Phil Simms has seen the ‘fear’ the Giants now need

Phil Simms remembers the first meeting Dan Reeves had with his players after he was named the Giants head coach before the 1993 season.

They had just finished a difficult two-year reign under Ray Handley where discipline had slacked after the Super Bowl years of Bill Parcells.

Reeves was ready to set a more rigid tone and wasted no time.

Sit up straight, put your feet on the floor and take your hats off, Reeves barked.

Simms whispered into the ear of his center Bart Oates: Were back.

The Giants went 11-5 that season and reached the playoff as a wild-card entry. Simms credits that to the respect and discipline Reeves demanded upon his arrival. Its the kind of respect former Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur must instill as the new head coach of the Giants.

When the coach walks in the room theres got to be a little fear, Simms said during an appearance Sunday at Empire City Casino. And that line is never crossed.

You dont have to create fear by screaming. Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy instilled fear because of his persona.

His players didnt want to let him down, Simms said.

The Giants need to respect Shurmur.

Im a big believer you have to be under pressure to learn what you need to learn during practices and take it on the field, Simms said.

The Super Bowl XXI MVP signed autographs and teamed with former Giant Dhani Jones on a chalk-talk discussion before Super Bowl LII. Asked the chances of the Giants reaching Super Bowl LIII, Simms put it at about 20 percent.

Theres just so many good teams in the NFC and the NFC East, Simms said. The Eagles are in the Super Bowl, Washington was ravaged [by injuries] and the Dallas Cowboys defense was as good as any at the end of the year and is only going to get better. Thats enough to fight through.

Shurmurs ability to lead will be critical to the Giants chances.

Youve got to have great leadership, Simms said. Its everything in the NFL. Football more than anything is about coaches. Coaching can take good players and make them great and it can take really good players and make them superstars.

What Simms does like is the hiring of James Bettcher as defensive coordinator.

I thought hed be considered as a head-coaching candidate, Simms said. He runs a defense thats complicated but organized.

Simms likes the offense Shurmur brings with him from Minnesota.

Its universal, he said. There are 32 starting quarterbacks in the league and 32 can run his offense. I could have run that offense when I was 40 and when I was 20. Its awesome.

But the tone must be set during that first meeting during OTAs.

‘100 percent’ Gleyber Torres can change Yankees’ offseason plans

Throughout the offseason, general manager Brian Cashman has said Gleyber Torres would come into spring training with a chance of winning an everyday job.

Now, the 21-year-old is about to get his tryout.

Im super excited, Torres told MLB.com in Tampa on Monday, where he spent much of the winter, rehabbing from the injury to his non-throwing elbow that resulted in Tommy John surgery and ended his 2017 season.

Right now, I feel pretty good. Last year, I missed a lot of months of my season, but now Im excited to come to work and make sure my arm and everything feels right 100 percent again and play the game.

The spotlight will be on Torres, as well as Miguel Andujar, during camp especially if the Yankees dont bring in another veteran player to compete for the second or third base job.

For now, they have Jace Peterson and Danny Espinosa on minor league deals, but more proven veterans such as Todd Frazier and Neil Walker remain available in this historically slow-moving free-agent market.

A reunion with Frazier is still a possibility, but the 31-year-old is seeking a multi-year deal, which may not suit the Yankees needs.

The team remains determined to stay under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold, and the presence of prospects like Torres, who opened eyes during spring training last year and may have had an opportunity to reach the majors later in the season, along with Andujar, is a key reason managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has been adamant about being able to reset their tax base and still get back to the playoffs.

A year ago, Torres went 13-for-29 with nine extra-base hits in the spring, looking very much like the player the Yankees were hoping they got when he came from the Cubs in 2016 as the main piece of the return for Aroldis Chapman.

He followed the strong spring with a solid start to the regular season with Double-A Trenton, quickly earning a promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after just 32 games.

Torres hit well at SWB, with an .863 OPS in 96 plate appearances, before he got hurt performing a hook slide into home plate on June 17.

The injury cut short his first full season in the Yankees organization and prevented him from playing in the offseason.

Although Torres wanted to play winter ball in his native Venezuela, the Yankees preferred he work out in Tampa to focus on his rehab and reduce the risk of any setbacks.

If Torres is able to build on what he did last spring and in the first of half of 2017, he would no doubt give the Yankees something to think about come Opening Day, but they also can preserve a year of service time by keeping Torres in the minors until April 16.

Regardless of when he makes his debut, Torres development figures to go a long way toward determining whether the Yankees will be able to match their unexpected success from a year ago.

Rick Nash gives Rangers his trade list as reality hits

DALLAS — Rick Nash was expecting it, but that didn’t make it any easier when it finally became a reality.

Nash was asked by general manager Jeff Gorton to submit his list of 18 teams he would not accept a trade to, meaning there are 12 remaining that Gorton can deal with in the lead-up to the Feb. 26 deadline. The 33-year-old Nash is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer as his eight-year, $62.4 million deal expires.

Maybe never quite living up to the $7.8 million annual salary-cap hit, Nash always had huge respect inside the locker room and around the league. Now it’s up to Gorton to see what he can get in return as his team prepares for a retooling.

“It’s disappointing, it sucks,” Nash said before his (current) team’s game against the Stars on Monday night. “I love being a Ranger, love being in New York. It’s just the things that happen when your team doesn’t win and they have to make business decisions. It’s really disappointing.”

There is also a human element to this equation, as Nash has had two children with wife Jessica since coming to the Rangers in the blockbuster trade with the Blue Jackets during the summer of 2012. His oldest is 3-year-old son McLaren, and Nash doesn’t know how he might break the news to him about a trade.

“I have no idea how I’m going to explain to my son that he can’t cheer for the Rangers. That definitely went through my head,” Nash said. “Every time he sees a goal, he starts singing the song. It’s tough, but it’s the reality. It’s the business side of it. When you go through certain things of where you could end up, you definitely think about your family and your kids and the best situation to win. I mean, it’s tough.”

Nash had been holding onto a sliver of hope that this might not happen, and he might be able to finish out the season with the Rangers. But from Gorton’s perspective, that is likely unfeasible.

“Sometimes these things don’t happen and we can move on and everything will be great — I can stay a Ranger, live in New York and it’s the best,” Nash said. “I haven’t been to that thought process just yet.”

Gorton will certainly be looking for a first-round pick in exchange for Nash, who has 15 goals and 25 points in 52 games this season. The No. 1-overall pick in 2002 has 289 career goals in 674 regular-season games, with 142 goals coming in 367 games as a Ranger. He has scored more than 30 in eight of his first 14 seasons, and more than 40 three times.

He has excelled as a defensive forward in recent years, but never shied away from the fact that he knew his job was to score more than he was. He also had an idea this was coming, with the Rangers having gone 6-10-2 over their previous 18.

“You would kind of be stupid not to, really,” Nash said. “When you lose games, things are going to change. I’ve been on the other end of this a lot of times, seen guys go through it. Now it’s my turn. It’s not a fun feeling, but you understand the business situation.”

So for now, Nash said he is going to “play for the guys in the room. I’ve been here for six years now and these guys mean a lot to me. You have to be a professional about it. You have to understand this is a business, but you have to show up, you have to put your work boots on and play for the guys in this room, play for the Rangers and play for the city.”

And on his list are teams that he thinks have a chance to win the Stanley Cup this season. Thinking about that list and actually being asked to compile it are two very different things.

“When I got asked I was definitely in shock at first. You expect it’s going to happen, but you don’t know the feeling until it actually happens when they ask you to submit a list,” Nash said. “My number one goal is to win a Cup with the Rangers and have a successful season with the Rangers. It’s unfortunate, but the business side of it.”

Forward Jimmy Vesey did sustain a concussion when he also was hit in the head on Saturday, a play that earned Nashville forward Filip Forsberg a three-game suspension. Vesey was going through concussion protocol and was with the team in Dallas, going through a light workout on Monday morning.

