New York Giants: Why Dion Lewis is an upgrade over Wayne Gallman

New York Giants, Dion Lewis

The New York Giants’ front office made big moves this offseason to improve both the offense and defense. During free agency, the Giants’ signed veteran running back, Dion Lewis to a one year deal which is worth 1.5 million. The Giants needed a running back who is reliable and can give Saquon Barkley well-deserved rest. Luckily, the Giants found the perfect guy, no disrespect to Wayne Gallman, but he is just not the answer.

Wayne Gallman’s 2019 stats

In 2019, Wayne Gallman started in two games after Saquon went down with a high ankle sprain. Throughout the season, there was not much to cheer about, Gallman had 110 rushing yard and only two touchdowns. Even when Barkley was healthy, Gallman would only average 11 rushing yards a game. As you can see, Gallman was never a go-to option like Saquon is, Daniel Jones had to rely on throwing the ball often. This was no easy task for Jones, Saquon was out for three weeks after his first start and Gallman never was. Overall, Gallman had one standout game in the absence of Barkley. In my mind, Gallman is a backup NFL running back. He’s better off on another team that needs a backup because Dion Lewis is going to take all his touches.

Dion Lewis’ 2019 stats

Dion Lewis played a much smaller role in 2019, he was backing up star running back, Derrick Henry in Tennessee. In 2019, Dion lewis only started in one game and ran the ball 54 times for 209 yards. This is not the Dion Lewis most people are used to seeing, but he still is an upgrade over Wayne Gallman for multiple reasons.

Effective in the passing game

Back in New England, Dion Lewis was used in the short passing game. A lot of screen passes were used along with some out routes that fit lewis’ playstyle well. I can see Dion Lewis helping the Giants with his versatility, I see Jason Garrett calling a lot of screen passes, and bubble screens. With an upgraded offensive line, the Giants offense will have more time to set up screen passes and routes designed for Lewis. This signing of Lewis was huge, the Giants haven’t had a solid running back duo since Jacobs and Bradshaw.

Will give Barkley well needed rest

All Giants’ fans know that Saquon is the star running back, but it will be nice having Lewis as a backup. A guy who is effective in both ground and passing game will allow Saquon to be at his best late in games. Last season, Barkley played on every offensive down basically. If the Giants want him to last seven-plus years, they need to start protecting him. Finally, Dion Lewis will be a huge factor for the Giants in 2020.

New York Giants: How Lorenzo Carter can improve in 2020

New York Giants, Lorenzo Carter

The New York Giants’ defense needs the best version of Lorenzo Carter in 2020. Over the past two seasons, Carter has been nothing more than an average player. The Giants will need him to start at OLB if Markus Golden goes elsewhere. Through his first two seasons, the Giants have not seen the full potential of Carter, but a new defensive scheme could benefit him, and the new additions to the defense could play a big factor as well.

Lorenzo’s 2019 season stats may seem very average, but there are several areas he needs to improve. In 2019, Carter played in 15 games and started in 12. Also, had one forced fumble, 13 quarterback hits, and 25 solo tackles. I think the solo tackle number needs to be a lot higher. In the NFL, an OLB is responsible for containing the edge and not letting running backs bounce outside the tackles.

Needs to improve his pass coverage

The Giants’ defense has struggled in the passing game over the past three seasons. Especially linebackers in general, Lorenzo Carter, was not used a lot in pass defense, but when targeted, he struggled. In 2019, Carter was targeted five times and allowed three completions for 35 yards. Now, I know it may not seem like a lot, but this is a 60% completion percentage allowed when targeted. Overall, Carter did improve from 2018, but he needs to be better if Markus Golden is no longer a Giant.

An improved secondary

This offseason, the Giants made it a focal point to fix the secondary. With the additions of Xavier McKinney, James Bradberry, and Darnay Holmes, I see the Giants having a top-20 defense in the NFL. There is a lot of young talent on defense; this is a significant factor when it comes to the development of chemistry and coalition. These three guys will be huge in the secondary for Lorenzo Carter, they will allow Carter to focus on rushing the passer and making tackles in the backfield. There will be times where Carter gets stuck in coverage, but the secondary will be behind him to bail him out if anything goes wrong. This year’s secondary is a lot more promising than 2019’s; a healthy Jabrill Peppers looking to shock the world, and McKinney, who is going to put on a show.

