EXCLUSIVE: Cole Anthony’s high school coach hopes former star ends up at New York Knicks

Cole Anthony, New York Knicks

Archbishop Molloy High School has produced two of the best points guards to come out of New York in two-time NBA champion Kenny Smith and Kenny Anderson.

The traditional New York high school basketball powerhouse hopes that Cole Anthony, the son of former New York Knicks first-round pick Greg Anthony, would be next in line.

Anthony’s rise started in Molloy, where he starred for three years before transferring to Oak Hill Academy for his senior year. He became the first freshman point guard to start in the school history immediately, and he almost led them to the city championship in his sophomore year.

“He’s a leader.  He immediately comes into the room and takes over,” Molloy coach Mike McCleary told Empire Sports Media.

“Even as a freshman, we had a strong seed class, and while he wasn’t the captain of that team, he was still a leader on that team.  By the time he’s a sophomore, he was already the captain of the team,” he added.

While Anthony became the most hyped high school player to have come out of New York in recent years, his stock considerably dropped after the North Carolina Tar Heels experienced their first losing season under Roy Williams in 18 years with him as their lead guard.

Anthony missed significant time due to a knee injury, but he was still able to lead the Tar Heels in scoring with 18.5 points per game.  However, his inconsistent and inefficient shot-making (38% from the field) and playmaking (4 assists against 3.5 turnovers per game) became a cause of concern.

McCleary believes his former star’s struggles in college is just an aberration.

“One of the things that hurt him this year at North Carolina is that they were not as talented as the previous years.  And he was clearly their best player and that left Cole very exposed to try to do too much.  But if he has other weapons on his team, I think he’s more than capable of using those weapons and being very successful as a point guard,” McCleary said.

At 6-3, Anthony has some size concerns, but the NBA Playoffs have shown us that small elite guards (6’0 Kemba Walker, 6’1 Donovan Mitchell, 6’2 Damian Lillard, and 6’4 Jamal Murray) have so much value in the league.

“I definitely think that’s gonna be the challenge for him but he’s a great athlete as they all are in the NBA.  Size is something that hurts him a little bit but he’s very competitive, a smart kid and I think he’ll pay close attention to the scouting reports to be able to use his intelligence, his skills, and athleticism to be an effective defender,” McCleary said.

He even adds that Anthony would be perfect for the modern NBA due to the fact that “the lane is so wide open now because of the three-point threat and that might offer him more opportunities to get to the rim and open up opportunities for his teammates.”

Anthony, who is modeling his game after Russel Westbrook, according to McCleary, has a quick first step and loves to attack the rim. In fact, Anthony averaged 5.8 free throw attempts in college, which McCleary believes could translate well in the pace-and-space NBA.

However, while it has been reported that the Knicks have extensively scouted Anthony, the team is divided on the polarizing prospect.

Some within the organization is not a fan of Anthony and believe his stock dipped because he was hyped and got exposed in college.

“He’s talented, but he doesn’t have a history of winning,” the source told Empire Sports Media.

But there are also Anthony fans within the organization.  Just like Allan Houston, the Knicks’ Special Assistant to the General Manager, who even commented fire emojis to Anthony’s recent beach workout, posted by one of his trainers, Mike Atkinson.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

🏖 🤫⏰❗️ @the_cole.anthony #sportsperformance #trainingday

A post shared by Mike Atkinson (@mike__atkinson_) on Sep 4, 2020 at 4:36am PDT

While Atkinson declined to be interviewed for Anthony’s pre-Draft workout process, he told Empire Sports Media:

“Cole will be a great addition to any organization. I’m confident in that.”

It’s a fact that Anthony hasn’t won a championship in high school and college, but he’s been part of the gold medal team in the 2018 FIBA-U18 Americas, and he was named to the all-tournament team.

During his successful high school run, he’s led Molloy to the Catholic High School Athletic Association finals (though they got upset by the fifth seed team Cardinal Hayes) and semifinals.  In his lone year at Oak Hill, the decorated academy that produced Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant, he averaged a triple-double in leading the Warriors to the semifinals of the GEICO High School Nationals. He was named Player of the Year for both his success in basketball and academics, then he collected all the MVP awards in the McDonald’s All-American Game, Jordan Brand Classic, and Nike Hoop Summit and had a Defensive Player of the Year award from Nike’s EYBL.

“He’s a super talent.  I think if you put him in the right situation, he can be extremely successful. I think he could be a leader because of his talent and personality and work ethics,” McCleary said.

