Bobby Green will look to shock the world at UFC Vegas 49

On Saturday night, we will see a catchweight showdown between lightweight contenders in the headliner of UFC Vegas 49. However, it’s not the matchup that we were originally supposed to see and the new man who has stepped into the spotlight of this main event spot is one we never would’ve suspected.

“King” Bobby Green (29-12-1) is a true veteran of the game. The UFC lightweight contender came to the promotion after they acquired Strikeforce which is where Green really started to show off what he could do in the cage. He made his UFC debut in 2013 and made an immediate impact.

Green started out 4-0 which included wins over Josh Thomson and James Krause. Those wins earned him a shot against Edson Barboza who was rising up at the time. Green lost that fight and then fought Dustin Poirier after where he suffered another defeat.

Things got rocky for Green in the UFC as he went just 1-5-1 over the course of seven fights. This stretch had him contemplating the end of his fighting career. However, something inside told him to keep fighting and then he turned everything around.

UFC Comeback Story

In 2020, Green returned with a vengeance and proceeded to win three straight fights that earned him a fight with ranked contender Thiago Moises. He lost that fight and then fought Rafael Fiziev who will be fighting Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 272 next week.

After those two defeats, Green got right back after it and took a fight against Al Iaquinta at UFC 268. Green made a massive statement when he knocked out “Raging” Al in the first round. He then took on the tough Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 271 just a couple of weeks ago and completely dominated the fight.

Beneil Dariush was set to headline UFC Vegas 49 against Islam Makhachev (21-1). This was being looked at as a potential title eliminator and people were really interested to see how Makhachev would do against a wrestler/grappler like Dariush.

Well, Dariush ended up hurting his ankle and the UFC needed a replacement. That’s when Bobby Green stepped in. Green is stepping in on short-notice against the guy who many believe is going to be the lightweight champion by the end of 2022.

You know who doesn’t care about the hype? Bobby Green and he doesn’t care that nobody is picking him at UFC Vegas 49. Green is insanely dangerous because he has nothing to lose here and he can go in as loose as possible. If he loses, well, nobody expected him to well.

However, if he wins, his world changes. Immediately, Green becomes a top contender in the UFC’s lightweight division and given his personality and fighting style, you will be getting more headlining fights with the king Bobby Green. It’s a tremendous story and it’ll be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

Giants should target late-round Oklahoma guard prospect to develop into a starter

Marquis Hayes, oklahoma, giants

The New York Giants need to rebuild their offensive line this offseason. Due to salary cap restraints, the Giants are going to have to rebuild their line through the draft. In order to make this happen, New York needs to start hitting on some of their mid-to-late round draft picks. One lineman that the Giants should target in the later rounds of this year’s draft is Marquis Hayes out of Oklahoma.

The Giants took a few chances on middle and late-round offensive linemen under Dave Gettleman. However, the likes of Shane Lemieux, Matt Peart, and George Asafo-Adjei have failed to pan out thus far. Additionally, a team with such a great need on the front line selecting only four offensive linemen in four years is not a recipe for success. Expect to see Joe Schoen step in and change this strategy in 2022.

There is a load of offensive line talent in the 2022 NFL Draft class. Offensive linemen should stack the first-round of this year’s draft, but the heart of the class comes in the form of the middle and late-round prospects, like Marquis Hayes out of Oklahoma. Hayes is a late day-two or day-three prospect that makes perfect sense for the New York Giants.

Why the New York Giants should target Marquis Hayes

Marquis Hayes was a three-year starter at left guard for the Oklahoma Sooners. In those three years, Hayes developed into a solid football player despite a somewhat limited athletic profile. He has the ability to dominate the trenches as an offensive guard, but Hayes is not a player that should be used too frequently as a pulling-guard or lead-blocker. Playing to Marquis Hayes’s strengths means keeping him between the tackle and the center.

Hayes currently ranks 95th on Pro Football Focus’s 2022 NFL Big Board. The Giants currently hold five picks in the top-100, making the Oklahoma product a reasonable target. Considering the needs Big Blue has on the front line, they would be wise to use more than one of those five top-100 picks on the offensive line.

