New York Giants: Bills OL coach Bobby Johnson to join Daboll’s staff

brian daboll, giants, bills

New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll had a popular reputation in Buffalo, and that popularity may help him secure other members of the Bills offensive staff. Not only is Ken Dorsey in the running for the Giants offensive coordinator spot, but it looks like Daboll is set to bring over his O-line coach from Buffalo, Bobby Johnson.

Buffalo O-line coach to join Giants, others could follow

Mike Silver from Bally Sports first reported the news, which has since been confirmed by Tim Graham from the Athletic. According to Graham, it’s already a done deal and the contract has been signed.

This, of course, is big for the Giants. While offensive line coach isn’t the most glamorous position, it’s nice to see it getting addressed early in the offseason with a signing that new head coach Brian Daboll is already familiar with.

The position has been anything but stable for the Giants during the past seasons, and that turmoil hasn’t helped an O-line that was afflicted this season by lack of depth and injuries.

Johnson was already there for one offensive line rebuild in Buffalo, and will have to help in another one thanks to the current state of the Giants line. He served two stints with the Bills, the first coming from 2010-11 and the more recent one lasting from 2019 until now.

The Giants may not be done signing coaches from Buffalo, however. According to Ryan Talbot from New York Upstate, assistant QB coach Shea Tierney and assistant O-line coach Ryan Wendell could be the next additions to join Daboll.

All in all, it’s clear the Giants staff will hardly look the same next season as old names are moved out and more influence from a winning organization is brought in. It’s an exciting time, and for once, it feels like the Giants are doing what they need to do to start winning.

Giants close to a clean sweep of Bills’ offensive staff with pursuit of Ken Dorsey at OC

ken dorsey, giants, bills

The New York Giants are proudly beginning a new era under Joe Schoen (general manager) and Brian Daboll (head coach). This new dynamic duo found great success in recent years rebuilding the Buffalo Bills into one of the NFL’s best teams. Now that Brian Daboll has been officially introduced as the team’s head coach, the search is on for the Giants’ next offensive coordinator. Reportedly, Daboll has his eyes on Ken Dorsey, one of his colleagues up in Buffalo.

According to Bobby Thompson of Fansided, the Giants have offered Ken Dorsey a “lucrative” deal to become the team’s next offensive coordinator. This falls in line with what Joe Schoen said today in Brian Daboll’s introductory press conference:

Ideally, the offensive coordinator calls the plays, but, again, I’m not going to say that’s set in stone because we’re going to let Brian make that decision. – Joe Schoen via Giants.com

Joe Schoen would like Brian Daboll to hire an offensive coordinator to call plays for the Giants’ offense. But, as Brian Daboll pointed out today, “the two head coaches in the Super Bowl right now are calling plays.” So while Daboll and Schoen are both hoping to find an offensive coordinator to call plays, Daboll is open to doing it himself.

Could Ken Dorsey be the Giants’ play-caller in 2022?

Ken Dorsey has been working as the Buffalo Bills’ quarterbacks coach since 2019. In 2021, his role expanded as he became the passing game coordinator in addition to the quarterbacks coach for Buffalo. Dorsey has not called plays before, though, and is in line to become the Bills’ next play-caller with the departure of Brian Daboll. However, Daboll and the Giants seem interested in making Ken Dorsey a first-time play-caller in New York.

According to Dan Salamone, Brian Daboll said he’s comfortable hiring a first-time play-caller if he’s the right fit. Dorsey could be that guy, if he is willing to walk away from the opportunity to call plays for Josh Allen.

The Buffalo Bills also seem to be preparing for the possibility of losing Ken Dorsey. Buffalo has begun conducting interviews with other offensive coordinator candidates as the Giants pursue Dorsey. This could be a sign that the Bills feel like they are about to lose their quarterbacks coach.

Hiring Ken Dorsey would give the Giants a clean sweep of the Buffalo Bills, hiring their GM, HC, and OC all from upstate. These are all of the most important positions that the Giants needed to fill this offseason. With Schoen and Daboll in place, the Giants are nearly there, but aggressively pursuing Ken Dorsey to complete the sweep.

