<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Capital Games]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcwashington.com/blogs/capital-games http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usMon, 25 Sep 2017 22:18:54 -0400Mon, 25 Sep 2017 22:18:54 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Sports Junkies: Big Win for Redskins Shows Team's Potential]]> Mon, 25 Sep 2017 19:56:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000020302086_1200x675_1054700611867.jpg

The Sports Junkies from 106.7 the Fan provided their take on the Redskins win over the Raiders. What the guys are saying about the hot topics from Sunday’s primetime victory, including big performances by the defense and running back Chris Thompson.

<![CDATA[Sports Junkies: What Went Right, What Went Wrong in Redskins Win]]> Mon, 18 Sep 2017 19:54:50 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000020219876_1200x675_1049361987727.jpg

The Sports Junkies from 106.7 the Fan join forces with News4 Sports to discuss the Redskins big win over the Rams and look ahead to next week’s matchup with the Raiders on Sunday Night Football.

<![CDATA[Redskins Rewind: The Good, the Pain, the Stats From Week 2]]> Mon, 18 Sep 2017 14:25:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Redskins+Rams2017.jpg

The Washington Redskins did a few things on Sunday. Most obviously, they defeated the Los Angeles Rams 27-20 despite playing on the road, suffering several injuries and facing former offensive coordinator/play caller and wunderkind Sean McVay. Turns out that the Redskins could indeed thrive despite McVay knowing everything about coach Jay Gruden’s thoughts and feelings, or whatever the narrative was entering the pivotal Week 2 matchup.

  • Watching a Redskins team run and run and run some more was a throwback to the John Riggins era and when the NFL had a team in Los Angeles. Oh, wait, never mind. Robert Kelley (78 yards), Chris Thompson (77) and Samaje Perine (67) all had their moments as Washington had three players rush for at least 65 yards for the first time since 1957.
  • Kelley, on his way to a monster performance, exited in the first half with a possible fractured rib. Losing “Fat Rob” even for a little bit would be a blow and could lead to the Redskins elevating Mack Brown to the active roster on game day. However, the real intrigue from Sunday involved the effective run-blocking from the line and tight ends plus Gruden’s commitment to the ground game. Perhaps the latter was a mere one-off, Gruden’s way of crossing up his former protégé McVay. Regardless, if those two scenarios remain in play, the Redskins have a good chance for success Sunday night in Week 3 against a Raiders defense allowing 4.8 yards per carry thru two games.
  • Kirk Cousins struggled completing passes of 20 yards or more in the Week 1 loss to Philadelphia. By struggling we mean he didn’t complete any, none. Good news: He solved the problem Sunday – by not throwing a single pass over 19 yards, according to Pro Football Focus. Ha, that’s sarcasm folks, though effective enough against Los Angeles. The passing game remains a work in progress, which is problematic considering it was the offense’s strength over the past two seasons. There’s a chance for more problems depending on tight end Jordan Reed’s shoulder injury update.
  • Three played all 50 snaps on defense: Safety D.J. Swearinger, cornerback Bashaud Breeland and inside linebacker Mason Foster, who did so despite dislocating his shoulder. Foster had the shoulder popped back into place and then helped the Redskins move into a first place tie in the NFC East with a game-clinching interception.
  • Cornerback Josh Norman (44) and inside linebacker Zach Brown (46) likely wouldn’t have missed as snap for a second week in a row, but both were among the players banged up Sunday. Norman roughed up Rams running back Todd Gurley with his patented “Peanut Punch,” causing two forced fumbles. For all the legitimate hype with his cover skills, Norman’s willingness and effectiveness in the run game remains vital. Perhaps that’s his way to land new haters.
  • Gruden was telling the truth. Josh Doctson did indeed play more in Week 2 even though the wide receiver was limited all week in practice with a tight hamstring. Doctson received 29 snaps, just one less than Ryan Grant and not terribly far behind starter Jamison Crowder (38). Oh, he also had more targets this week. Well, target as in one, his first of the season, on yet another unsuccessful fade pass around the goal line. Doctson did play more, perhaps played through an injury and contributed as a run blocker. Progress, at least a little.
  • Preston Smith registered a sack for the second consecutive week. The edge rusher had only 4.5 sacks last year and his first one didn’t come until Week 7.
  • Training camp Superman remains in Clark Kent mode. Terrelle Pryor’s 23-yard catch and run on the final possession set up the game-winning touchdown. It was only his second reception of the day as his percentage of Washington’s overall targets plummeted from Week 1. The Redskins need more for the talk of no more DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon to go away.
  • Pro Football Focus gave defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis the best overall grade among all Washington defenders Sunday thanks to four quarterback pressures on just 19 pass rush attempts according to PFF. Reminder: The Redskins released their 2016 fifth-round pick before Week 1 last season and then added him to the practice squad where any other team could have snagged the former Temple standout. Lucky for Washington, nobody did.

Ben Standig talks Wizards daily on the Locked on Wizards podcast, covers the Redskins for BreakingBurgundy.com and tweets way too much via @benstandig.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Harper's Heroes: Kids Battling Cancer Spend Day at the Ballpark]]> Tue, 12 Sep 2017 21:05:32 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000020145417_1200x675_1044958787796.jpg

News4's Carol Maloney meets Harper's Heroes -- kids battling cancer who get to spend a day at the ballpark with Nationals star Bryce Harper.

<![CDATA[The Sports Junkies: Redskins Opener, Nationals Clincher]]> Mon, 11 Sep 2017 19:34:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000020130552_1200x675_1044323907646.jpg

The Sports Junkies from 106.7 the fan recap the Redskins' season opening loss, look ahead to the next game and weigh in on the Nationals' playoff chances after they clinched the division.

<![CDATA[Tailgate 101: Getting Ready for the Redskins Home Opener]]> Fri, 08 Sep 2017 07:33:23 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Redskins_Home_Opener.jpg

The Redskins biggest fans are getting ready for the team's home opener. News4's Molette Green has more on how to throw the perfect tailgate. 

<![CDATA[Redskins Preseason Recap: Offense Still Lacking Rhythm]]> Sun, 27 Aug 2017 20:14:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Redskins+Derek+Carrier.jpg

The Washington Redskins completed their third preseason game on Sunday with a 23-17 win against the Cincinnati Bengals. You already know the result isn’t relevant. Many recognize the third preseason game is the most important of the standard four because it serves as the final test drive for the starters. What’s clear is the Redskins Kirk Cousins-led offense needs a tune-up and quick.

Passing Game

Gloria Estefan once sang, “The rhythm is going to get you.” She clearly didn’t have the Redskins starting offense during the 2017 preseason in mind.

One stat and one possession explain why’s there should be legitimate trepidation with the Cousins-led attack as the Sept. 10 season opener draws closer. With the starting offense on the through three games, Washington went 3-and-out in nine of 15 possessions, including a trio on Sunday. The last one, the Redskins’ first of the second half, came against the Bengals’ backups.