Marquis Hayes is powerful in the trenches. As Lance Zierlein of NFL.com describes, Hayes “plays the game like a streetfighter, using length and strength to pummel overmatched opponents.”

“His body control is pretty bad but he’s long and has a pro body. Don’t underestimate that because teams draft that and then try to coach the player up and all of a sudden they are in the league eight years.” — Executive for AFC team via NFL.com

Marquis Hayes has the tools to be special. He allowed only one pressure over the final three games of the 2021 season. He might not be a star athlete, but Marquis Hayes is incredibly powerful and could fill a major need for the Giants at left guard. The New York Giants should target this Oklahoma product in the 2022 NFL Draft.

New York Yankees Top 10s: The Yankees’ worst acquisitions ever, do you agree?

New York Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury

With the New York Yankees looking to improve their team for the upcoming 2022 season, once the lockout if over, they will hopefully make many moves with acquisitions and trades to accomplish their goals. A few days ago I gave you my top 10 best acquisitions, which makes this the perfect time to look at some of the worst Yankee acquisitions ever. There are so many, fans may disagree with me. That’s okay add your choices in the comments.

The Yankees- in their glorious history, have had some of the greatest players to play the game of baseball. Players like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry, Derek Jeter, etc. Some were farm-raised, and some were acquired.

For some franchises paying too much for a player that doesn’t work out can be financially devastating. And it can take a club a long time to recover from that purchase.  For teams more flush-like the New York Yankees, those poor choices usually can be recovered from in a short time. In other cases, a club gives up a prime prospect in a trade to get that player while significantly weakening their farm system when that player turns out to be a bomb.

When acquiring a player, the New York Yankees either have to spend money or trade players or a combination of both to get the player they want. Some have been amazingly successful, like Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, El Duque, Roger Clemens, Roger Maris, Ricky Henderson, and many more. But they also have had some bummers. Today we examine my picks for the Yankee’s worst acquisitions.  I based my picks on how the Yankees performed and how much they had to pay to get the performance or lack thereof.  Picks are only from the modern era.

10. Kevin Youkilis

The Yankees paid Youkilis $13 million for a one-year contract for the ex-Red Sox star in 2013.What they thought they were getting was an impeccable defender at the hot corner and an All-Star that still had horsepower under the hood. What they got was very different.  The Youkilis that showed up in 2013 was an older man that was out of gas. He hit .219 in 28 games played before the Yankees dumped him.

9. A. J. Burnett

When A. J. Burnett came to the Yankees in 2009 from the Toronto Blue Jays, where he had an 18 win season.  The Yankee contract with Burnett was for $85.5 million over five years. Burnett was one of those players like Kenny Rogers and, more recently, Sonny Gray that couldn’t adjust to the bright lights of New York Yankee Stadium.  In his three years before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, he was 34-35 with an ERA of .493.

8. Pedro Feliciano

Pedro Feliciano was a two-year $8 million disaster with the Yankees. There is little to say here.  He required two shoulder surgeries after leading the AL with the most starts in the previous three years.  For the Yankees, he never pitched a game.  End of story.

7. Spike Owen

Owen was coming off a career year with the Expos, where he won a gold glove, hit .269, and racked up 24 extra-base hits.  He came to the Yankees from the Expos and was so bad at short that he didn’t even complete a year with the Yankees.  In 1993 the Yankees were in dire need of a shortstop with Prospect Derek Jeter not yet ready.  So they paid $7 million or a three-year contract.  He hit .234 with a stinking .300 OBP.  The Yankees dealt him to the Angels to playout the contract.

6. Ed Whitson

If you thought Pavano and Igawa were bad, Ed Whitson was worse. The New York Yankees acquired Whitson in a five-year deal for $4.5 million from the Padres. For most of his career, he was a near ace pitcher but not for the Yankees.  What followed? Fifteen wins and a 5.38 earned run average over two years with the team. They dealt him back to the Padres in 1986, where they’d fork 90% of his contract the remainder of the deal.

