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PostPosted: 15 Mar 2019 07:13:00    Post subject:
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, New York Giants fans! Here are your Wednesday morning headlines.Barkley “still learning”Saquon Barkley is second in the NFL with 1,016 yards from scrimmage (135 behind the Rams Todd Gurley). He has scored seven touchdowns (five rushing, two receiving). With 519 rushing yards and 497 receiving yards he has a chance to become the third player in NFL history to gain 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same year (Roger Craig, Marshall Faulk).Yet, Barkley feels he can get better.“I’m still learning, still trying to figure out what I can do as a player, what type of player I can be,” Barkley said on Tuesday. “Every day, every time I step out on the field, I’m learning. I’m learning, trying to get better every single day, the good things I do and the things I need to improve on. Definitely just trying to become just an overall better player.”Shurmur: “Time away not off”With a bye this week, the Giants won’t practice again until next Tuesday. What was coach Pat Shurmur’s message about the break?“My message (to the players) will be private,” he said, “but generally in this situation
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, it’s really time away not time off, the importance of working here is working on fundamentals, I think it’s important they stay in shape. These are just general thoughts, certainly, and I think it’s important that everybody does some self-evaluation of ways they can get better for the last half of the season. And then stay out of trouble.”“An opportunity in everything”Veteran EDGE player Connor Barwin has been through good season and bad ones in his 10 years in the NFL. “There’s an opportunity in everything and this is really bad, but adversity can bring teams together and you could see people’s true colors,” Barwin said. “You can see who’s tough and who wants to be here and all that stuff is what can be happening now over the next two months.”Around the Inter-GoogleGiants' Kyle Lauletta has history of 'reckless' driving, speeding: Court records | NJ.comGiants QB Kyle Lauletta was charged with reckless driving while at University of Richmond and speeding twice before arrest.Raiders CB Rodgers-Cromartie retiresOakland Raiders cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie announced Tuesday that he is retiring, effective immediately. A kid with one kid and no college offers lasted 11 years in the NFL." A product of Tennessee State, he was selected by the Arizona Cardinals as the No. 16 overall pick of the 2008Former Jet and Giant Brandon Marshall released by SeahawksBrandon Marshall, who played with the New York Jets and Giants, was released from the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday. Marshall's role in the Seahawks' offense has dropped significantly throughout the course of the season. “Us taking Saquon was not a referendum on the quarterbacks, it was a referendum on Saquon – on the player he is, and on the person he is. If I was in that situation 100 times, I’d draft him 100 times.”That was Dave Gettleman during his postseason press conference last week when asked about the selection of Saquon Barkley over a quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft. Of course the Giants general manager was going to get asked about it and of course that was the way he was going to respond.But the question is going to continue to be asked, as it should
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, and how it’s going to be answered depends on how you want to view it. The Barkley conversation continues to be one that has arguments on both sides. Viewpoint: Barkley finished the season with the second-most rushing yards in the leagueOnly Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys (1,434) finished the season with more rushing yards than Barkley (1,307). His 5.0 yards per carry were also tied for ninth among 55 running backs with at least 85 carries this season. He was consistently relied upon and consistently produced. He was only the 22nd rookie since the merger to eclipse 1,300 rushing yards.Alternate viewpoint: Those yards and carries weren’t particularly efficientOn Barkley’s 261 carries, only 51 went for a first down, a rate of just 19.5 percent that ranked 39th of the 55 backs with at least 85 carries. 