Browsing Posts published by Mike Ulatoski Jr

Prospect Profiles are back, with today’s feature on Stanford tight end Coby Fleener. Fleener is one of the top tight ends in this year’s crop, mostly alternating between one or two now thanks in part to Georgia product Orson Charles’s recent DUI. Fleener is such an intriguing prospect because of his combination of size and playmaking ability, as well as his substantial experience in a pro style offense while at Stanford.

Take a closer look after the jump.

Donald Miralle/Getty Images

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With both Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum likely out for the beginning of the upcoming season after suffering torn ACLs in the Super Bowl, the Giants will assuredly do something about the tight end position in the offseason. The selection of top free agents at the position is nothing to write home about, bringing us to today’s Prospect Profile: tight end Dwayne Allen of Clemson.

Given Allen’s ability at the tight end position and the high demand for a tight end at the moment, he would be an ideal mix of value and need at the end of round one.
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As the 2012 NFL Draft approaches following the Giants’ Super XLVI victory, a safety could once again be on the team’s list of targets – similar to the 2008 Draft following the Giants’ Super Bowl XLII victory, in which they drafted Kenny Phillips.

That brings us to today’s Prospect Profile, safety Harrison Smith out of Notre Dame. While not without athletic ability, he lacks the top athleticism of other safety prospects. But the strength of Smith’s game lies in his fundamental soundness. He is a well-rounded and solid football player, who does everything well and is excellent in his execution. Let’s see if he’s a good fit after the jump.

National Football Post

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This past season as a whole (specifically the NFC Championship game) revealed to the masses that the Giants’ offensive line needs help going forward. But let’s look at it from another angle, and not overreact to one game that featured the NFL’s best front seven. For long stretches during the year and especially towards the start of the season, the offensive line was terrible. To me, this is partly because of injuries and a short training camp. An injury to Will Beatty at left tackle forced David Diehl to play two positions – and with a broken hand, too. The rushing attack was atrocious thanks slightly to Ahmad Bradshaw’s ineffective play because of a persistent foot injury, as well as Brandon Jacobs being unhappy. Finally, with a shuffling lineup up front and a brand new anchor in the middle (David Baas) it made jelling as a collective unit difficult. Tack on a shortened training camp with much less time to come together and difficulties should have been expected along the way. It wasn’t until much later in the year (later than we liked) when this unit really began to click – when a rapport was built weeks after it normally would/could/should have been.

In the past three Drafts they’ve in total drafted three linemen (two tackles, one guard): Beatty, Mitch Petrus and James Brewer. Center David Baas just signed a 5-year/$27-mil. deal. Veterans Diehl and Chris Snee are in the team’s short-term plans. Sixth man Kevin Boothe is coming off of a strong season in which he played every position along the line except tight end.

To me, it seems Big Blue has good pieces in place along the offensive line – the only lingering question mark is right tackle Kareem McKenzie. Reports are emerging that the 33-year-old will most likely not be re-signed in the offseason and for much of the year McKenzie looked the part of a replacement level player. There are plenty of talented offensive linemen in this year’s Draft. From top to bottom this is one of the more impressive guard classes that I’ve seen in recent years, and there are a few impact-from-day-one tackles.

Clearly offensive lineman is the biggest need on the offensive line. Even clearer than that, though, is the Giants don’t draft based on need. The Giants have considered taking a tackle in the first round in the last few Drafts and this year may not be any different. Let’s take a look today at a top offensive tackle prospect who could be the best player available when the Giants are on the clock – Ohio State’s Mike Adams.

Greg Bartram/US Presswire

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This is a feature we do every year, running from the start of the Giants’ offseason all the way up to the NFL Draft. For past profiles and other great Draft articles, check out our NFL Draft page.

The New York Football Giants are just six days removed from their fourth Super Bowl and eighth total NFL Championship in the franchise’s storied history.

Sports Illustrated

But you can bet the Giants’ front office has put the celebration behind and is already hard at work preparing for next season and for this April’s Draft. NY SOS is no different. Of course, us Giants fans are still riding high, but it’s time for the organization to focus on the next one, and not the most recent one.

With that, let’s kick off this year’s Prospect Profiles with Zach Brown, outside linebacker from North Carolina.
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Perry Fewell likes to point out he has one year left on his contract. CREDIT: NY Daily News

Speculation mounted in New York this season that Perry Fewell was a goner. General consensus amongst fans and media members alike was that the defensive coordinator’s job would likely be (and should be) filled by someone else (rumors of a Steve Spagnuolo return come to mind…).

Turns out Perry Fewell’s job is safer than anyone knew.

No, really. Has been for about a year now, actually. continue reading…

Shut up, Rex.

And enough with the B.S.

The New York Football Giants had all the cards stacked against them against impetuous coach Rex Ryan and his New York Jets. It was unclear how this Giants team would respond at a point of return, with their playoff lives in their hands, just a short week after laying a dud against the lowly Washington Redskins. Add in a full week of trash talking to an already hate-filled rivalry, which left myself wondering whether the Giants had fallen for the trap and played right into the over-exuberant hand of Ryan and the Jets.

The Giants responded, though, by playing up when the time called for it – playing a solid-if-unspectacular game – all the while putting the Jets’ season in jeopardy by defeating them ‘on the road’ 29-14.

With the win, the Giants improve to 8-7 heading into next week’s battle with Dallas.

Credit: Yahoo! News

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Eli Manning’s 4th quarter TD pass to TE Jake Ballard to beat the Patriots in Foxborough contained many key elements – a coverage breakdown, offensive execution, and a very familiar route concept.

The situation: Patriots 20, Giants 17. On 2nd and goal from the 1, with a chance to win the game, Eli hands off to Brandon Jacobs and he gets stuffed. Which brings us to 3rd and goal, only about a foot away from the goal line, with 19 seconds left and no timeouts. The scheme: Flat-7 (corner) combination on the goal line out of Heavy Personnel (3 TE, 2 RB), and use play action to the open (weak) side of the formation. The read: deep (corner route) to short (flat route), testing the discipline of the Pats’ defense.

Let’s break it down. continue reading…

The New York Rangers opened the 2011-12 NHL season overseas in lovely Scandinavia with games in Stockholm, Sweden, against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks. While the end result may not have been what we were hoping for, there are plenty of positives as well as things than can be fixed and improved upon.

More after the jump.

Jonathan Nackstrand/Getty Images

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At the site of their Super Bowl XLII triumph, the New York Giants completed an improbable comeback for another miraculous victory. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t pretty, and there was plenty of controversy. But the New York Football Giants are 3-1 after sneaking out of the desert with a 31-27 win over the Arizona Cardinals. The victory gives them a share of the NFC East lead with the Washington Redskins.

A 29-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Hakeem Nicks with 2:46 remaining proved to be of the game-winning variety, giving the Giants a 31-27 lead. The Giants battled back from a 27-17 deficit with 5:16 remaining to remarkably score 14 unanswered points. Eli’s pass to Nicks would normally be the play of the game but it’s the previous play everyone is talking about…
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