Redskins

49ers trying to 'regroup, refit and reorganize'

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49ers trying to 'regroup, refit and reorganize'

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Jim Harbaugh kept his sentences short and information at a minimum Monday, repeating a phrase he will rely on following the worst loss of his NFL coaching career: regroup, refit and reorganize.

That's all the San Francisco 49ers can do at this point.

Beat up and down, San Francisco's 42-13 blowout loss at Seattle cost the 49ers (10-4-1) more than just a game. They have another pair of key starters questionable with injuries, let control of a first-round playoff bye slip away, and head into Sunday's regular-season finale at home against Arizona (5-10) with a half-game lead in the NFC West.

``No excuses or justifications,'' an overwhelmingly grim, tight-lipped and humbled Harbaugh said back at 49ers headquarters. ``Our team needs to bounce back.''

The only way the 49ers can secure a No. 2 playoff seed - and the first-round bye that comes with it - is a win against the Cardinals coupled with a Green Bay loss at Minnesota. If they lose and Seattle (10-5) wins at home against St. Louis, the Seahawks will steal the division and send San Francisco on the road for the first round.

Complicating matters even more, the 49ers enter the finale with their depth depleted.

Wide receiver Mario Manningham, bothered by a shoulder injury previously, limped out of the locker room Monday on crutches. He was scheduled to have an MRI exam on his left knee after he was tackled low by Leroy Hill and fumbled in the third quarter.

Tight end Vernon Davis must clear the league's NFL concussion protocol after getting knocked off his feet along the sideline by safety Kam Chancellor on a huge hit that looked legal but drew a penalty for thumping a defenseless receiver.

And defensive lineman Justin Smith's streak of 185 straight starts ended when he sat out with an elbow injury. Harbaugh remained mum on Smith's status, except for saying ``he has not undergone a procedure.'' Asked if Smith will need surgery at some point, Harbaugh would only say ``we'll see.''

San Francisco already had lost backup running back Kendall Hunter (lower leg), wide receiver and punt returner Kyle Williams (left knee) and defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs (right knee) to season-ending injuries. Defensive lineman Will Tukuafu added to Harbaugh's headaches when he hurt his back against the Seahawks and did not return, and backup linebacker Clark Haggans missed the game with a shoulder injury.

``I feel our team's leadership, I feel the intellect of the staff, I think the talent of the players, the work ethic of the players will pave the way,'' Harbaugh said.

There are still plenty of problems for the 49ers who are healthy.

Seattle's loud fans flustered quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the coaching staff from the start, forcing the 49ers to call two timeouts and get two delay-of-game penalties in the first half alone. Kaepernick completed 19 of 36 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown with one interception in the end zone.

What do the 49ers have to do offensively to avoid penalties and clock-management problems?

``Fix it,'' Harbaugh said.

``That's the only option we have,'' left tackle Joe Staley said. ``You learn from the film, you watch it and make the corrections. Our whole team didn't play well.''

Frank Gore was held to 28 yards on six carries after rushing for a season-high 131 in San Francisco's 13-6 win against Seattle in Week 7. The loss of Justin Smith seemed to affect the entire defense, and Russell Wilson's slipperiness in the pocket didn't help. Aldon Smith is still stuck on 19 1/2 sacks after getting locked up by Seattle's Russell Okung.

Red Bryant also blocked David Akers' 21-yard field-goal attempt, Richard Sherman scooped up the ball and sprinted untouched for a 21-0 lead that put the game out of reach.

``Rather than go position by position, or any one particular phase, I don't think anybody looks back on this and feels like it was good enough,'' said Harbaugh, handed a miserable loss on his 49th birthday by longtime rival and Seattle coach Pete Carroll.

If there's a bright side to San Francisco's setback, Harbaugh is 7-0 after a loss in his two-year tenure and competition will not be nearly as difficult as the last two weeks at Seattle and New England.

The 49ers routed the Cardinals 24-3 in the desert on a Monday night in late October, a game Alex Smith completed 18 of 19 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns. Smith has since been replaced by Kaepernick, a high-risk, high-reward, dual-threat quarterback who is 4-2 as the starter.

While the 49ers also have looked dominant at times this season, they have yet to put together a winning streak. Five times this season San Francisco has won two consecutive games, and five times they have failed to win the third game, including a 24-24 tie against St. Louis in Week 10.

To win the Super Bowl - or even just get there - the 49ers will have to change that.

``It was a punch in the face,'' cornerback Carlos Rogers said of the loss in Seattle. ``But the thing about it is we still have a chance to win the division and we're in the playoffs. It's a new season once the playoffs start.''

NOTES: The 49ers released LB Alex Hoffman-Ellis from the practice squad. He had been signed on Dec. 4.... Players are off Tuesday for Christmas.

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10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

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USA Today Sports

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

6) After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

5) Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

When a team picks in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, folks around the NFL expect that player to become a Pro Bowler. For Washington, that exact scenario unfolded with right guard Brandon Scherff. 

Mostly. 

Selected fifth overall in 2015, the Redskins took Scherff to play right tackle and anchor the offensive line opposite Trent Williams. That idea quickly faded, helped by the emergence of Morgan Moses, and Scherff moved inside to play guard. For four years, it's worked out great, with Pro Bowl selections in 2016 and 2017. 