Increase snap count

At the end of the day, the only way Lorenzo will get better is by being on the field more. Last season, Carter played in 723 defensive snaps (65%). I want to see Carter on the field for 85% of defensive snaps. Not only will the reps help improve his game, but this will also build his confidence. I think that’s the biggest problem, Carter being confident in the defensive scheme. Hopefully, the new defensive scheme with coach Graham will fit Carter’s playstyle better. Joe Judge is all about making players’ skill set match what his plans are.

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley is tearing up the offseason workouts

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

New York Giants’ star running back Saquon Barkley is a man on a mission this offseason.

All over social media, you can see videos of Saquon Barkley putting in that work! Whether it’s in the weight room or the football field, Saquon wants to be the best of all time. There is no doubt in my mind that he wants to prove a lot of people wrong, everyone talks about how the New York Giants drafted him and how it wasn’t the right move.

Saquon will be looking to prove the haters wrong in 2020. Barkley is a generational talent that very few teams would pass on. During the 2019 season, Saquon went down with a high ankle sprain injury; he ended up only missing three-game and still ran for 1,000 yards. Around the NFL, there were a lot of reporters who doubted Saquon. He’s coming for them in 2020.

Saquon hitting the weight room

Not only is Saquon griding on the field, but he is also working hard in the weight room. As we all know, Saquon is a different breed, he can squat over 500 pounds with ease! In highschool, Saquon was not the biggest fan of working out.

“Going into my junior year, I kind of had the idea I was going to be the starting running back. I was a little smaller, so I decided to gain weight and try to get faster. I wasn’t a fan of the weight room. I thought just the God-given talent would take you where you needed to go. Now I understand that you need hard work.”

As you can tell, the weight room has worked wonders for Saquon. For a running back to be 230 pounds and run a 4.39 40 yard-dash is unheard of. However, Saquon is a mentor to the rest of the team and wants to be the leader.  Furthermore, I have huge expectations for Barkley in 2020. With a much improved offensive line, the possibilities are endless. People may call me crazy when I say this, but I think Saquon can be the next person to rush for a 2,000-yard season. The kid is that good and the Giants finally are helping him out. For example, Saquon did everything on his own his rookie season.

New York Giants: Can Binjimen Victor be the next Plaxico Burress?

New York Giants, Binjimen Victor

The New York Giants‘ offense needs a top tier receiver to bring the unit to the next level. Back in my day, Plaxico Burress was that guy. He was the go-to guy for all big-time plays. Sadly, all Giants’ fans know the downfall of Burress; he arguably cost the team another Super Bowl run in 2008.

This offseason, the Giants didn’t use any of their drafts picks on receivers, they focused on fixing the offensive line and the secondary. As all fans know, these are the two biggest concerns for the Giants. The offensive line has been bad for too long. However, the Giants added some depth to the receiver depth chart during the undrafted free agency period.

The Giants signed Binjimen Victor, a big body wideout who can be the next Burress. After watching his highlights, I realized he has the skillset and body frame, just like Burress. It gives me chills just thinking about it.

In his first three seasons at Ohio State, Victor never started a game. However, his senior year was a different story, he saw more snaps, and his production grew tremendously. In his senior season, Victor played in 12 games and recorded 573 yards and six touchdowns. This was a breakout season for him, he averaged 16.4 yards per reception. This is why I get goosebumps thinking about him because Victor and Burress are very similar in a lot of areas. In 2007, Burress averaged 14.6 yards per reception.

I think Binjimen Victor can be the next Plaxico Burress.

Standing at 6’4″ and 199 pounds, Victor is a big body receiver just like Burress, who was 6’5″. He may not be the fastest receiver on the field, but is capable of going over the top of defenders for a jump ball and can use his length to layout for overthrown passes. This could be what Daniel Jones needs, a big receiver who can make big-time plays deep downfield.