Set to come into the lineup up front was recent call-up Vinni Lettieri, while Steven Kampfer was set to replace Staal on the back end. Henrik Lundqvist was set to get his third start in a row.

Josh McDaniels’ Patriots exit is increasingly awkward

It appears Josh McDaniels will be the next coach of the Colts, though the Patriots are making it as agonizing as possible.

The Patriots offensive coordinators future ultimately seemed set weeks ago when it was expected that McDaniels would take the helm in Indianapolis. But now theres some a little concern he might stay put in New England especially with him and the Patriots dodging questions about his future following their 41-33 Super Bowl LII loss to the Eagles on Sunday night.

Unlike defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who apparently notified the Patriots he intends to leave for the Lions job, McDaniels hasnt told the organization that hes jumping ship for the coaching gig with the Colts, Pro Football Talk reported Sunday afternoon. That report was followed up during the game when the site reportedtheres increasing chatter that McDaniels might not leave the Patriots.

McDaniels was extremely short with one reporter who questioned if he was taking the Colts job after the loss.

Im not going to talk about that tonight, chimed McDaniels.

Fair enough;Patricia did the same after the Patriots emotional loss.

Mike Chappell, whos been covering the Colts since 1984, reported early Monday morning that Indianapolis was moving forward with McDaniels as its head coach, saying the Colts would be royally pissed if the two sides break the unofficial agreement in place.

But Monday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said he has no idea about McDaniels status.

So what happens will be decided in the coming days. Perhaps McDaniels is waiting to see if Belichick is preparing his retirement Belichick didnt entertain those questions Monday.

The Colts need a head coach and the Patriots need clarity, and neither side has it officially.

Steelers receiver goes after Blake Griffin’s Kardashian model

JuJu Smith-Schuster hopes Blake Griffins abrupt exit from Los Angeles will do wonders for his love life.

After the Clippers power forward was shockingly traded to the Detroit Pistons last week ahead of the NBAs trade deadline, the Steelers rookie hit up Griffins rumored gal pal, Kendall Jenner, Sunday afternoon on Twitter.

Yo so @KendallJenner we got next right #GodsPlan, the 21-year-old receiver wrote, before following up minutes later with three waving emoji hands and a gif of the Warriors torching the Clippers.

Jenner, 22, surfaced briefly on social media Sunday, honoring the birth of sister Kylies daughter, but didnt respond to Smith-Schuster, who played his college ball at USC. It is unclear if the supermodel will be looking to rebound with another athlete in the near future.

After Griffin and Jenner kept their summer romance under the radar, a source told People in January the couple were starting to pump the brakes.

Blake and Kendall have been cooling off recently, but theyre not officially broken up, the insider revealed.

Fortunately for new Piston Griffin, 28, Jenners lips arent as loose as his other exes.

Tim Hardaway faces the music after horrid late-game decision

A day later, Tim Hardaway Jr. was willing to accept the blame. He faced the music 24 hours after his late-game miscue contributed to a dreadful loss to the Hawks and and pointed the finger at himself, for his shooting woes and Sundays costly mental mistake.

These last two games are definitely on me, Hardaway said Monday following practice. Had a chance to seal the game in Milwaukee [on Friday], didnt do it. Had the opportunity to bring the ball [out] previous game against the Hawks, didnt do that as well. If I did, some of the clock wouldve probably went down, and we had an opportunity to win the game.

Hardaway is in the midst of a shooting funk, 5-of-33 over the past three games and 1-for-15 from 3-point range. He went 1-for-14 from the field Friday in a last-second loss to the Bucksand shot 3-of-9 on Sunday. But it was his decision to shoot with under a minute left following an offensive rebound and the Knicks up four that contributed to the defeat. Hardaway, who called it a bonehead play, then promptly blew off the media Sunday, drawing more criticism.

I got the offensive rebound, felt like there was a little bit of contact, so first instinct as a scorer, shooter, put the ball up, he said. But I have to be smarter than that. I have to be a lot smarter than that as a ballplayer.

