Capitals

Colts give Bears permission to interview Arians

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Colts give Bears permission to interview Arians

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Indianapolis Colts want offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to stick around a little longer.

They also understand he wants to become an NFL head coach.

On Thursday, the Colts said Arians had been granted permission to speak with the Chicago Bears about their head coaching vacancy, though it's unclear when the interview will take place because Indy (11-5) will face AFC North champion Baltimore (10-6) in a wild-card round game Sunday. The winner will go to either Denver or New England in the divisional round.

Chicago might not be the only team interested. There has been speculation that the San Diego Chargers want Arians, too, though the Colts haven't confirmed whether they received an interview request from the Chargers. And with five other jobs also open, Arians could be mentioned in those cities, too.

``We do not want to lose Bruce Arians. He's just, we know what he is and we know what he means to this organization and to this football team. So let me just say that first and foremost,'' Colts coach Chuck Pagano said Monday. ``But you guys have seen him work over the last 12 weeks and you know him as a person and as a coach and I would just tell him that you're getting, or if you're interested in a guy you're getting a guy that's a great leader, a great football coach, a great man, and if that happened you'd be getting a great football coach.''

The Colts' coordinators usually speak with reporters on Thursday, but Arians was not available because he was ill, a team spokesman said.

Arians has been an NFL assistant for 20 years. His only head coaching experience came during a six-year stint at Temple where he was 27-39 in the 1980s.

But this year, he moved to the top of the head coaching carousel after leading the Colts to a 9-3 record as the interim coach while Pagano battled leukemia. Arians, a prostate cancer survivor, tied the NFL record for most wins after a midseason coaching change and clinched a playoff spot with a 20-13 win at Kansas City. Pagano returned to his job the next day and later said Arians had his vote as the 2012 NFL Coach of the Year.

For the 60-year-old Arians, this promises to be a different kind of offseason than last year when he was forced out as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator and appeared headed into retirement.

Pagano, an old friend, then called and offered Arians the Colts job.

Arians has a reputation for mentoring young quarterbacks. His list includes Peyton Manning, Tim Couch and Ben Roethlisberger.

This year, under Arians' guidance, Andrew Luck set NFL rookie records for yards passing (4,374) and attempts (627), broke Manning's franchise record for completions (339), finished third on the NFL's rookie list for TD passes (23) and set the franchise record for TDs rushing by a quarterback (five). Luck's quarterback rating, 76.5, also was a franchise rookie record, breaking John Unitas' previous mark (74.0).

When Luck was asked Wednesday what he would say if a team asked about Arians, Luck laughed and jokingly said: ``Terrible things. Terrible, terrible things.''

The Bears and other teams know better.

Chicago general manager Phil Emery is looking to replace Lovie Smith who was fired Monday. Emery appears to be seeking an offensive-minded coach who can help Jay Cutler and the Bears offense become more consistent after missing the playoffs five of the past six years.

San Diego also fired its coach, Norv Turner, and general manager A.J. Smith on Monday and reportedly is interested in Tom Telesco, the Colts vice president of football operations.

Arians repeatedly told reporters this season that it had always been his dream to be an NFL head coach and that he would still be interested in the right opportunity. Arians did not specify what that meant, though he did say he would like to continue calling plays.

``That's something I always wondered about and how feasible that would be if I ever got an opportunity (to be a head coach) because calling plays is what I love to do,'' he said in December. ``I think that part of it I found out is possible. I've never questioned the rest of it. I can deal with the media better than I thought I could.''

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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