The Giants’ offense has great slot receivers, but they’re missing a deep threat like Victor. At the combine, he ran a 4.60 40 yard-dash. He has extremely long strides, very similar to Burress. I can see the Giants trying to bulk Victor up a little bit and get him around 215 pounds. I think it would be a huge factor in his game, and he could be a great blocking receiver too at that size.

Currently, Victor will have to battle to make one of the last spots on the team. If the Giants are smart, they sign him and work with him throughout 2020. However, if he doesn’t make the team, he can earn his way up from the practice squad. I can easily see him on the field this season if Engram doesn’t make the move to receiver.

The Giants’ offense will need a big body wideout to complement the slot receivers. For a guy his size, Victor is agile and can beat a cornerback out of his break. He can blow by defenders or just go over the top of them; this is what the Giants need.

His success depends on how he does in the summer training camp and preseason. The only problem for Victor is whether or not this will all go down. There has been an increase of NFL players testing positive for COVID-19. Hopefully, he gets a shot to prove himself.

New York Giants: Why Daniel Jones will be a top-10 quarterback to draft in fantasy this year

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has all the weapons around him this season to be a top ten quarterback drafted in fantasy. The second-year quarterback will have all his receivers healthy and his star running back Saquon Barkley at full strength. In 2019, there were multiple games where Daniel Jones put up monster numbers in fantasy football. Not to forget, but Daniel Jones never had all his weapons on the field at the same time. If the New York Giants’ offense can stay healthy in 2020, it will be a monster year for Daniel Jones.

In his first career start, Daniel jones put up 34.24 fantasy points. These are numbers that you see from Aaron Rodgers or Russel Wilson. The week three game was madness, Daniel Jones completed 23 passes for 336 yards and threw two touchdowns. This was an electric game to watch for Giants’ fans. Especially when Saquon went down with a high ankle sprain and missed the rest of the game. I was proud of the young kid; he stepped up and earned respect from the Giants. Once Saquon went down, I expected the Giants’ offense to fall apart.

A healthy offense

It’s a huge factor that the Giants’ offense is healthy in 2020. This will lead to success for Jones because he has so many weapons to choose from; the possibilities are endless. If Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram can stay on the field, defenses will be in trouble. The Giants’ offense has five solid options, four at receiver and Saquon out of the backfield. I can see Daniel Jones averaging 20 fantasy points a week; call me crazy if you want, but if all these guys stay healthy, watch out.

An upgraded offensive line

The receiving core is not the only thing that will make Jones great in 2020. The offensive line for the Giants needs to step up. If they don’t, the Giants are in trouble. With the addition of Andrew Thomas, I think the Giants’ offensive line is completely upgraded. It’s still a mystery for fans to see who ends up where on the offensive line, but this year’s offensive line already looks better. Also, Daniel Jones took a beating last year; there were numerous occasions where Jones would throw the ball and be on his back a second later. If the Giants offensive line improves in 2020, Jones will go off. Giving him more time will be a nightmare for a defense, especially with all those weapons. He is a smart kid; Jones will be able to pick apart defenses in 2020 with the help of Jason Garrett. The Giants’ offense could be a top-five offense in the NFL next year, don’t sleep on it.

A whole new offense

There has been a lot of talk about how Jones will struggle to learn a new offensive system, I don’ think so. The Coronavirus has made it hard for players and coaches to meet up and discuss the new offensive system. I believe this year’s offense is going to be a lot better than 2019, Jason Garrett is going to be a hero in New York. I think the new system will fit Jones and Barkley well, a good mixture of play-action passes and some ground and pound offense.

In 2020, CBS Sports is projecting a big fantasy year for Daniel Jones. They have Jones going off against some of the best defenses in the league. For the San Fransico game, they have Jones dropping 18 fantasy points, and against the Steelers, they have Jones dropping 15 points. I would be very happy with these fantasy numbers. I drafted Daniel Jones last year in the tenth round; my friends thought I was crazy. Eventually, Daniel Jones was a clutch backup for me,  Russell Wilson started to struggle, and I needed the kid to step up. He was the reason I made the playoffs.