Thats on me, thats not on nobody else but myself. I watched film of it, got better from it, learned from it, and moving forward.

Hardaway has refused to use rust as an excuse. His mind-set is to work through his struggles. But the time off he missed 20 games with a stress reaction in his lower left leg seems like a factor to coach Jeff Hornacek. While he performed well initially upon returning, he has looked off of late.

When someone is out six weeks theyre going to come back and have to shake the rustiness out, the coach said. For our schedule when he came back, its not a lot of practice days. With limited minutes youre trying to find that flow. But hell get it back.

Hardaway also addressed reporters at the beginning of his interview session and explained his behavior, apologizing for not talking after the loss he helped create.

My emotions definitely got the best of me, Hardaway said. Just an emotional game, and I just wanted to win really bad. Its nothing personal.

Premier League referee stars in the season’s most insane finish

It took awhile, but Liverpool and Tottenhams 2-2 draw lived up to the hype Sunday afternoon. The reason? The most dramatic final ten minutes of soccer youre likely to see this season.

During that final period, an intense but underwhelming game mutated into one unlikely to be forgotten anytime soon thanks to some curious referring, a marvelous solo goal and an extremely controversial last-minute penalty kick.

After Spurs Victor Wanyama scored an unstoppable screamer from 30 yards to knot things up at one in the 80th minute more on that later the game was up for grabs. Four minutes later, it looked like it was the London sides for the taking after Harry Kane was awarded a penalty. But there were two very big problems with referee Jon Moss call: 1) Kane was offsides and 2) Liverpools keeper, Loris Karius, hadnt fouled, or even made contact, with the striker. With the chance to put his Spurs on top and score his 100th goal for the club, the forward blew it, firing his shot directly into Karius palms. As they say, ball dont lie.

Perhaps inspired by their near brush with defeat, Liverpool got a second wind and started to bear down on the Tottenham goal. Then, in the 91st minutes, the Reds Mohamed Salah, scorer of a slapstick opener, mazed through four defenders and calmly fired the ball right through a diving Hugo Lloris. The team and all of Anfield erupted, as it looked like theyd clinched the three points that would move them that much closer to qualifying for the Champions League for a second straight season.

But the already crazy game still had one more twist left. And it came in the final minute of stoppage time via the referee. A penalty shout was initially waved off by Mossuntil his insistent flag wavinglinesman convinced him that Liverpools Virgil Van Dijk had hacked down Erik Lamela in the box. The only problem was that replays showed the defender pulled back in an attempt to avoid the forward, who, in addition to being marginally offsides when the play started, made the most of whatever little contact there was. The call gave Kane another chance at No. 100, and this one he converted easily, to earn his team a draw and rescue their own chances of a top-four finish.

The post-game interviews told you everything you needed to know about the game, with Liverpools Jurgen Klopp saying, If I say what I think, Id pay the biggest fine in football, while Spurs Mauricio Pochettino said Moss was right in every single decision. The quotes wont come as a surprise to anyone, but they also highlight just how subjective the sport can be. Just a week after Video Assistant Referees (VAR) technology needlessly slowed an FA Cup match to a crawl and made everyone wonder if it was even necessary, this game was a perfect example of why the technology needs to be figured out. Fans want to see players like Salah and Wanyama decide a game, not a referee like Moss.

Based on the measure of play, a draw wasnt an unfair way for the game to end. After a back and forth first half, Spurs were comfortably on top during the second. But thats not how the game will be remembered. Nor will it be remembered for two goal-of-the-season contenders. Instead, itll be remembered for two calls by Moss. The game was without a doubt great theater, but unless youre a Spurs fan, it probably left you with a sour taste in your mouth.

Victor Wanyama, Liverpool 2-2 Spurs

Wanyamas goal to tie things up was a beauty which is a shame because it will be overshadowed by the games controversy. With the ball rolling towards him ten yards outside the box, the midfielder reared back and made absolutely perfect contact to score what will surely be one of the goals of the season.