Washington gained one yard on its first three possessions. An illegal shift penalty wiped out a potential first down on the opening series. Pressure on Cousins led to an intentional grounding on third-and-long, ending the second possession. Then, after a Cincinnati turnover came a four-play drive for minus-two yards then ended with a field goal.

Pass protection was spotty. Same for Cousins’ pocket awareness, though that wasn’t a factor on Vontaze Burfict’s 62-yard interception return for a touchdown. Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor had a nice 17-yard catch in traffic, but also dropped an easy attempt and continues showing he’s still learn the position nuances. He wasn’t alone with a drop, but don’t put all that on Cousins’s poor stat line (10 of 19 for 109 yards, interception).

Practice time for the next two weeks becomes crucial with backups set to face Tampa Bay in the preseason finale on Thursday. Any current panic over the passing game could look silly with a strong showing against the Eagles. If that happens, it will occur with zero momentum.

Runner Runner

Robert Kelley is the Redskins’ starting running back and will be Week 1 against the Eagles. No, head coach Jay Gruden hasn’t stated that so directly, but that’s been the obvious case all summer. That Kelley had 51 yards on 10 carries including a 21-yard burst against the Bengals’ starters should solidify any doubt creeping in from the outside.

Whether Samaje Perine eventually takes over is another story and one that won't unfold until deeper into the season.

Stout Enough

The Bengals opened the game with a 15-play, 87-yard touchdown drive. Let's just say the Redskins defense looked much better from there. Cincinnati's starting offense went fumble, punt, punt on its final three drives of the half. Cornerback Bashaud Breeland and inside linebacker Martrell Spaight were among the defensive standouts.

In and Out

Tight end Jordan Reed (toe) and pass rusher Junior Galette (hamstring) made their long-anticipated preseason debuts. Both seemingly exited without any setbacks. Reed is the straw that stirs the drink for the Redskins’ offense. The two weeks of practice time will be nice for his reintegration, but all looked fine. For Galette, his presence is key for a pass rush that is now without Trent Murphy. For now, both avoiding additional injury is all that matters. … While those two played, wide receiver Josh Doctson and linebacker Ryan Anderson (stinger) did not. Doctson missed sometime this summer with a hamstring injury, but there was no sense the 2016 first rounder would sit out Sunday. …

Nose tackle Phil Taylor, one of the feel-good stories of the summer, exited in the first quarter with a left quad injury and did not return. … Rookie center Chase Roullier started in place of Spencer Long (knee surgery) and held up. There were no obvious snap exchange gaffes with Cousins and the sixth-round pick had positives with run blocking. … Safety Fish Smithson remains a roster long shot, but the undrafted free agent also keeps making plays including an interception in the second half.

Ben Standig talks Wizards daily on the Locked on Wizards podcast, covers the Redskins for BreakingBurgundy.com and tweets way too much via @benstandig.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Redskins Rookies Moreau, Nicholson Strike in Debut]]> Sun, 20 Aug 2017 19:06:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Redskins5.jpg

Moreau and Nicholson isn’t the name of a D.C. law firm, midday radio show or a Las Vegas showroom act. We’re not talking about a 1980s R&B duo, a political ticket or a buddy cop flick. Truth is, no single act connects these two names together. Yet it’s hard thinking about Fabian Moreau separate from fellow rookie defensive back Montae Nicholson – and how this twosome could impact the Redskins’ future.

The Redskins drafted Moreau, a cornerback from UCLA, in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Nicholson, a Michigan State safety, came one round later. Both arrived with injuries – pectoral for Moreau, labrum for Nicholson – that would keep them out of all offseason practices.

The roommates underwent treatment and rehab work, often simultaneous. Both made their training camp debuts Aug. 13. Both played their first NFL game in Saturday’s 21-17 preseason loss to the Green Bay Packers.

So when Moreau made the first splash play between the tandem, forcing a fumble with a perfectly timed hit on Green Bay punt returner Trevor Davis, Nicholson felt energized.

“(Fabian) doing that definitely got me fired up because we’ve kind of built a bond together,” said an ear-to-ear grinning Nicholson in the Redskins locker room at FedEx Field. “He made the tackle, but it was like I made the tackle. Definitely excited.”

Moreau’s 4.35 speed and passion for special teams put him in position for the big blow.

“I saw (Davis) catch the ball. Just shoot my shot and hit him,” Moreau said of the timing.

Somebody else expressed enthusiasm postgame with the play of the young defensive backs. Head coach Jay Gruden singled out the pair when discussing Washington’s defensive effort against Green Bay.

“I think Montae, and I think, I was pleased with Fabian. They played some extensive minutes, they played pretty good I think,” Gruden said. “So, there’s some guys that I’m really anxious to see tomorrow on tape.”

The play-by-play recap shows Moreau got beat on a 38-yard pass to Packers wide receiver Jeff Janis, setting up Green Bay’s second touchdown. The film Gruden watches will show the 6-foot corner in solid position on the play. The throw from quarterback Brett Hundley was just better.

Moreau struck an appropriate humble tone for a rookie when asked about his defensive debut.

“I’ve got to make more plays," he said. "Limit them to less yards, less catches. It’s something I need to work on.”

He also tipped a cap to reality and hope.

“I just have to get used to it,” Moreau said of the NFL game of which he’s barely been indoctrinated. “Get accustomed to it all. Each and every play, each and every game. Get more used to it, get more reps. It’s coming though.”

Washington’s top corner believes what’s coming is legit.

“Yeah, I mean you guys see it, too,” Josh Norman said of Moreau’s potential. “So it’s no joke what he’s putting out there on the field. Obviously, he’s going to be a great talent in this league to come. But he’s still going to work on some things. We’ll get him better each and every day. He’s going to work with us. We’re going to get him to the level he needs to be.”

That work began with the mental game and with Nicholson by his side.

“Montae and I have been working together ever since we got here,” Moreau stated. “On the same page.”

The Redskins have ample cornerback and safety depth, meaning the rookies might not receive much defensive work early on. Special teams prowess will put them on the game-day roster. Moreau already showed he’s got that in his bag. “I love it,” he said.

The real hope is this pair along with safety Su’a Cravens become future building blocks for a Washington secondary that leaked over the years more than the current White House. Do that and a Moreau-Nicholson combo is one Redskins nation will support. We’ll see about the buddy cop flick.

Ben Standig talks Wizards daily on the Locked on Wizards podcast, covers the Redskins for BreakingBurgundy.com and tweets way too much via @benstandig.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Swearinger Closes Redskins Training Camp With Extra Point]]> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 14:09:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170607+DJ+Swearinger.jpg

The Washington Redskins wrapped up their Richmond training camp Monday with a brief workout that ended when free safety D.J. Swearinger kicked an extra point that barely cleared the crossbar.

Swearinger's kick came after coach Jay Gruden invited cornerback Bashaud Breeland to try one, keeping alive a tradition of ending camp by asking a player to do something outside the ordinary. Last year, defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois caught a punt. Breeland, however, missed his kick badly.

"Call me money," Swearinger said as the team filed off the field to sign autographs for volunteers who worked throughout the three-week camp.

