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Alabama's Mosley to return for senior season

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Alabama's Mosley to return for senior season

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley is returning for his senior season instead of entering the NFL draft.

The consensus All-American said Thursday he wants to graduate next December - and maybe become a fulltime starter.

``There's a lot I still haven't accomplished yet as far as football goals,'' Mosley said. ``And I still want to get my degree.

``It really hasn't been a tough decision, because the whole time I knew I was going to stay.''

Mosley was a finalist for the Butkus Award given to the nation's top linebacker. He easily leads the nation's top-rated defense with 99 tackles and also has four sacks and two interceptions.

The No. 2 tackler, Trey DePriest, has 56 stops.

However, Mosley has alternated with run-stopping senior Nico Johnson throughout his career. Johnson has started five games at the position in his final season.

``I'm going to be a first-year starter, officially,'' Mosley said.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said Mosley is ``a guy that can have a tremendous impact on the game'' and should get even better.

``He's a guy that's gotten bigger and stronger every year,'' Saban said. ``He's gotten to be a better and better player. I think next year, as he matures physically, he's even going to get bigger and stronger and continue to improve how physical he can play.''

Mosley came up with one of the Tide's biggest plays of the season when he tipped Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray's pass on the final play of the Southeastern Conference championship game. Chris Conley caught it and went down near the 5-yard line to preserve Alabama's 32-28 victory.

The pass was intended for Malcolm Mitchell and Murray has told reporters ``it's a touchdown'' if Mosley hadn't gotten a hand on the ball.

``He had the running back, and the running back blocked and he had a chance to go after the quarterback,'' said cornerback Dee Milliner, who was covering Mitchell. ``For him to have the awareness to go up and get the ball, because the receiver could have caught the ball if he hadn't hit it ... For him to get a little tip on it to slow the momentum of the ball helped us. That was right there at the end zone. He probably could have turned and you never know what could have happened.''

Milliner said Mosley is ``kind of different as a linebacker'' because he can cover a tight end and occasionally receivers.

Tide quarterback AJ McCarron has also said he'll come back for his senior season.

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

News broke that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry.

Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

RELATED: WHAT SHOULD THE REDSKINS DO AT RUNNING BACK?

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team. Yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.

RELATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

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Michal Kempny excited to move from last place Chicago to first place Caps

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Michal Kempny excited to move from last place Chicago to first place Caps

On Sunday, Michal Kempny was a defenseman struggling for a spot in the lineup for a team poised to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. On Monday, he became potentially an important piece on the roster of the first place Capitals.

The last few days have been quite the whirlwind for Kempny who tallied an assist for Chicago on Saturday in a 7-1 blowout against what is now his current team. While the Blackhawks may have gotten the better of Washington that night, Kempny is excited about the postseason opportunity that now lies in front of him.

"Nobody knows what's happening in Chicago, but I'm really happy and I'm really glad that I can be here," Kempny told reporters on Tuesday after his first skate with the team. "There is option of play a playoff and I'm very happy for it."

RELATED: WHERE MICHAL KEMKPNY FITS IN THE CAPS' LINEUP

The 27-year-old Czech defenseman played only 31 games for the Blackhawks this season, but considering Washington's need to shore up its defense before the trade deadline and the team's willingness to give up a third-round pick to acquire him, it is likely he will have a much more significant role with the Caps.

"I thought that I [was] going to get more space on the ice and more ice time, but I didn't play more than half games," Kempny said of his decision to originally sign with Chicago. "But now I'm here and I'm really glad that I'm here. Washington is amazing city and great organization and I hope I will get a chance to access myself on the ice more than in Chicago."

Kempny will not play in Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but did say he expects to play Thursday when the team visits the Florida Panthers.

When he does get into the lineup, it is unclear just how big a role he will play initially or how the team foresees utilizing him going forward. He is a left-shot defenseman and did tell reporters he prefers to play on that side. It seems unlikely the team would acquire him just to put him on his offside.

As of now, however, everything regarding his role in Washington is up on the air.

"I need everything settle down a little bit," he said. "New teammates, new people around here."

MORE CAPITALS: MEET MICHAL KEMPNY