gold Glove finalist award. Iglesias is an equal defender to Didi if not better, which makes him an even more appealing option for Cashman.

He signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Reds this season, but will likely gain a pretty penny on the open market. He’s a great option if the New York Yankees are willing to make the change.

2.) Elvis Andrus

The 31-year-old Andrus is another reliable target for the Yanks, after hitting .275 over 600 at-bats. His consistent health makes him even more attractive, but he’s been with the Texas Rangers for the entirety of his 11-year career. The Yankees would need to pry him away from his career-team, which could be difficult, but he’s another solid offensive producer that could replicate Gregorius’ stats with ease.

His fielding is on par with Didi’s, so the swap would be near identical. The Yankees shortstop’s home run totals have made him more attractive, considering analytics. His double-digit long balls for four consecutive years has allowed him to make an impact, despite having a low batting average. The days of BA are slowly coming to an end, as run production with homers seems to be the more prevalent statistic.

3.) Gleyber Torres

The Yankees could elect to stay close to home with their next shortstop, and Torres has always been the obvious choice to succeed Gregorius. Having played at second-base last season, Torres is an established player at this point in his young career and has continued to develop.

With DJ LeMahieu on the books for 2020, Torres could slide into the shortstop position, and LeMahieu can play his natural second-base spot. Having played 77 games at SS, Torres didn’t post the best defensive numbers. A .961 fielding percentage and nine errors tell most of the story. He must increase his efficiency to be considered a long-term solution for Gregorius. Still, he’s undoubtedly the most intriguing player to fill the role, especially since he’s already on the books.

 

New York Giants: First Words From New Addition Leonard Williams

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

Leonard Williams is now officially a member of the New York Giants. The team acquired the former top ten draft selection from the New York Jets in the first ever trade between the two crosstown rivals – something that shows that both of them are in a desperate position right now.

The deal has made some waves, both because it’s one of the bigger moves during a relatively quiet deadline week, and because it shows that the Giants management is willing to take a large gamble on a player that hasn’t performed up to standard recently and may end up walking away after eight games to sign a new contract with someone else as a free agent… An outcome that would undoubtedly result in great backlash for the front office that made the deal to trade for Williams.

Still, regardless of the merits of the deal and whether or not the inherent risks with it are worth it, Williams is a Giant now and this week, the player gave his first statements with the team.

“Day one was good. I feel like the D-line and the team brought me in with welcoming arms, everyone introduced themselves, I introduced myself as well. It’s a pretty open locker room, everybody is pretty nice and cool with each other. Practice was pretty good. We don’t play until Monday, so it was a little lighter tempo today,” Williams said after his first practice with the Giants.

“I think it’s going to give me a little bit more chance to look over my playbook, know my teammates a little better. It’s good to come into a new locker room with a little bit of extra days to prepare and get to know my new defense and my new teammates,” he continued.

With only eight games left in the season, one can hope that Williams will learn the playbook quickly and step up his play from his struggling seasons recently with the Jets.

What does head coach Pat Shurmur think about the move?

“We’ve added an outstanding player to our defensive line. I’ve been very impressed by how hard he plays. I think he has an impact on the game in the run and the pass game. By all accounts, he’s a great guy and a great teammate. Everything I’ve seen to this point, we’re really thrilled that he’s with us,” Shurmur said.

Questions still remain about whether or not the Giants will be able to keep their latest addition, and we have yet to see just how well Williams fits on this defensive line, but with the Giants seemingly having less and less bright spots going into the second half of the season, it will be interesting to see how this one potential positive stands out.

It remains to be seen whether or not Williams will be active for his first potential game with the Giants, on Sunday Night Football against Dallas.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones’s Up And Down Play Connected To Pressure Rate

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants stunned the world in April when they drafted Duke quarterback prospect Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Since then, Jones has become the Giants starting quarterback, led them to two wins, and has strung together numerous impressive performances.

But through Daniel’s first six career starts, there has been a lot to like from the rookie’s play. He has shown aggression throwing downfield, mobility inside and outside of the pocket, and excellent accuracy. But Daniel has also shown inconsistent pocket presence, questionable decision making, and a bit of a fumbling problem.

Jones has had his ups and his downs. The potential for greatness is certainly there and has flashed throughout the season. But Daniel Jones’s flaws and rookie mistakes are creating a bit of a roller coaster experience. Interestingly, statistics show that these ups and downs might be directly correlated to the amount of the pressure that the Giants’ offensive line is letting up.

A High-Pressure Rate Leading To Turnovers

The New York Giants’ offensive line had high hopes heading into the 2019 season. So far, however, the unit has fallen flat. The main liabilities on the line are the two tackles. Veterans Nate Solder and Mike Remmers are not playing up to par thus far.