Yankees News: Ken Waldichuk and two other lefty pitchers set to make a comeback

The 2020 season was a lost season for New York Yankees minor league players as there was no minor league season as the coronavirus ravaged the country. In 2019 the Yankees looked to strengthen their void of lefty pitching prospects, With six picks inside of the first five rounds, the Yankees used three of those selections on left-handed pitching by acquiring T.J. Sikkema, Jake Agnos, and Ken Waldichuk.

Waldichuk could be on the brink of entering the major leagues this coming season. while the other two prospects will return to the minors after suffering injuries on the field during 2021. While Sikkema and Agnos will return to the field after battling injuries in 2021. With the addition of these three pitching prospects, the Yankees should be able to balance out their pitching prospects going forward.

Ken Waldichuk, in the early rounds, was selected third, but as of this point, he has demonstrated far above the Yankees’ expectations. He started the 2021 season with 30.2 scoreless innings for Hudson Valley High-A Renegades, He is currently ranked as the Yankees’ ninth-best prospect by MLB.com. His 163 strikeouts placed him as the fourth-best strike-out leader, finishing the year with the Somerset Double-A Patriots. Between two teams in 2021, the 6′ 4′ 220 pounder 24-year-old lefty put up a record of 6-3 with an ERS of 3.03 over 21 games started. If the Yankees have pitching injuries this season, you could very well see Waldichuk on the mound at Yankees Stadium.

TJ Sikkema. The 6-foot 221-pound pitcher from the University of Missouri my join Waldichuk this season. Sikkema excelled over three seasons against the Southeastern Conference competition in college. Known for his excellent command explains why he was the Yankees 38th overall pick. Sikkema is not a powerball pitcher but his ability to pinpoint pitches makes up for the lack of power. He mixes his pitches and angles, much like Nestor Cortes Jr. He has an elite slider, fastball, and changeup that confuse hitters. Although a small sample in 2019, he allowed just one run in 10.2 innings while with the Short-Season A Staten Island Yankees before being derailed by injuries.
Sikkema will start 2022 with High-A Hudson Valley, and like Waldichuk, last season could quickly climb into the Double-A ranks if he can show the stuff he had in college and during his time as a professional.

In 2019 the Yankees used pick three and four for two position players in Josh Smith and Jake Sanford, but in the final pick, they chose lefty pitcher Jake Agnos right out of East Carolina University. Scouts loved his fastball, curveball, and slider. Agnos, in his junior year of college, broke out of the pack with a tiny ERA of 2.29. Agnos’s progress was halted when he underwent Tommy John surgery during spring training in 2021. If the Yankees are lucky, he should return to action mid-season.

With the three lefty addition to the Yankees’ minor league system, they will be looking forward to seeing what both Sikkema and Agnos can do, as they are solid and could shore up the Yankee pitching in the next couple of years. It all depends if they can rebound from two lost years. Waldichuk, who will likely start with the Somerset Patriots and advance to the Railriders in Scranton, will hope to make a major league debut this season.

Report: No Mavs-Knicks active trade talks about Jalen Brunson

Jalen Brunson, knicks

The New York Knicks have been forever linked to Dallas Mavericks’ rising point guard Jalen Brunson.

The ties between Brunson and the current Knicks regime run deep. Team president Leon Rose considers Rick Brunson, Jalen’s father, as his first client when he was still a player-agent. Rick Brunson played for the Knicks when Tom Thibodeau was an assistant coach. Jalen Brunson is under CAA and Hoopshype lists Andrew Morrison, Aaron Mintz, who handles current Knicks star Julius Randle, and Sam Rose, Leon’s son, as his representation.

But despite these overtures, Brunson is likely to remain a Maverick, at least beyond the Feb. 10 trade deadline.

NBA insider Marc Stein reported on Monday — the third year anniversary of the Kristaps Porzingis trade — that there are no ongoing discussions between the Mavericks and the Knicks about Brunson.

“I’m told that the oft-suggested notion of trading Brunson to the Knicks to reacquire the 2023 first-round pick owed to New York to complete the Kristaps Porzi??is trade is not currently under consideration in Dallas. The Mavericks regard Brunson as too vital to this season’s aspirations to trade him and retain the belief that he wants to be a Maverick long-term,” Stein wrote in his Monday newsletter.

The Mavericks are willing to gamble and are banking on their Bird rights on Brunson to re-sign him this summer. Brunson, who is having a career year, has been resistant to accepting the four-year, $56 million extension that Dallas can offer him through June, according to Stein.