Swearinger said the opportunity brought him back to his middle school days when he handled kickoffs.

"I knew, as soon as it left the foot, man, it was good," he said.

<![CDATA[#TBT: Thursday Is 90s Night at Nats Park]]> Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:59:54 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/90s_Night_at_Nats_Park.jpg

From hoop earrings to high top fades, the 90s were a magical time. So much so, the Washington Nationals are making a night of it. Valerie Camillo, with the Washington Nationals, stopped by News4 Midday to talk about 90s Night at Nats Park.

<![CDATA[What to Watch in the Beltway Battle: Redskins at Ravens]]> Wed, 09 Aug 2017 18:14:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170809+Jay+Gruden.jpg

Football is here! Fine, just the preseason version, but large men wearing burgundy and gold uniforms will be on the field Thursday night in Baltimore running and tackling and football-ing when the Redskins visit the Ravens.

Here are four things to watch in Washington’s preseason opener (which you can watch on NBC4 at 7:30 p.m., followed by Weekend Update and then News4 at 11).

Where is everybody?

Head coach Jay Gruden announced wide receivers Jamison Crowder (hamstring) and Josh Doctson (hamstring) would not play in the preseason opener. Washington remains without tight end Jordan Reed (toe). That means three of the Redskins’ top four receiving options will be in street clothes. That’s not ideal in terms of working out the kinks, though the first-team offense might not play more than one quarter regardless.

That also means more reps for those contending for roles and roster spots, including wideouts Ryan Grant, Brian Quick, rookie Robert Davis and Maurice Harris. Hulking fifth-round pick Jeremy Sprinkle and veteran Derek Carrier are potentially battling for one slot if the Redskins keep four tight ends.

Shuffle Play

Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula dismisses depth chart talk in training camp. Gruden said roles remained undefined for free agent additions Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee. Phil Taylor is the first-team nose tackle on Washington’s unofficial depth chart, but he’s no roster lock. First round pick Jonathan Allen is -- and now we get to see what the Alabama product does against NFL opponents.

We probably won’t get any true insight into any future rotation or game planning in Baltimore. Vanilla schemes galore. Thursday’s game still provides spotlight opportunity for kids including Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier and Joey Mbu with perhaps only 1-2 spots available.

Who’s the next ‘Who’s that guy?’

All of the 53-man Week 1 roster projections from media types are wrong. Not just because injuries alter plans or some veterans will take a step back. Every year surprises occur because under the radar types show they belong.

Robert Kelley led the Redskins in rushing last season despite joining Washington as an undrafted free agent and roster long shot. Going for 40 yards and a touchdown on seven carries in Washington’s preseason opener helped the cause.

Who’s the next Kelley? Names to consider include:

  • Guards Isaiah Williams, Kyle Kalis and Tyler Catalina may all challenge Arie Kouandijo as the primary backup for Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao.
  • Hard-hitting safety Fish Smithson is swimming upstream considering the other candidates, but the All-Big 12 performer might show he’s no mere catch-and-release UDFA.
  • Sixth-round picks aren’t automatically sticking around, but wide receiver Robert Davis has a true chance thanks to his impressive 6-foot-3 frame.

Here’s another: Runningback Matt Jones on this list. (Hold up. Last year’s Week 1 starter is under the radar?) Sure is. It’s been long assumed Jones played his way off the roster after his fumbling woes and Washington drafting Samaje Perine. Let’s just see what happens if he rocks the preseason. If nothing else Jones might just up his trade value.

Achilles Heel

The Redskins have a reliable edge pass rusher in Ryan Kerrigan. There’s a debate beyond him, especially with Trent Murphy suspended for the opening four games. That debates quiets if Junior Galette performs anywhere near the level he showed in New Orleans when he registered 22 sacks over two seasons. Galette missed the next two seasons with two torn Achilles, but he’s easily passed the early tests in training camp. If the 29-year-old makes plays Thursday and beyond, the defensive outlook is much improved.

Extra Point

Quarterback Kirk Cousins might play a drive or two Thursday, perhaps the full first quarter. Just enough to get in some live reps and work on timing with his new receiving toy, Terrelle Pryor. All that truly matters is keeping Cousins upright and off the injury report before backups Colt McCoy and Nate Sudfeld enter. Considering he’s playing on the one-year franchise tag for a second consecutive year, Camp Cousins would agree.

Speaking of the one-year contract, how McCoy and 2016 sixth-round pick Sudfeld perform in the preseason won’t alter any big picture plans next offseason. These four games are their only obvious attempt to try.

Ben Standig talks Wizards daily on the Locked on Wizards podcast, covers the Redskins for BreakingBurgundy.com and tweets way too much via @benstandig.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Verizon Center Changes Name to Capital One Arena]]> Wed, 09 Aug 2017 18:49:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_627858359-%281%292.jpg

The Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C., has a new name. 

Starting Wednesday, the venue will be known as the Capital One Arena.

Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the 20,000-seat home of the Washington Wizards and Capitals, published a promotional video Tuesday with the the new name and signage. 

Capital One recently acquired naming rights for the arena. Information on the cost was not disclosed immediately. The venue's current naming deal was scheduled to end in 2018.

This is the venue's third name in two decades. 

Monumental Sports & Entertainment says $40 million will be invested in improving the arena. 

The Washington Business Journal reported experts have estimated Monumental could get around $5 million a year for the downtown arena, and the organization was seeking a 10- to 15-year deal.

Photo Credit: CapitalOne Arena / Shutterstock
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<![CDATA[Redskins Take Laps With Longtime Fan Dale Earnhardt Jr.]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:13:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Will+Compton+in+Dale+Earnhardt+car.jpg

At training camp Tuesday, the Washington Redskins forgo their morning walk-through for something much cooler: Rides in longtime fan Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car at the racetrack. Sherree Burruss reports.

Photo Credit: Sherree Burruss/NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Doctson Leaves Practice With Injury, Breeland Kicked Out After Scuffle]]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 20:02:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Josh+Doctson+0807107.jpg

One Redskins player left practice with an injury while another was tossed after a scuffle with a teammate. Sherree Burruss reports.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Redskins Defensive Line Benefits From Boxing]]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 14:36:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Ziggy+Hood+GettyImages-596019216.jpg

With his hands drenched in sweat moments after taking his boxing gloves off, Anthony Lanier worked quickly to catch his breath.

Lanier sparred with members of the Washington Redskins' equipment staff for several rounds after practice and believes days of the boxing exercises are making an impact on his game.

“It's helping me be able to stay loose, actually helping my hands to fire,” Lanier said. “When I'm seeing a reaction from my eyes, my hands have the reaction time now to follow where the man is going so I'm not falling behind.”

Boxing is all the rage at Redskins camp, introduced by new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula to help players improve hand speed, footwork, moves and conditioning. The intense, enthusiastic Tomsula believes it helps linemen by making their hands more aggressive, eyes sharper, hips stronger and whole body balanced and better-conditioned.

