Redskins

Chiefs hire Packers' Dorsey as general manager

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Chiefs hire Packers' Dorsey as general manager

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Kansas City Chiefs must have figured if the Green Bay Packers were playing in the NFC playoffs on Saturday night, they were making a wise choice for their next general manager.

The Chiefs announced during the first half of the Packers' game against the San Francisco 49ers that they had hired longtime Green Bay personnel man John Dorsey to replace Scott Pioli, who was fired after four tumultuous years and a 2-14 finish this past season.

The team announced the hiring on Twitter, but did not make Dorsey, Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt or new coach Andy Reid available to comment. An introductory news conference was scheduled for Monday.

Hunt did describe his ideal GM candidate in an interview earlier in the week: ``First of all, someone who's a sharp talent evaluator,'' he said. ``I'd like someone who's been part of a successful program from a talent standpoint. Someone who's a good communicator, a good manager, and last but really not least, someone who will work well with Andy.''

Hunt may as well have been describing Dorsey, a linebacker for the Packers in the 1980s.

Dorsey was instrumental in helping build Green Bay into a perennial contender, first as a college scout from 1991-97 and then as director of college scouting from 1997-98 - a period that roughly coincided with Reid's time as a Packers assistant coach.

Dorsey spent one season with the Seattle Seahawks before returning to Green Bay, where he was director of college scouting from 2000-12 and director of football operations this season.

During that time, the Packers have won six division titles, a conference championship and the 2010 Super Bowl. They've also made nine playoff appearances in the past 12 seasons.

Dorsey helped select quarterback Aaron Rodgers with the 24th overall pick in the 2005 draft, and has been a part of several other solid draft choices: linebacker Nick Barnett in 2003, wide receiver Greg Jennings and linebacker A.J. Hawk in 2006, wide receiver Jordy Nelson and tight end Jermichael Finley in 2008, and defensive tackle B.J. Raji in 2010.

All that success in the NFL draft should come in handy. The Chiefs, with the league's worst record, will have the No. 1 pick for the first time in franchise history.

One of their most pressing needs is an upgrade at quarterback, where Matt Cassel and his six-year, $63 million contract were benched last season. Brady Quinn started half the season and fared little better, while third-string quarterback Ricky Stanzi never saw the field.

Reid said recently he's going to examine the players on the roster, and then consult with the GM - whoever it ended up being - on what other options are available.

That may include selecting a quarterback with the first pick in the draft.

``You don't build your team in free agency. That's not how you go about it,'' Reid said. ``I've experienced that. I've seen it first-hand. You can afford to bring a guy in here or there, but you better have that nucleus of guys that you kind of raised up, and then what's important about that is you better make sure you have the right guy. And that's the general manager's responsibility. You have to identify the right guy.''

Hunt and Reid both insisted that the coach will not have final say on personnel decisions, and that the general manager will be responsible for building a winning roster.

The Chiefs have won the AFC West twice since 1997, and haven't won a playoff game since '93.

``You'd love to get good players. That's the primary thing,'' Reid said. ``As the general manager comes in, that's what he's going to do. That's his responsibility. He's going to narrow that whole field down, makes sure he brings in good football players.''

Dorsey will report directly to Hunt, just as Pioli and other GMs have in the past. But during a massive overhaul of the Chiefs' front office, the chairman said he's altering the organizational structure so Reid also reports directly to him.

In the past, Chiefs coaches always reported to the general manager.

``The general manager has say over personnel. The coach has say over coaching the football team. And I want them to be able to work together,'' Hunt said. ``That's the most important thing.''

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Need to Know: Tandler's Take—Drafting a running back early not a cure-all for Redskins' ground game

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Need to Know: Tandler's Take—Drafting a running back early not a cure-all for Redskins' ground game

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, February 18, 24 days before NFL free agency starts.

Tandler’s Take

The topic for today’s post comes from Twitter:

When I asked for topics for this post, the subject of the running game came up with several of them. And since John brought up the draft, let’s look at that as a potential solution.

Let’s first establish that the Redskins’ running game was not good enough last year. I don’t need to spend a bunch of time on this but here are some numbers. They were 28th in rushing yards and 29th in yards per carry. If you like to weigh more complete metrics, they were 28th in rushing DVOA. If you want to look at a key situation, they were last in the league in yards per first-down rushing attempt. Last year a team gained 100 yards rushing or more 274 times. The Redskins got there five times.

I’m going to leave it at that here since, again, if you’re reading this you probably watched a lot of their games and you don’t need to be persuaded that the running game was largely unproductive. Yes, there were injuries that had the offensive linemen playing snaps just days after being signed and the broken leg suffered by Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley’s various ailments. But the Redskins haven’t ranked higher than 19th in rushing yards since Jay Gruden became the head coach. Rushing game struggles are an ongoing issue.

I am going to work on the premise that those who advocate having the Redskins improve their running game via the draft are talking about drafting a running back in the first or second round. That may be overgeneralizing but that gives me a good-sized chunk of data to work with and still be able to analyze it in the 1000 words or so I am allotted here.

I’m also going to call a 1,000-yard season the minimum that would be expected out of a back drafted in the first two rounds. There are other ways a back can contribute, of course, and we can deal with them separately.

From 2010-2017, there were 45 thousand-yard rushing seasons by players who entered the league during those years (all data via the indispensable Pro Football Reference unless noted). Twelve of them were accomplished by players drafted in the first round. Six came from second-round picks, six from third-rounders, four from the fourth, three from the fifth, four from the sixth and none from the seventh. Oh, and there were 10 thousand-yard seasons that came from undrafted players.