Brunson is enjoying a big spike across the board, averaging 15.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.6 assists, all career-highs. The former Villanova star has thrived as the secondary playmaker next to Mavericks’ generational star Luka Doncic.

The 25-year old Brunson, who will earn $1.8 million this season in the final year of his rookie deal, is reportedly seeking an $18 million annual salary range in his next contract.

For the Knicks to sign Brunson outright as an unrestricted free agent, they need to shed multiple contracts or Evan Fournier’s $78 million to create cap space.

The Knicks have reportedly made their veterans available, including offseason acquisitions Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, who haven’t panned out as expected, and Alec Burks.

One scout noted the emergence of rookie Quentin Grimes and the addition of former lottery pick Cam Reddish as the likely motivation behind this reported move.

“Grimes has solidified his spot in the rotation with his shooting and defense. You don’t give up the first-round pick to just bury Reddish on the bench. Then Derrick Rose is just a few weeks away from returning. Thibodeau will be put in another tough spot if they can’t move some of their wings,” the scout told Empire Sports Media.

But it could also be a play for Brunson this summer, creating the necessary cap space to run after him.

Meanwhile, Stein also reported that the Mavericks had also backed off in a potential deal for Indiana Pacers’ Myles Turner even before the big man sustained a stress reaction in his left foot. That means one less likely competition for the Knicks, who have shown interest in trading for the league’s shot blocker and floor-spacing big man.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson drops heartfelt message as trade deadline looms

mitchell robinson, knicks

The New York Knicks currently sit four games below .500 on the season with a contest against the Sacramento Kings on Monday night. Having lost six of their last seven games, the Knicks desperately miss veteran point guard Derrick Rose.

They could be active at the trade deadline to acquire more talent to propel them to a postseason berth.

However, center Mitchell Robinson took a moment on Monday to appreciate how lucky he is to be playing at MSG, one of the world’s most famous Arenas. With his team currently in the 12th seed in the Eastern Conference, he needs to have another big game against Sacramento to push them to victory.

To start the new year, Mitch is averaging 10.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and shooting 81.8% from the field. Along with RJ Barrett, Robinson has seen a tremendous increase in production in January.

Nonetheless, the regression of power forward Julius Randle has put the team between a rock and a hard place. Despite Robinson’s increased scoring efficiency, the team is still struggling to compete against teams above .500. Most recently, they were clobbered by the Milwaukee Bucks 123–108, as Randle recorded just nine points on another poor shooting night.

It is nice to see that Robinson is appreciating his time in New York, but there’s no question his name could be floated in potential trade talks with the deadline just 10 days away.

Fedor in limbo after puzzling Bellator decision

Fedor Emelianenko

This past Saturday at Bellator 273, the heavyweight championship was on the line. The heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (29-7, 1 NC) was taking on the interim champion Valentin Moldavsky (11-2). One man who was particularly interested in the main event was Fedor Emelianenko (40-6).

The all time great is Moldavsky’s lead trainer but he’s also a top contender in Bellator’s heavyweight division. Fedor has won back-to-back fights which has put him right back in the title picture. He made it clear that if Bader won the matchup at Bellator 273, he wanted to fight Bader in his retirement fight.

Moldavsky and Bader had a very close fight. Both men had their moments and it really came down to the fifth and final round. Bader was able to dig down deep and do enough to secure the final round. In the end, he walked away with a decision victory and his hand raised at Bellator 273.

In the minds of most, this seemingly setup a retirement fight for Fedor for the title. You couldn’t write a better script, except that’s not the direction the promotion went in. After the fight was over, Cheick Kongo (31-11-2) entered the ring and was announced as the next challenger.

Bellator’s Puzzling Decision

On May 6th, Kongo and Bader will fight in Paris for the Bellator heavyweight title. The two men fought for the title a few years ago and the fight ended early after an accidental eye poke. Kongo would go on to lose to Tim Johnson who would then lose to Valentin Moldavksy in the interim title fight.

After Johnson lost to Moldavsky, he fought Fedor and Fedor knocked him out. I have to be completely honest and say that I don’t understand this booking decision at all. There’s no one else in the heavyweight division that Bellator can book with Fedor to make it a big fight. They had a big opportunity and just didn’t pull the trigger.