Every team in the bottom half of the table

As intense as the competition for the final three Champions League spots may be, it is nothing compared to the fight for safety at the bottom of the table. As of today, there are a measly seven points separating 11th and 20th place. With 12 games left in the season, its entirely possible that we wont have a good idea of whom is safe from relegation until the final week of the season.

Seahawk loses dad, much of family in ‘arson fire’

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark said his father and three other family members were killed in an arson fire in Cleveland last week.

My father was killed in an arson fire along with 3 other members of my family on the East Side of Cleveland. Pray for me and my family during this time, Clark tweeted Sunday evening.

My father was killed in an arson fire along with 3 other members of my family on the East Side of Cleveland. Pray for me and my family during this time. pic.twitter.com/bjXxHCRe4n

Clark retweeted a Jan. 30 post from the Cleveland Fire Department that said the bodies of four victims from a fire on the citys east side had been located and recovered.

The entire Seahawks family is mourning with Frank Clark and his loved ones after their tragic loss, the team said Sunday in a statement. Our thoughts and prayers will be pouring out to Frank and his family during their time of grieving.

The fire began at 1 a.m. last Tuesday and investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire, according to Cleveland.com.

The victims were identified as Alfonso Lathan Jr., 46; his 3-year-old son, Alfonso Lathan III; his 8-year-old granddaughter, Nyiah Lathan; and his 44-year-old nephew, who was not named, according to Cleveland.com. Alfonso Lathans wife, Gianna Lathan, jumped out of a second-story window to escape the fire.

Clark, 24, was a second-round pick by the Seahawks out of Michigan in 2015. He has 22 sacks in three seasons with Seattle. In 2017, Clark recorded 32 tackles and nine sacks in 16 games.

The Patriots have just entered the great unknown

MINNEAPOLIS The green and white confetti was still on the field at U.S. Bank Stadium when the questions about next year began for the Patriots.

The future is cloudy for the team that lost Super Bowl LII on Sunday night. Since an ESPN story appeared a month ago, there have been questions about whether the Patriots would undergo a dramatic makeover before next year. There have been questions about whether coach Bill Belichick would leave, whether Tom Brady would retire and how much longer this Patriots group could last.

Throwing another log on the speculation fire, tight end Rob Gronkowski basically confirmed he is mulling retirement when asked about it after the game.

While the futures of Belichick, Brady and Gronkowski are being speculated on, it should become official in the next day or so that both Patriots coordinators are leaving. The Lions are expected to name defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as their head coach and the Colts are expected to tab offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as theirs.

It all sets up a very intriguing offseason for a team that usually has very little drama around it.

Belichick was in no mood to discuss his future after the game Sunday.

Im just talking about this game, he said when asked about his plans.

But we should know shortly whether the whispers around the league that he might be finished with the Patriots are true. The NFL Network reported that Belichick, Brady and owner Robert Kraft will meet soon to hammer out any issues that might exist. ESPNs bombshell report said that tension is running high between the three and many inside the Patriots organization believe their magical run might be coming to an end.

Brady certainly did not look finished on Sunday night, throwing for 505 yards and three touchdowns in the loss to the Eagles. Brady, 40, has repeatedly said he wants to play into his mid-40s. After the game, he said he hopes to be back.

I expect to be back, Brady said. Its 15 minutes after the game ended, so I would like to process this. I dont see why I wouldnt be back.

Brady sounded weary after the loss, but there is no reason to expect him to retire. It is safe to assume Brady assured the Patriots he was going to continue playing for a few years before they traded away backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers at the trade deadline.

No one is going to feel sorry for us, Brady said. Well evaluate like we always do. Im sure everyone is pretty tired after a long year, thats football.

The real twist of the night was Gronkowski not squashing any idea of retiring. He was asked about pregame speculation he might retire. The 28-year-old did not laugh it off.

I dont know how you heard that, Gronkowski said when asked if he was considering retirement, but, I mean, Im definitely going to look at my future, for sure. Im going to sit down the next couple of weeks and see where Im at.