“When you go three rounds in three minutes, you're getting some conditioning and it's in a competitive, fun way,” Tomsula said.

Fun, Joey Mbu said, is subjective. A.J. Francis called it exhausting.

But across the line of scrimmage, left tackle Trent Williams knows it is working.

“They're so much more active with their hands and they're getting off the ball, they're pressing the point,” Williams said of Washington's defensive linemen. “He's teaching them how to use your momentum against you. A lot of things he taught Justin Smith back in San Fran, a lot of things he did well, it's kind of shedding on the defensive line over here.”

Technique-wise, Lanier feels that boxing is making his punch more explosive and helping him feel more game-ready. His fellow linemen might not enjoy the breath-sucking activity, but they understand there's a method to Tomsula's approach.

“It hurts a lot, man, but there's a great art to it,” Mbu said. “The whole art of it is staying low because we box lower than usual for our size. We stay low through it and use our hips more. It translates well for a defensive lineman.”

That's the point. Tomsula, who was the 49ers' defensive line coach for eight years before one ill-fated season as head coach, has done this for a long time.

When he and new strength and conditioning coach Chad Englehart brought the idea to coach Jay Gruden, he was all for it.

“A lot of the boxing moves are very similar for what you have to use as a football player,” Gruden said. “We did it in the OTAs and the group did a great job teaching them, and I think they had fun with it. Really it's a lot of the same movements and good for their conditioning and good for their strength.”

As the Redskins' defensive linemen jockey for positioning at a crowded position, Francis is glad Tomsula brought in the right equipment and approach to make boxing work.

“It works on your hand-eye coordination, it gets people's feet underneath them so they have an even-balanced stance,” Francis said. “It works on cardio because you're exhausted. You do one two-minute round of throwing punches, you are exhausted.”

It's exhausting yet effective. First-round pick Jonathan Allen feels his hand speed getting quicker after boxing for several days, and it's clear at practice that the defensive line is showing improvement.

Lineman Ziggy Hood, whose given name is “Evander,” can't punch like Holyfield -- the former heavyweight champion -- but he isn't worried about that.

“We're not trying to be world champs out here,” Hood said. “We're just trying to use that whatever little teaching that is to help us out there on the field.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Phil Taylor Gives Back by Hosting Camps]]> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 20:18:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Phil_Taylor_Gives_Back_by_Hosting_Camps.jpg

Washington Redskins defensive lineman Phil Taylor returned to the DMV as he tries to return to the NFL and he gives back to the community by hosting camps. Sherree Burruss reports.

<![CDATA[Hall's Twins Wear Pads, Take to the Practice Field]]> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 20:06:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/Halls_Twins_Wear_Pads_Take_to_the_Practice_Field.jpg

DeAngelo Hall took his young twins to Washington Redskins training camp. They put on pads for the first time and got on the practice field. Sherree Burruss reports.

<![CDATA[Galette Hopes to Return to Form After 2 Seasons of Injuries]]> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 20:06:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Galette_Hopes_to_Return_to_Form_After_2_Seasons_of_Injuries.jpg

Linebacker Junior Galette's been on the Washington Redskins roster the past two seasons but never played a down. He's coming off two Achilles but hopes this is the season he picks up where he left off. Sherree Burruss reports.

<![CDATA[High School Teammates Reunited in Redskins Defensive Backfield]]> Wed, 02 Aug 2017 20:16:44 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/High_School_Teammates_Reunited_in_Redskins_Defensive_Backfie.jpg

Childhood friends Josh Norman and D.J. Swearinger are playing football together again in the Washington Redskins defensive backfield. Carol Maloney has their advice for others who want to follow in their footsteps.

<![CDATA[Bob Marley's Grandson Takes the Field for the Redskins ]]> Wed, 02 Aug 2017 05:23:44 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/240*120/20170801+Nico+Marley.jpg

The player with the most famous name at Washington Redskins training camp isn't running away from his roots. 

Nico Marley is an undrafted 5-foot-8 rookie linebacker. More notably, he's a grandson of Jamaican musician Bob Marley and doesn't mind when teammates, coaches or even strangers want to talk about it. 

"Bob touched every nation of the world, he touched every region of the world,'' Marley said. "Everybody has their own experience, and everybody has their own story about Bob. It's not something I (consider a) burden, it's something I embrace.'' 

Born 14 years after his grandfather's death, Nico is also the son of former University of Miami linebacker Rohan Marley. A four-year starter at Tulane and an all-conference player his final two seasons, the undersized defender is now trying to make his own impression on the Redskins. 

So far it's working. Coach Jay Gruden said Marley "made almost every tackle'' in college and saw the same at his rookie minicamp tryout, enough to warrant signing him. 

"If anybody deserves a chance to crack the roster, it's somebody who's that productive,'' Gruden said Monday. "He really hasn't disappointed us, man. He's been running around here, making good plays and he's very smart.'' 

Marley stands out on the practice field because he's 5-8 if you count his hair. Yet the 22-year-old boasts the mentality that no one is bigger than him and calls himself "a lion.'' 

"I think it's more where he's from, that Jamaican that's in him,'' said running back Rob Kelley, who played with Marley at Tulane. "They always play bigger than what they are. That's one thing you learn about Nico is that he goes out there and plays like a giant.'' 

Marley's grandfather had a giant personality and impact in the music world and in Jamaica. Nico said last week a Jamaican woman approached him and told him that Bob used to mentor her. 

"That's beautiful,'' he said. 

Gruden has talked to Marley about his grandfather out of curiosity, though he acknowledged not having a Bob Marley song on his playlist. Kelley's favorite is "I Shot the Sheriff,'' but after playing with Joe Montana's son Nick in college, he takes caution to not continually bring it up. 

"That's something he had to deal with early on _ everyone thought it was so amazing (that he's) Bob Marley's grandson,'' Kelley said. "He wants to be his own guy.'' 

Time will tell if Marley can repeat what Kelley did last year and make the 53-man roster as an undrafted free agent, though he does have an impressive pedigree. His father played on Miami defenses with Ray Lewis, Warren Sapp and Jessie Armstead for three seasons and led the 1993 team with 95 tackles. 

Marley loves watching film of his dad playing college football, most recently last week when ESPN Classic aired a Miami-Florida State game. But when he began playing football in eighth grade he wanted to be a safety and said he became a linebacker naturally because he was good at the position. 

Tulane's all-time leader in tackles for loss, Marley prides himself on solid, fundamental tackling, and that could be his best route to stand alone in a crowded linebacker corps and earn a roster spot as a special teams ace. 

"That's everything, tackling,'' Marley said. "You've got to get the man with the ball down.'' 

Even though he's having a nice time at camp, Marley is focused on his day-to-day survival and improvement and is trying to keep it from being a "wowing experience.'' Marley wants to make coaches notice him for something other than his name. 

"He deserves an opportunity,'' Gruden said. "He's very proud of his name and all that stuff, but I'm just worried about Nico Marley as a football player, teaching him linebacker and see how we can make him fit in our scheme if we can.''