Scherff is a mauler in the best sense of the word. He has great footwork and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has called the former Iowa Hawkeye the best pulling guard in the NFL. Scherff is strong and nasty, words that won't win beauty pageants but absolutely win in the trenches of the NFL. 

Considering all of that, a contract extension for Scherff should be easy. Right?

Wrong. 

Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, multiple reports stretching over the last six weeks indicate that the organization is way off in their extension offers to Scherff. He might not command the biggest contract in the league, but he will get paid like a top three guard. In 2019, that means a lot of money.

Cowboys guard Zach Martin makes $14 million a year. Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell makes $13.3 million a year. Scherff might not get to Martin's salary, but he will probably get to Norwell, whether Washington pays it or not.

That means the Redskins need to pony up the cash now because as each day passes, the team is approaching an ugly set of options. Scherff and his representatives might continue to negotiate during the season, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Once free agency becomes in view, players tend to wait for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. 

In fact, the situation between Scherff and the Redskins has some resemblance to the Cousins saga from a few years ago. 

In that case, Washington low-balled their homegrown quarterback in their first set of negotiations. From there, things went sideways, and the team used consecutive franchise tags on Cousins before he finally left via free agency. 

If the Redskins can't get a deal done with Scherff, the team could use a franchise tag in 2020. But that's a dangerous game of roulette. 

The time to get a deal done with Scherff is now, if not last month. Redskins team president has said in the past that deadlines drive deals, but with Scherff, there is no exact deadline. He can decide to stop working on a contract extension at any moment, particularly once the pads come on at training camp. 

The Trent Williams holdout might be complicating things a bit, if Williams only wants more cash and the issue isn't about much more than that. The truth is a Scherff extension would actually free up cap space in the short term, as his signing bonus would be spread out over the life of the contract, and some of that salary cap relief could go to Williams right away. 

Williams' status isn't the hold up between Scherff and the Redskins. Whatever is the actual holdup best be resolved soon. or the Redskins are beginning down an all too familiar franchise path.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

The 10 best dog parks in the Washington D.C. area

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The 10 best dog parks in the Washington D.C. area

During one of the hottest summers on record, getting the dog out to exercise amid the 100-degree heat has become a daunting task. The sidewalks burn their oh-so-adorable paws and canines living in the big city don't have ample space to expend their energy. 

Fortunately, the D.C. area offers several dog park options for pups to run around, play fetch and cool down with a splash while their owners unwind in a nice shady spot. For anyone looking to switch things up from the everyday walk around the neighborhood, these locations are worth taking a look at. 

10 best dog parks in the D.C. area 

1. Swampoodle Dog Park

3rd and L St NE

Less than a year old, this dog park has become a fun location for both dogs and children. The park is entirely turf so dogs don't get dirty or muddy, and there's a multiple-level jungle gym for kids to swing around on. For a family with young kids and dogs, this park has something for everyone. 

2. Bundy Dog Park

470 P St NW

One of the biggest parks on this entire list, this is the spot for those high-energy dogs that could run all day. It provides plastic bags for easy doggy doo-doo cleanup, but there are no water fountains so make sure to bring your own. 

3. Shaw Dog Park

1651 11th St NW

Like Bundy Dog Park, this location is one of the biggest in the D.C. area. Double gated entry keeps the dogs from running off, and the availability of bags and water bowls keep the area healthy and clean. It's got lights installed for an evening excursion, and there's a separate area designed for smaller dogs. 

4. Shirlington Dog Park 

2710 S Oakland St

Although a little far for D.C. residents, this park is worth the trip. It spans the length of several football fields, has a puppy specific enclosure plus poop bags and water bowls to make sure everything is clean. For those extra hot days, there's a stream for dogs to play in and even a washing station adjacent to the park. It doesn't hurt there's a dog-friendly brewery next door either. 

5. Newark Street Dog Park

39th St NW and Newark St NW

One of the highest-rated parks on Yelp, it has separate play areas for large and small dogs complete with water fountains and bowls. It also features a Children's Garden with monthly learning sessions, picnic tables, and children’s garden equipment.

6. Glencarlyn Park

301 South Harrison St

This is a peaceful haven for dogs and owners who want to get back in touch with nature. There's a stream and waterfall for dogs to douse themselves on hot days, and a small playground for kids to enjoy as well.  The park is unenclosed, however, so this isn't the best spot for dogs who don't obey voice commands well.

7. Lincoln Park

East Capitol and 11th St

Smack-dab in the middle of Washington, D.C., Lincoln Park is ideal for city residents who want to branch out from their usual walk around the block. There are two playgrounds for children and a mile-long circle dirt path for those owners who love to run with their dogs. 

8. Langdon Dog Park

2901 20th Street NE

One of the newer parks on this list, the word is still spreading about Langdon Park. It's spacious and fenced-in, giving dogs ample space to run around and there's a separate area for the especially little balls of fur.  

9. S. Street Dog Park

S St at 17th St NW Washington

Another AstroTurf option for minimal mess, this park even offers wading pools for dogs in the summertime. It can get fairly busy during the evening hours, but it's a great place for dogs to play while owners find a spot on one of the many benches. 

10. Montrose Park

R St and 32 St NW

Although not strictly a dog park, this is still a great location to take your pup. It's recommended to keep dogs on-leash here as it's got tennis courts, a children's play place and picnic areas bustling with people. Traditionally a best-kept secret of D.C. residents, this is the perfect space to escape the sights and sounds of the city. 

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