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Chizik: Freshman QB earns starting consideration

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Chizik: Freshman QB earns starting consideration

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Auburn coach Gene Chizik said freshman Jonathan Wallace is ``in strong consideration'' to start at quarterback against lowly New Mexico State.

It can't get much worse for the nation's 120th-rated offense.

Wallace was one of the few bright spots in the Tigers' 63-21 loss to No. 16 Texas A&M on Saturday night. Starter Clint Moseley injured an ankle, and former starter Kiehl Frazier was sacked four times.

Wallace passed for 122 yards and two touchdowns and ran 13 times for 71 yards for the Tigers (1-7, 0-6 Southeastern Conference), who are off to their worst start in 60 years.

``There were times when he got out of a little bit of trouble and extended a play with his feet and made a play,'' Chizik said Sunday. ``I thought he was very productive, even running the football. He fumbled the ball two times last week, he came back and he was very adamant about protecting the ball every time he carried it. I thought he made very good decisions. The most impressive part to me was he stood back in the pocket when it was time to throw the football, and he made some accurate throws with some pressure around him. That was good to see.''

Auburn didn't hold its normal Sunday practice, and Chizik said the team would focus more on evaluation and film study.

Frazier started the first five games and missed two with an arm injury. Moseley got the start in the last three, but neither has gotten the offense going.

Chizik said he needs to get an idea of the health of the quarterbacks in Tuesday's practice before making a decision on the starter, but said Wallace is ahead of the learning curve for a freshman.

``There's a fine line in there because the most important thing with a young guy, when you bring him in, is you give him a chance to succeed,'' Chizik said. ``Everything you saw him run last night is stuff we've worked a lot on that he gets and understands. There is a fine line, because you can't do everything but he's smart enough to handle more than probably the average young guy. You have to be very judicious as you choose what to give him.''

Chizik has declined to answer questions about his job security. University President Jay Gogue issued a statement last week saying he'd evaluate the program after the season, but didn't mention Chizik.

``You've got to go to work and you've got to be focused in on what your job entails,'' Chizik said. ``That's what makes college football great. When you're great and everything's good, everybody loves you and it's all rosy. I've been on a lot of those teams, too. I don't change and listen to it when it's good and not listen to it when it's bad. You do your job and that is not part of your job in this profession.''

Auburn had minus-15 yards and no first downs on its first three drives against Texas A&M, and was down 28-0 before moving the chains.

The Aggies' 671 yards was the most ever allowed by the Tigers.

``I haven't studied the record books exactly, but when you play in a game like that and are involved in a game like that you have to know historically it's somewhere at the very bottom,'' Chizik said. ``Whether that's at the very bottom or somewhere close you know that's where you're at. I think that's pretty obvious to everybody that was involved in the game.''

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Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Lightning will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Lightning game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals (34-18-7) take on the Lightning (39-17-3) Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Washington.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME ON?

The Capitals-Lightning game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Lightning
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Lightning game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals-Lightning game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-LIGHTNING OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201