Gronkowski has two years left on his contract, and it would be a shock if he walked away in his prime. It may just be fatigue at the end of the season that has him thinking about quitting.

One Patriots Super Bowl hero looks like he is definitely a goner. Cornerback Malcolm Butler played no defensive snaps on Sunday, a shocking move by Belichick. Butler is scheduled to become a free agent in March, and the Patriots clearly have soured on him for whatever reason.

This will be one interesting offseason in Foxborough.

The worst part for the Giants: Eagles may only be getting started

MINNEAPOLIS The Eagles dethroned the Patriots and along the way might as well have wagged their fingers in disparaging fashion at the Giants and the rest of the NFC East.

Let the stunning 41-33 victory in Super Bowl LII be a warning shot to new Giants general manager Dave Gettleman and new head coach Pat Shurmur, to 37-year old quarterback Eli Manning and star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. At this time last year, the Eagles were coming off a 7-9 season and a last-place finish in the division. A year later, they are a daunting, green obstruction that the new Giants brain trust must try to navigate around.

The question, posed by The Post prior to the Eagles winning their first Super Bowl in franchise history, to Howie Roseman was this: Are the Eagles poised to dominate the NFC East for years to come?

Slow down, cautioned Philadelphias executive vice president of football operations.

I think we got to take it year by year, Roseman said. After this game we have a challenging offseason like we always do. Weve got a lot of decisions to make. We just want to capitalize on this moment right now. Those big-picture questions well probably figure out at a later date.

The Eagles capitalized on this moment in breathless and prolific fashion, engaging in the most outrageous offensive eruption the Super Bowl has ever seen. That they did it with a backup quarterback, Nick Foles, speaks to their preparedness. That they did it with Doug Pederson, a second-year head coach, is a nod to their potential and a challenge to Shurmur, who inherits a 3-13 mess. That they did it with Roseman, who won a power struggle with since-deposed Chip Kelly to build a versatile and deep roster, is a nudge to Gettleman to get this right to get within hailing distance of the new Beasts of the East.

The Eagles appear capable of taking ownership of the NFC East the way no team has done for more than a decade.

I think its a little bit of the nature of the National Football League, Roseman said. Six of the eight playoff teams were not in the playoffs last year. Hopefully we can buck that trend going forward.

Roseman has his franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz, and a second-string quarterback (Foles) who was the MVP of the Super Bowl and a magnificent bargaining chip if the Eagles want to trade him and gain more talent. This was not the smoothest of rides for the Eagles and not only because they lost Wentz the favorite to win the leagues Most Valuable Player award before he tore up his knee on Dec. 10. The Eagles had to overcome season-ending injuries to left tackle Jason Peters, running back Darren Sproles, linebacker Jordan Hicks and special teams ace Chris Maragos.

To be in a position where one injury derails your ability to compete, we didnt want that to happen, so we wanted to make sure we build up as much depth as possible, Roseman said. Youve seen it that maybe in the past we would go for younger players, but here we brought in some veteran guys to fill those roles, because we felt like we had a good football team and we wanted to be able to have this next-man-up mentality where guys could come in and play at a high level, where maybe taking it on the chin wasnt as much as we had done in the past.

Can the Giants hope to compete with this Eagles powerhouse? Manning has two years remaining on his contract, and at his age, he will not be in position to battle Wentz for years to come. Thus, with the No. 2 pick in the draft, securing the quarterback of the future appears to be a necessity for Gettleman. Shurmur is reputed to be an excellent offensive mastermind, and he will call the plays in his first season as the Giants head coach. He has a track record, but will have to elevate his performance in order to rise to Pedersons level. Pedersons Philly Special play design direct snap to rookie running back Corey Clement, who pitches the ball back to backup tight end Trey Burton, who flips a touchdown pass to Foles was a thing of beauty.

So, the Eagles have thrown down the gauntlet. Can the Giants possibly find a way to pick it up?