Anthony’s talent is undeniable, and his fall in the Draft boards could be a boon for the Knicks who are looking for a lead guard.  The polarizing prospect could still be available by the time they pick at No.8.

If McCleary has his way, he wants his former star to stay home and get drafted by the Knicks.

“I think he’ll fit well wherever he goes because his father who was in the NBA has always preached to him about being a good teammate, not only about being a good player and what it takes and all that stuff because it’s already a given in his case.  But his father has been telling him about being a good basketball player and being a good teammate and to the other people in the team,” McCleary said.

“And I suspect that these are lessons well learned because he responds to his father very well and he has a lot of respect for his father. And I think he’ll be just fine and become a very good lead guard in the next level and hopefully, that’s the case (in New York) so I get to see him more,” he added.

New York Giants Prop Bets For the 2020 Regular Season

New York Giants, Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley

Here are the latest prop bets for the New York Giants this year as set by BetOnline.ag:

Odds to win Super Bowl LV: 100/1
JF: They don’t have a shot, save your money.

National Football Conference Winner: 50/1
JF: Not likely to happen. The defense would have to ball out.

NFC East Division Winner: 10/1
JF: A possibility as he other three teams aren’t worldbeaters.

Most Overall Wins in NFL (Regular Season): 80/1
JF: When has that ever happened? Once since the merger?

NFC East Division Final Standings:

1st Place: 12/1
2nd Place: 5/1
3rd Place: 6/5
4th Place: 3/2
JF: Everything could go right this year and they’ll still end up third.

Regular Season Wins: Over/Under 6.5
JF: An improvement over last year’s 4 wins would be okay.

Odds to Make Playoffs: Yes +360 (18/5), No -450 (2/9)
JF: With 14 teams getting in these odds aren’t bad.

Individual Prop Bets

MVP Odds: Saquon Barkley 50/1, Daniel Jones 66/1

Most Passing Yards, League: Daniel Jones 50/1

NFL Rushing Leader: Saquon Barkley 10/1

NFL Receiving Leader: Sterling Shepard 33/1

NFL Defensive Player of the Year: Leonard Williams 100/1, Dexter Lawrence 150/1, Jabrill Peppers 200/1

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Xavier McKinney 33/1 (IR), Cam Brown 66/1

Coach of the Year: Joe Judge 50/1

Daniel Jones – Total Passing Yards in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 3865.5

Daniel Jones – Total TD Passes in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 25

Daniel Jones – Total Interceptions in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 15.5

Saquon Barkley – Total Rushing Yards in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 1220.5

Saquon Barkley – Total Receptions in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 64.5

Saquon Barkley – Total Receiving Yards in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 520.5

Saquon Barkley – Total Rushing & Receiving TD’s in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 11.5

Golden Tate – Total Receiving Yards in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 790.5

Golden Tate – Total Receiving TD’s in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 5

Darius Slayton – Total Receiving Yards in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 750.5

Darius Slayton – Total Receiving TD’s in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 5

Sterling Shephard – Total Receiving Yards in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 795.5

Sterling Shepard – Total Receiving TDs in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 5

Evan Engram – Total Receiving yards in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 735.5

Evan Engram – Total Receiving TD’s in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 5

Marcus Golden – Total Sacks in the 2020 Regular Season – Over/Under 7.5

Which ones would you like to see come in? Which ones are a lock for the Giants to go over and which ones will they go under on?

The biggest start of Gerrit Cole’s Yankees career comes tonight

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

When the New York Yankees agreed to a record deal with star pitcher Gerrit Cole back in December, expectations were set astronomically high for the right hander’s first year in pinstripes. Granted, Cole had been arguably the best pitcher in the AL over the last two years.

The Yankees were craving a World Series title, having gone their first decade without a championship since the early 1900’s. Cole was seen as the missing piece that would put the Yankees over the top and bring a title back to the Bronx.

Well, so far it hasn’t been smooth sailing. While Cole has shown flashes of his dominant self, he’s struggled to keep the ball in the ballpark. He’s allowed a MLB leading 13 home runs in just nine starts this year.

Overall, Cole’s numbers are not terrible as he’s pitched to a 4-3 record with a 3.63 ERA and a WHIP of 1.096. Still, we have yet to really see that signature Yankees moment for Gerrit Cole. He has his chance tonight.

Inside Cole’s Crucial Yankees Start

Over the past month, the Yankees have been horrendous. They’ve gone from a first place team to a team that was on the verge of falling to fourth. The team hot on their trail is the Baltimore Orioles, who come to the Bronx tonight.