<![CDATA[Redskins Camp: Trent Williams Returns to Camp a Vegan]]> Tue, 01 Aug 2017 19:44:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Redskins_Camp_Trent_Williams_Returns_to_Camp_a_Vegan.jpg

Looking for new ways to improve, five-time Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams is now a vegan. Carol Maloney reports on that and more from Richmond.

<![CDATA[Slimmer Coach Gruden Having Fun at Redskins Training Camp]]> Tue, 01 Aug 2017 19:41:01 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Slimmer_Coach_Gruden_Having_Fun_at_Redskins_Training_Camp.jpg

Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden showed up at training camp 25 pounds lighter. Carol Maloney reports.

<![CDATA[Redskins' Safety Settling Into New Role Off the Field: Dad]]> Tue, 01 Aug 2017 19:10:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/240*120/20170801+Deshazor+Everett2.jpg

Deshazor Everett provides the Washington Redskins with shock hits on defense and special teams.

Dishing out blows is one thing. Taking one on the chin is another.

Whatever comes the third-year safety’s way on the field, don’t expect him to flinch, especially after learning how Everett handled jarring news about a son he didn't know he had.

Entering training camp with the same work-hard, prove-it attitude he showed up with as an undrafted rookie out of Texas A&M in 2015, Everett has something else occupying space in his brain this year.

It's a good something, the best something. A someone he finally met this offseason. A someone he’s beginning to let those around him know exists.

"A lot of people don’t know I just met my son for the first time. A year since I found out I had a son," Everett said about the best non-football part of his offseason. "Every weekend I was back home. Any time I had, I was spending it with my son."

His son, Aiden, lives in Everett's home state of Louisiana, and is now 5 years old.

Processing all that information took a moment, as did sorting out the details.

"You go through life for a while. It was something that happened a long time ago," Everett said Tuesday. "DNA was brought up. Found out he’s my son. As a father, my job is to step up and take care of him. That’s what I’m doing."

Everett declined to discuss any aspect of the relationship with Aiden’s mother but had no problem taking about how this new responsibility changed him.

"Brings you to adulthood," he said. "Makes you get your priorities in order."

Learning the ins and outs of this parenting gig comes at a point in his career where Everett’s football knowledge base is expanding.

"It’s just more understanding," Everett said. "As you get older that’s what you have to do, understand more. Can’t just be all physical. Have to understand the game."

Everett is now learning the defense, learning the fits, learning where he and others are supposed to be on the field. Last training camp Washington shifted the college cornerback to safety.

"We had to find a spot for him because he’s so valuable on special teams," head coach Jay Gruden said. "He’s one of our best players [on special teams]."

At safety, Everett is part of a crowded backup mix with veterans Will Blackmon and DeAngelo Hall along with fourth-round pick Montae Nicholson.

"He’s doing better. He really is," Gruden said of Everett’s safety play. "Got the big pick against Philadelphia [in Week 14). …We know he can hit. Now it’s a matter of him (covering). I like where Deshazor is going, but I love him on special teams."

Everett’s 2017 goals are simple and beyond special teams play.

"More time, more plays, more big hits," he said.

And there will be more time to hang out with Aiden. As for father-son goals, there’s a specific one he’s achieved and cannot wait to replicate.

“Putting a smile on someone’s face who looks up to you," Everett said.

Ben Standig talks Wizards daily on the Locked on Wizards podcast, covers the Redskins for BreakingBurgundy.com and tweets way too much via @benstandig.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bob Marley's Grandson Takes the Field for the Redskins]]> Tue, 01 Aug 2017 17:38:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/240*120/20170801+Nico+Marley.jpg

It's so tempting to start humming a Bob Marley song when Nico Marley, grandson of the reggae legend, takes the field. Nico Marley himself says he is partial to "Iron Lion Zion" right now. But make no mistake: Nico Marley is here to make his own name playing football. News4's Carol Maloney reports.

<![CDATA[Strong Field in D.C. for Tennis' Citi Open]]> Mon, 31 Jul 2017 19:40:20 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/240*120/20170731+Simona+Halep.jpg

World leaders converging on Washington, D.C. is normal. Leading tennis players from around the globe in town for the Citi Open is uncommon and noteworthy.

We’ll let historians debate the depth in the men’s field, but no recent Washington group included five of the top 11 ranked players on tour. No. 7 Nicolas Thiem is the top seed in the “500” level event, a designation that puts the Citi Open among the top 20 on tour.

That heady bunch of ranked men’s players set to tackle the three H’s – hard court, heat and humidity -- doesn’t even include defending champion Gael Monfils or three-time champion Juan Martin del Potro.

“It really a strong field. One of the best ever I’ve seen for a ‘500’ tournament,” said Thiem ahead of his first event as the No. 1 seed. The 23-year-old rising star added, “For us players, it’s not that great because we have a lot of tough matches ahead. For the crowd, it’s amazing.”

Yet for true rankings heft, flip the page to the women’s draw. Second-ranked and top-seeded Simona Halep makes her Washington debut and becomes the highest-ranked woman ever in this event. That she faces 2015 champion Sloane Stephens makes for a potentially rude welcome.

The WTA portion of the Citi Open formed in 2011, but Washington has crowned a men’s champion every year since 1969. The last four – Monfils, second seed Kei Nishikori, No. 3 Milos Raonic and Del Potro -- are in this field. As an indicator of past issues with attracting talent and this year’s impressive depth, all four are playing here for the first time since winning their respective titles. That means all four can claim defending champion status if so inclined.

All that met with the media on Monday at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center understand the challenges ahead.

The field "feels very strong this year,” said Nishikori, the 2015 champion.

Advance to the third round and Nishikori could face Del Potro. Injuries halted the Argentine’s career over the years, but the 6-foot-6 masher once again ranks among the top 40 worldwide. Del Potro lost his first-ever match in Washington, but enters the 2017 event with a 14-match winning streak.

“I like to play here. I feel like home,” said Del Potro, a former U.S. Open champion who left Washington with trophies in 2008, 2009 and 2013.

Thiem owns wins this year over heavyweights Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Other ranked headliners include fourth-seed Grigor Dimitrov and 20-year-old phenom Alexander Zverev. The combustible Nick Kyrgios makes his Washington debut as the 10th seed.

American players dominated Washington for decades. Though not as interminable as the Grand Slam drought – no titles since Andy Roddick’s 2003 U.S. Open win -- it’s been a minute since any American male ended his Washington week in the winner’s circle.

Starting with Jimmy Connors in 1988, an American won 13 titles over the next 20 years including Roddick in 2007. Del Potro’s win the following year started a run of nine consecutive international champions.

Citi Open staple and three-time runner-up John Isner withdrew Monday with a knee injury, leaving Jack Sock (9), Steve Johnson (14) and Ryan Harrison (16) as the only seeded Americans.

Like Thiem, Halep entered the Citi Open as a wild card. The Romanian said she sought late entry into one of the two WTA tournaments this week. Washington said heck yes to the two-time French Open finalist. Stephens also recently joined the field, which includes Canadian Genie Bouchard and 2016 finalist Lauren Davis.