5. Hideki Irabu

The big problem with the Irabu acquisition is that he was supposed to be the next great Yankee ace pitcher. He never even came close to being anything more than a 4th or 5th pitcher in the rotation. In his four years starting in 1997, he went 29-20, 4.80 ERA, 64 starts, 74 games, 395 2/3 IP. For this, the Yankees had to pay the San Diego Padres $3 million to acquire him and give Irabu $12.8 million over four years.

4. Kei Igawa

Wow-what a mistake this was.  Kei Igawa was a miserable pitcher.  The Yankees signed him to a 5 year $20 million contract and paid a $26 million Japanese posting fee to get him in the first place.  In 2006 Igawa started for the Yankees at the major league level.  He was 2-4, 6.66 ERA, 13 starts, 16 games, and 71 2/3 innings for his first two years.  He was then demoted to Scranton Wilkes/Barre for two years and a third-year with AA Trenton. While in the minors, Brian Cashman tried several times to send Igawa back to Japan, but Igawa refused to go.

3. Jason Giambi

Some may wonder why I have Giambi so high on this worst deal list. It’s not because he wasn’t a decent player because the Yankees paid far too much for a declining player.  There is no question that he was a star player for the Oakland Athletics.  His 40 points lower batting average with the Yankee was not deserving of his $120 million seven-year contracts.

While with the Yankees, the first baseman never was a Gold Glover, Silver Slugger, while only being an All-Star once and begin nominated for MVP twice in which he received few votes.  In 2004 due to injuries, he missed half the season.  Giambi was often a liability at first, leading him to play a lot of games as DH.  Oh, and then there was the whole doping thing.  After initially denying doing drugs, he admitted to having injected himself with human growth hormone during the 2003 season with the Yankees.

2. Carl Pavano

Carl Pavano is a pitcher that many Yankee fans don’t even remember, as he was seldom on the mound during his four years $40 million deal. Pavano was a pretty average pitcher for the Florida Marlins until 2004; he had an 18-8 year, came in 6th in the Cy Young voting, and was an All-Star.  Based on this, the Yankees decided to take a chance on this break out pitcher during the offseason. In his first year with the Yankees, he managed to pitch in only 17 games for a 4-6 record and an ERA of 4.77.

His lackluster performance in 2005 was just the beginning things were about to get worse, much worse.  In 2006 he didn’t pitch at all due to injuries.  In his last two years with the Yankees, he pitched in only nine games between injuries.  His record was a dismal 5-2 with an ERA of 5.15. The Yankees were happy to be rid of him.

1. Jacoby Ellsbury

Without a doubt, in recent memory or Yankee history, the acquisition of Jacoby Ellsbury from the Boston Red Sox was the worst ever buy.  And that’s not only in how he performed. It’s what they had to pay for him to be away from the team the majority of his Yankee contract.  General Manager Brain Cashman is undoubtedly one of the smartest traders and purchasers in the business. But in this case, he missed the mark by a mile, not only in the original contract but how this player turned out.

Ellsbury was a good player for the Red Sox, but his best years were early in his centerfield career.  In 2011 he hit .321 with 32 home runs, and the guy could steal bases.  But he would never hit those figures again.  On December 3, 2013, Ellsbury and the New York Yankees agreed in principle to a seven-year, $153 million deal, including an option for an eighth year that could increase the contract’s value to $169 million. Mistake number one was that he was never worth this gargantuan contract, to begin with.

Ellsbury never enjoyed the fan praise that Red Sox acquisition Jonny Damon received mostly due to his performance, which never reached the level that the money spent demanded.  In his Yankee employment in the first four years, he only managed less than 10 home runs a year while hitting a league average .264 batting average. That’s when a deplorable trade turned into a disaster.  In 2018 and 2019, Ellsbury never set foot on the field due to continued injuries, which led many Yankee fans to think he was faking it and just wanted to collect the money and not play.

With the 2021 season in the rearview mirror, Jacoby Ellsbury was finally off the payroll. Many wonder in the future if Giancarlo Stanton will be on this list. He has never been the player he was in his 2017 season with the Marlins, he is often injured, and his huge contract limits what the Yankees can do with new acquisitions.