Cole’s last start came against the Orioles where he looked sensational for five innings. However, he completely hit a wall in the sixth and the Orioles plated five runs. Cole has his chance to get this one back for the Yankees.

After losing five straight, the Yankees finally beat the Blue Jays last night. It was a complete win as the offense looked good, Deivi Garcia looked good, and the bullpen looked good. It felt like it could be a turning moment for the Yankees.

Tonight needs to be the night the Yankees keep it going. They have Cole on the mound, and it’s the biggest start of his young Yankees career. He needs to come out and dominate so the bombers can keep the ball rolling. Perhaps a hot streak could be right around the corner.

 

The New York Yankees sign a veteran lefty reliever to a minor league deal

The New York Yankees made a minor signing on Thursday, when they inked left-handed pitcher Ryan Buchter to a minor league pact. According to the team, the transaction was executed on September 7.

Buchter, for now, will head to the Yankees alternate training site in Pennsylvania for the time being, but could be an option to be called up in the final portion of the season.

Buchter started the season with the Los Angeles Angels but chose to enter free agency after getting designated for assignment by the Angels at the beginning of September.

He is 33 years old and has a career 2.90 ERA (4.11 FIP) in parts of six seasons in the major leagues. He has pitched 220.0 innings to this point, with some strikeout ability (9.94 K/9) but also some control issues (4.14 BB/9.)

This season, he had a 4.50 ERA but a much worse 7.84 FIP in 10 games and six frames with the Angels.

The Yankees are hoping he can recapture his past form

Buchter usually relies on a four-seam fastball that averages around 93 miles per hour, a curveball, a cutter and a slider that he seldomly uses.

He was an effective reliever as recently as 2019 with the Oakland A’s, when he pitched 45.1 frames and had a 2.98 ERA, albeit with a 4.96 FIP. The Yankees are, of course, hoping that Buchter can at least come close to replicating those numbers.

The New York Yankees won against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night to avoid a sweep and stop a five-game losing streak. They will host the Baltimore Orioles from Thursday to Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

The team is 22-21 and needs to string some victories together to try and catch the Blue Jays in the second place of the American League East and to fend off the advances of the playoff-hungry Orioles and also the Detroit Tigers.

New York Yankees: A Deeper look into Deivi Garcia’s promise in the majors

“I’m going to play catch with my son,” that was the phrase shouted back at the dugout, when veteran New York Yankees catcher Erik Kratz left the dugout for home plate to get ready to catch Deivi Garcia, in his major league debut on August 30th.  The phrase was an obvious remark referencing the two players’ age difference.  Kratz is 40 years old, and the young pitching sensation is just 21. After two games together the two have formed a close bond, calling each other “Hijo” and “padre,”

“Playing with someone who inspires you trust is a point in your favor”

After just three games in the majors, the small in stature Garcia has exhibited a calmness and a veteran demeanor much his senior.  Although not a terrifying figure on the mound he exudes a confidence that should make hitters take notice. In this first game, he pitched six solid innings without giving up a run.  In his second game, he got in trouble with 4 earned runs in 4.2 innings. In his game last night, he was brilliant going seven innings with 95 pitches, allowing two runs, no walk while striking out six Orioles.  In Deivi’s journey to the majors, he has always been appreciative of his opportunities.  After his debut game he had this to say:

“First of all, thank God for giving me the opportunity to play in the big leagues and secondly my family who is always supporting me and encouraging me through thick and thin also all those people who gave me their support from their homes, many BLESSINGS for each one and may God protect them.”

After last night’s win in Buffalo, manager Aaron Boone spoke about the win and Garcia’s pitching performance.

“We’ve gotten beaten up here for a couple of weeks, especially this last week, and have lost some tough games,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “To finally get back in the win column, I think gives guys a chance to exhale as we head home.”

“He’s (Garcia) got a really good presence about him,” Boone said. “Nothing really seems to faze him. He’s got a real feel for pitching. It’s fun to watch him.”

This is the story of his rise to the major leagues.  Deivi García was born on May 9, 1999.  He grew up in Bonao, the Dominican Republic. He has two older brothers. His father, a youth baseball coach, also coached García as a youngster. His mother, a doctor, set aside her career to raise their family.  The Dominican Republic has a bevy of young boys interested in baseball. Deivi (pronounced Davey) developed that same interest as a young boy and played baseball with friends in the sandlots around his home in Bonao. Influenced by his father he, developed a strong arm for pitching, although he played in the infield and outfield as well.