“The tournament is quite strong,” said 2016 gold medalist Monica Puig during her time with the media.

Halep and others cited this week as their true kickoff for the hard court season, which culminates late August in New York for the U.S. Open. Considering the depth in both the men’s and women’s draws, acing this test would certainly qualify as a strong start.

Ben Standig talks Wizards daily on the Locked on Wizards podcast, covers the Redskins for BreakingBurgundy.com and tweets way too much via @benstandig.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Redskins Exec Doug Williams Presents Jim Vance Jersey]]> Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:11:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Jim+Vance+Redskins+Jersey.jpg

Former Washington Redskins quarterback and current Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams spoke with Carol Maloney about the late Jim Vance.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Nationals Place Strasburg on 10-Day DL With Elbow Injury]]> Thu, 27 Jul 2017 14:32:15 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Stephen+Strasburg+GettyImages-816307906.jpg

Stephen Strasburg has been placed on the 10-day disabled list by the Washington Nationals, who want the standout right-hander to rest his elbow by missing a turn in the rotation.

The Nationals describe the injury as a "right elbow nerve impingement." The move, made Thursday, is retroactive to July 24.

Manager Dusty Baker says Strasburg "is not feeling right," so the righty will skip a start for NL East leaders.

Strasburg is 10-3 with a 3.25 ERA in 20 games. He was removed from his last start after just two innings on July 23 in Arizona.

Baker says Strasburg will continue to throw in the bullpen and will pitch in a simulated game before the Nationals decide whether to bring him back.

Washington recalled lefty Sammy Solis from Triple A Syracuse.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[MLB Unveils Logo for 2018 All-Star Game to Be Played in DC]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 19:06:49 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2018+All-Star+Game+Logo.jpg

The logo for the 2018 Major League Baseball All Star Game was unveiled Wednesday. It will be the fifth All-Star Game hosted by D.C. News4's Sherree Burruss reports.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Projections for Redskins Upcoming 2017 Roster]]> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:29:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170724+Jay+Gruden.jpg

The Washington Redskins open training camp on Thursday in Richmond and the regular season Sept. 10 against Philadelphia. In between there will be several practices and four preseason games, at the end of which head coach Jay Gruden must finalize a 53-man roster.

Here’s our first projection of that Week 1 roster.

Quarterbacks (3) – Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld

• There’s not much going on here in terms of roster competition. Yet all eyes on Cousins after yet another round of failed contract talks. Plus McCoy and Sudfeld could leave a lasting impression, with 2018 in mind, with their preseason work.

Running backs (4) – Robert Kelley, Samaje Perine, Chris Thompson, Mack Brown

• Kelley and Perine, the first of two fourth-round picks, battle for lead back duties while Thompson aims for another productive and healthy campaign as Washington’s change-of-pace option. Brown’s work on special teams and his impressive 2016 preseason likely put him on the roster barring a drop in play. Matt Jones will be traded or cut along the way unless injuries elsewhere change the plan.

Wide receivers (6) – Jamison Crowder, Terrelle Pryor, Josh Doctson, Ryan Grant, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis

• The top three are locks. Now let’s see how Doctson performs following a lost rookie season and if Pryor has folks dreaming of a Pro Bowl run during in his first year with the Redskins. Perhaps Grant joins the lock list based on head coach Jay Gruden’s constant praise. His run-blocking might keep him on the field more than expected. Harris worked his way from undrafted to practice squad to 53-man roster last season. Good bet either Davis, a sixth-round pick, or 2016 special teams member Kendal Thompson outduel veteran addition Brian Quick for the final slot.

Tight ends (4) – Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Jeremy Sprinkle

• Reed’s battle with concussions is what matters most. The Pro Bowl-caliber TE turns the offense from good to wow. Injuries could shape the final slots. Paul’s versatility in offensive formations and special teams makes him valuable. Derek Carrier, a quality receiver and blocker, faces a stiff challenge from Sprinkle. Selected in the fifth round, Sprinkle is the biggest of Washington’s tight ends. If Reed, Davis and Paul avoid injuries and the rookie looks the part, Carrier might be in trouble.

Offensive line (8) -- Center (2) – Spencer Long, Chase Rouiller; Guard (3) – Brandon Scherff, Shawn Lauvao, Arie Kouandjio; Tackle (3) – Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsheke

• Not much change here other than Rouiller taking over as the backup center. Ideally, there would be a spot for a ninth lineman, but decisions and needs elsewhere don’t allow. Lauvao could face a challenge from Kouandjio for the starting left guard job. Key word is could.

Defensive line (6) - Terrell McClain, Stacy McGee, Jonathan Allen, Ziggy Hood, Anthony Lanier, Matt Ioannidis

• If the Redskins defense improves dramatically from last season’s rankings – 28th in yards allowed, 19th in points per game – changes with this unit will likely be why. McClain, McGee and Allen, Washington’s first round pick, are the newcomers. In this scenario, Phil Taylor, Joey Mbu and A.J. Francis are on the outside. Taylor, a former 1st round selection who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2014 due to injuries, could emerge as a nose tackle option.

Linebackers (9) – Ryan Kerrigan, Zach Brown, Will Compton, Mason Foster, Preston Smith, Ryan Anderson, Junior Galette, Chris Carter

• Astute observers will note only eight names listed above. Trent Murphy gets the final slot, but he’ll miss the first four weeks due to suspension. Martrell Spaight is the obvious answer, though Zach Vigil has a chance because of special teams play. Those first four games will provide something of a tryout for whoever takes Murphy’s place as well Galette who missed the last two seasons with Achilles injuries.

Cornerbacks (5) – Josh Norman, Baushaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, Joshua Holsey,

• Norman is one of the best in the business even if his Washington debut didn’t completely meet the hype. Fuller appears healthier now more than a full year removed from microfracture knee surgery. Third-round pick Fabian Moreau is recovering from a torn pectoral muscle. Let’s guess he isn’t ready for Week 1, let alone the bulk of preseason. That would mean opening the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. It would open a slot for Holsey, who looks like a potential find in the seventh round.

Safety (5) – D.J. Swearinger, Su’a Cravens, Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, Montae Nicholson

• DeAngelo Hall is the missing name. If the Redskins have their druthers, the respected locker room leader makes the roster. The thing is Hall missed the 31 games over the last three years with injuries, including a torn ACL in Week 3 that ended his 2016 campaign. There’s certainly a chance for reprieve – Hall is a noted playmaker and would still count for $812,000 on the salary cap even if waived. Nicholson, Washington’s other fourth-round pick, is another PUP candidate. This unit hasn’t been helpful for years, but the aggressive combination of Swearinger and Cravens has promise.

Specialists (3) – Dustin Hopkins, Tress Way, Nick Sundberg

• Nothing to see here barring injury or the unforeseen.

