Redskins

After Orange Bowl, Miami awaits BCS title game

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After Orange Bowl, Miami awaits BCS title game

MIAMI (AP) In between the Orange Bowl and the BCS national championship game, there's a daunting task that awaits the people who actually host those two contests.

That is, a massive redecoration of several venues - with just a few hours to pull it off in some cases.

Florida State and Northern Illinois are scheduled to head home from the Orange Bowl on Wednesday morning, not long before Notre Dame and Alabama arrive that afternoon to begin final preparations for Monday night's BCS title tilt.

And by the time the Fighting Irish and the Crimson Tide land, much of what promoted the Orange Bowl will be gone.

Sections of the turf at Sun Life Stadium were to be removed within a few hours after the Orange Bowl for new sod - much of which will either have Notre Dame, Alabama or BCS logos painted on it in the coming days.

The quickest work will likely come at the team hotels. Notre Dame and Alabama - not to mention large portions of each team's fan base - will check into the same hotels on Wednesday that the Seminoles and Huskies will have checked out of earlier in the day. Florida State and Northern Illinois colors and logos will be torn down, but none of that will begin until those teams actually depart.

In short, Florida State and Northern Illinois won't be made to feel like the warm-up act for this two-week Miami college football extravaganza.

``We want to make sure Florida State and Northern Illinois feel like they're the only game in town,'' Orange Bowl Committee spokesman Larry Wahl said. ``We want them to have first-class championship treatment.''

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CAREY'S DEBUT: Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher was asked in recent days about how he thinks Northern Illinois' Rod Carey has handled the transition from assistant coach to head coach over the past couple weeks.

Fisher's answer: It really hasn't happened yet.

``I think it's going to be tougher next year than it is right now,'' Fisher said.

He might be right.

Carey has put his own certain twist on things since taking over for Dave Doeren - now at North Carolina State - on Dec. 2, the same day that the Huskies got their Orange Bowl invitation. Most of Carey's college experience has been as an offensive line coach.

But the formula that Doeren used really isn't changing much now that Carey is in charge, even with his head-coaching debut coming in a Bowl Championship Series game.

``Next year I think will be even more of a transition because they have to reinvent those roles and tell everybody what they're doing and it's a different group,'' Fisher said. ``But it is a lot to put on him. I think he's done a great job in meeting him the few times I have I've been very impressed. I think he's a great guy, and developing a good friendship. I really enjoy being around him.''

Carey has shown quite a sense of humor about his new role, particularly all the added media responsibilities, including those that have required him to show up for various things in jacket and tie.

``I'm more comfortable with a whistle around my neck and coaching than I am with a (microphone) in front of me in a suit, I can tell you that,'' Carey said. ``My wife likes it when I dress up in a suit. I hate it.''

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TIES THAT BIND: Sean Evans' father graduated from Florida State. So, too, did Ricky Connors' parents.

And Evans and Connors both play for ... Northern Illinois.

There's actually quite a few ties that bind the Northern Illinois and Florida State rosters, with 13 players in the game (six Huskies, seven Seminoles) having been high school teammates in either Florida or Alabama.

The Huskies also have seven players who count either relatives or close friends as having studied at Florida State - including cornerback Jhony Faustin, the cousin of Seminoles' defensive tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample.

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RUNNING `NOLES: One of the reasons why Florida State returned to the Bowl Championship Series for the first time in seven seasons was a huge improvement in the Seminoles' running game.

While Florida State's passing numbers didn't change much between 2011 and this season that ended with the 31-10 win over Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl on Tuesday night, the rushing totals were night and day.

A year ago, Florida State rushed for 1,458 yards, 3.3 yards per carry and 20 touchdowns - all season.

The final numbers from this season: 2,882 yards, 5.6 yards per carry and 40 touchdowns.

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CHANGING SCENES: Early last month, Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey feigned concern about how his team would handle South Florida's nightlife during Orange Bowl week.

There was no cause for alarm.

The Huskies left what had been their Miami Beach hotel and stayed elsewhere on Monday night, a move Carey planned long ago to avoid distractions - which, had they stayed in the same place, would have included a poolside New Year's eve concert by rapper Drake that blared long past 1 a.m. and raised the ire of some Northern Illinois fans.

Even some Super Bowl coaches have made similar change-hotels-before-the-big-game moves in recent years, but Carey insisted his club impressed him with how it handled temptations.