According to Pro Football Focus, Nate Solder has allowed 7 sacks and 33 pressures through eight weeks. This has led to a few drives being killed and a few too many blindside hits on Daniel Jones resulting in sack-fumbles. Mike Remmers has not been much better, allowing over 20 pressures from the right side.

Since Daniel Jones became the starter, he has faced the 2nd-highest percentage of dropbacks under pressure in the entire NFL. This is an insurmountable obstacle for most rookie quarterbacks and it has definitely had an effect on Daniel Jones’s performance.

Since becoming the Giants’ starting quarterback, Daniel Jones is tied for the most turnover-worthy plays in the NFL (according to PFF). This obviously includes Daniel’s 7 interceptions and 7 fumbles in the past 6 games, along with any other poor throws leading to dropped interceptions or fumbles that were recovered by the Giants.

As previously stated though, it has not been all bad for Daniel. In fact, it has been mostly good. Daniel Jones has made a number of impressive plays, separating himself from almost all other rookie and sophomore quarterbacks. Plus, it is hard to determine how many of these plays are really Daniel’s fault and how many of them can have the blame placed on the offensive line.

Throwing Dimes, Despite The Pressure

The pressure is definitely leading Daniel to make some rookie mistakes. But for the most part, Jones has risen above the offensive line’s mistakes. PFF also points out that Daniel Jones is 6th in the NFL in “Big-Time Throws” since becoming the starter. Here is a link for more clarification on what exactly a “Big-Time Throw” is. To sum, they are the most impressive/difficult throws to be made. Daniel is making them at a high rate, too.

The Danny Dimes are the good that’s weighing out the bad. Maybe Daniel Jones is not leading New York to wins lately, but that is not entirely his fault. The Giants’ defense is one of the league’s worst, and as previously mentioned, Jones is lining up behind a below-average offensive line.

Daniel Jones’s excellent week 8 performance is a perfect example of his up-and-down playing style. Daniel completed 28 of his 41 attempts for 322 yards, 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions against the Lions. But he did have an ugly fumble in the first quarter, along with two other turnover-worthy plays (like an interception ruled incomplete/out of bounds in the first quarter).

Jones threw some excellent passes in Detroit. His game wasn’t too sloppy. The high-end plays are enough to give Giants fans hope as they see his true potential as an NFL quarterback. Jones can be one of the league’s best if he cuts down his turnover-rate. But in order for that to happen, the Giants’ offensive line will need to make some serious improvements to keep their young quarterback from being flustered and making mistakes.

Former New York Jet Beltre Exceeding in CFL

New York Jets

Frank Beltre is having quite a stellar career with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.  Beltre was a member of the New York Jets in 2017 after originally signing with the San Diego Chargers and sent some time with the Oakland Raiders.

Beltre also spent two years with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.  He has found his place in football going above and beyond and succeeding with the Toronto Argonauts.

Week in and week out, no matter what the score may be, Beltre goes out there and prevails.  He plays with such force and compulsion, instilling fear into the opposing team and putting players under duress! He is a great teammate and so supportive of those he plays with now and played with in the past whether it be in high school, college or other NFL/CFL teams!

Beltre is extremely talented and skilled and so well-versed when it comes to the game of football.  His adroitness and adeptness, make him not just a true student of the game, but a master!

Just recently, Beltre had quite the day, getting a win and having his beautiful family there in the stands!  He sure made his family proud as he always does for the things he does as a player and beyond!

What makes Beltre truly laudable is his sweetness and kindness!  He is truly amazing and does such wonderful things for the community! Beltre is always interacting with the fans via social media and in-person and is so down-to-earth!  He treats everyone like friends and always has a smile on his face when signing autographs or posing for pictures.  Beltre always jumps at each and every opportunity to help others.  When it was Thanksgiving in Canada, Beltre along with other Argonaut members handed out food at the Salvation Army of Toronto to those less fortunate!   He also visits sick children at the Holland Bloorview Hospital, brightening their days!

Beltre is so grateful and appreciative of every opportunity he is given and it shows, as he always goes out there and gives it everything he has!  He is constantly working and grinding to be the best he can possibly be in football and beyond!  He takes his faith seriously and knows that with God all things are possible!  He spreads his blessings with others by being a pillar of positivity to all!  He is an inspiration to everyone!

They say good people are hard to come by and for Beltre, this rings truest!  Beltre is the nicest, kindest person you will find!  His compassion and his giving nature make him someone you are proud to be a fan of and root for.  There are not enough good things to say about him!  Beltre is a true gift!

New York Yankees could fill pitching coach position with a familiar face

New York Yankees, Larry Rothschild

The New York Yankees require a pitching coaching, following the firing of Larry Rothschild, and yes, it was a firing considering he had one year left on his contract.

Numerous options are on the table for the Bombers, but one stands out from the rest. YES Network analyst David Cone has stated that he is willing to listen if the Yankees are to consider him for the open position.