At the age of just sixteen, he made his way to the beach town of Boca Chica in the DR.  Boca Chica is the home of several baseball training facilities, including the New York Yankees baseball Academy. One day the Yankees top international scout Donny Rowland stood in the batting cage in the hot DR heat.  On the mound was Deivi Garcia.  Rowland watched and watched five pitches from a right-hander who would become one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, despite how hard it might have been to envision at the time.  The reason it was hard to envision is the young prospect was just 5′ 9″ which is small for a pitcher.  He also had a slight build, more like a welterweight boxer at only 150 pounds. But Rowland was amazed by the young man’s knee-buckling curveballs. Rowland immediately said get that guy off the mound, we’re going to sign him. On a side note, Rowland also discovered Jasson Dominguez that is currently being developed at Boca Chica.

García signed with the New York Yankees during July of 2015 for a $200k signing bonus. Though he previously played baseball as an infielder and outfielder, the Yankees were determined to have him become a Yankee pitcher, due to his curveball and arm strength.   For the next two years, trainers worked with Garcia at the Boca Chica facility. In 2018, García pitched for the Charleston River Dogs and the Tampa Tarpons.  He made his final start of 2018 with the Trenton Thunder AA Yankee minor league affiliate as he continued to rocket through the minors.

 

 

 

The Islanders’ fourth line continues to live up to its name despite another loss

There’s a reason the New York Islanders are known for having the “best fourth line in hockey”.

They simply cause havoc and can change the dynamic of a game.

It was evident once again last night in the team’s crushing 2-1 loss in game two to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Needing a big-time start, following just an embarrassing effort in game one Monday night, Islanders’ head coach Barry Trotz deployed the Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck (a game-time decision) trio early in the game. And what did they do, they came through as advertised.

Martin, who had just five goals the entire regular season, got the Islanders an early lead when he chipped one over Andrei Vasilevskiy’s shoulder off a great feed from Nick Leddy.

That goal marked Martin’s fifth goal of the postseason.

From there, that entire line was off and running. They were the Islanders’ best line by a mile last night. That trio combined for five shots, 18 hits, and one fight when Martin dropped the gloves with Bolts d-man Luke Schenn.

What we witnessed from that trio in the loss shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone whose been around the Islanders for a long time now.  Ever since that “Identity Line” as Trotz likes to refer to them as first became a thing, they’ve been one of the more prominent threesomes people identify the Isles with. They’ve been lauded for how cohesive a unit they are and because they play the game how it’s supposed to be played — hard-nosed, physical, balls-to-the-wall.

In this postseason run, the threesome has continued to live up to that billing. Whenever the Isles have needed a big moment, it’s been those guys who have stepped up. Martin — as previously mentioned — has scored huge goals; so has Clutterbuck. Cizikas, despite not scoring, has made his impact on games with his relentless motor and hows he’s thrown his body around.

“We always talk about them as the fourth line, but they are a very useful line for us,” Trotz has said about the trio in the past. “They give you impact. When they are playing the right way, they give you a little of that bite that you want. They give you sort of that determination and speed on the puck and sort of an Islander identity,” If there’s a line that’s sort of an identity line, well that’s the best way to describe them better than a fourth line because they give us an identity.”

The fourth line is the engine which makes the Islanders go. Before the bubble, the team struggled mightily at times during the regular season as a result of the line not being totally together. A part of that had to do with Cizikas, Martin and Clutterbuck being sidelined at various times of the year.

Now that they are healthy though, you see why have earned their reputation from around the league. And the Isles are going to need them to keep going pedal to the metal if they want to get back in this series.

After last night, they are now down 2-0. Game three is tomorrow night, and the hope is they can come away with a victory and make this a brand new series. One way they can do that is the fourth line just doing exactly what they did last night and all postseason.

Being the best and making the opponent’s lives miserable.

New York Jets Position Group Grades: Offensive Line

New York Jets, Mekhi Becton

As the season looms, I decided to take a deep dive into each position group within the organization and grade each group. This offseason, New York Jets GM Joe Douglas devoted both financial resources and draft capital towards improving one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Now, the Jets enter 2020 with a diverse group of both young talent, productive starters, and vets looking to establish themselves. With a lot of high potential guys, stable vets, and some key talent, let’s take a closer look at how this line grades out.

