Redskins

Bears hire Tucker as defensive coordinator

Bears hire Tucker as defensive coordinator

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) The Chicago Bears hired Jacksonville's Mel Tucker as their defensive coordinator to replace Rod Marinelli on Friday.

Tucker spent the past four seasons as the Jaguars' defensive coordinator and was assistant head coach this season.

He interviewed to replace Mike Mularkey, who was fired after going 2-14 in his lone season as their head coach, but that job went to Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on Thursday.

New Bears coach Marc Trestman wanted to retain Marinelli, but he chose not to return. Now, he's turning to Tucker, who has experience with the 4-3 as well as the 3-4 defensive formations.

The Jaguars last season also used Cover-2 defense, a staple in Chicago under the fired Lovie Smith.

With the Bears, Tucker will take over a defense that ranked among the best this season with stars such as Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs and Julius Peppers.

But Chicago also has a big question mark with Brian Urlacher's contract expiring after an injury-filled season.

The Jaguars were 30th in the league in total defense in 2012, but they were sixth the year before at 313 yards per game, with Tucker spending the final five games as interim head coach after Jack Del Rio was fired.

He was also reportedly considered for the head coaching job at his alma mater Wisconsin, which went with Gary Andersen to replace Bret Bielema.

Tucker was an assistant with Cleveland from 2005 to 2008, spending the first three years as defensive backs coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator.

He previously coached at Ohio State and spent time with Nick Saban at both LSU and Michigan State. He also spent a year at Miami of Ohio.

The Bears also hired Matt Cavanaugh as their quarterbacks coach and Skip Peete as their running backs coach on Friday along with two of Trestman's assistants with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes - tight ends coach Andy Bischoff and assistant defensive line coach Michael Sinclair.

Cavanaugh will try to get the most out of Jay Cutler after spending the past four seasons as the New York Jets' quarterbacks coach, working with Mark Sanchez. The Jets have gone 14-18 the past two years.

Cavanaugh served as the Bears' offensive coordinator from 1997 and 1998, and he was San Francisco's quarterbacks coach in 1996 when Trestman was the 49ers' offensive coordinator.

Peete was fired after six seasons in Dallas. The Cowboys finished next-to-last in the NFL with 1,265 yards rushing. Dallas never had a 1,000-yard rusher under Peete but did finish seventh in the league in rushing in 2007.

Sinclair was a three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman with the Seahawks in the 1990s and played 11 seasons with Seattle and the Philadelphia Eagles. He was Montreal's defensive line coach from 2008 to 2012.

Bischoff spent the past five seasons as the Alouettes' running backs coach and was also their special teams coordinator from 2010 to 2012.

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Miami tagged Jarvis Landry - what does it mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry - what does it mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the Top  5 paid receivers in the NFL. They can also trade Landry, and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 

What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical, few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins, but certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. $$$$Wide Receivers$$$$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

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Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

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Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

The Capitals continued to retool their scuffling blue line on Wednesday, acquiring 26-year-old defenseman Jakub Jerabek from Montreal in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019.

The move comes a couple of days after GM Brian MacLellan dealt a conditional third-round selection to Chicago for swift skating Michal Kempny.

Both Jerabek and Kempny are left shot, puck-moving defensemen who move well and make crisp outlet passes. Both also hail from the Czech Republic.

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The team sees Jerabek as a No. 5 or 6, I’m told.

On Wednesday, the Caps also officially said goodbye to Taylor Chorney, who was claimed off waivers by Columbus. Chorney will report to the Blue Jackets.

The Caps were off on Wednesday as they made their way Florida for Thursday night’s meeting with the Panthers, so it’s unclear how Coach Barry Trotz intends to deploy his new defensemen.

But it’s probably safe to assume that Kempny will move into a spot within the top four with John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen.

MORE CAPITALS: GET TO KNOW MICHAL KEMPNY

That figures to leave Brooks Orpik and Jerabek on the third pair, while rookies Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey jockey for position as the next man up.

Kempny is expected to make his Caps’ debut on Thursday night.

Is the Caps’ D corps better? Well, that remains to be seen. But it had become clear to MacLellan and Co. in recent weeks that the status quo was not going to cut it. This month, in fact, the team has allowed 39 goals in 10 games. Only the Rangers (40) have allowed more in the same span.

With the trade deadline looming next Monday, the Caps now have roughly $617,000 in cap space, according to www.capfriendly.com, and are at the roster maximum of 23 players. So they would need to make a move in order to add another body.