New York Giants: Daniel Jones Gets No. 2 Grade From NFL Executives

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

Not many players on the New York Giants have more speculation around them than Daniel Jones. The team invested big time to get Jones. He stood out among the rookies of the NFL last year while replacing Eli Manning. This year, Jones has a full offseason to train and a full season as the starter. A lot of people are expecting a step up from the second year QB.

According to ESPN, some of those people are even high level executives and players. ESPN spoke with a number of execs, scouts, and players, to build a ranking list for last year’s quarterback class. Kyler Murray came in as the top player. The second best? Daniel Jones.

Daniel Jones ranked second in the 2019 QB class

It’s arguable if Jones had the best season out of the 2019 rookies at the position. But according to this list, Jones has one of the best future potentials out of that group. In fact, only Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals received a more optimistic rating.

But Jones still finished 18th in QBR at 53.6, and threw for 24 touchdown passes in 12 starts. That last stat is significant. Mayfield’s rookie-record 27 touchdowns came in 13 starts and most of a 14th game in 2018. Peyton Manning and Wilson once shared the record at 26, and each started all 16 games in their first year.

The article mentions how Jones threw an almost record number of touchdowns as a rookie while not starting as many games as the other players who have held the record for rookie touchdowns. Also, there’s apparently at least one veteran quarterback in the league that thinks good things about Jones so far.

One veteran NFL quarterback tried to call Jones “sneaky athletic,” which was meant as a compliment, but his 4.81 40 time and a 33.5-inch vertical leap say he’s simply athletic.

“Throws the ball well, really smart, big and tall,” the quarterback said. “Giants can work with that.”

The Giants can work with Jones indeed. They’re relying on Jones arguably more than any of their other players headed into the 2020 season, and this year looks like a make or break one for the sophomore quarterback. But there’s a pretty good feeling around the team’s future with Jones right now.

It looks like Giants fans aren’t the only ones that share that feeling.

New York Liberty: Five reach double figures in latest loss

The New York Liberty’s competitive loss to Chicago saw a silver lining of five different New Yorkers score at least 10 points.

The New York Liberty forced the Chicago Sky into some low-percentage shots on Thursday night in the Bradenton bubble. But such a term may well not exist in the Sky’s glossary.

Chicago sank 11 of their first 19 three-point attempts on the evening, keeping a resilient Liberty effort at bay in what became a 101-83 victory. Azura Stevens led the way with 25 points while Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot had 19 each (the latter also earned a double-double with 10 assists).

Despite the loss, members of the Liberty (1-11) seemed comfortable with the effort against one of the WNBA’s elite.

“I’m really proud of the team,” head coach Walt Hopkins said of the effort in a postgame Zoom call. “Chicago’s a heck of a team. They shot the heck out of the ball tonight and made us pay for some lapses in our defense. But what’s been missing is our group believing in themselves, I think. They found that again tonight. Their energy was fantastic. Even when they were making mistakes, their energy was there.”

“Today, we bounced back. We definitely found our identity again,” Jazmine Jones added. “We played hard the whole game. We kept fighting. Chicago, they had a great shooting night. Almost everything they shot went in. But I feel like we played good, we played hard. It’s just about taking that next step, and consistency too. It’s all about being better in practice tomorrow and the next game on Saturday.”

Prior to Thursday’s game, Hopkins was hoping to recapture the spark the Liberty displayed at the start of the month. They earned their lone win of the season to date against defending champion Washington in the span, but the past two games were a struggle. New York had tallied only 64 points in each of their past two games.

But with the exception of a 34-23 deficit in the second quarter, the Liberty only trailed the Sky (9-4) by five after the three remainders. Five players reached double figures for New York, paced by Jones’ 18. It’s the fifth straight game that the 12th overall pick of April’s draft has tallied at least 10 points. Jones has averaged 15.2 points per game in that span.

Behind Jones, Kiah Stokes had a season-high 14 and fell one rebound short of a double-double. Kia Nurse had 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Layshia Clarendon (12 points) and Amanda Zahui B (11) rounded out the list. Nurse would go on to call it the Liberty’s best offensive performance of the season.

“I think we took good shots, we created good shots for other people,” Nurse said. “We moved the ball really well and our offense looks probably the best that is has all season.”

“That’s huge for us moving forward, just knowing and seeing this as a baseline for us, essentially, in knowing what people can do. People played to their strengths today. Jaz is great in the mid-range pick and roll, and that’s what she did for us today, she got to the line. Stokes was great in the post and running in transition. I think that continued throughout the game, that everybody got a little confidence, so hopefully, that continues and that we grow together and build.”

The Liberty won’t have long to wait for another chance at the Sky, as the squads are due for a rematch on Tuesday night. It’s possible Chicago could be without All-Star Diamond DeShields for the second get-together. The third overall pick of the 2018 draft left the game in the first half after landing awkwardly after a shot attempt. DeShields was helped off the court and did not return to the game.

In the meantime, the Liberty will take on the Connecticut Sun on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, CBSSN/Fox Sports Go) for the first of two meetings.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants: Rookie Xavier McKinney Says Team “Loves” Joe Judge’s Disciplinary Style

New York Giants, Xavier McKinney

The New head coach of the New York Giants, Joe Judge, faced a fair amount of public criticism this week as he coached his team through their first padded practices. Many big media talking heads have criticized Joe Judge for his disciplinary coaching style. Giants players and coaches have been running laps upon making mistakes at Giants’ practice, something that apparently will lead to losses, according to sports talk show hosts.

Well, according to the actual players on the New York Giants, this is not nearly as controversial as the media wants it to be. Despite Shannon Sharpe warning Giants fans that this “will not end well” and Samuel Acho warning fans that the Giants are bound to go 2-14, the players indicate that all indeed is well.

Xavier McKinney Reacts To Running Laps

After an impressive performance in practice today, rookie defensive back Xavier McKinney had a zoom call with reporters. During this interview, Xavier McKinney was asked what he thought about Joe Judge’s coaching style. The reporter asked McKinney how receptive the players are, in general, to Judge’s coaching style. McKinney responded and said that, as a team, they “love it.”

“As a team, we love it. We’re trying to get better as a team. Everybody loves discipline. Especially here… Everybody on the team likes Caoch Judge, so I think we’re good on that.” – Xavier McKinney on his and the team’s reception to Joe Judge’s coaching style

Xavier McKinney gave a perfect response to those criticizing Joe Judge this week. According to McKinney, everyone on the team is a fan of Joe Judge and the way he coaches. This seems to reaffirm

McKinney’s Quotes From The Day

McKinney is used to Joe Judge’s practice style already, though. When asked how similar it was to Nick Saban’s program at Alabama, McKinney said it was “almost like a mirror version.” McKinney also thinks the NFL game is similar to that of the NCAA. But he did concede that the professional sport is  “a little bit faster.”

McKinney has been flying around the Giants’ practice and making plays. Today, Tom Rock of Newsday noted that McKinney shined in one-on-one drills. Xavier broke up two fo three passes his way and was in tight coverage on Evan Engram on the third rep.

Xavier did not get himself an interception today, though, as he did a few days ago. But he had a couple of close calls and pass breakups today. Those near-interceptions are not enough for McKinney, though. Xavier said he is “never satisfied” with a pass breakup.

The second-round pick out of Alabama is likely to play a significant role in the Giants’ defense during his rookie season. For more on Xavier McKinney, his strengths, and weaknesses on the football field, be sure to check out the film breakdown below:

New York Giants: Corey Coleman talks health, receiving core, Jason Garrett

New York Giants, Corey Coleman

The New York Giants re-signed wide receiver Corey Coleman to a one-year deal in free agency. The former first-round draft pick missed 2019 due to a torn ACL suffered in training camp.

The Giants signed Coleman to their practice squad in 2018, eventually promoting him to their active roster. He finished the season with five receptions for 71 yards. Coleman also served as the Giants’ primary kickoff returner in the second half of 2018. He averaged 26.0 yards per kickoff return.

Now healthy, Coleman says he’s “real good” and “grateful” for the Giants training staff (quotes per Giants.com).

“I had a great offseason. I worked hard thanks to the Giants training staff. I feel real good.”

“I’m very grateful. I love this organization and I’m excited to be a part of it, it’s something special. I’m really excited and thankful, to be honest.”

Coleman is part of a receiving core that includes Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, and second-year player Darius Slayton.

Coleman thinks highly of his receiving comrades, as well as his quarterback, Daniel Jones.

“I think every receiver we have in the room has a great skillset. We’re all capable of making plays.”

“Daniel is an amazing guy. He’s a fun-loving guy. He’s great, he’s one of my close friends, too. We talk and stuff like that, he’s very important to me.”

Under new head coach Joe Judge is new offensive coordinator and former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett.

Coleman is enthusiastic about Garrett’s presence.

“It’s pretty amazing, he is such a great guy. He coaches us hard and it’s exciting to be with him. He’s a very smart man and he knows what he’s doing. I’m listening every step of the way trying to learn more from him. We’re excited to have him here.”

The Giants open the 2020 NFL season at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 14.

New York Yankees Vs New York Mets Subway Series Cancelled

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees were swept by the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-game series this week, but the Subway Series against New York Mets was supposed to be an easier matchup.

However, the four-game series across town has been canceled due to COVID-19 related issues. The Mets have become the fifth team in baseball to have at least one member of the organization test positive with the virus.

Prior to the start of their game against the Miami Marlins, one player and one coach tested positive, putting the rest of the organization at risk.

The Mets now join the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, and Miami Marlins as the teams who have tested positive at some point.

With the regular season a month in, there have been issues and challenges, but the league has prevailed up to this point. The cancellation of the series will not force the regular season to shut down, as MLB commissioner Rob Manfred stated several weeks ago that they would push forward amid the crisis.

Nonetheless, the Yankees will now have to wait until Tuesday for their next game against the Atlanta Braves. They recently sweep the Braves in a two-game series and will undergo another two-game series during the middle of next week.

The Yankees are also scheduled to face off against the Mets next Friday, August 28. The silver lining — slugger Aaron Judge will have plenty of time to rest and heal for his return next week, and players like Gleyber Torres, who left Thursday’s game with a hamstring injury, can take things easy.

Yankees lefty starter feeling ‘discomfort’ in elbow, bad injury news incoming

New York Yankees, James Paxton

According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, New York Yankees left-hander James Paxton is having an MRI on his elbow after his Thursday afternoon start against the rival Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.

After tossing four shutout innings, Paxton surrendered three earned runs in the fifth inning and was removed from the game thereafter. The Yankees lost 10-5, capping off a three-game sweep for the Rays. The Yankees are now 6-1 against the Rays this season, falling to second place in the American League East.

Across his five starts this season (20.1 innings), Paxton has recorded a 6.64 ERA, a 1.48 WHIP and 26 strikeouts while opponents hit .284 against his offerings. Last season the Big Maple made 29 starts (150.2 innings) for the Yankees, recording a 3.82 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP and 186 strikeouts while opponents hit .242 against his offerings.

Paxton underwent back surgery in March. He has missed extensive time over his big-league career due to said injury, as well as knee and shoulder discomfort.

Paxton missing a start and/or hitting the injured list vacates a spot in manager Aaron Boone’s starting rotation. Candidates to fill the void include Jonathan Loaisiga, Michael King and Clarke Schmidt. Another option is going with a bullpen day every fifth game. Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, Jordan Montgomery and J.A. Happ fill the other rotation spots.

Infielder Gleyber Torres was removed from Thursday’s game with a tight left hamstring.

Thursday morning the Yankees placed left-handed reliever Zack Britton on the injured list with a left hamstring strain. Meanwhile, they optioned Miguel Andujar, subsequently recalling right-handed pitchers Ben Heller and Miguel Yajure.

Outfielders Aaron Judge (right calf strain) and Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring), infielder DJ LeMahieu (left thumb) and catcher Kyle Higashioka (right oblique strain) are all serving time on the injured list.

The Yankees are 16-9. They begin a three-game series with the New York Mets on Friday at Citi Field.

New York Yankees: Gleyber Torres injury update not good

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees lost shortstop Gleyber Torres in the third inning after stumbling to first base on an infield grounder.

In what actually ended up scoring a run for the Yankees, Torres came up gimpy immediately after the play. He managed to walk off the field on his own power but was immediately taken out of the game due to concern for something more severe.

Later on, the Yankees stated that Torres left with a tight left hamstring. This is a similar injury to watch Zack Britain suffered in Wednesday evening’s game.

Torres is finally getting back into shape after starting the season slow, so this is a massive hit to his rhythm. He is currently hitting .237 with one homer and five RBIs on the year.

He ranked 17th in MVP voting in 2019 and was an All-Star. His transition to shortstop this year has not been smooth, as he currently has the most errors at the position in the league with five. His .941 fielding percentage is lower than his 2019 stats at the position, where he hosted a .961 fielding percentage.

Hopefully, the injury isn’t too bad and he can return in a couple of days, but with Britton being placed on the injured list after hurting his hamstring, early signs are concerning.

Losing Cespedes has been a blessing in disguise for the Mets; and here is why

dom smith, mets

When Yoenis Cespedes, in controversial fashion, decided to opt out of the 2020 season because of concerns with COVID-19, the New York Mets had to re-configure their plans for the designated hitter spot. That position in the lineup was designed for the Cuban slugger, and losing him so suddenly had the team scrambling for solutions.