Rothschild’s demise was, unfortunately, his old-school mentality, which didn’t fit the analytical/modernized approach of the Yankees and head coach, Aaron Boone. Bringing in an advanced option could be a great thing, especially to compliment the direction the organization is going.

What does David Cone offer the New York Yankees?

Cone is fantastic in the booth, offering advanced analytics and commentary to break down plays for the typical fan. While this doesn’t necessarily translate to success as a pitching coach, he has the experience as a player and is very knowledgeable about the Yankees brand and how they plan to proceed in the future.

The former Yankees pitched 17 seasons in the MLB, six of them being with the Bombers and several more with the Mets across the yard. He was a part of the 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000 Championship teams.

While Rothschild served his time as the pitching coach for eight seasons, it was clear that a change needed to be made after several quality options faltered in the face of adversity — notable, J.A. Happ.

General manager Brian Cashman commented on his release:

“I want to personally thank Larry for his near decade of commitment to this organization,” general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement Monday. “Larry cares deeply about his craft and the pitchers under his tutelage, and he played a significant role in our successes over the past nine seasons. There’s a reason why Larry has had the type of distinguished baseball career he’s had, and it starts with experience and dedication that is difficult to emulate.”

Aaron Boone stated:

“Larry is someone I leaned on extensively over these past two years. I’m truly grateful that I had someone as established and loyal as Larry as I made my transition to the dugout. Seeing him work day after day, I have a deep appreciation for how devoted he was to his craft and how tirelessly he dove into his responsibilities. His distinguished career clearly reflects how highly he is regarded amongst his peers in baseball, and I wish him the very best moving forward.”

This article is not a slight on Rothschild, whatsoever. Still, with an analytical approach being the priority, it makes sense that the Yankees decided to take the job in a different direction.

New York Knicks: Ntilikina has to build off a “fantastic” scoreless outing

New York Knicks, Frank Ntilikina

Bobby Portis wasn’t the only member of the New York Knicks receiving praise for their first victory.  Frank Ntilikina received loud ovations from the Garden faithful Monday evening.

Ntilikina went scoreless, 0-6, from the field but that didn’t stop the cheers from raining down.  He provided a good defensive tone in the second half as the Knicks stormed back for the win.

Coach David Fizdale was able to give Ntilikina more minutes due to the unfortunate circumstances with Dennis Smith Jr.  Fizdale praised the Frenchman with his play stating it was “Fantastic.”

It always seemed like whenever the Knicks tried to get back into the game in the second half the Bulls would answer.  That was ultimate Ntilikina started to play lock-down defense on Bull defenders.

Zach LaVine was shut down by Ntilikina in the second half.  At one point, LaVine tried to take the game into his own hands but Ntilikina had other thoughts.  Ntilikina keeping his defender in front of him was beautiful to watch.  If he wasn’t able to do so, the game might not have went in the Knicks favor.

Despite going scoreless from the field, that was a game Ntilikina needs to build upon.  The Knicks instilled trust in Ntilikina by picking up his fourth-year option for next season.  Fizdale started to show that he’s giving Frank trust by keeping him in for defensive purposes in crunch time.

The Knicks got their first victory of the season due to the performances of RJ Barrett, Portis and Ntilikina.  His play was encouraging despite not scoring any points.  Some fans may think that Ntilikina wasn’t a key player in Monday’s victory.   But if it wasn’t for his defensive ability at the end of the game, the New York Knicks might still be winless on the year.

New York Yankees: Luke Voit’s And Greg Bird’s Yankee Days May Be Numbered

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

Now in the offseason, the New York Yankees are forced to make more decisions at first base. They have four guys that could play there, and they likely wouldn’t carry more than two. DJ LeMahieu will obviously be on the roster, but who else will it be? In my opinion, it should be Mike Ford.

Lefty Power

The main reason why I think Mike Ford should be on the roster in 2020 is his lefty power. We know that Greg Bird has lefty power, but bats under .200. Ford can put balls in the seats while still maintaining a decent average.

In 143 at-bats in 2019, Ford hit .259 with 12 home runs and 25 RBIs. He is also a really good defender, with a .985 fielding percentage. The Yankees could even use him as an emergency pitcher. He appeared in one game in 2019 and was the Ivy League Pitcher of the Year in 2013.

Trade Bait

I think that the Yankees should use Luke Voit and Greg Bird as trade bait. I think that both deserve a big league job, just not with the Yankees.

Greg Bird is taking the Hunter Pence approach, playing in the Dominican League this fall. He is trying to rework his swing and improve. Maybe a change of scenery would help him too.

Luke Voit battled a few injuries in 2019 and struggled down the stretch. I’m sure that the Yankees would love to keep him, but that may not be possible.

Trading those two guys could help the Yankees acquire a starting pitcher or even a guy like Francisco Lindor. Mike Ford has earned his pinstripes, and I think that he would make a huge impact off the bench for the Yankees in 2020.