Maryland Terps

Osweiler: Nothing better than being Peyton's No. 2

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Osweiler: Nothing better than being Peyton's No. 2

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) All eyes were on Peyton Manning this season, especially Brock Osweiler's.

He's the Denver Broncos' OTHER first-year quarterback, a 6-foot-8 passing project from Arizona State who's the first signal-caller ever drafted with the intention of one day succeeding the league's most decorated passer.

Osweiler bears a striking resemblance to ``Twilight'' actor Robert Pattinson, but what he really wants is to look more like Manning.

So, he's taken advantage of his apprenticeship by watching Manning's every move, scribbling copious notes and mimicking his mentor's notorious work ethic and preparation.

``There's no greater blueprint,'' said Osweiler, who also hopes to pick up some pointers from another pre-eminent passer this offseason in Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, who waited in the wings for three years behind Brett Favre.

Osweiler said he's thrilled to be in Manning's shadow and insists he'll gladly bide his time while learning as much as he can from one of the game's greats.

Still, he says he's ready if needed.

``With my experience that I took being the backup at ASU, I understand what it's like to be thrown into the middle of a game,'' Osweiler said. ``So, I just study that game plan inside and out and prepare like I'm the starter so if anything ever did happen, I'm ready to go.''

If, heaven forbid, something should happen in the playoffs to the league's only four-time MVP, the next man up is a guy who's thrown all of four passes as a pro.

All of those throws came Sunday when Osweiler played the fourth quarter of Denver's 38-3 blowout of Kansas City, his fifth NFL game but the first in which he didn't just hand the ball off or line up in victory formation.

Osweiler, who handed off a dozen times before taking a knee three times, completed two passes for 12 yards in his three series of work Sunday.

``I'm not just here to hand off,'' he said.

Or take a knee, although he admits he's getting pretty good at that.

``I've got it down to where I'm taking only 1-yard losses,'' he joked. ``At first, I was taking 2-yard losses.''

All kidding aside, ``those are game reps and those are hard to come by,'' said Osweiler, who knows he might be called upon at some point to make sure Denver's Super Bowl aspirations aren't derailed.

Nobody, not even Osweiler himself, knows how he would handle the playoff pressure.

``I have confidence in how he prepares, I have confidence in how he conducts himself in meetings. I have confidence in how he conducts himself in this locker room, on this field,'' John Fox said. ``But as a coach, until you see a guy play live in a game, you don't know. That's not any kind of indictment, by any stretch. But until he gets out there and you watch him operate, you won't know. And neither will he, really.''

Osweiler takes no offense.

``Throughout the season I've made a great point to study the game plan each week inside and out so if anything did happen to him they could dial up whatever play they needed to and we wouldn't skip a beat. Now, would that happen? Shoot, we would only know if I get thrown into that situation,'' Osweiler said.

As Manning's backup, Osweiler only gets a handful of throws each week at practice, but he does get to pick the perfectionist's brain while Caleb Hanie runs the scout team. Osweiler doesn't just stay on the sideline, either; he stands behind the offense ``so I can try to see what Peyton's seeing and I use that as a mental rep and put myself through the play.''

Manning quickly answered all questions about his arm strength after missing all of last season while dealing with a nerve issue in his neck, putting up numbers this season worthy of a fifth MVP award while guiding the Broncos (13-3) to the top seed in the AFC.

He's also taken time to tutor Osweiler, who's almost 15 years his junior.

``I've always tried to choose the right time to ask it because he's very busy with very important things, but he's been more than happy to help me out,'' Osweiler said. ``There's even times where in a meeting he'll pause the tape and be like, `Hey, Brock,' and get my attention and point something out to me. And that's obviously not something that a lot of quarterbacks do, if any. And for him to take the time and do that is pretty special.''

Broncos boss John Elway loved Osweiler's size, strength and spunk and used a second-round pick on him last April after the tall passer threw for 4,036 yards and 26 touchdowns in his one season as the Sun Devils' starter in 2011.

Had he stayed in school for his senior season, Osweiler, who turned 22 last month, might have been a top-10 pick in this upcoming draft, which is light on marquee quarterbacks.