Last season, the Mets tried Dominic Smith, a former first round pick, in the outfield in an effort to give him more at-bats. The first base, his natural position, was blocked by some guy named Pete Alonso. Also, they used Smith as a pinch hitter with considerable success.

Seeing that the DH spot was now vacant thanks to Cespedes, the New York Mets gave it to Smith and haven’t looked back. And boy, what a decision it has been. You could say with confidence that they have been better off with Smith, a young, projectable slugger, than with Cespedes.

The Mets’ offensive star so far

It’s not like Smith is the de facto DH for the Mets. In fact, it’s been a while since he last occupied that spot. But without Cespedes in the picture, and with his ability to play left field and first base, he has found his way in the lineup in an everyday basis.

The Mets have been using the DH spot lately to ease in players that return from injury, such as Robinson Cano and Jeff McNeil. But nevertheless, Smith has been a force to be reckoned with now that he has full exposure.

He had been giving hints of a breakout last season, when he finished with a .282/.355/.525 line, 11 home runs and 25 RBI and 35 runs in 89 games and 197 plate appearances.

This time around, the Mets have gotten even better production from the slugger. In just 20 games and 77 plate appearances, he already has six blasts and 21 RBI, with a .323/.403/.754 line and a 201 wRC+. Impressive numbers.

The Mets, despite having a depleted rotation, are currently streaking and looking for a sweep of the Marlins as they creep closer to .500 ball. And it is all thanks, in large part, to Smith.

Sean O’Malley on UFC 252 loss: “I lost to someone who’s not that good”

Sean O'Malley

Last Saturday night at UFC 252, Sugar Sean O’Malley (12-1) lost his first career fight to Chito Vera (16-6, 1 NC). O’Malley looked really good early on, but a leg injury compromised him in the first round.

Vera was able to take advantage and get the TKO victory. There has been some debate on whether the ankle injury was caused by a calf kick from Vera or if O’Malley just rolled his ankle. Either way, Vera took advantage and got the win at UFC 252.

After taking a few days to digest everything, O’Malley popped up today on his podcast, “The Timbo Sugar Show,” with his trainer and best friend Tim Welch. O’Malley broke down his thoughts following UFC 252.

The UFC’s Suga Show Rolls On

“Whoever wins, wins. Doesn’t matter how. He (Vera) won, but it sucks for me because I lost to someone who I don’t view as very good. It’s frustrating losing to someone I’m better than… In five years, I’m going to be the world champ while he’s going to be a journeyman,” O’Malley said.

“When I beat Eddie (Wineland), it was like peace, that was easy. He (Vera) gets lucky, beats me, and he gets up acting like he just won the f–king lottery. That showed me what kind of b–tch he was.”

It’s very clear that there is still some serious animosity between O’Malley and Vera. O’Malley mentioned in the show that his foot felt like it was asleep due to his tight ankle wraps. That combined with the kick could have led to his ankle rolling multiple times.

Either way, Chito got the win, and as O’Malley said, that’s what matters. If he was going to lose in the UFC, this is honestly the best way O’Malley could have lost. While you have to give Chito credit, the victory is far from being clean.

It’s not like both men were 100% and Vera caught O’Malley clean and won. Maybe the kick was the sole cause for the injury, but we will never truly know. Either way, there will be a lot of people who will always put an asterisks by the victory.

Personally, I would love to see the UFC run the fight back if O’Malley is relatively healthy. He said he had an MRI done yesterday and should have the results soon. If Vera beats O’Malley in the second match, it validates the first win as well. If O’Malley wins, he can prove that the loss was just due to the freak injury.

New York Yankees lose another star player to supposed leg injury

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees simply can’t get out of the way when it comes to the injury bug. After losing Zack Britton to a hamstring injury last night against the Tampa Bay Rays, Thursday afternoon’s game didn’t provide any more positive news.

On a routine ground ball, Gleyber Torres was running to first base when he stumbled and supposedly hurt his leg. He walked off under his own power but was taken out of the game as a precaution.

While there’s no answer to the severity of the injury, this is another massive blow to a Yankees team that is already without Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and DJ LeMahieu.

So far on the year, Torres is hitting .237 with one homer and five RBIs. While he is not playing to his potential, Torres was finally getting back into the groove of things.

It seems as if the baseball gods simply have it out for the Yankees, considering the injury carryover from 2019. They already lost starting pitcher Luis Severino to Tommy John surgery and relief arm Tommy Kahnle to the same injury.

Hopefully, Gleyber’s issue isn’t a long-term thing and he can return tomorrow or in the next few days. The Yankees don’t have an off day until Monday, August 24.