Major Giant Concerns

The New York Giants have several major concerns as we head into another week of training camp. Not only are they faced with a shorten training camp , they must find answers and resolutions to the following questions:

1. What to do with Osi Umenyiora? At this point, the answer is obvious not only to Giant management, but to the media and fans as well. Regardless who is to blame in this, the Giants need to trade Umenyiora and get the best offer they can. originally, the Giants were looking for at least a 1st rounder as compensation, which I felt was unrealistic. The Giants could and should be able to receive a 2nd and 5th rounder as compensation or perhaps an NFL player and a draft pick for Umenyiora. There have been rumors flying around with teams like Seattle, St. Louis, Denver, Baltimore, San Diego and Atlanta as possible teams interested in Umenyiora.Whether these rumors are true or not, Umenyiora had a solid season last season and the Giants find a taker.

2. The TE position: With the lost of Kevin Boss (signed with the Raiders), the Giants need to find a TE. Currently, the Giants have Travis Beckum slated as their #1 TE. Beckum has skills as a receiver, however his blocking ability doesn’t quite match up with the Giants offensive schemes which requires their TE’s to block. Behind Beckum are two solid blockers in Jake Ballard and Bear Pascoe (who will most likely be the starting fullback, unless rookie Henry Hynoski impresses everyone in training camp and wins the job). The Giants need a TE who is not one-dimensional. The Giants need a TE who can block and catch the ball. Having a one-dimensional TE would certainly give opposing teams an idea what type of play the Giants are going to run and make the Giants a more predictable team.

3. Injury of Amukamara: Listed as a broken bone in his foot, which will sideline him for the next 2 months and possibly another full month after that to see action. The Giants face the season with Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas as the starters. The only backup depth is Aaron Ross, who thus far has been a disappointment for the Giants. The loss to Amukamara is a major setback for this team as Amukamara is the team’s best one on one cover guy (even as a rookie) and the Giants depth at DB is very thin.

Aside from these 3 issues, the Giants do have some good things to smile about. Over the next several weeks I will be following the team throughout training camp and report on any news from possibly trades to injuries.

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Giants Training Camp Update

Ryan Perrilloux, the young quaterback the Giants signed out of the UFL before the lockout began, has a tremendous arm. He showed it off with a couple of great throws on deep outs, one to Beckum and one to Ballard. Of course, Perrilloux also threw the night’s only interception, a badly thrown ball intended for Jerrel Jernigan that Brian Witherspoon hauled in. Again an uphill battle. The Giants have only carried two quarterbacks under Tom Coughlin. Eli Manning’s one and the other will likely be Sage Rosenfels or Jim Sorgi. Also, David Carr has a great shot at winning the backup spot. Undrafted free agent fullback Henry Hynoski is getting all the reps at fullback right now with Bear Pascoe unable to practice yet due to the CBA not being finalized. He didn’t do anything special Wednesday night, but the reps have to help his chances.

From Inside Football about Henry Hynoski

FB Henry Hynoski continues to show impressive hands, catching nearly everything thrown his way out of the backfield. If Bear Pascoe is moved back to tight end, the Giants would appear to be in good shape with Hynoski handling the lead blocking role.

The Giants are clearly worried about their FB position as they pursued both John Kuhn and Vontay Leach, but Hynoski has a real shot to stand out and win a roster spot.

From NJ.com/giants’s Mike Garfolo (he writes the best practice reports and game recaps of any beat writer of any team I’ve read)

The linebackers are impressing.

Translation: there’s lots of playing time to be won for the Giants’ young linebackers. And some of them stated their case by making some big plays on Wednesday night in the first full-pads practice of camp.

“They’ve been aggressive and noteworthy in their play,” coach Tom Coughlin said after practice. “Sometimes they’re in the wrong spot or something, but they recover and they seem to be able to go and make some things happen. I like the way they’re running around.”

one of the players making the biggest impression is Kenny Ingram, a former 6’6 FSU Safety. Ingram spent last year on the practice squad as he transitioned to linebacker and from reports early seems to be impressing all over the field. He could be a player to keep an eye on for Giants fans as a final roster addition this year.  Ingram, a former safety, showed his athleticism by jamming the tight end and then crossing the middle of the field to quickly make a stop on WR Darius Reynaud as he caught a ball over the middle. (S Jarrard Tarrant was there and probably should have picked the pass off but whiffed completely.) And again, Ingram used his wheels to track down RB Charles Scotton a screen pass.  From a couple of days ago: LB Kenny Ingram flashed once tonight when he did a good job of avoiding traffic to make a stop on Scott up the middle.