``You know, you come down to South Beach with a bunch of 18- to 22-year-olds - we were all 18 to 22 at one point, can remember what that was like,'' Carey said. ``We haven't had one single incident with bad decision making. I give them all the credit for that.''

Curfew wasn't even a problem for Northern Illinois, with most players routinely getting back to the hotel 30 to 60 minutes early.

``We had fun for the first couple of days, but then it was back to business,'' Huskies wide receiver Martel Moore said.

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Late push for McGlinchey, Landry and Davenport would help Redskins at 13

Late push for McGlinchey, Landry and Davenport would help Redskins at 13

For months, draft conversation suggested that there wasn't an offensive tackle to pick in the Top 10. And after Bradley Chubb, there wasn't an edge defender worth a Top 10 pick either. 

All of a sudden, that conversation is changing. 

Late charges from Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey, Boston College defensive end Harold Landry and University of Texas San Antonio pass rusher Marcus Davenport are starting to influence mock drafts.

On Wednesday, NFL Network's Peter Schrager predicted the 49ers to take McGlinchey with the ninth overall pick. Charley Casserly, in a mock draft with NBC Sports Washington on Monday, predicted the Chicago Bears take Davenport with the eighth overall pick. Reports on Landry are all over the place, but some guess he could break the Top 10 as well.

The thing to remember about the NFL: It's a passing league. Positions tied to the quarterback are the most important, and that means protecting the QB and getting after the QB is in high demand. No position will ever get over-drafted like quarterback, but it's not a surprise that teams might reach for players at tackle or edge rusher.

What does this mean for the Redskins holding the No. 13 pick?

It means great news. 

Washington will already benefit from four QBs going in the Top 10. That will likely push down an elite talent to their draft spot.

If McGlinchey, Davenport or Landry also crack the Top 10? Even better.

The Redskins need help at just about every position group on the defensive side of the ball. It's well documented how the team struggled against the run in 2017, but the defense also lost Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller this offseason. 

There will be a number of weapons available for Washington at 13, and that could include players like Minkah Fitzpatrick or Derwin James in addition to Vita Vea or Da'Ron Payne. It might mean Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith lasts to 13 too. 

For the Redskins, Fitzpatrick or James at 13 seems like a steal. Both players present elite potential at the evolving position of nickel cornerback. They can play some corner, some safety, and James might even be able to play some linebacker. 

Regardless of the eventual destination for James or Fitzpatrick, if more surprise players sneak into the Top 10 on Thursday night, the better Washington's options become. And that includes the possibility of trading down, Vea or Payne, Smith or Edmunds.

More elite options at 13 only helps the Redskins. 

Redskins fans should be rooting for Mike McGlinchey, Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport early Thursday night. The folks in Ashburn will be. 

MORE 2018 NFL DRAFT:
- Mock Draft 9.0: Almost draft day
- Top Prospects: RB options for the Redskins
- Top Prospects: WR options for the Redskins
- Need To Know: Rich Tandler's Seven-Round Redskins Mock Draft
- Mega-Mock Predictions: DC Media choose No. 13 pick

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Once undrafted, how Trey Edmunds found his way as a rookie in a crowded backfield

Once undrafted, how Trey Edmunds found his way as a rookie in a crowded backfield

NBC Sports Washington’s four-part digital series ‘E-Boyz’ -- chronicling the illustrious past, decorated present and bright future of the Edmunds family -- is NOW LIVE. Check out a new episode daily, leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Watch the third episode above and more here.

A position change. A school change. A season-ending injury. 

Those are the kinds of things that prevent an NFL career from ever starting. But none of those things stopped Trey Edmunds from reaching the league and contributing for the Saints as a rookie in 2017.

Trey, the oldest brother in a family that features 2018 prospects Tremaine and Terrell, came out of high school as a linebacker, but became a running back after enrolling at Virginia Tech. After three productive seasons with the Hokies, he transferred to finish up his career with Maryland, yet his senior season was cut short after fracturing his foot five games in to the schedule.

That injury was a big reason why the 2017 NFL Draft came and went without a phone call for Edmunds, so he signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent in May. There, he played spot duty on special teams for much of his rookie campaign before his breakout moment in November:

Now, heading into his second pro year, Edmunds will reportedly have to fight for a roster spot in New Orleans again. But hey, adversity is something the 23-year-old is very familiar with, so don't bet against him.