Ben Standig talks Wizards daily on the Locked on Wizards podcast, covers the Redskins for BreakingBurgundy.com and tweets way too much via @benstandig.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Politeness and Politics: Kirk Cousins and the Redskins]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:10:59 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170720+Kirk+Cousins.jpg

It’s clear that destiny brought Kirk Cousins to the nation’s capital. In his first interview since not agreeing on a long-term contract with the Washington Redskins by Monday’s deadline, the quarterback reminded all those listening that he’s very, very good at politics.

Redskins team president Bruce Allen issued/read a statement on Monday seemingly designed for dual purposes: Explain the organization’s negotiating stance and get ahead of the public relations game with fans. For the second consecutive year, Cousins would play on a one-year franchise tag. The money -- $23.94 million -- is strong. The lack of long-term stability is not.

The tone from Allen, whose family members include a former U.S. senator and head coach of the Washington Redskins, read stern and frustrated while making it clear the organization did all it could.

"Our team and fans ... they deserve to know where things stand. Our goal was to sign Kirk to a long-term contract with the final objective of having him finish his career with the Redskins."

The structured offer, as explained by Allen, while mentioning the type of money most fans can only dream of, was knocked by many in the NFL community. The primary issue for some is the lack of guaranteed dollars relative to the amount Cousins, who is coming off back-to-back impressive statistical seasons, could likely receive without committing to the Redskins long-term.

Despite the topic teed up nice and high, Cousins didn’t take a full swing.

The 28-year-old, who can amplify his “aw shucks” quality as needed while remaining incredibly savvy with every word uttered, shared his thoughts Tuesday during a lengthy interview on 106.7 The Fan with hosts Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier.

"My take would be different than public perception," he said of Allen’s statement. "In his position you have to do that." Cousins added, "It was a great starting point. I think it was a fair offer."

Allen said in his statement that on May 2, "We made Kirk an offer that included the highest fully guaranteed amount upon signing for a quarterback in NFL history ($53 million). ... But despite our repeated attempts, we have not received any offer from Kirk’s agent this year."

Cousins: "It was closer than people would think. Even up to a week ago, I was still praying over whether we should send an offer ... but ultimately I just felt peace on not making an offer and leaving it up to the team."

During the exclusive interview -- the station pays Cousins for weekly appearances during the season -- Cousins said he needed more time to gauge whether he wanted to sign an extension. That’s a tough circle to square considering he’s been with the organization since Washington drafted him in 2012 and served as starter since 2015.

The talk of needing more time feeds into the constant buzz over a Cousins escape plan in 2018. While Washington could go offer a third franchise tag, the cost -- $34 million -- would be onerous. There’s the transition tag with a $28 million price point and the right-of-first-refusal for Washington.

However, that option allows other teams in the bidding process. Half the league could use a QB upgrade. Former Redskins offensive coordinators are now head coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Cousins came across cold or lukewarm at best over the past year with the vast majority of his public comments on returning to the Redskins. On Tuesday, the Michigan native turned up the politeness.

"It has always been my first choice to be with the Redskins, Cousins said. "When you look around the league and you see great quarterbacks, they've nearly all played for one team. ... I would love to be with the Redskins long-term. ... While the ball is in my court during the season to play football well, the ball certainly goes back to the Redskins' court to continue this process. So while there was a deadline this summer, the real deadline to make a decision of next year is next year."

He added, "If I'm getting tagged a third time, that means this season went really, really well and that would be a beautiful thing."

This second tag scenario turned ugly after Monday’s deadline came and went. It could have gone savage depending on Cousins’s comments. The quarterback punted on harsh rhetoric and turned toward hope. He explained faith drives his decisions. He laughed off Allen constantly calling him "Kurt."

None of that means anything automatically changes going forward. It also doesn’t mean Cousins, like those on Capitol Hill, wasn’t simply going for the best spin.

We probably won’t know for sure what the Redskins or Cousins thinks about a long-term deal until after the 2017 season. Former U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt once said, “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” Both sides in this never-ending contract battle now have several more months for planning. If nothing changes, you can bet it’s not by accident.

Ben Standig talks Wizards daily on the Locked on Wizards podcast, covers the Redskins for BreakingBurgundy.com and tweets way too much via @benstandig.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Frances Tiafoe Returns Home for Washington Kastles]]> Tue, 18 Jul 2017 19:14:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Frances_Tiafoe_Returns_Home_for_Washington_Kastles.jpg

Frances Tiafoe of Prince George's County returns home to play for the Washington Kastles Tuesday night after a first-round win at Wimbledon. The rising star talks about his rise in the tennis world and goals for the future. Jim Handly reports.

<![CDATA[Washington Kastles Find Success at Wimbledon]]> Fri, 14 Jul 2017 18:27:39 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Wimbledon_Updates.jpg

Wimbledon is entering its final round, and members of the Washington Kastles have made headlines. Sam Querry was knocked out in the semifinals. Venus Williams prepares for the finals against Garbine Muguruza. Leon Harris spoke with Kastles owner Mark Ein about his players' success.

<![CDATA[DC United Helps to Unify Soccer]]> Thu, 13 Jul 2017 20:25:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DC_United_Helps_To_Unify_Soccer.jpg

DC United and Special Olympics DC team up for a Unified Soccer Team. Carol Maloney was there for the Unified team's signing day.

<![CDATA[Ledecky, Frese, Dixon Among D.C. Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017]]> Mon, 10 Jul 2017 15:06:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/D.C._Sports_Hall_of_Fame_2017_Class.jpg

News4 catches up with the newest class of the D.C. Sports Hall of Fame. News4's Carol Maloney reports.

<![CDATA[Zimmerman Returns to All-Star Game After 8 Years]]> Mon, 10 Jul 2017 13:48:42 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000019414762_1200x675_991336515761.jpg

News4's Carol Maloney talks with All-Star Ryan Zimmerman about the ups and downs of eight years in between appearances in the Midsummer Classic.

<![CDATA[4 Things to Know About the Wizards and the NBA Summer League]]> Fri, 07 Jul 2017 18:58:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-624258366.jpg

The NBA’s annual Las Vegas Summer League tips off Friday and the Washington Wizards are among the 24 NBA teams with an entry. No, not the John Wall-Bradley Beal Wizards, but rather a group of unproven youngsters and unknown hopefuls. Some from the team will join the NBA version, though most are there to impress all 30 franchises league-wide and others around the globe.

From the Wizards’ perspective, 1-2 spots on the main roster are potentially up for grabs, though technically the team will have the maximum 15 players under contract. That’s assuming, as has been wildly reported, that Washington matches the four-year, $106 million offer sheet forward Otto Porter signed with the Brooklyn Nets. Here’s an NBA Summer League primer with the four things you need to know.

The basics: Starting with Saturday’s 4:00 p.m. ET game against Memphis, Washington will play at least five games in one of the two gyms on the University of Las Vegas campus. The next two games are scheduled; Monday vs. Miami (4:30 p.m.) and Tuesday against Chicago (6:00 p.m.). After that, all teams are seeded for the SL playoffs with each squad guaranteed at least two contests. The Wizards are conducting a mini-camp in Las Vegas with 19 players – including a member of their staff -- before paring the roster down. The rules of SL hoops are largely the norm, though each game is four, 10-minute quarters.