Dishonorable mentions go to Jose Contreras: 4-Years, $32 Million, paid too much for his 1 1/2 years, Kenny Rogers 4-Years, $20 million, ERA 5.12, Pascual Perez: 3-Years, $5.7 Million, drugs only won 3 games, Mel Hall: 4-Years, $4 Million, he kept the Yankees from the 1991 postseason due to his constant arguments with Don Mattingly, and finally Jaret Wright: 3-Years, $21-Million, when he became a Yankee his body fell apart.

Most of the Yankee bomb acquisitions have been pitchers strangely, but luckily for the Yankees, they have had far more successful acquisitions, and being a rich franchise has been able to handle those that weren’t.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.  Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.William Parlee

Knicks: Tom Thibodeau dismisses World Wide Wes ‘blame game’ story

After losing 13 of their last 16 games and blowing several 20-point leads in the final week before the All-Star break, New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau found himself in a brewing firestorm.

An SNY report cited sources who framed Knicks executive vice president William Wesley pinning the blame — at least in part — on Thibodeau for their disappointing performance this season.

“I talk to Wes all the time. I don’t respond to rumors and any of that stuff,” Thibodeau told reporters after Wednesday’s practice. “You know I know the drill here. I’ve been here before, so I don’t worry about any of that stuff.”

The Knicks haven’t been as successful as they would have envisioned when they signed Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier to infuse more shot creators in their offense that stalled in last year’s playoffs. Walker had been shut down for the remainder of the season while Fournier battled inconsistency. Last year’s All-Star Julius Randle struggled to play with them until he’s appeared to have figured it out before the pause.

Thibodeau is on his third coaching job after quickly wearing out his welcome in Chicago and Minnesota. He is familiar with how tough the New York market is, having been an assistant coach to Jeff Van Gundy in the late 90s to early 2000s. It remains to be seen if he can survive this challenging season — an undesirable sequel to their magical playoff push last year.

The All-Star break gave Thibodeau and the Knicks, who are 3.5 games out of the final play-in spot, to reflect on their spiraling season.

“It’s just a reset. It’s a chance to look at exactly where we are, the things that we did well, the things that we didn’t do as well as we would’ve liked, focus on what we want to improve upon, and just get ready for the next game,” Thibodeau said.

The Knicks are expected to get a boost with the impending return of Derrick Rose to the fold after Walker’s exit. The rotation logjam still exists, which the Knicks front office tried to solve at the trade deadline to no avail.

Thibodeau dismisses any talks that he’s not in sync with the front office led by his friend and former agent Leon Rose, who has close ties with Wesley.

“I talk to Leon every day. I talk to Wes every day. So that doesn’t change,” Thibodeau said.

But despite dismissing those talks, Thibodeau can only shut down the outside noise by producing results. Having the fourth most brutal remaining schedule while delicately balancing winning and player development will be a tough challenge.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

BKFC interested in making a run at Francis Ngannou

Francis Ngannou

Yesterday, BKFC president and founder David Feldman announced that the majority stake of Bare Knuckle has been purchased by Triller. This was a huge move for the promotion that stands to provide them with some much needed funding.

Over the past year or so, BKFC has been looking to become more mainstream. In doing so, we’ve seen them bring in a number of high level free agents. Some of the notable ones being Chad Mendes and Mike Perry.

The biggest investment that BKFC made was in Paige VanZant. VanZant brought many more eye balls to Bare Knuckle, but her 0-2 start with the promotion has seen the interest start to fizzle out.

Feldman acknowledged the fact that they will want to be big players for all free agents. He told Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour that BKFC is planning on being a major player with all upcoming free agents in boxing and MMA.

There was one name that he called out that really caught my attention. Feldman kept referencing that they would be interested in the biggest free agent of them all and Helwani got him to admit that he was talking about UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou (17-3).

Ngannou in BKFC?

As Feldman acknowledged yesterday, BKFC cannot even begin conversations with Ngannou as he’s still under contract with the UFC. The heavyweight champion’s contract doesn’t actually expire until the end of the year.