 

New York Giants: Projected starting offensive line in 2020

New York Giants, Nate Solder, Jon Halapio, Mike Remmers

The New York Giants‘ offensive line is the team’s kryptonite; it has been for the last five years. Finally, the Giants made improvements to the offensive line through the draft and free agency. As a fan, this makes me very happy, protecting Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley is the primary concern. All fans want to see these guys play for eight-plus years. There are a lot of questions that need to be addressed this offseason. Who will start at left tackle? Nate Solder, or Andrew Thomas? Who will win the starting center job, Spencer Pulley, Nick Gates, or Shane Lemieux?

I think the end of the preseason will answer all these questions. Joe Judge and the coaching staff want the best man to win the starting job. All these players are going to get a fair shot, and it will come down to who wants it more and who excels at their position.

The best players will play. I don’t care where you got drafted, I don’t care if you’re an undrafted free agent, I don’t care if you’re old, young, traded, whatever you got there for. Everybody will have an opportunity every day to compete for a job on our roster. Every day. If you want to be on the field, be the best player. Outwork the guy in front of you. Prove your value to us, show you can handle the job, and we’re going to put you on the field and give you an opportunity.”

Andrew Thomas starting left tackle

Andrew Thomas is going to be the starting left tackle week one. He is the best option and has all the skills to play at the pro level. The Giants drafted him to fix their blind side problem and protect second-year quarterback, Daniel Jones. As we all saw, Nate Solder was not at his best last season. I still think Solder will be apart of the offensive line, just at another spot. In 2019, Andrew Thomas was a Walter Camp All-American first team, and winner of the SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy, this was Georgia’s first recipient in 21 years!

There’s no question Thomas has the athleticism and skill set to become an All-Pro lineman; having a great offensive line coach is also huge for his development. There is no reason to move Thomas to right tackle, he played both in college but excelled at Left. Coming into the draft, Andrew Thomas was the purest left tackle; the Giants made the right decision with their fourth overall pick.

Will Hernandez starting left guard

Will Hernandez has been a reliable option since he was drafted back in 2018. Since drafted, Hernandez has started in every game (32), talk about a reliable offensive lineman! In 2019, Hernandez’s number of penalties went up (4), more than his rookie year (2). This is something that can be worked on and is not that big of a deal. He played 1067 snaps in 2019, and 1027 snaps his rookie season. The Giants’ offensive line needs a gritty guy like Hernandez, who will do all the dirty work in the trenches.

Spencer Pulley starting center

The New York Giants will have a competition battle at center. For starters, I believe Jon Halapio will be cut from the team; he has sustained too many season-ending injuries. I think the Giants have better options at center, Pulley, Gates, and Lemieux will all battle it out. I feel Spencer Pulley is going to win the starting job. He already has experience playing center, it is his primary position, unlike Gates and Lemieux. In 2019, Pulley only played in four games, he only recorded one penalty and was on the field for 95 snaps. If Pulley happens to get injured and can’t play for the remainder of the season, I want the Giants to give Shane Lemieux a shot at center. Several clips have surfaced of Shane Lemieux practicing snaps during his workouts. I feel like Nick Gates is more of a guard and would rather stay there.

Kevin Zeitler starting right guard

There is no mystery behind this one, Kevin Zeitler will be the starting right guard in 2020. He battled shoulder issues in 2019. If he is healthy, we will see a very productive right guard. I see Zeitler being the leader on the offensive line, a veteran who has a lot of experience in the NFL (eight seasons). He will be a great mentor for the young guys who were just drafted. In 2019, Zeitler started 15 games, he only missed one due to a shoulder injury. In those 15 games, Zeitler averaged 93% of offensive snaps, and only had one penalty all year! All in all, the Giants need Zeitler to be the leader of the offensive line in 2020, I think he has a few more years left to play before Shane Lemieux takes his position.