The familiar faces: Four players on the Summer League roster were part of Washington’s regular season squad last season. Sheldon Mac, a wing guard with a bulldog streak and a favorite of the organization, received minutes early while John Wall and Bradley Beal recovered from injuries. Center Daniel Ochefu, a member of Villanova’s 2016 National Championship, was kept around all season as a seldom-used backup. Forward Chris McCullough, a 2015 first round pick, probably ends up as the only remaining piece for Washington from the Bojan Bogdanovic-Andrew Nicholson. Danuel House, part of the Wizards’ 2016 Summer League team along with Mac and Ochefu, played one game before the Wizards waived him in March to sign Brandon Jennings.

McCullough is the only roster lock of the bunch due to his contract. After playing just eight minutes following the trade, the 6-foot-11 forward now gets a chance to flash. Mac and Ochefu are also under contract, but with small guarantees. Washington was content to let the kids learn while active last season. Ideally, at one of them emerges into a rotational piece seeing as the Wizards didn’t have a draft pick for a second consecutive year.

The de facto draft pick: Washington added several undrafted free agents to the Summer League roster. So far, they’ve only handed out one two-way contract. Congrats, Mike Young, a 6-foot-9 forward who finished his college career at Pittsburgh as the program’s seventh all-time leading scorer. The two-way option is new. Teams can keep two players in the G-League -- previously known as the D-League -- throughout the season with the option to promote for upwards of 45 days. The Wizards don’t have their own minor league team yet, so we’ll see where Young lands. For now, he’s at least the one incoming rookie we know will be sticking around beyond Las Vegas.

Worth tracking: Florida forward Devin Robinson is all kinds of athletic -- and slender. Draft Express, one of the leading NBA Draft websites, ranked the 6-foot-9, 190-pounder 49th among the 2017 Draft class. … Kris Jenkins joins his former college teammate Ochefu in Las Vegas. As you may recall, the D.C. area native hit jackpot once before. … Marcus Keene, all 5-foot-9 of him, led all D1 scorers last season with 30.0 points per game. … 7-foot-0 center Isaac Humphries played the last two seasons for Kentucky. … Among the veterans, wing guard Jared Cunningham played 84 games over four NBA seasons. One of his teammates last season in China, Ike Diogu, joins him with the Wizards. Diogu defines the hopeful nature and misfit toys quality of Summer League; the 33-year-old, an NBA lottery pick in 2005, hasn’t played in the league since 2011-12.

Ben Standig talks Wizards daily on the Locked on Wizards podcast, covers the Redskins for BreakingBurgundy.com and tweets way too much via @benstandig.

Photo Credit: Michael Reaves / Stringer]]>
<![CDATA[John Wall, Offered a Fortune, Is Practicing Patience ]]> Sun, 02 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170701+John+Wall.jpg

The most interesting part of 2017 free agency for the Washington Wizards? How 2019 free agent John Wall reacts.

The four-time All-star will earn over $37 million during the next two seasons. The Wizards are ready to lock up the face of the franchise for more right now. Washington reportedly offered Wall a four-year, $168 million extension on Friday, according to ESPN.

The "supermax" offer, part of the league collective bargaining agreement, became an option after Wall made one of the All-NBA teams this past season. Only the Wizards can offer their leading man that lucrative deal based on having his rights.

Forget no-brainer. Seems like the only question is how quickly the NBA’s fastest player with the ball can put pen to paper, right?

Yet Wall didn’t rush. He’s practicing patience. The Wizards, who came up one game shy of reaching the Eastern Conference finals, have a good thing going. Wall knows this -- but he wants to see what’s next.

He wants to see what Washington does with current restricted free agent Otto Porter among other roster decisions before inking a deal that locks him with the franchise until 2023. If Wall and his agent, Rich Paul, keep on waiting days, weeks and months, fear rises. That’s especially true after what just unfolded with Paul George.

The Indiana Pacers traded George to Oklahoma City Friday. They traded their All-Star days after George informed the organization he would leave in free agency when his contract expires in the summer of 2018.

The gut punch news essentially forced Indiana into trade mode immediately rather than let George exit for zero compensation next year. With George viewed as a one-year rental, Indiana faced a depressed trade market. All factors essentially forced Indiana not to reload with one of the NBA's top players, but to rebuild without him.

If the Wizards don’t ink Wall to that extension, they could be the 2018 version of the 2017 Pacers.

Now, the situations are not identical. Washington won 49 games last season, the most for the franchise in nearly four decades. Indiana, an East Finals mainstay earlier this decade, barely snuck into the playoffs as the eighth seed.

Wall, who turns 27 in September, has an All-Star-level running mate in Bradley Beal. The Pacers lacked a proven second or third star. That George is expected to sign with one of the two teams based in his native Los Angeles in 2018 further limited Indiana's options.

Beal received a massive extension last year. Projections for Porter’s new salary projection are four years, $100 million. Other teams can make a run at the NBA’s fourth leading 3-pointer shooter in 2016, but the Wizards can and almost assuredly will match any offer.

Keep Porter and the Wizards would have their top draft picks from 2010, 2012 and 2013 signed for the next two seasons along with power forward Markieff Morris. All four starters enter the 2017-18 season 28 or younger. In the weak East, a Conference Finals appearance is within reach. Perhaps more if LeBron James ever ages.

Seems like Wall should be excited to re-up, right?

We’ll see. Last month Wall told ESPN he tried recruiting George to join Washington and in doing so inferred that Porter, while helpful, might not be enough. "We are one piece away," Wall said. "You got to add another star. You got to add another piece. You got to have three guys. And that's what it's looking like."

Whether you think Wall threw Porter under the bus or not, the larger point is his NBA worldview. Keep Porter and Washington’s financial wiggle room for adding another major star in the near future evaporates. Does Wall think Porter, a strong role player without massive upside, is worthy of Big 3 status?

Yet if Porter walks, Washington doesn’t have the adequate salary cap space to replace him now, meaning a standings dip is likely. Would Wall balk if the Wizards take a step back?

Washington must also bolster its woeful bench, but in the NBA, stars win rings. The Wizards were THIS CLOSE to reaching the East finals last season. John Wall views himself as a star. He wants that stage. Does he view this team with the same core returning good enough for contention or not?

That’s the intrigue and, depending on Wall’s view, the fear. Odds are he eventually takes the money and stays with the only NBA team he’s ever known.

Folks in Indiana probably thought the same with George two years away from free agency as well.

Ben Standig talks Wizards daily on the Locked on Wizards podcast, covers the Redskins for BreakingBurgundy.com and tweets way too much via @benstandig.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Military Service Honored at Quicken Loans National Pro-Am]]> Wed, 28 Jun 2017 20:26:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Military_Service_Honored_at_Star-Studded_Quicken_Loans_Natio.jpg

The Quicken Loans National Pro-Am Wednesday was star studded. But a highlight of the tournament was support and appreciation for military service members. Carol Maloney reports on a special military surprise.