Also making plays is Boston College LB Mark Herzlich, who apparently will have a 60 minutes special air in September. What happens if he doesn’t make the team? Herzlich, who is being trailed by “60 Minutes” cameras for a feature to be aired in September (guess he’s making the team, huh?) came out of nowhere to make a stop on a run that looked like it was going to be a huge gainer. There was nobody in an enormous gap in the defensive line except OL Mitch Petrus, but Herzlich somehow got there to turn a big gasher into a short gainer.

Lastly the Giants 2nd round pick Marvin Austin is showing why the Giants were so excited to get him in the second round.  Promising signs from DT Marvin Austin, who absolutely rag dolled an OL on one play to throw the blocker out of the way on a run by Da’Rel Scott. He didn’t make the stop, but he blew up the play. And the way he shed the blocker was amazing. One play later, he beat OL Ike Ndukwe for a pressure on the quarterback. I’m rather sure it was Ndukwe on the play before as well, but I’m not positive because the blocker got lost in traffic and when Austin threw him to the side. Either way. Austin continues to impress, though he was drawn offside (along with DE Alex Hall) on Rosenfels’ hard count.

But who all in all has had the best training camp so far? It might be Travis Beckum.  When asked if Beckum would have a bigger role this year; Coughlin replied “Yeah, that’s the plan”.  Beckum has been all over the field catching everything thrown his way and blowing past coverage. Garafolo wrote that Beckum is more athletic as I’ve ever seen him  so far in training camp. Beckum is expected to have a major role this year, since the Giants lost Kevin Boss to the Oakland Raiders.

Are MLB Trades Done Yet?

Despite the July 31st trading deadline coming and going, all MLB teams can still acquire a player in August. Below is a breakdown of how a team can still make a trade and acquire a player for either the playoff run or for unloading a salary: So teams like the Yankees who were uncharacteristically quiet during the trading deadline, can still add a pitcher or two if needed.

  • Teams have to pass players through revocable waivers to trade them after the July 31st deadline.
  • Players acquired after August 31st can’t play in the postseason.
  • Teams will often put most of their players on waivers to determine interest, since they don’t have to give up every player who’s claimed.
  • Unclaimed players can be traded to any club in August (or even September).
  • Teams don’t have to trade players who are claimed. They can hand the player and his salary over for nothing.
  • If a team places a player on waivers after he is claimed, but not traded, the team loses the right to pull its player back. In other words, the waivers are revocable at first, but not revocable afterwards.
  • Clubs have two days to deal claimed players, but they can only negotiate a trade with one team.
  • If only one team claims a player, he can only be dealt to that team.
  • If more than one team claims a player, he can only be traded to the team in his league with the worst record.
  • If a player’s only claimed by teams in the other league, he can only be dealt to the team with the worst record.
  • Teams cannot pass players on the disabled list through waivers.

Every year, a team acquires a player after the July 31st deadline for the playoff run, so if your team didn’t make a splash during the trading deadline, there is still hope.

Giants Sign Several UFAs

  • Herzlich was perhaps the biggest name on the UDFA list. Having been a productive linebacker from the outset of his freshman year, a winner of a litany of awards and ranked as a top 50 pick before heading back to Boston College for his senior year, Herzlich was diagnosed a rare form of bone cancer known as Ewing’s sarcoma. The Giants grabbed him quickly when the period for signings opened, reportedly under a “suggestion” from ownership. We noticed a little cynicism on our comments board when he was signed, but please, people, remember: signings like these are no risk, high reward.
  • FB Henry Hynoski, Pittsburgh. Hynoski is billed as an athletic fullback who can maul a potential tackler if he gets him lined up right. Scouting reports also not solid hands and enough athletic ability to catch a few passes. He was used more as a receiver than a rusher at Pitt last year. Expected to be a 6th or 7th round pick, he hurt a hamstring at the combine that prevented him from working at his pro day.
  • OL Jarriel King, South Carolina. King brings the size of a tackle to the field, at 6–5, 317, but did not start a game at LT until midway through his senior year at South Carolina. Had some concussion issues last year year that kept him out of two games, but was named the most improved offensive lineman on the Gamecocks prior to the 2010 season, so perhaps he’s really coming into his own. At the combine, he lifted a respectable 23 reps on the bench
  • DE Justin Trattou, Flordia. At 6–3, 225 lbs, Trattou’s scouting reports contain the dreaded term “tweener.” While the Giants love fast defensive ends, Trattou sounds like a better fit to play OLB in a 3-4 system. Can you say “Clint Sintim“?
  • DE Craig Marshall, South Florida. Marshall started all but one of the games he played in last year but missed four games with a foot injury. He notched nine tackles for a loss of yards and four sacks.
  • DT Martin Parker, Richmond. Now that the Giants have cut Rocky Bernard, there may be a space open for a guy like Parker, who comes in at 300 lbs and had 13.5 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks last year. CBS scouting report says he has impressed at every level including the East-West Shrine Game and although may not get a lot of attention in a deep class at DT, is the “type of mid round pick to surprise early in his career.”
  • DT Ibrahim Abdulai, Arkansas–Pine Bluff. We could not find a lot of info on Abdulai. He’s 6–1, 301 lbs and benched 21 reps at his pro day.
  • LB Spencer Paysinger, Oregon. Paysinger’s another guy on whom there’s not a lot of scouting reports out there. He did notch eight tackles —seven unassisted — in the BCS National Championship Game against Auburn. He was also named a Pac–10 All–Conference player by a vote of the conference coaches. Played the WIL as a Duck.
  • S David Sims, Iowa State. The 5–9, 200 lbs safety clocked a 4.50 in the 40 at the combine and broke up three passes last year while making 96 tackles. Changing schools a few times and facing charges that he used a woman’s debit card didn’t help him in the draft, but Reese has found players with big talent and minor trouble before.
  • TE/LS Harry Flaherty, Princeton. Watch your back, Zak DeOssie.

Possible Giants UFA Targets

With the lockout finally over,  you can bet GM’s and coaches of every NFL team are looking at a list of UFA and or RFA in the hopes of finding talented players to help to improve the team.  Based on the Giants draft and remaining needs, I have selected 5 possible candidates for the Giants to select. Aside from the Giants own free agents, some will depart, while some will be retained.  Ahmad Bradshaw, Steve Smith, Barry Cofield, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Kevin Boss all have been tagged with a 2nd round. Which means that if they should sign elsewhere, the Giants will receive that teams 2nd round pick in next year’s draft.

There are other Giant free agents, however; I am only including the top 5 I feel made the most contributions to the team. Based on the Giants draft, it would seem to me that out of the 5 names listed above, Barry Cofield would be more likely to not be re-signed, with Kiwanuka  being the 2nd most likely to not re-sign. Also, There has been reports that Osi Umenyiora could be released by the G-men. Bradshaw, Smith and Boss should all be re-signed if possible due to the lack of depth at their positions.  UFA’s outside the Giants roster who I would look into are the following:

1. Paul Posluszny (ILB): At 26 and heading into his prime, Posluszny would be a great additions to the Giants defense. He is a tackling machine with a high motor.

2. Nnamdi Asonugha (CB): One of the top 3 CB in the league and a great man to man coverage CB. I know the Giants drafted Prince Amukamara, but if the G-men could somehow find a way to sign Asonugha, they should. Could you imagine Asonugha on one side and Amukamara on the other.

3.Justin Blalock (OT): At 27, Blalock is a solid OT in both the running and passing game. Although the Giants drafted James Brewer in the 4th round and in time he will be a starter. Signing Blalock and implanting him at the left tackle spot now and moving Diehl back to his natural left guard position, replacing Seubert would make sense.

4. Ryan Kalil (C): At 26, Kalil has established himself as one of the best young centers in the NFL. Shawn O’Hara is 33 years old and coming off surgery this past off-season. Not sure how much more he has in the tank and the Giants need to regain that classic running game that won them 2 Super Bowls.

5: Adam Podlesh (P): At 28, Podlesh averaged 43.8 yards put punt and had an excellent % of punts inside the 20. With the inconsistencies of rookie Matt Dodge, I doubt Coughlin would go another year with Dodge as the punter.

Yankees Among Several Teams Scouting Ubaldo Jimenez

With the trading deadline approaching, several teams (including the Yankees) have been scouting Ubaldo Jimenez for several weeks. The price tag for Jimenez services may be too high for most teams, including the Yankees. According to MLB Trade Rumors writer Luke Adams, the Rockies are looking for a lot if anyone wants Jimenez’s services. Here is the rest of Luke Adams article:

  • MLB.com’s Peter Gammons says the Rockies think there’s about a 10% chance Jimenez is traded this month. Colorado is looking for two prime prospects, along with one or two big-league ready players, including a starting pitcher.
  • The Rockies and Yankees match up well, according to SI.com’s Jon Heyman. Colorado likes Jesus Montero, but the Yanks are reluctant to include Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, or Ivan Nova along with Montero.
  • Heyman says (via Twitter) that the Rockies have talked to the Yankees, and “probably” the Red Sox, Tigers, Reds, and others as well.
  • Some teams interested in Jimenez believe that if the Rockies hang on to him now, he’s a decent bet to be traded this winter, when available top pitching will again be scarce and more clubs could get involved, writes Olney.
  • One more note from Olney’s article: Given Jimenez’s inexpensive price tag through 2013, there would be very little financial risk for any team acquiring the right-hander, which is one reason why the Rockies’ asking price is so high.
  • Speaking of that asking price, Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd tells Troy Renck of the Denver Post that the Rockies would have to be “absolutely overwhelmed” to move Jimenez. “It would have to be a Herschel Walkerdeal,” O’Dowd added, referring to the 1989 NFL trade that earned the nickname “The Great Train Robbery.”
  • There seems to be a potentially game-changing pitcher connected in trade rumors to the Yankees every July, and this year it’s Jimenez, writes Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News.

    Ubaldo Jimenez

Beltran Trade Tumors Heating Up!

As the trading deadline approaches, the rumors of Beltran being traded are becoming more and more of a reality. The two most talked about teams are the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox. The Mets Management has made it quite clear that they will insist on a top prospect in return, so that remains to be seen if either the Giants or Red Sox are willing to part with any of their top prospects. Regardless, both teams have expressed a need for Beltran, although the Giants seem to me to be the lesser of the two; as their lead in the NL west has increased.  In my opinion, Beltran would most flourish with the Red Sox and that potent lineup that would be surrounding him.  The big question for the Mets and their fans is who would the Red Sox give up to get Beltran? Well, if the Red Sox surrender a top prospect, my guest it would be a pitching prospect. Below is a list of the Red Sox top 20 prospects and honorable mentions (courtesy of Tom Sickel from SB Nation)

1) Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Grade B: Could rise a notch or two if he proves fully healthy in pro ball.

2) Drake Britton, LHP, Grade B: Could also rise a notch or two if he handles increased workload well.

3) Jose Iglesias, SS, Grade B: Won’t have much fantasy value, but in real baseball he will hold a job for a long time due to his glove and line drive hitting.

4) Josh Reddick, OF, Grade B-: Power potential remains, but plate discipline is a big issue.

5) Stolmy Pimentel, RHP, Grade B-: Projects as a solid number three starter for me.

6) Garin Cecchini, 3B, Grade B-: Grade could/should rise once we get some pro data to make sure he’s as good as the scouting reports.

7) Oscar Tejeda, 2B, Grade B-: I think the breakout is real.

8) Brandon Workman, RHP, Grade B-: Future workhorse starter.

9) Ryan Lavarnway, C, Grade B-: The power is legit, defense not great but not awful if he hits enough.

10) Kolbrin Vitek, 3B, Grade B-: Defense needs a lot of work, but I think the bat will be fine.

11) Chris Balcom-Miller, RHP, Grade B-: One of the best-kept secrets in the minor leagues and my pick for a big breakout in ’11.

12) Felix Doubront, LHP, Grade C+: Borderline B-, a useful lefty arm that can start or relieve.

13) Michael Bowden, RHP, Grade C+: Another flexible pitcher who can start or relieve and is ready now.

14) Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Grade C+: Glove is very strong, offense is gradually improving but plate discipline will be tested in Double-A.

15) Yamaico Navarro, INF, Grade C+: Looks like he can be a fine backup infielder to me right now with a chance to still develop beyond that.

16) Luis Exposito, C, Grade C+: Should reach the majors later this year. No outstanding attributes, but a catcher with some power will stick around awhile.

17) Lars Anderson, 1B, Grade C+: Blocked now, will go back to Pawtucket, see if he can get hot enough to interest someone in a trade. Disappointing, but could still develop into useful platoon bat.

18) Kyle Weiland, RHP, Grade C+: Strike-throwing inning-eater type.

19) Sean Coyle, 2B, Grade C+: Interesting high school bat from ’10 class.

20) Henry Ramos, OF, Grade C+: Another sleeper prospect, ’10 draft pick from Puerto Rico looked great in rookie ball.

OTHERS OF NOTE: Xander Bogaerts, SS; Bryce Brentz, OF; Keury De La Cruz, OF; Tim Federowicz, C; Alex Hassan, OF; Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF; Chris Hernandez, LHP; Pete Hissey, OF; Brandon Jacobs, OF; Che-Hsuan Lin, OF; Juan Carlos Linares, OF; Kendrick Perkins, OF; Mathew Price, RHP; Jason Rice, RHP; Manuel Rivera, LHP; Pete Ruiz, RHP; Kendal Volz, RHP; Alex Wilson, RHP; Madison Younginer, RHP.

I believe if the Mets and Red Sox make this deal. the Red Sox would offer a top prospect ( in the top 10) and another PTBNL not in the top 15. With the deadline ending by July 31, the Mets will be fielding many calls from teams looking to improve their teams for the playoff run. Other teams that could have interest are the Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and maybe the Philadelphia Phillies. Although I don’t very much the Mets would want to improve the Phillies team and chances to go to the World Series.  Nonetheless, the next 2 weeks will be interesting and there will be many reports/rumors of Beltran going to one team or another.

Carlos Beltran