``To be honest, I haven't really looked back,'' Osweiler said. ``Obviously during the fall I would turn on an ASU game and wonder what would be taking place if I was the guy behind center, but you know, I'm a big believer in no regrets in life and just keep pushing forward.

``And so with me coming to Denver, I've been completely blessed in being put in such a great situation. This has been a huge year for me. And I'm extremely happy with where I'm at.''

Osweiler didn't throw overhand all the time at ASU, sometimes dropping his right elbow below his shoulder and winging it out a bit, which negated his height advantage over the Pac-12's pass-rushers.

So, after deciding to forgo his senior season in a new system under a new coaching staff, he went to work last spring with UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, who was his offensive coordinator in college, to fix flaws in his passing game.

His education really ramped up when he started dissecting Manning's every move.

``I've learned so many things this football season that I wouldn't have if I'd stayed in school,'' said Osweiler, adding that deep down, he's sure ``it's a situation I think a lot of quarterbacks would do almost anything to have. I recognize that and that's why I try to soak it up every day.''

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Follow Arnie Stapleton on Twitter:http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

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USA Today Sports Images

Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

The world of college basketball has been on high alert since last fall when reports first surfaced of a long-term FBI investigation into the worst-kept secret in sports: college athletes being paid to play.

News surrounding the scandal died down after the inital wave of arrests, but Yahoo! Sports released a warning of sorts recently and followed it up on Friday by naming players (both past and present) for the first time. There were dozens of programs and players implicated, including Maryland's Diamond Stone.

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon released the following statement Friday afternoon.

"Late last night we were alerted of a report associating one of our former student-athletes with an agent. We are extremely disappointed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation. I do not have a relationship with Andy Miller or anyone from his agency, and at no time have I ever had a conversation with Andy Miller or his agency regarding any Maryland basketball player. We remain steadfast in upholding a program of integrity that reflects the values of our University community."

Stone played for the Terps during the 2015-16 season, after which he left for the NBA. That Terps team was highly-ranked entering the season but ended up losing in the Sweet 16 to top-seeded Kansas.

RELATED: DIAMOND STONE ADMITS TO 'MISTAKES' DURING FRESHMAN YEAR AT MARYLAND

Andy Miller is the agent whose financial records were used to implicate so many players in the Yahoo! Sports report. It's no surprise that Turgeon would deny having a relationship with Miller regarding any of his players, but the question remains: What does this mean for Maryland basketball?

You can be sure that Turgeon will be meeting with both past and current assistant coaches Friday to confirm they have not had any involvement with Andy Miller. He'll also certainly be meeting with higher-ups at Maryland, as they try to cover their bases. 

That said, it seems unlikely Maryland would take an action as drastic as firing Turgeon over these allegations. There has been no evidence released so far that implies Turgeon had any knowledge of Stone's actions. Barring further information coming to light, it seems as though this is a case of Stone developing a relationship with Miller's agency separately from Maryland.

Some of the more vocal members of Maryland's fan base would like to think Turgeon is on the hot seat. The truth is, given his long-term contract and the current state of Maryland's finances, it's not currently feasible to fire him and expect to afford a more accomplished coach. Though if further reports indicate Turgeon was complicit, then all bets are off.

It remains possible the NCAA will impose punishments on the schools involved with this scandal, in the form of reduced scholarships, postseason bans, or worse. But that's likely off the table until further evidence comes out regarding how much schools and coaches actually knew. It is a near-certainty that some schools were in cahoots with Miller and other agents; the problem is identifying which schools were intentionally breaking the rules, and which were simply unaware. Ultimately, however, some degree of responsibility falls on the head coach.

For now, the biggest worry on the minds of Maryland fans should be vacated wins. If Diamond Stone was ineligible, then it's possible the victories Maryland recorded during the 2015-16 season will be erased from the record books. Unfortunately, this could include their run to the Sweet 16, which was the program's first in more than a decade.

Given the expectations surrounding the team during Stone's year in College Park, his tenure could already be considered a disappointment. Losing those wins would further dampen the memories fans have from that season.

On the bright side, at least the Terps didn't have a Final Four run to lose.

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.