LT: Mekhi Becton

The mountain of a man joined the Jets as the 11th pick in this year’s draft. As part of the core group of top linemen, Becton is already considered to be a potential star. His unique combination of size and athleticism makes him a weapon in the run game. Not only that, but he’s a solid pass blocker. His lack of advancement in terms of detecting pass rush moves is worrisome, but it remains to be seen how ready he is to handle the top pass rushers in the game.

LG: Alex Lewis

Lewis was an aggressive and vocal leader in that offensive line room last year. Now he’s carved out a role on the roster and as a starter. Right now, his health for Sunday is questionable. In the short term, Lewis is classified as an average starter, but a strong season could earn him a long term role in the green and white.

C: Connor McGovern

The prized signing of the offensive line and my favorite new addition is the key man up front. McGovern is one of the most underrated centers in the game. McGovern is one of the least penalized linemen in football and one of the highest quality centers. His veteran presence and skill will add stability at the center of the line and contribute to the cohesiveness of the entire unit.

RG: Greg VanRoten

A lifelong Jet fan will be a starter from day one. VanRoten is just like Lewis. Both want to be here. Are fighting for a job next year and are quality linemen, but not superb. VanRoten is a poor pass blocker and a solid run blocker. If he can just hold his own as a pass blocker and provide stability, that will be a big asset. In the end, my hopes are mid-level for VanRoten this season.

RT: George Fant

Fant is not a crazy talented right tackle. He’s not going to be the reason this unit takes a big step up. However, Fant is built more like a tight end than a lineman. His athleticism is the best of any lineman on this team. His ability to fit into Adam Gase’s scheme and be a lead blocker is something that is a plus for the team. Still, Fant is unproven and the most worrisome of all the starting linemen, and I’m intrigued to see if he develops throughout the season or if the Jets turn elsewhere.

Bench: Josh Andrews, Cam Clark, Connor McDermott, Chuma Edoga & Leo Koloamatangi

This bench is not one that is loaded with talent. Instead, it’s loaded with guys who have the potential to come in and be an average filler if need be. They’re cheap and young linemen who provide a lot of versatility. Two guys to watch in this bunch are Clark and Edoga. Edoga was a starter in the past and could slot in for Fant if he struggles. The rookie, Clark has the potential to be a long term fixture on this line if given a shot.

Grade: B-

This line is still not proven or where it needs to be yet. The lack of in-game reps together is worrisome. Still, the talent is there and the competitive fire. This is a group that could outperform this grade. If they can be improved, they could be the reason this offense takes a massive jump. If they don’t, they could once again be the detriment of the team.

The New York Knicks Should Trade For Kevin Love

New York Knicks, Kevin Love

When you think of the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, you don’t think of much. Most people who think of the last key member of the 2016 championship team think of Kevin Love as washed. That is all foolish, as it neglects how much of a star Kevin Love was and how great of a power forward he is. He’s a very good player still, and he has a ton of value, in my opinion. He can do something most Power Forwards cannot do, and that’s space the floor and be versatile. While he can’t ball handle, he can do a lot that the Knicks desperately need. Kevin Love is a much-needed upgrade at the 4 for the New York Knicks, who should look to trade for him.

Getting A Really Good Shooter Over Randle

The biggest issue with Julius Randle in 2019 was he couldn’t space, shoot 3s, or defend. He had struggled a ton with the Knicks defensively and did not help the Knicks due to his inability to do much else other than shoot mid-range jumpers. This is where Kevin Love comes in, as he can shoot very well, and he spaces the floor for their two young players who struggle to shoot like RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson. He would be able to stay on the perimeter and get you a bucket, as evidenced by his 38.8% three-point percentage on 6.3 attempts per game since 2018. This would allow the Knicks to give RJ and Mitchell Robinson much better spacing and give them a chance to do what they do best offensively.

Significantly Better Perimeter Defender

Kevin Love and Julius Randle primarily defend forwards as guards are too fast for them to defend, and centers are too big for them to defend. When looking at their stats against Forwards, Love holds them to 33.6% from 3 while Randle can only keep them to 38.8%, which is really bad. This is a big no-no for a player who can’t shoot as it means they’ll give up threes, but only score twos, which is a point chipped away in every possession and defensive assignment. Love shoots better than teams shoot against him, so he’s going to have more value per possession and defensive assignment. When you factor that RJ and Mitchell aren’t good perimeter defenders, you can give them a little bit of a boost as you lockdown at least the forwards on the 3 point side of the ball.

