Capitals

Seattle back to practice after loss to 49ers

Seattle back to practice after loss to 49ers

RENTON, Wash. (AP) While the Seattle Seahawks returned to practice Monday after an extended weekend off and started looking ahead to Detroit, some of their thoughts remained in the Bay Area.

They were still smarting from a 13-6 loss to San Francisco on Thursday night that was punctuated by dropped passes and a defense that failed to adjust to what the 49ers were doing with their run game.

And the Seahawks were responding to comments from 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and his belief that Seattle's defensive backs where overly physical with San Francisco's wide receivers, to the point he intended on speaking with the league.

Harbaugh said Friday he felt Seattle's defensive backs were pushing the rules on the amount of contact allowed downfield and making it difficult for receivers Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss and Kyle Williams to break free. Seattle coach Pete Carroll didn't agree.

``I just looked at the film. I heard about the comments and wanted to see what was the point and I thought it was a very normal game,'' Carroll said on Monday. ``I thought our guys played really hard and tough and they did too and that was it. I don't know what the reference was about. I just hope it doesn't go any farther, like to the league. There is no need for it to.''

Carroll had even stronger comments earlier in the day on his weekly radio show where he made a reference to Harbaugh's previous comments about the claims from New York Giants offensive coordinator, but took a more tactful approach later Monday.

But one of the players in questions, Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner, felt the comments were ``obnoxious'' considering the 49ers won the game and took over first-place in the NFC West.

``You're supposed to be happy after you win a football game, right?'' Browner said. ``I'm not big for media anyway, that's just who he is I guess since they won the football game. It's obnoxious to me since they won the football game. We play a physical sport.''

Browner was one of the more penalized defensive backs in the league last year and along with fellow Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, has drawn praise and complaints for their hands-on, physical approach they take in trying to fluster wide receivers. Browner has not been flagged for either defensive pass interference or illegal contact this season and has just one defensive holding penalty. Last year he was flagged 13 times for those same penalties.

``I just went out there and did my thing. Didn't get any penalties called. I thought I played a good game from that aspect,'' Browner said.

Seattle's defense could be getting additional depth following Walter Thurmond's return to practice on Monday. Thurmond has spent the entire season on the physically unable to perform list while he recovered from two fractures in his lower left leg he first injured in the middle of last season in a game against Cleveland. Carroll said they are unsure if Thurmond will be added to the active roster this week, but he was impressed with how quick Thurmond looked during practice.

``It's just getting the rust off from being back out there and actually practicing with pads on and stuff like that but I feel good and feel in shape,'' Thurmond said.

NOTES: WR Doug Baldwin (ankle) was held out of practice on Monday. Carroll said it was too early to determine if he would play against Detroit. ... G John Moffitt (knee) practiced for the first time since late September. He has not played since Week 3 vs. Green Bay.

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Trade to Caps potentially offers Jerabek what he never got in Montreal

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USA TODAY Sports

Trade to Caps potentially offers Jerabek what he never got in Montreal

Defenseman Jakub Jerabek is really happy about the opportunity to play with the Washington Capitals, but it could have come at a better time. The trade came with his parents already on their way from the Czech Republic to visit him.

“It was crazy days past three days because I had my parents on the way to Montreal and they didn't know so it was a big surprise for them,” Jerabek told reporters Saturday after his first skate with the team.

A native of the Czech Republic, Jerabek signed his first NHL contract with the Montreal Canadiens in May 2017. After spending some time in the AHL and struggling to consistently earn a spot in the Canadiens’ lineup, he knew a trade was possible.

“My family, maybe we expected some trade. When its come with Caps and it was Washington, I was really happy.”

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Jerabek said he came into the NHL with no expectations and was simply happy for the opportunity, but it is fair to wonder if he was not just the least bit frustrated with how he was utilized by Montreal.

For a player with experience playing for the national team, the Czech league and the KHL, getting only 25 games with a bad Montreal team seems a bit low.

“In first two weeks, I didn't know what's going on because the coaches just told me that I played well, but we just make some competition between the [defensemen] and that I have to wait for my next chance,” Jerabek said. “It was hard, but now I'm happy down here.”

Washington now offers a very different opportunity. In need of help on the blue line, Jeraebek has the chance to earn consistent playing time for a team on pace to reach the postseason.

Jerabek will not play in Saturday’s game against Buffalo, but he was hopeful he would be in the lineup for Monday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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For now, Jerabek and head coach Barry Trotz are unclear as to what his ultimate role on the team will be. With eight defensemen now on the roster, Trotz cautioned any lineup decision could not be rushed because of the trickle-down effect it will have on the other players.

“You always look at chemistry and all that with your group depending how high that player goes up the lineup, it affects different people,” Trotz said. “In a forward group, if you get a guy that you all of a sudden stick on the first line, there's four other guys that are bumped down and one guy's bumped out.”

The addition of Jerabek, however, offers the Caps another defenseman who can quickly move the puck out of the defensive zone, something the team has struggled with immensely throughout the season. Though he shoots left, he also said he is comfortable playing on the right said and has played there regularly over the past few years. That provides the lineup with some flexibility on the third pair behind Matt Niskanen and John Carlson.

As for Jerabek’s parents, they will be arriving in Washington on Saturday.

“I tried to figure out the situation with them to get them to here and they will come today,” he said. “So I'm really happy.”

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

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The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

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Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

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