However, things between the heavyweight champion and the UFC aren’t in the best spot. Ngannou has been very vocal about his displeasure with the way UFC contracts are setup and the lack of benefits that are provided to fighters.

I can definitely see BKFC coming into play here. One of the things I really respect about Feldman and the promotion is the fact that they created a fighter pension for all of the fighters that way they can have some form of retirement.

In addition to that, BKFC is looking to add more benefits. These are some of the things that Ngannou has stated that he wants from the UFC. Now, will Francis Ngannou ever fight for Bare Knuckle? Odds are not that great.

However, they have a decent financial backing now and I could see them giving Ngannou the freedom in his contract that he wants. If Ngannou doesn’t resign in 2022, BKFC can’t totally be ruled out for the baddest man on the planet.

Knicks still have logjam despite Kemba Walker shutdown

knicks, tom thibodeau

Around 24 minutes of playing time have opened up following Kemba Walker’s decision to sit out the final 23 games of the regular season. But that is still not enough to solve New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau’s quandary. Especially with Derrick Rose scheduled to return.

“Obviously, getting Derrick (Rose) and RJ (Barrett) back is significant for us. But we probably still have a logjam, so we got to figure that out,” Thibodeau told reporters after Wednesday practice.

Rose did contact drills for the first time on Wednesday, and Thibodeau said they would see how the veteran point guard feels Thursday, one day before they return to action against the Eastern Conference leader Miami Heat. Rose is expected to gobble up Walker’s minutes with the second unit as Alec Burks is penciled to be the starter.

“I think just looking, digging into the numbers and stuff, Alec (Burks) has been our best option so far,” Thibodeau explained.

With Walker as the starting point guard in the fourth-most used lineup in the league alongside Evan Fournier, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks have been outscored by 13.8 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA’s tracking data. Take out Walker and put Burks in that lineup, and the Knicks are a much better team, outscoring their opponents by 7.4 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass.

Thibodeau, who yanked Walker out of the rotation earlier in the season, shied away from the decision to shut down the former four-time All-Star point guard for the remainder of the season. He deferred to team president Leon Rose and Walker’s agent Jeff Schwartz, who handled the situation.

“We knew there was risk involved, and we thought it was worth it,” Thibodeau said about Walker’s signing this summer. “There were some good moments. If he’s healthy, he’s good. So, that’s about it.”

After his nine-game banishment, Walker returned with aplomb and became the high point of what appears to be his lone season with his hometown team. In December, the Bronx native had a four-game stretch where he exploded for 29, 21, and 44 points before capping it off with a triple-double on Christmas Day. But the low points exacerbated by his lingering knee issues outnumbered that one solid stretch.

Walker will go into the summer as a trade chip with an expiring contract. But even Walker’s decision to sit out, the Knicks rotation logjam still persists.

The starting five is set with Burks, Fournier, Barrett, Randle, and Robinson. Thibodeau hopes to replicate last season’s late push with Rose and Immanuel Quickley at the backcourt and their chemistry with Obi Toppin. Rookie Quentin Grimes is likely to stay in rotation. Nerlens Noel seems to be finally healthy as he participated fully in Wednesday practice. So that leaves youngsters Cam Reddish and Miles McBride, who is getting plenty of run in the G League, still on the outside, looking in.

Thibodeau defended himself from the criticisms of not buying into the player development of their young guys. Their values aren’t viewed around the league as high as other teams’ young players like the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers — two teams that built through the draft and are now on the rise.

“What people lose sight of is that they forget how young Mitchell is, how young RJ is — RJ had the best month of his career. They forget how young Obi is. Quentin Grimes is starting as a rookie. Julius is young. So the priority is everyone’s development,” Thibodeau said.

“It’s not just one particular guy. It’s easy to lock into this guy. You can’t keep adding guys to a rotation without taking guys out. Where are the minutes come from? There are a finite amount of minutes in a game.”

The Knicks tried to move some of their veterans at the trade deadline, but their disappointing first half and circumstances worked against them. Now they are stuck with a mediocre team — a mixed bag of young players who need more time to develop and veterans underperforming their contracts.