Nick Gates starting right tackle

In 2020, there will be a battle to see who plays right tackle. Most people think Nate Solder is a starter next season. I think he will come off the bench and be a fill-in type player. I think Nick Gates is the better option right now until Nate Solder can prove he can still protect and be effective in the run game. I think Solder will be a great mentor for the other offensive lineman; the Giants can’t rely on him. The Giants can’t let him play left tackle and be responsible for protecting the blindside. Nick Gates only started three games in 2019, I think 2020 could be a different story, and he could be a starter week one. He did well last season, the Giants’ offensive line was awful, and Gates was the only bright spot some games.

New York Jets: Potential First Round Picks for the 2021 NFL Draft

New York Jets

While the 2021 NFL draft is 11 months away its never too early to fantasize about the New York Jets’ next first-round pick. With the second hardest schedule and Adam Gase running the team it is inevitable that the New York Jets will finish with a top 10 pick in 2021. If the Jets play their cards right, they might be able to land a transcendent talent that will help shape the future of the team for many years to come.

Greg Rousseau, Edge, Miami

Greg Rousseau came on to the scene for the Miami Hurricanes in 2019 as arguably the best pass rusher in college football racking up 15.5 sacks as a redshirt freshman. With a 6-foot 7-inch frame and natural athletic ability he could be the second coming of Julius Peppers. If Rousseau continues his dominance next season, then he will almost certainly be the first defensive player of the board. If the Jets are fortunate to land him, they will have finally taken care of that pesky pass rusher need they have had on their team for the past 15 years.

Jaylen Waddle, Wr, Alabama

Jaylen Waddle is my favorite WR coming out of next year’s draft and it is easy to see why. Waddle is as fast as Henry Ruggs with the polish of Jerry Juedy, he is an all-around wide receiver and a major threat on every down. The Jets also need a punt returner and it just so happens that Jaylen Waddle is an excellent returner. There is nothing this man cannot do. If the Jets land Jaylen Waddle, he would immediately be Sam Darnold’s number 1 for years to come and an immediate impact player.

Shaun Wade, Cb, Ohio State

Shaun Wade will have the honor of being the Buckeyes number one corner this year and potentially the number one corner entering the draft next year. Wade has excellent speed and coverage skills which will make his transition a lot easier. Wade also has experience playing in the slot which is adds a layer of versatility to his game. The Jets have not had a true shutdown corner since Darrelle Revis but that could come to an end soon if they decide to take Wade in 2021.

The New York Rangers and the NHL Face Hurdles If They Try to Return in July

New York Rangers

New York Ranger fans and hockey fans around the world received some positive news on Wednesday when reports surfaced that the NHL was looking toward a resumption of play. One of the scenarios being looked at is having an NHL team and city “host” games for multiple teams, similar to having a basketball regional like in the NCAA basketball tournament. Hopeful as this is, the NHL faces some hurdles in implementing this plan or any other during the summer months.

Ice Conditions may be problematic for the New York Rangers and other NHL players

As we detailed in an article back in March, maintaining proper ice conditions during summer months for most locations in the NHL will be very difficult. As far as the ice conditions, the NHL recommendation is for ambient air to be between 60 and 64 degrees at 40 to 44 percent humidity. Rink experts agree that it is possible for every NHL team to maintain suitable ice conditions in those warmer months. This will be an expensive venture, both in manpower and in air conditioning and maintenance costs. The experts feel that that the most important factor would be the diligence of the team ice crews, who will have to work harder and smarter than they ever have to make sure the ice surface is playable for games during the hottest days of the year. This is in part why Edmonton is being considered as a site due to it’s relatively lower warmer summer temperatures and humidity.

Can New York Rangers and other players be allowed to return on their Visas?

Two legal issues that must be addressed are player contracts and visa issues with players from other countries. Work Visa’s have specific dates which probably do not include the summer months. Also, player contracts expire on June 30. This may be an easier issue to deal with as contracts would need to be amended to allow for an extended league year through the summer. Experts feel that could be an even more difficult hurdle as compared to contract terms, which can likely be handled internally through the league and players’ association. However, it is widely thought that both the United States and Canadian government would be more than happy to help out with this issue, especially since it has been reported that if the league does not resume the 2019-20 season in a summer session, they will be facing losses of up to $1 billion.