I get it, Kongo fighting for the title in Paris would draw interest. However, he just fought in Paris against Tim Johnson and lost. The man who beat him was knocked out by Fedor who is one of the greatest of all time. Fedor deserved this shot at the title, no disrespect to Cheick Kongo.

To be honest, I don’t know where we go from here. Scott Coker mentioned that Bellator has other heavyweights that can fight Fedor in his retirement fight. I don’t know who he’s really talking about in terms of making a compelling fight. Big missed opportunity in my opinion.

Giants’ owner John Mara details rebuild timeline, Daniel Jones injury, more

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have a big decision to make on quarterback Daniel Jones and his future. They have until May to decide on his fifth-year option, but Jones hasn’t justified he’s worth extending up to this point, but co-owner John Mara indicated that every head coach candidate and general manager candidate believed Jones has the talent to build around.

The only truly optimistic season Daniel Jones has had up to this point was his rookie year back in 2019. Jones played in 13 games, accruing 3,027 yards and 24 touchdown passes for a 61.9% completion rate. Jones has enjoyed slight improvements in completion percentage over his three-year career, landing at 64.3% this past season, primarily because of the team’s short route concepts due to a poor offensive line.

Theoretically, if you don’t have to throw the ball down the field, you can increase your success rate on shorter passing attempts, but that only resulted in 10 touchdown passes in 2021.

New head coach Brian Daboll will try to resurrect his career, building off his talents and asking him the concepts and strategies he prefers. Daboll has plenty of experience building and developing an elite quarterback in Josh Allen, so he has a good idea of what it takes to elevate a player.

However, Jones endured a neck injury against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12, playing the entire game but missing the remainder of the season with supposed structural damage. Mara indicated that Jones will be back to full speed by the start of the 2022 season.

It is nice to hear that every candidate for both general manager and head coach view Jones as a productive player who they can build around.

Of course, that is exactly what ownership wanted to hear, given they spent the 6th overall pick on him just a few years ago to revive the franchise. Mara stated recently that the team has done “everything possible to screw the kid up,” but bringing in a modern offensive mind should help him take steps in the right direction.

By most accounts, the Giants are about to journey on a full rebuild, especially with general manager Joe Schoen having to turn over a lot of roster situations and open up money to spend in free agency and on draft picks.

“I’m not looking at this as an overnight turnaround, this is going to be a process. However long it takes is going to be up to them.”
Realistically, the Giants will need three years to put the team in a position to compete for a playoff spot and expect plenty of turnover on the defensive side this off-season as they look to the future with nine draft picks in their holster.

Mets manager Buck Showalter wants “concentration and effort” from his players

The New York Mets intend to be contenders in 2022, and they have worked hard to put together a roster worthy of earning that moniker. At the office level, they brought general manager Billy Eppler. To lead the dugout, they hired skipper Buck Showalter. And, to make a difference on the field, they signed Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar, among others.

Times are changing for the Mets, who have done nothing but disappoint since getting to the World Series in 2015.

Showalter, talking on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, said that he expects his players to give their all with the hope of playing to their full potential.

“There are some great people here. I’ve already seen that. And it’s you know, just kind of create the culture that they can be as good as they’re capable of being. And having the only thing challenge them every day is level play that they have to bring and the concentration that’s required and the effort that’s required. There’s an old expression that effort never goes into a slump. You know, whatever’s happening at home or whatever’s happening off the field and they play that song at 7 o’clock, you better be ready.”

He will expect a lot from his players with the Mets, but wants to be there for them

The new Mets’ manager, a highly experienced leader, also understands that he will have to adjust to his players’ needs just as he expects them to play good, hard baseball.

“You know, I want to eliminate the noise. It’s like with the media, you don’t go into it trying to win it. You try to survive it. And you understand everybody’s doing a job and you’re trying to be respect of what everybody is supposed to bring. Everything’s different. What we had to do in Baltimore, what we had to do in Arizona, or the Yankees back in the 90s, was a different scenario.

“So the ability to adjust to the players’ needs, if it’s important to the players, it better be important to you.”

Winning the World Series with the Mets is the ultimate goal: “My wish is to be there when the last out’s made in the World Series and go up in my office and close the door and listen to people celebrate outside.”