Their outlook is dire. They are 3.5 games out of the final play-in spot, with their remaining schedule the fourth toughest in the league.

Next summer couldn’t come soon enough to undo some of their miscalculations.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Yankees’ Tampa Tarpons manager Rachel Balkovec is “grateful” for practice time with minor leaguers

Rachel Balkovec, who was named the first woman to manage a professional baseball team, is one of the leaders at the New York Yankees’ minor league minicamp. She will lead the Low-A Tampa Tarpons this season.

The 34-year-old was also the first woman to be a full-time minor league strength and conditioning coach, and then became the first to be a full-time hitting coach in the minors with the Yankees. Several weeks ago, the Bombers appointed her as the Tarpons’ boss.

“I’m grateful for this time to practice,” Balkovec said to the AP after Wednesday’s workout. “These guys are here to prepare, and I’m also here studying every morning watching video and learning aspects of defense. Learning our philosophies inside and out on defense.”

“It’s just a little bit of everything right now,” Balkovec said. “Kind of catching up on the defensive end of things and still spending some time in the cages with hitting and still keeping my foot there. So it’s really all over the map right now.”

One of the hitters who could be under her wing is Yankees’ uber-prospect Jasson Dominguez, who should be starting the year at Low-A.

The Yankees trust Balkovec to help develop their most valuable prospects

The Yankees are trusting Balkovec with the development of their young prospects, and she is more than prepared for the challenge, having accumulated experiences in college and other MLB teams before arriving to the Bronx. She has already formed a strong bond with some of the players, and things have started to flow naturally.

“The players calling me ‘Skip’ and everything, kind of razzing me a little bit, but it’s been extremely well-received and it feels really natural to be honest with you,” Balkovec said. “Getting the opportunity to set a standard is always a privilege and it’s something that I’ve done my whole life, wanted to do my whole life and this role is just a little more of that.”

“In a good way it feels something that’s even more natural to me than being a hitting coach,” Balkovec also stated.

Yankees slugger takes shot at MLB rules, specifically the ‘shift’

joey gallo, yankees

The MLB has changed significantly over the past decade, especially regarding the use of analytics and defensive formations. The New York Yankees have been at the forefront of those shifts, but some of their own players simply don’t agree with the rules and how they’ve been stretched to put offensive players in more challenging positions.

Joey Gallo told The Athletic that the shift must be fixed, as it limits offensive players significantly:

“I get the defensive strategies. I do. I am 100 percent not against that… But I think at some point, you have to fix the game a little bit… I don’t understand how I’m supposed to hit a double or triple when I have six guys standing in the outfield.”

Gallo is a big lefty slugger who predominantly utilizes the right side of the field. Gallo isn’t known for his opposite-field hitting, which makes the shift extremely effective against him statistically.
As recorded by the Bill James Handbook, shifts have seen a monstrous increase from 2013 to the present day. Eight years ago, only 6,882 balls were hit into the shift, but over 59,000 were played in 2021.
This has tantalized players like Gallo, decreasing his batting average significantly. In total last season, he recorded a .199 batting average, hitting just 13 doubles compared to 24 back in 2018. His singles improved drastically to 47, but his ability to curate extra-base hits has quickly deteriorated.
Whether this is a problem MLB needs to address is yet to be seen, but putting in place defensive formations isn’t far enough outside the rules to force a change. It is far different from the use of spider tack for pitchers, giving them an advantage with better grip and spin rate. This is simply putting bodies on the field in a legitimate way to prevent offensive production. Theoretically, you are allowed to use your outfielders and infielders in any way you choose, depending on the batter, which is a direct link to advanced analytics.
Another player who might agree with Gallo is Goose Gossage, who completely torched general manager Brian Cashman for his assertion of analytics over the past decade.

Giants’ backup QB Davis Webb provides unique insight into Brian Daboll’s offensive scheme

brian daboll, giants, bills, daniel jones

There is nothing more important than the New York Giants elevating their offense this off-season and providing a far more proficient unit in 2022.

