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Denard Robinson ready to play any position in NFL

Denard Robinson ready to play any position in NFL

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Denard Robinson is willing to do whatever it takes to play in the NFL.

``I'm open to a lot of ideas,'' Robinson said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press. ``I just want to make it one day. I hope that whatever team picks me utilizes my talents in whatever ways they want to do it.''

The former Michigan quarterback plans to travel on Friday to Mobile, Ala., to begin showing and telling teams in the league he's open-minded.

Robinson is expected to practice and play as a wide receiver at the Senior Bowl. He said taking snaps in a wildcat-style formation along with playing running back, returning kickoffs and punts are also options.

And, the 6-foot, 197-pound Robinson insists he's even willing to play cornerback - a position switch suggested by a former executive in the league - if an NFL team wants to move him to the other side of the ball.

``I'm up for whatever,'' he said. ``Why not?''

Robinson said he played cornerback sometimes at Deerfield Beach High School in Florida as a senior.

``If the other team had more than one good receiver, they'd put me at corner,'' he recalled. ``I was pretty good.''

He set an NCAA record for QBs with 4,495 yards rushing in his career, breaking the mark Pat White set at West Virginia from 2005-2008. At Michigan, only Mike Hart has run for more yards than Robinson did the previous four seasons.

Robinson said he plans to finish his degree this semester while training in Ann Arbor for the NFL draft in April.

He ran for 100 yards - for the 20th time in his career - on 23 carries in his finale with the Wolverines. He primarily played running back and also took snaps and lined up as a receiver in a loss to South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.

Nerve damage in his right elbow knocked him off the field Oct. 27 at Nebraska, keeping him out for the next two games and limiting his ability to throw during the final two games of the regular season and on New Year's Day.

Robinson had 10,776 yards of total offense, ranking sixth in Big Ten history. In the conference record books, he finished one spot lower than Indiana's Antwaan Randle El, who successfully made a transition from playing quarterback in college to receiver in the NFL after being drafted by Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2002 draft.

Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage recently said Robinson's athleticism, ball skills and speed compares to Randle El, who caught 370 for 4,467 yards and 15 touchdowns in his NFL career with Pittsburgh and Washington Redskins. Randle El also scored five times on punt returns and once off a kickoff.

NFL draft consultant and former Dallas Cowboys general manager Gil Brandt has said he'd draft Robinson to be a cornerback.

``A quarterback never wants to be told he's going to have to play another position, but I don't think he can play quarterback in the NFL,'' Brandt said last month. ``I do know teams are always looking for cornerbacks, and I think Robinson could do it because of his quickness and speed.

``But he'd have to want to do it to make it work.''

And, Robinson does, making it very clear that he's OK with being known as a former QB.

``I am just open to do whatever I've got to do to get a shot in the NFL,'' he said. ``It doesn't matter to me where I play. I just want to play.''

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John Tortorella has no answers, walks out of postgame press conference

John Tortorella has no answers, walks out of postgame press conference

In each of the first three games of the series, the Columbus Blue Jackets always had an answer for the Washington Capitals.

The Caps built a two-goal lead in each game and Columbus was able to battle back and tie it each time.

In Game 4 on Thursday, however. the Blue Jackets had no answer in a 4-1 loss to Washington and that includes head coach John Tortorella.

"We weren't good," Tortorella said to the media after the game. "There's no sense asking me things about the game. I'm telling you, we laid an egg. I'm not going to break it down for you. We sucked. We sucked."

Tortorella is known for having some fiery interactions with the media. By his standard, Thursday's postgame presser was fairly tame.

The Capitals may have won Game 3, but Columbus certainly looked like the better team for most of the night. That was not the case in Game 4 as Washington dominated from start to finish. That led to the contentious postgame presser.

"We laid an egg," Tortorella said. "That's all I have to say, guys. I'm sorry, I'm not going to break it down for you. Nothing went well for us. It's on us, we have to figure it out and we will."

Reporters continued to press the head coach until he finally walked out.

Before you laugh too hard at this, it is important to consider that this may be a calculated move by Tortorella.

Sure, there have been times in which he has lost his temper in the past, but these outbursts may be more premeditated than we think.

Consider this. After their worst game of the series, a game in which the Blue Jackets only scored once and saw a 2-0 series lead evaporate in two games at home, we're talking about the head coach. We're not talking about the loss or the performance of the players. Instead, we are talking about Tortorella walking out on reporters.

Even if Tortorella was not willing to give any answers on Thursday, he will need to find some soon. The series now shifts back to Washington for Game 5 on Saturday with all the momentum on the Caps' side.

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4 reasons the Caps beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

4 reasons the Caps beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

The Caps put together their best performance of the series Thursday in a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 4 of their 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series.

The win pulled Washington even with Columbus in the series 2-2.

Here's how the Caps got the big win.

4 Reasons why the Capitals beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

1. Tom Wilson factors in the offense

Wilson’s hands are good for more than just punching.

He proved that again on Thursday as he scored the first goal for the second consecutive game. Chandler Stephenson and John Carlson provided the pressure on Sergei Bobrovsky. With Bobrovsky scrambling in the crease, Evgeny Kuznetsov passed the puck back to Wilson who fired the one-timer past the Columbus netminder.

In the first two games of the series, Wilson had no points and no shots. In the last two games, he has two goals and 13 shots on goal.

2. A great keep-in by John Carlson

We saw how dangerous it was when penalty killers fail to clear the puck in Game 1 when the Caps failed to clear in the third period leading to the game-tying power play goal.

In Game 4, the roles were reversed. Trying to kill off an Artemi Panarin penalty, Cam Atkinson attempted to clear the puck with the backhand. Carlson skillfully corralled the puck out of the air at the blue line to keep it in the zone.

The power play was able to reset and T.J. Oshie scored the rebound goal soon after.

3. Braden Holtby closes the door to finish the second period

After the Caps took the 2-0 lead, the Blue Jackets made a late push to try to pull one back.

In the last 10 minutes of the second period, Columbus had 13 shot attempts, five of which were not net. Several of those shots were high-quality opportunities, but Holtby came up with the big saves that the team was not getting earlier in the series.

His play ensured the Caps took the 2-0 lead to the locker room.

4. Alex Ovechkin extends the lead to three

Washington entered the third period up 2-0. In each of the first three games, the Caps held a two-goal lead and allowed the Blue Jackets to battle back and tie the score. Even with a two-goal lead, it still felt at the start of the third that the next goal would decide the game. If Columbus pulled within one and got the crowd back on their side, we have seen what that momentum can do for them.

This time, however, Ovechkin struck first. After a board battle behind the net, the puck trickled out to the faceoff circle. Ovechkin grabbed it and quickly snapped the puck past Bobrovsky before anyone could react.

The goal gave Washington their first three-goal lead of the series and shut the Blue Jackets’ comeback down before it could begin.

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