London hires 4, including Tom O'Brien, Tenuta

London hires 4, including Tom O'Brien, Tenuta

Virginia coach Mike London has reached into the Cavaliers' past to refill his coaching staff.

London on Thursday hired former Boston College and North Carolina State head coach Tom O'Brien to be his associate head coach for offense and coach tight ends, Jon Tenuta to be his associate head coach for defense and defensive coordinator, and Jeff Banks to coach special teams and running backs.

He also promoted wide receivers coach Marques Hagans from graduate assistant to fulltime assistant, and said cornerbacks coach Chip West has been promoted from assistant recruiting coordinator to recruiting coordinator.

O'Brien, Tenuta and Hagans have deep Virginia roots.

O'Brien was an assistant under George Welsh at Virginia from 1982-96, the most successful era in school history, before becoming the head coach at Boston College and then N.C. State. He was fired at N.C. State on Nov. 25 with a career mark of 115-80, including an 8-2 record in bowl games.

He also had London on his staff at Boston College, and becomes the second former boss to join London's staff. Jim Reid, the Virginia defensive coordinator who was fired along with three other assistants after the Cavaliers finished 4-8 last season, had London as an assistant coach when he was at Richmond.

``With Tom's experience as a head coach in the ACC and Big East for 16 seasons, I am looking forward to his insights and I'm excited that he will be able to share his knowledge with our coaches and players,'' London said in a statement provided by the school. It said none of the coaches would be made available to comment until after the American Football Coaches Association convention that runs from Jan. 6-9.

O'Brien received a two-year contract with a $150,000 signing bonus, an annual salary of $450,000 and a $300,000 bonus at the conclusion of the deal. The package makes him the highest paid assistant on London's staff; offensive coordinator Bill Lazor's contract pays him a base salary of $453,000.

Tenuta was a defensive back at Virginia who graduated in 1982. He has 32 years of experience, half of it as a coordinator with stops that include Ohio State, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. He received a five-year contract with an annual salary of $500,000.

``It's no secret that Jon brings an aggressive approach to the defensive side of the ball and I think our players will be excited to adopt that philosophy,'' London said. ``Jon has a great track record of improving defenses. He's spent many years coaching in the ACC and there's not much, if anything, he has not had to prepare for. I know Jon and his family are excited to return to Charlottesville and UVa.''

Hagans was a wide receiver and quarterback at Virginia from 2002-05. He ranks seventh in career passing yards at Virginia with 4,877 and is from Hampton in the state's most fertile recruiting area. He received a two-year contract with a salary of $150,000.

Banks, a former punter, has coached special teams for 12 years at the college level, the last nine at UTEP. He replaces Anthony Poindexter, who remains on staff coaching safeties but had the special teams duties taken away in the staff shakeup announced Dec. 2.

Banks received a two-year contract at an annual salary of $200,000, and all the assistants are entitled to performance bonuses based on success.

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Paul Richardson's Redskins contract is team friendly early

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Paul Richardson's Redskins contract is team friendly early

The Redskins’ contract with wide receiver Paul Richardson is very team friendly in the first year but it increases over the years to the point where he needs to be a very productive receiver in order to justify staying on the roster.

The big picture of the deal is $40 million over five years. A total of $12.5 million is fully guaranteed at signing, which is comprised of a $10 million signing bonus, his $1.5 million 2018 salary, and $1 million of his $5 million 2019 salary.

More money will become guaranteed if Richardson is on the roster as of five days after the start of the league years in 2019 and 2020. The remaining $4 million of his 2019 salary and $3.5 million of his $6 million 2020 salary become guaranteed on those dates.


Richardson will get salaries of $7.5 million in 2021 and 2022. Each year of the contract he can earn $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses ($31,250 for each game he is on the 46-man game day roster).

It all adds up to the following salary cap numbers:

2018: $4 million
2019: $7.5 million
2020: $8.5 million
2021: $10 million
2022: $10 million

The average annual value of the contract is $8 million, which is tied for 24th among NFL receivers.

The first window the Redskins have to terminate Richardson’s contract without taking a negative cap hit would be in 2020 as long as they do it prior to the fifth day of the league year when the partial salary guarantee kicks in. They would take a $6 million deal cap hit but they would save a net of $2.5 million.

The last two years, when the cap numbers are at their highest, the Redskins could easily move on, saving $6 million in cap space in 2021 and $8 million in 2022.


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


John Carlson gets the better of John Klingberg in duel of top defensemen


John Carlson gets the better of John Klingberg in duel of top defensemen

One week ago, the hockey world was captivated by the matchup of Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, two players battling for the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer. Tuesday's matchup between the Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars once again pitted two competitors locked in a point battle together in John Carlson and John Klingberg.

Carlson and Klingberg entered Tuesday's games with 59 points each, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. In a 4-3 win for Washington, both defensemen delivered phenomenal performances as each recorded two points, two assists for Klingberg and a goal and an assist for Carlson.

Tuesday's game was the latest example this season of Carlson rising to the occasion. He has been at his best when he has been needed the most such as when he was averaging 27:46 of ice time a night while Matt Niskanen was out injured.


Carlson's ability to deliver has not gone unnoticed by his teammates.

"John's having just a whale of a year, obviously," Niskanen said. "Monster year. Production, been carrying the load all year. He's been just a stalwart back there for us. He leads the way."

"The numbers don't lie, he's been having an unreal season," T.J. Oshie said. "Definitely on the points side of things, but maybe some parts that don't get talked about, the defensive side of things. He rarely loses a battle. It's very encouraging, it gets the bench going when he plays like that."

After the game, Carlson tried to downplay the notion that he elevated his game in response to playing against Klingberg.

"No," Carlson said when asked if he was motivated by the points race. "I think the guys do a good job of pumping that up in the locker room. I just want to go out there and win. I think we played a good game tonight so that's most important."

But while his words were subdued, his play was anything but.

Despite both players getting two points, Carlson got the better of his counterpart by scoring the game-winning goal in the third period, a one-timer slap shot to beat goalie Kari Lehtnonen, to lead Washington to the win.


Carlson may say he was not motivated by Klingberg, but his play certainly seemed to suggest otherwise.

"I think they both know, they know the stats," Barry Trotz said. "They know who they're lined up [against]. They're proud athletes. You're in a business where there's a lot of alpha males. That's what it is."

Of course, Carlson may not need a matchup with Klingberg to motivate him.

In the final year of his contract, Carlson has picked a good time to set new career highs in goals, assist and points. With a cap hit of just under $4 million, the 28-year-old blueliner will be due a significant raise in the offseason. That price tag continues to climb with every good performance as Carlson continues to cement himself among the league's top defensemen.

"Obviously he's very motivated," Trotz said. "He's in the last year of his contract. He'll be motivated. He's putting out points. He's gotten better and better. He's more poised every year. When he's intense and detailed in his game, he's a top defenseman in the league and he shows it."