17 backs had a first down rate of at least 25 percent and even David Johnson, in the direst of running back situations, eclipsed 20 percent (20.5 percent). Barkley’s 51 first downs are also well below what would be expected by a back with his number of carries. The graph below charts those running backs along with their carries and first downs gained. The trendline shows about how many first downs a back should expect given the number of carries he received (Barkley in blue).Per Sports Info Solutions, Barkley’s rushing attempts produced negative-13.5 Expected Points Added (which gives a value to each play based on expectations from historical play-by-play) and that ranked 39th among this group of running backs. Just 35 percent of Barkley’s rushing attempts provided positive EPA, which ranked 45th among this group. If EPA is too fancy for you, Football Outsiders measures Success Rate by the percentage of yards gained on a given down and there, Barkley’s 41 percent Success Rate ranked 40th among 47 running backs with at least 100 carries.Viewpoint: Barkley was an asset in the passing gameBarkley was second among all running backs and 13th among all players in receptions (91) this season. His 721 receiving yards were the fourth most for a running back and was just the fifth back since the merger to eclipse 700 receiving yards in his rookie season.Alternate viewpoint: Those weren’t all that efficient, eitherLet’s go with first downs again. Just 34.1 percent of Barkley’s receptions went for a first down, which ranked 17th among 29 running backs with at least 40 targets. 10 backs, the ones usually most associated with good receiving ability, eclipsed 40 percent. Again
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, Barkley’s first down rate was well below what was expected of someone with his volume.If we look at overall efficiency on those targets, Barkley picked up just 0.8 EPA, which ranked 18th, and only 38 percent of those plays had positive EPA, 26th among this group.Usage was part of the problem for Barkley’s receiving production. Just 41.2 percent of his targets came past the line of scrimmage and only 37.4 percent of his receptions came beyond the line. There’s an argument that would make it difficult for any back to have consistent positive production. Only five backs in this sample had fewer air yards per reception than Barkley, however, four of those five had a higher positive play percentage with Dion Lewis the only exception.Viewpoint: Barkley was an elite tackle breakerPer Sports Info Solutions, Barkley led the league with 94 broken tackles combined rushing and receiving. No other player came close. The second-most total broken tackles came from Christian McCaffrey who had 62. When we adjust for how often Barkley touched the ball, he still comes out as a clear positive outlier.Here’s where he was on broken tackles on the ground among those backs with at least 85 carries:The only player remotely in Barkley’s range was Chris Carson of the Seattle Seahawks, who had more broken tackles on fewer carries.Alternate viewpoint: Nah, he was good thereThere’s really no counter.Viewpoint: The offensive line was the cause of any inefficiencyThe Giants’ offensive line really struggled this season. It went through a number of changes throughout the season with an attempt to find a combination of five players who would work the best together. It’s arguable whether that combination was ever found. That struggles and lack of consistency showed the most in the running game.Football Outsiders tracks Adjusted Line Yards, which divides credit for runs between the offensive lines and the running backs. The Giants’ offensive line ranked 29th in Adjusted Line Yards, which is the responsibility of the line, this season and 24th in stuffed rate, which measures the percentage of runs stopped at or behind the line. On the other hand, the Giants ranked first in Open Field Yards
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, which come from runs when the running back gains 10 or more yards. With better and more consistent blocking, Barkley could have gained positive yards on more plays with a higher probability to rip off a long run.Alternate viewpoint: Well, yeah, that’s kind of the pointIn the post-draft press conference, Gettleman stated part of the rationale for the Barkley pick was that he made the quarterback better, made the offensive line better, and made the defense better. Considering three of the main needs the Giants have this offseason are quarterback, offensive line, and defensive talent, we can conclude that logic is faulty at best.But let’s just stick with the offensive line. The argument against taking a running back — no matter how talented — second overall and on a team that was constructed like the Giants was that a single running back can only do so much to make an impact on offense. Even with arguably the most singularly talented running back in the league, the Giants finished 18th in rushing DVOA. Go take a look at the teams that finished above the Giants and count how many of the running backs you’d rather have over Barkley and then count the number of offensive lines you’d rather have than the Giants’. Then trying coming out of that exercise believing the running back is the most important part of that equation.ConclusionThere are numbers that can prove whatever side of the Barkley argument you want to take — though some of those hold up better under closer examination than others. What can’t really be argued is that with Barkley now on the roster, the Giants need to be better and more efficient with his touches in 2019 and there are still plenty of holes that need to be filled around him for the Giants to reach the potential they sold from the time Barkley was picked.
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PostPosted: 15 Mar 2019 07:13:00    Post subject: Adv

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