Yankees: Here is why bringing back Didi Gregorius doesn’t make sense

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius

As the New York Yankees are desperately looking for a starting-caliber shortstop, speculation on potential targets is in full swing. Carlos Correa and Trevor Story should be the preferred options, as both are free agents and available just for money.

Other potential alternatives could be signing a low-cost free agent like Andrelton Simmons to fill in until Oswald Peraza or Anthony Volpe are ready to take over.

But MLB Trade Rumors recently discussed the possibility of the Yankees trying to swing a trade for a familiar face: Didi Gregorius. The left-handed hitter covered the shortstop position for the Bombers from 2015 to 2019.

Here is what MLB Trade Rumors had to say about a hypothetical interest from the Yankees: “Despite a legendary crop of superstar free agent shortstops, there are a handful of teams that have stayed out of the sweepstakes thus far and could potentially be interested in Gregorius.. … Bringing Gregorius back to the Bronx would be a fun story and also make some sense, as he could diversify a righty-heavy lineup with his lefty bat while holding down shortstop until one of the kids takes his spot.”

The Yankees should pursue other options

In reality, trading for Gregorius doesn’t make much sense. After peaking over a three-year span between 2016 and 2018, Gregorius’ performance has fallen off a cliff in recent years. During that period, he hit 20, 25, and 27 homers with wRC+ marks of 97, 109, and 122, respectively.

However, he slumped all the way to .238/.276/.441 with an 84 wRC+ in 2019, regained some his level in the shortened 2020 campaign (.284/.339/.488, 116 wRC+) and then struggled again last year (.209/.270/.370, 68 wRC+). He is a liability with the stick, and also with the glove: he has -21 DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) at shortstop since 2019, his last season with the Yankees.

He is about to turn 32 and is entering the final year of a two-year, $28 million contract. He has also struggled with injuries in recent seasons. Overall, the it sounds like a bad plan for the Yankees: he was a beloved member of the organization, but it’s time to move on from the idea.

Yankees could land star first baseman Freddie Freeman, per MLB Insider

freddie freeman, yankees, braves

The New York Yankees have multiple positions they need to solve this off-season after the lockout comes to an end. One of those spots is first base, where they currently have Luke Voit as the primary option with Anthony Rizzo hitting free agency.

It is possible that management looks to DJ LeMahieu to start at first base, but there was interest earlier this off-season in Atlanta Braves star Freddie Freeman. However, the consensus was that Freeman would stick with Atlanta after winning the World Series this past year.

Reports have indicated that Atlanta has been doing their due diligence on other first base options, notably Matt Olson in a prospective deal with the Oakland Athletics. The Yankees were also connected to Oakland, but with competition, they could turn their sights to Freeman, who’s looking for a six-year, $180 million deal.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic stated that Freddie Freeman could be on his way out of Atlanta:

“Our longstanding assumption — ah, they’ll just work it out — no longer applies. The Braves and Freeman didn’t work it out last spring, last summer or in November with the lockout looming. They still might work it out, considering that an agreement remains the most sensible outcome. But rest assured, both sides are weighing their options. It would not be a surprise for either, once business resumes, to act quickly.”

If freeman hits the market, the Yankees are one of the only teams that have the cash available to acquire him. He’s coming off a season where he hit .300 with 31 homers and 83 RBIs, featuring a 15.4% strikeout rate. Freeman is one of the best batters in baseball, and with a lefty swing, he could hit 40+ homers in Yankee stadium.

Freeman isn’t just any ordinary slugger, he also walks 12.2% of the time and recorded a 45.7% hard-hit rate this past year, the second-highest of his career after logging a 54.2% rate in 2020.

Defensively, Freeman has been a bit inconsistent throughout his career, but his offensive prowess makes up for it tenfold. He recorded a .998 fielding success rate with three errors this past season. Freeman has won one Gold Glove back in 2018.

The question is, with the Yankees be willing to spend $30 million per season on a first baseman, especially with needs at shortstop and starting pitching?

It seems like general manager Brian Cashman is steering toward a stopgap solution at shortstop, so he could go with a cheaper, defensive option and swing heavy at first base. There’s also a world where Gio Urshela moves to shortstop and LeMahieu locks down the hot corner, but that might be a bit optimistic given their lack of experience at both spots.