New York Ranger’s Adam Fox: “It’s Special to Play for the Team I Rooted For”

New York Rangers

The New York Rangers should get many kudos for giving fans some kind of access to players at this time when hockey and other sports are on hold due to COVID-19. On Wednesday, Ranger’s defenseman Adam Fox took the time to answer questions on the Rangers twitter page. When the season was paused in March, Fox was having a solid season. He had scored eight goals with 34 assists and had a +22 on the plus/minus scale.

The Jericho NY native grew up a New York Ranger fan

Fox attended Pioneer High School before enrolling and playing hockey for Harvard. He was selected by the Calgary Flames in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. In June 2018, Fox’s NHL rights were traded to the Carolina Hurricanes and were then traded to the New York Rangers in April 2019. When asked about that trade, Fox replied that “I was obviously super excited getting traded to the Rangers but also was a little bittersweet because I had to leave school.” His first special memory was scoring his first goal for the Rangers, and he remembered that “Scoring my first goal was a feeling of just pure excitement. I pretty much blacked out after it went in.” 

In the terms of his memory about the Rangers, Fox could not remember anything specific about any early games he attended, but he did there was one game that stood out the most for him. “I don’t know my first memory but my favorite was going to a Stanley Cup Final game against LA. They lost the game but the atmosphere was unlike anything I’ve seen before.”

An astute fan remembered that while Fox was at Harvard, current Ranger head coach David Quinn was the head coach at Boston University and the two were on opposite benches during the historic Beanpot Hockey tournament, where Fox’s Crimson team was victorious over Quinn’s Terriers. When asked if Fox ever brings this up to coach Quinn, he diplomatically replied: “I probably wouldn’t bring up that game to Coach Quinn, probably one that he wants to forget about. It is good to have a coach though that understands the transition from college hockey and the adjustments that need to be made to be a good pro player.”

Could We See Two Strome’s Playing for the New York Rangers?

New York Rangers

There was some interesting news that could have interested the New York Rangers when Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet recently said during an appearance on Buffalo’s WGR Sports Radio 550 that Chicago may be open to listening to trade offers for Dylan Strome, the brother of Ranger’s Ryan Strome. Could the Rangers be interested in adding the 23-year-old, especially since Friedman believes there will not be much cost to acquire him? It is definitely an intriguing thought.

Could Dylan Strome help the New York Rangers?

Even though his stats haven’t been as impressive in 2019-20, he’s been a major part of the Chicago Blackhawks’ lineup as their No. 2 center behind Jonathan Toews. If the Rangers would acquire him, he would more than likely be the third center behind his brother and Mika Zibanejad, unless he or his brother switch to a wing. His history suggests that he could be a formidable third-line center. Dylan Strome had 38 points (12 goals and 26 assists) in 58 games when the NHL season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Strome was selected by Arizona with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 draft, but he didn’t make his NHL debut until playing seven games in the 2016-17 campaign. He played only 48 games for Arizona before being traded to Chicago in November of 2018. Combined with the 20 games he played for the Coyotes to open the 2018-19 season, he had 57 points (20 goals and 37 assists) over 78 total games.

Now the big question is, could the Rangers afford him, especially with the uncertainly of the salary cap for next season. Strome earned $832,500 each of the last four seasons, per Spotrac, so will most likely make more in the coming years. He is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason, so it’s possible the Blackhawks could be looking to trade him before losing him without getting anything back in return.

Ryan Strome had a twitter Q and A today, and while he did not or probably could not answer any questions related to this, he did respond to one question about whether he and his brothers are close he tweeted back: “Yeah really close. Fun to be chasing our childhood dreams at the same time.”(Younger brother Matthew is currently with the Reading Royals of the ECHL)

It is probably a longshot, but in the uncertainty of what has happened, and what may happen, one never knows.