Giving the Knicks A Path In Free Agency

If the New York Knicks land Kevin Love in a trade, you can go ahead, and for the next 2-3 years, check three positions off of the list. Center, Power Forward, and Shooting Guard are all positions you no longer have to worry about. This means you go out into free agency/draft and go after a point guard with great playmaking, a shooter, and a defensive-minded forward. In the draft, you can land the playmaking Killian Hayes who can shoot the ball pretty well, and in free agency, the Knicks could look to add names to fill their needs in. It’s important for the Knicks to make that move that gives them momentum and some draw, as if they are able to win 38 games next year and make it to the playoffs, it gives them the draw they need to land a star-caliber player.

 

New York Knicks: Kyle O’Quinn raves about Leon Rose and his hiring

New York Knicks, Leon Rose

The New York Knicks are entering a new age of basketball, headed by new general manager Leon Rose. Formally a super-agent in the NBA, Rose has connections with some of the best players in the league. That might be a draw to New York, a place that has been left off high profile free agent’s lists in recent years due to the calamity and inadequate play.

However, one former Knick, Kyle O’Quinn, believes that he will do great things in the city of New York:

“I said it when he first got the job; I seen him in Philly and I said, ‘You’ll do great things,’” O’Quinn said while appearing on SNY’s The Putback with Ian Begley this week. “And I know he will because of his personality, his demeanor and how he is charismatically with his players…. I think that will go through the organization pretty well and he has the personality to get through to guys.”

Rose was initially hired back in February and has spent the last few months building his front office and management portfolio. He has made several moves and could embark on big ones like trading Julius Randle.

“I think New York will always be in the discussion when you have a free agent target simply because New York is New York,” O’Quinn said. “But I think until it’s a situation where (you say) ‘OK, I can blueprint off this. I know I can play for that coach, and this, that and the third. I don’t think that New York will get the respect it deserves in free agency from these big players until those kinds of things happen.”

The Knicks brought in Tom Thibodeau as their next head coach, who is a respected man around the league with a pedigree of success. Their coaching staff is composed of premium talent, which hopefully will draw bigger names to the Big Apple. Nonetheless, the Knicks have made egregious signings before, notably Phil Jackson and his triangle offense installation.

Turning the page to the next chapter in Knicks’ history is essential, and reverting back to losing ways would only further sink fans into a state of basketball depression. O’Quinn believes that Rose can elevate the organization from the ashes like a phoenix.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones inspires with words fit for a captain

New York Giants, Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants chose their captains for the 2020 season this week. They were composed of Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Dalvin Tomlinson, Blake Martinez, Jabrill Peppers, and Nate Ebner. A solid group of players to lead the team into battle on a weekly basis, composed of new faces and old ones.

Jones, though, who is only 23 years old, will bear the “C” on his chest for the first season. Following the departure of Eli Manning into the age of retirement, Jones becomes the successor for the Giants and their leader heading into the future.

The young New York Giants quarterback had inspiring words after receiving the honor:

“Being voted by your teammates is a tremendous honor,” Jones stated on Wednesday. “It’s something I don’t take lightly at all and I appreciate the responsibility that the position comes with and what it means. I’m certainly grateful to be in this position to be elected. Like I said, it’s a serious job. It’s something that I don’t think you can take lightly. You have a responsibility to your teammates and to your team to represent them and do what you can to be their voice and lead.”

When it comes to solving problems with a teammate or activating leadership qualities, Jones was confident he can communicate clearly and effectively: 

“Everyone responds to communication in different ways. I think it depends on the guy and the situation,” Jones said when asked about potentially dressing-down a teammate. “There are times where maybe that’s appropriate, but I feel like most of the time, I find it most effective to communicate clearly and make sure that we’re on the same page. I’m comfortable doing that if I need to, but I think each of those situations need to be handled differently. I try to do that the best I can.”

Head coach Joe Judge is confident that Jones is captain-material, composed of professional thread that emerges in the heat of battle. 

“I think the thing that some people may miss on Daniel is he’s quiet natured at times because he is not just up there spouting out. [But] he’s not a quiet guy,” head coach Joe Judge told reporters on Wednesday. “Daniel, you get him going, you get him talking, you get him in the huddle, you get him around the guys, Daniel has a very big personality. He’s a great dude. Until you spend a lot of time with him, you can miss that depth of him as a person. That’s been a really pleasant surprise.

Judge’s time with Jones thus far has been enlightening:

“I always knew he was intelligent, I knew he was respectful, I knew he was a hard worker. Until we really got time to be with each other and spend a training camp together, you don’t really see those layers in people.”