Last year, the Giants featured one of the worst offenses in football, ranking dead last in red-zone efficiency with a 44.74% success rate in the territory. Quarterback Daniel Jones tossed just 10 touchdowns in 11 games, throwing seven interceptions but recording a career-high 64.3% completion rate.

After moving on from Jason Garrett midway through the season and rolling with Freddie Kitchens the rest of the way, the Giants have completely cleaned house and are looking to make stratospheric leaps and advancements.

New head coach Brian Daboll is coming from the Buffalo Bills, where he curated the third-best offense in football last season, but he has a unique way of building a system that works for everybody.

“I think the best thing [Daboll] does, it doesn’t matter who is playing — he’s going to give them the best chance to win on Sunday,” said quarterback Davis Webb, via Jordan Raanan of ESPN. “I remember [Bills receiver Cole Beasley] had four or five plays he loved at SMU and the [Dallas] Cowboys. And we put them in three years ago and they have been our best plays, or [among] of our best plays, over the last three years.”

Interestingly, Daboll focuses on his players and what they prefer to build their scheme around. Whether it be Daniel Jones utilizing his mobility in the zone-read game or throwing the ball down the field, Daboll will look to build a system that extrapolates on strengths rather than weaknesses.

That seems quite straightforward, but Garrett’s system was extremely simple and lacked the pizzazz that other modern NFL offenses displayed.

“Him asking for my ideas and some of the things that I’ve liked to run … was cool,” Jones said. “It will be an ongoing process to get a feel for what those things are — what I like, what he likes. And we’ll do it.

Daboll has plenty of experience building up a star quarterback with Josh Allen, and while there’s no guarantee Jones will reach that level, he has all the tangible traits to become a quality passer in the NFL. If the Giants can bring the best version out of Jones and prove he’s capable of leading the franchise, it will take a major weight off their shoulders trying to piece together a competent team for the future.

“It was a good way for me to get to know him and him to get to know me. I certainly appreciated it.”

Expect the Giants to be a heavy passing team, despite the existence of Saquon Barkley in the backfield. Rebuilding the offensive line and adding another receiver in the draft might be a priority, but one thing is for sure, until the Giants have an offense that can score points, it will be difficult to win games.

Red Sox’s relief ace reveals he was “disappointed” to leave the Yankees

Before Garrett Whitlock achieved stardom with New York Yankees’ archrivals, the Boston Red Sox, the pitcher was a prospect in the Bombers’ system. He was a starter, and suffered a long-term injury that put a cloud over his long-term future (Tommy John surgery).

The Yankees left him unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft, and the rest is history: the Red Sox took a chance on him, turned him into a reliever, and he became an essential part of Boston’s bullpen in 2021.

Last year, he pitched in 46 games and had a 1.96 ERA, covering 73.1 innings, and striking out 9.94 hitters per nine frames. He was a true weapon who added versatility to the relief corps, as he compiled a 8-4 record with two saves.

According to the Boston Globe, Whitlock wasn’t happy about leaving the Yankees, the first organization that gave him the chance to play professional ball.

The former Yankees prospect was “disappointed”, but didn’t take it personal

“I wouldn’t say I was pissed. There’s a little bit of disappointment and everything. Like, dang, that would have been nice. But at the same time, I also understood I was coming off Tommy John. I didn’t take it personally or anything.”

His future took a huge turn after he completed a very good season in Boston. He won’t pitch for spot on the roster: instead, he will have some peace of mind knowing that is already guaranteed. However, he still doesn’t know what role he will fill, because he may be used as a starter.

“They told me to come in prepared to be, like, fighting for a starting job, and they’ll reevaluate it from there,” he said. “So I’m going to build up and I’m going to go in and be as prepared as I can be. … I enjoy starting. I love the routine behind it and everything, but at the same time, I’m a competitor. So whenever you tell me to go out there and get outs, I’m going to treat it as if it’s a 0-0 ballgame and I’ve got to bury you and I’ve got to put you away.”

The former Yankees’ farmhand is under control through the 2026 season for the Red Sox.