Redskins

Jaguars figure 2 Greg Jones better than 1

Jaguars figure 2 Greg Jones better than 1

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Greg Jones, meet Greg Jones.

The Joneses crossed paths for the first time this week in Jacksonville's locker room, the veteran fullback nicknamed ``The Bull'' exchanging pleasantries with the second-year linebacker probably best known for proposing to his girlfriend on the field after the Super Bowl.

The meeting was a little strange, and being together surely will lead to confusion in the mail room.

``It's the first time being on the same team as a guy with the same name,'' said the linebacker Jones, who was signed Monday. ``It's pretty cool. Obviously, I know a good amount about him and his game. I have a lot of respect for his career.''

The linebacker was a sixth-round draft pick by the New York Giants in 2011. He played in all 16 regular-season games, starting five of them, and was a key contributor on special teams. And he has a Super Bowl ring, which he earned the same night he asked his girlfriend, Mandy Piechowski, to marry him on the confetti-covered field inside Lucas Oil Stadium.

But the Giants waived Jones during final cuts, parting ways with the former Michigan State standout.

``I felt like I was improving in camp,'' Jones said. ``My first preseason game wasn't my best at a new position, but I felt like I improved from there on and I got better every day and I was learning. Coach said it was a numbers game and they needed help at other positions.''

Jones figured someone else would pick him up, but he waited more than two months for the phone to ring.

The Jaguars (1-8) offered him a workout, and Jones obliged, but general manager Gene Smith couldn't sign him right away because of concerns at receiver. But Jacksonville eventually came through, offering Jones a contract after his second visit.

``That was a little bit of a roller coaster, but it worked out,'' Jones said. ``I'm adjusting pretty well. This whole thing has been a blessing for me. Now I'm just focused on learning this defense, contributing and helping the team win.''

With linebacker Clint Session (multiple concussions) on the physically unable to perform list and fellow starter Daryl Smith (groin) on injured reserve, Jones should get a chance to contribute in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars can only hope he plays as well as the fullback Greg Jones.

The former Florida State star has been an integral part of Jacksonville's rushing attack since the team selected him in the second round in the 2004 NFL draft.

Jones paved the way for Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, and many believe Jacksonville's struggling ground game has something to do with Jones missing the last two games because of a thigh injury.

Jones hopes to return for Sunday's game at Houston (8-1).

In the meantime, he has a new teammate to share stories with.

``I always knew of him, of course, playing in the NFL and knowing there's another Greg Jones out there,'' the fullback said. ``But it's kind of weird right now, us being in the same locker room.''

Even though they hadn't met until Monday, there was no way to avoid each other before.

When the Jaguars were given a demo of Madden13 during training camp, players got a kick out of a little mistaken identity. Instead of seeing a picture of their Greg Jones next to his bio page, they got the New York Giants linebacker.

Before that, at the ESPY Awards, the Giants' Greg Jones was introduced as Greg Jones from Florida State.

``It was funny,'' the linebacker said. ``That's happened a couple times, where I've been out and people have said my name and they think I'm him. I doubt if it's the other way around. He's a little bit bigger than me.''

Maybe so, but even the fullback's agent has inadvertently texted the other Greg Jones.

``It hasn't happened a lot, but it's happened a few times here and there,'' the linebacker said.

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In talking 2018 NFL draft, Doug Williams actually explained Redskins' free agency

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USA TODAY Sports

In talking 2018 NFL draft, Doug Williams actually explained Redskins' free agency

The Redskins spent modestly in 2018 free agency, and plenty of fans thought the team should have shelled out much bigger bucks. Talking with sources around the Ashburn facility, a prevaling notion became clear that the Washington brass believed they had a strong team in 2017, but they lost their chance to compete because of injuries. 

Well, the secret is out. Doug Williams said as much on Tuesday. 

"Coming out of Richmond last year, I liked this football team. I think we’ve got a tough football team, a smart football team. Some things you can’t control," Williams said Tuesday in a pre-draft media session. "We were very competitive up to a certain point, and when you have the injuries that we have, at a certain point, that competitive edge, you lose it because your best players are not playing."

Williams' words were true, and telling. 

First the true part:

  • In Washington's first five games of 2017, the team went 3-2. The Redskins only lost to eventual the Super Bowl champs Philadelphia and AFC West champs Kansas City. Washington only gave up more than 100 yards rushing once in those first five games, before rookie Jonathan Allen got hurt and the defense began to look much different. After Week 5, the Redskins only held one team under 100 yards rushing and finished the year dead last in rush defense.

Now the telling part:

  • The Redskins signed free agent WR Paul Richardson, and kept free agent LB Zach Brown. Beyond that, the team added inexpensive veterans in OLB Pernell McPhee and CB Orlando Scandrick. No splash moves, and recurring speculation that Washington was not offering top dollar to free agents. Bruce Allen acknowledged as much during NFL League Meetings when he explained that his team identified exactly how much they would offer free agents, their own and otherwise, and wouldn't go beyond that dollar figure. 

That means the focus of the offseason, at this point, is about this weekend's NFL Draft.

That also means the focus of the offseason, at this point, is not about Johnathan Hankins or any other free agent. 

"We’re going to deal with the draft now, and the second wave of free agents, if it’s somebody out there we feel like can help the Redskins,that’s what we’re going to do," Williams said. 

Throughout the offseason, Redskins fans wanted more action from their front office. It didn't happen, and Williams' basically explained why on Tuesday. The brass likes their team, and by default, expects better health and luck in 2018. 

When Williams talks about drafting the best player available, it's not just the typical NFL front office tripe. Right or wrong, the Redskins believe they have a team ready to compete in 2018, and any rookies that come in will only supplement that position.

"At the end of the day, I like this football team we’ve got. Like, last year when I walked out of camp, I thought we had a pretty good football team and I still feel the same way today," Williams said.

"At the end of the day, you get the best football player, and if that best football player is the guy that you want to plug and play, that’s all right. But if that’s the best football player that’s going to help your team overall, I think that’s the route you have to go."

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How the Caps won their first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets

How the Caps won their first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets

Things did not look good for the Capitals after two games.

Facing a 0-2 series hole after losing both games in Washington, it looked like it could be an early summer. The Caps were going to be the first team to ever lose a series in the playoffs to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

HOW DID THE CAPS WIN THEIR SERIES AGAINST COLUMBUS? FIND OUT HERE

But the Caps rallied.

Washington won the next four games and turned what looked like it would be another postseason disaster into a postseason triumph.

Only once in franchise history had the Caps rallied from a 0-2 deficit and only once had the Caps won four straight games to win a series. They managed both against the Blue Jackets.

Here's how the Caps were able to rally to a first-round victory over Columbus.