It should be noted that four of those seasons from undrafted players came from the Texans’ Arian Foster. And two each came from LeGarrette Blount and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. So those 10 thousand-yard seasons should not be seen as an indication that there is a treasure trove of running back talent going undrafted every year.

Back to the first and second rounders, the combined 16 thousand-yard seasons doesn’t mean much in isolation. How many backs were drafted in the first two rounds in that time? How many opportunities have they had to post big seasons?

In the past eight drafts, 34 running backs were drafted in the first and second round. That group has had 170 opportunities to post a 1,000-yard season. What I mean by opportunities is the number of seasons that have elapsed since the player was drafted. The six backs drafted in the first two rounds in 2010 have each had eight chances to gain 1,000 yards in a season so they have combined for 48 opportunities (6*8). There were five backs drafted in the first and second seven seasons ago, so there have combined for 35 opportunities, and so on. Through the eight years that adds up to 170 seasons.

The combined 16 thousand-yard seasons in 170 opportunities comes to a success rate of 9.4 percent when it comes to reaching the bar that most fans would set as the minimum.

A couple of things need to be pointed out here. There are some backs like Giovani Bernard, Shane Vereen, and Christian McCaffrey who do not have any big rushing seasons on their resumes but have been valuable catching passes out of the backfield. And some like Dalvin Cook, who was injured after a promising start last year, and McCaffrey seemed destined to have 1,000-yard seasons in their futures. So all of the backs who have not gained 1,000 yards in a season are not necessarily draft busts or failures.

But here are first-round running back busts, just like there are busts at every position. There were 12 running back picked in the first round of the past eight drafts. Javid Best, David Wilson, and Trent Richardson clearly were disappointments (the former two struggled with injuries). Doug Martin, Ryan Mathews, and C.J. Spiller have had some success but perhaps not enough to justify being first-round picks. It took Mark Ingram a while, but he got rolling in his sixth NFL season. I want to see more out of McCaffrey before judging him and Melvin Gordon needs to continue his upward trajectory. It’s safe to say that even with small sample sizes of data in the books on Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette they were home runs. So was Todd Gurley.

So out of 12 first-round backs in the last eight years, you have three clear busts, three moderate disappointments, four top-level performers (including Ingram) and two TBD.

In any case, it’s clear that just drafting a back early is not a panacea for a struggling running game. Blocking (from both the line and the receivers and other backs), play calling, scheme, and some intangible factors like attitude (as Brian Mitchell will tell you) all play into the success and failure of moving the ball on the ground.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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2018 NBA All-Star Game: TV and live stream info, rosters, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

2018 NBA All-Star Game: TV and live stream info, rosters, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

The 2018 NBA All-Star Game is here with the annual showcase set for Los Angeles.

Here is all you need to know: TV and live stream info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

2018 NBA ALL-STAR GAME

Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)

ROSTERS

TEAM LEBRON:

Coach: Dwane Casey, Raptors
LeBron James, Cavaliers
Kevin Durant, Warriors
Kyrie Irving, Celtics
Anthony Davis, Pelicans
LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs
Bradley Beal, Wizards
Goran Dragic, Heat
Andre Drummond, Pistons
Paul George, Thunder
Victor Oladipo, Pacers
Russell Westbrook, Thunder
Kemba Walker, Hornets

TEAM STEPHEN:

Coach: Mike D'Antoni, Rockets
Stephen Curry, Warriors
James Harden, Rockets
Joel Embiid, 76ers
DeMar DeRozan, Raptors
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves
Draymond Green, Warriors
Klay Thompson, Warriors
Al Horford, Celtics
Damian Lillard, Blazers
Kyle Lowry, Raptors
Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves

PODCAST: ALL-STAR WEEKEND PREVIEW, WIZARDS AT THE BREAK 

Three things to watch...

New format

The NBA switched it up this season by doing away with the traditional matchup between the East and West. The teams were instead chosen by captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry, the two top vote-getters in All-Star fan voting. The idea was to breath new life into the All-Star Game and hopefully make it more competitive. The league also installed a system where the winners each get $100,000, $75,000 more than the losing team. 

All pro sports leagues struggle drawing interest with their All-Star showcases. They are always trying to get ratings up and this is the latest ploy by the NBA. The new format is definitely intriguing, but whether it will have a major impact on the competition itself is hard to tell. We'll see how the fans respond.

RELATED: JOHN WALL GIVES UPDATE ON HIS REHAB

Reunion time

The teams picked by James and Curry will give fans some throwback combinations with former teammates back together again. Team LeBron is full of them. James will reunite with Kyrie Irving, who essentially forced his way out of Cleveland over the summer after the two combined to reach three straight NBA Finals and win one title.

We will also see Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook play together again. They of course teamed up to win a lot of games with the Oklahoma City Thunder before Durant signed with the Warriors. Westbrook will also be reunited with Victor Oladipo, who was traded from OKC to the Pacers over the summer.

RELATED: WIZARDS/BULLETS HISTORY ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Beal's All-Star debut

Wizards fans will of course be focused on Bradley Beal, who is making his first All-Star appearance. He is Washington's lone representative, as John Wall is still recovering from left knee surgery.

Beal may not get many minutes on a stacked roster of guys who have been in the game before. If that happens, it's probably for the best. Beal is currently fifth in the NBA in total minutes played. He needs the rest if he can get it.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS