Oklahoma State still confused at quarterback


Oklahoma State still confused at quarterback

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) It's become a weekly ritual for Mike Gundy to step to a podium in the Boone Pickens Stadium press box and praise the play of his quarterback. All that changes is the name of the person who's taking the snaps at the time.

Injuries have turned the position into a revolving door for the Cowboys (5-3, 3-2 Big 12), and that won't change leading up to Saturday's game against West Virginia (5-3, 2-3).

Gundy said Monday that he expects starting quarterback Wes Lunt to split practice time with backup Clint Chelf this week before the team determines who will play. Lunt had to come out of the Cowboys' loss to Kansas State over the weekend after getting hurt.

``I don't think we know who our starter will be,'' Gundy said at his weekly news conference. ``I'm fairly confident that we'll have Wes and Clint out there practicing and be in a situation that whoever we think gives us the best chance to be successful we'll have in the game.''

Lunt began the year as the starter, then injured his knee and was replaced by J.W. Walsh in the third game. The two flip-flopped again after Walsh's season was ended by injury. That meant third-stringer Chelf had to come in after Lunt was hurt against K-State.

Gundy does not comment on his players' injuries, but team doctors appeared to be checking Lunt for concussion symptoms on the sideline.

All three quarterbacks have kept Oklahoma State's offense clicking. Together, they've made the Cowboys the nation's No. 2 team in total offense, third in passing and eighth in scoring.

``I think it's a credit to those guys,'' offensive coordinator Todd Monken said. ``I think those guys study the game. I think all of them are pretty squared away off the field. All of them really enjoy being over there helping decide what we're going to call during the week.''

Chelf, a senior, had been first-round NFL draft pick Brandon Weeden's backup the past two seasons and only got to play in mop-up time previously. He was beaten out by Lunt, a true freshman, and Walsh, a redshirt freshman, during a three-way competition in the spring.

He threw for 233 yards and a touchdown after replacing Lunt about 5 minutes into the third quarter.

``He's been a big part of what we do, even though it hasn't really maybe been on the field. He's just been waiting for his opportunity, and I'm sure it's been frustrating for him and I'm sure he's looked at me like, `See, I told you I was the guy,''' Monken said.

``And that's what he should do. Guys that get an opportunity and play well should feel that way. You want your guys to feel that way. Now, just go out and play that way.''

If nothing else, this season has proven that it really was a close competition for the starter's job before Lunt won it.

``I've never doubted that Clint had the ability to play at this level. We just made the decision, based on a small sample size, of who we were going to go with moving forward,'' Monken said. ``That doesn't mean you're always right.

``Clint has an opportunity potentially - we're hoping and counting on Wes being back on Tuesday - but moving forward, if he gets that opportunity, he has a chance to prove us wrong.''

Running back Joseph Randle took it a step farther, pointing out that even Weeden was a third-stringer at one point - behind backup Alex Cate until Cate struggled in his first chance to replace injured starter Zac Robinson in 2009.

``So, maybe this is the start of something new. You never know,'' Randle said. ``I always knew he could play football and I always thought he could be a good quarterback for us.''

Randle said Chelf took over ``like a leader, like a veteran. He came in and knew exactly what to do.''

``All these guys, they all have their strengths and Clint's is that he's a very smart kid and he just knows the offense so well,'' receiver Charlie Moore said.

``Once he went in there, you could just see the swagger about him right when he went in - the cut it loose swagger.''

Considering how this season has gone, though, the Cowboys are preparing for Lunt or Chelf to perform well and the worst-case scenario: if Lunt can't play and Chelf gets sidelined. That would put walk-on Jase Chilcoat in the unbelievable scenario of being off the team at the start of the season and the top quarterback in November.

``It's great that we were able to get Jase back here. He has a familiarity somewhat with our offense,'' Monken said.

``He was dominating the intramural league, so we thought that was good enough for us.''

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3 stars of the game: A lethargic loss in Philadelphia


3 stars of the game: A lethargic loss in Philadelphia

Playing three games in four days takes a toll on even the fittest athletes, and it was their sluggish start that doomed the Capitals in a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. 

After being noncomittal about his starting goalie all weekend, Coach Barry Trotz put Philipp Grubauer in net. Grubauer ended up making 29 saves on 34 shots. Offensively, the Caps got goals from Alex Ovechkin, Chandler Stephenson, and John Carlson. Carlson's third period goal cut the Flyers' lead to two with a little over three minutes to go, but a Jakub Voracek empty-netter a few moments later was the nail in the coffin. 

Here are your three stars from the game: 

1. Travis Boyd had the play of the game for the Capitals. Boyd carried the puck into the Flyer's zone, cut through multiple defenders and fired a slick shot to a streaking Ovechkin, who burried the puck in the back of the net. Check it out: 

Not only was the play nice on its own, but it was Boyd's first NHL point. Not a bad way to get it. 

2. Shayne Gostisbehere​ got the Flyers going with his goal in the first period. The defenseman had one goal on five shots along with being an intimidating force in the defensive zone. After going six weeks without scoring, today's goal was Gostisbehere's second goal in three games. 

3. Wayne Simmonds was the best offensive player on the ice on Sunday, scoring twice - both in the final period. It was the 22nd and 23rd goals of the season for the 29-year-old winger. It was also the first multi-goal game for Simmonds since Opening Night, when he had two against San Jose. 

The Caps hit the ice next on Tuesday, when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the Capital One Center. 

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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

It may be the 18th of March but today could be like Christmas for five Redskins players.

The Redskins decided to use today, four days after the start of the league year, for some contract triggers. In this case, the triggers are all 2018 salary guarantees (some teams will pay out roster bonuses on trigger dates, but the Redskins rarely use that type of structure).

Here are the players whose have guarantees that kick in today 4 p.m. All data is via Over the Cap.


CB Josh Norman, base salary of $13.5 million becomes fully guaranteed—This was a window for the Redskins to move on from Norman if they were not happy with his performance after two seasons. He is 31 and he had no interceptions last season, leaving some to wonder if the Redskins might think about releasing him. But it never was a consideration.

TE Jordan Reed, $8 million of his $8.25 million salary becomes fully guaranteed—No, I’m not sure why they are leaving that $250,000 out there non-guaranteed. Fans thought that the Redskins might move on from Reed due to his injury issues. But, as with Norman, it never was a consideration.

S D.J. Swearinger, $3 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—This is a mere technicality, Swearinger wasn’t going anywhere after helping to solidify the safety position.


RB Chris Thompson, $1.996 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—His rehab is going well and after last year Thompson’s two-year, $7 million contract extension signed last September looks like a good deal for the team.

DE Terrell McClain, $3.25 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—If the Redskins sign a top free agent D-lineman or draft on early in the draft they could be in a numbers crunch. That new acquisition would be guaranteed a roster spot along with Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee, and Anthony Lanier. That makes five and the Redskins kept six last year. Ziggy Hood is a favorite of the coaching staff but he has no guaranteed money left on his contract. That could tip the sixth spot in favor of McClain if he is on the roster at the close of business today. If they release McClain after today, they would take a cap charge of over $2 million. It seems unlikely that anything will happen but it’s something to keep an eye on.

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.