Capitals

RB Richardson thinks Saban will stay at Alabama

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RB Richardson thinks Saban will stay at Alabama

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Trent Richardson would be surprised if Nick Saban followed him from Alabama to the Cleveland Browns.

Saban, who will lead the Crimson Tide against Notre Dame in the BCS national championship game in Miami on Jan. 7, has been mentioned as returning to the NFL, perhaps with the Browns if second-year coach Pat Shurmur is fired at season's end.

``I can't see him coming to the NFL,'' Richardson said Wednesday. ``I would be very shocked.''

And Richardson knows the coach quite well. After all, he was a standout running back for Saban at Alabama before being selected in the first round by Cleveland in April. Richardson ran for 1,679 yards last season for the Crimson Tide.

``How can you get tired of winning,'' Richardson asked. ``He's got so much going there. He has no reason to leave. He gets what he needs and he treats his program like the NFL (anyway). He makes sure his players are prepared for the game and prepared for the next level when the time comes.''

Any exit to the NFL wouldn't be foreign to Saban, who led Alabama to national titles in 2009 and 2011. He left his post at LSU, in fact, to become coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2005. After going 15-17 in two seasons there, he went back to the SEC, this time in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

``I can see him staying at Alabama,'' Richardson said, ``and retiring at Alabama.''

Saban, who played and coached at Kent State, has Cleveland roots, as well. He was the Browns defensive coordinator from 1991-94, which has helped to spark the speculation.

``I don't believe it,'' Richardson said. ``Rumors are rumors. I don't buy into it and that's one thing he taught me to do - not buy into rumors.''

Richardson is more concerned with playing the playoff-bound Denver Broncos (11-3) on Sunday. The No. 3 overall pick is 46 yards shy of surpassing Hall of Fame standout Jim Brown's 55-year-old team rookie rushing record of 942 yards for the Browns (5-9).

``I'm ready for a big day,'' Richardson said. ``Anytime Jim Brown's name is mentioned, it is big for me. Huge.''

Richardson, who missed all of training camp after having minor surgery on his left knee in July, has already set a new franchise rookie mark with 11 rushing touchdowns. Overall, he has 258 carries for 897 yards.

``I'm good to go,'' he said. ``No issues with the knee. None. With the ribs, I am not going to stop playing ball. I am going to keep on going no matter what.''

All that said, he did reveal for the first time that he occasionally had trouble breathing in his first few games with the injury. He has adjusted his mindset to ignore the pain. He doesn't anticipate difficulty in Denver's mile-high thin air.

``I've never played there, but I'll be OK,'' he said. ``If I need oxygen, I'll take it and go play.''

Shurmur has not considered resting Richardson, either.

``He'll play,'' he said. ``None of us are 100 percent right now. I think that's fair to say at this time of year. Guys are playing through things.''

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NOTES: DB Dmitri Patterson, released by Cleveland on Monday, landed with Miami. Shurmur declined to say why Patterson was cut: ``I'm not going to talk about the whys or what-fors there. I will say this though, I'm happy for him that he's going to be able to finish out the year in Miami. That will be great for him.'' ... TE Jordan Cameron (head) and DL Frostee Rucker (groin) did not practice. ... WR Jordan Norwood practiced for the first time since sustaining a foot injury Oct. 7. He's not on the active roster. ... TE George Bryan was signed to the practice squad. He played at N.C. State (2008-11) and was in camp with Dallas last spring. ... The Browns are 3-0 vs. the AFC West, with the first-place Broncos on deck.

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Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Lightning will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Lightning game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals (34-18-7) take on the Lightning (39-17-3) Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Washington.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME ON?

The Capitals-Lightning game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Lightning
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Lightning game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals-Lightning game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-LIGHTNING OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

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

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201