With the AFL, 21st century football has arrived in Washington


With the AFL, 21st century football has arrived in Washington

Heads up Washington: Arena Football has arrived and pants are required.

"This isn't ain't your daddy's and granddaddy's football. This is 21st century football," said famed rocker Gene Simmons.

No, there wasn't a Kiss concert at the Verizon Center, but an introductory press conference for the Arena Football League's newest franchise.

The Washington [insert name here] will begin play during the spring of 2017. Simmons, co-owner of the LA Kiss, started the hype Wednesday afternoon to a live television audience, media members and a large group gathered for the announcement of the city's newest team.

"Come see one of our games," Simmons commanded. "Best time you can have with your pants on."

Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics and the Verizon Center now has a football team as part of his portfolio. Monumental Sports & Entertainment formally announced the acquisition last week of the franchise, becoming the ninth team in the AFL. The D.C. area previously had an AFL franchise in the late 1980's.

Washington will begin play during the league's 30th season. By then decisions on a team name, coach and players will take place. Fans of Leonsis's other teams can probably guess the likely color scheme.

Washington mayor Muriel Bowser attended the press conference "for the new Washington football team" along with other notables including Simmons; NFL analyst Ron Jaworski, owner of the Philadelphia Soul; and AFL commissioner Scott Butera.

Mentions of the AFL being family friendly and affordable entertainment were peppered throughout. Leonsis described the league's potential as having "incredible upside."

"This is a fast-paced friendly game and we intend to embrace, to bring it far and wide to our fan base, our community," Leonsis said.

Arena Football is similar yet different to the traditional version played on Saturday's and Sunday's. For starters, it's played indoors in confined space usually reserved for hockey rinks. There are traditional player positions, just fewer of them. Formations are varied, but with a modern twist. The clock never stops and --wait for it -- neither does the action.

"It is like hockey in that there is no downtime," Leonsis told

Most of all, there is scoring. Lots of it.

"I still struggle saying hold them to under 60 [points] and we win," joked Derrick Brooks, Hall of Fame linebacker with Tampa Bay Buccaneers and president of the AFL's Tampa Bay Storm.

Simmons didn't struggle in the role of AFL hype man.

"We want to completely assault your senses, make you fans and make you understand that this is the type of football that has never existed before," Simmons stated.

Just remember that when you arrive at Verizon Center for games in 2017, pants are required.

[RELATED: Gene Simmons and Leonsis talk Arena Football]

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Need to Know: Redskins stock up-stock down during vs. Panthers

Need to Know: Redskins stock up-stock down during vs. Panthers

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, October 15, six days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.

Talking points

Here are the players who saw their stock go up against the Panthers on Sunday and others who saw their stocks drop. 

Stock up—A few days ago, CB Josh Norman was a penny stock. He had mixed up assignments in the blowout loss to the Saints and take a ton of criticism after the game, much of it warranted. During the Panthers game, he was a blue chip. Norman got his first interception in 20 games and he forced a fumble. There is still a lot of season to be played but for now, at least it’s good to be Josh Norman.

Stock down—They won the game and that’s the quarterback’s main job. But for the second straight game, Alex Smith did not play up to his $18.4 million cap number. He passed for 163 yards. At times you really wondered where he was throwing the ball and/or to whom he was throwing it. They were able to win thanks to Adrian Peterson’s rushing and three takeaways. To Smith’s credit, he protected the ball well and it should be noted he was without favorite targets, Chris Thompson and Jamison Crowder. Regardless, it was not a sharp performance by Smith. 

Stock upPeterson came into the game with an injured ankle, knee, and shoulder. Not only did he fight through the pain, he thrived. Six days after he rushed for just six yards against the Saints and sat out most of the second half, he picked up 97 yards on 17 carries, an average of 5.7 yards per carry. Peterson did rip off a 19-yard run but mostly it was three yards here, six yards there. It was what the Redskins were expecting when the signed him. 

Stock down—With Thompson out, Kapri Bibbs had his big chance to show what he can do. He didn’t do much. Bibbs, who was promoted from the practice squad earlier this season, picked up 11 yards rushing on two carries and he caught one pass for six yards. There were some high hopes for Bibbs among Redskins fans. For today, he didn’t live up to them. 

Stock up—I know that Daron Payne didn’t make a ton of plays and his streak of games with at least one sack ended at two. But he was part of a defensive front that held Christian McCaffrey, who came into the game averaging 82.3 rushing yards per game (fourth in the NFL) and 5.2 yards per attempt, to 20 yards on eight attempts, a 2.5 per carry average. And he made a remarkable play, which is becoming routine for him, when he made the tackle on a tight end who had taken a screen pass well outside of the numbers. He’s a special talent and his stock will continue to rise. 

The agenda

Today: Open locker room 11:30; Jay Gruden press conference 3:00 

Upcoming: Cowboys @ Redskins 6; Redskins @ Giants 13; Redskins @ Eagles 49


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What Adrian Peterson did on Sunday really is absurd

What Adrian Peterson did on Sunday really is absurd

FEDEX FIELD -- Coming into Sunday's game, the Redskins listed Adrian Peterson as questionable for the game against the Panthers. 

And why wouldn't they?

The future Hall of Famer separated his shoulder last week in a loss to the Saints. In that same game, he got blasted in the knee on a play that many thought would cost Peterson the season. And before the Redskins bye, in a 120-yard effort in a win over the Packers, Peterson took a helmet directly off his ankle. 

Calling AP banged up for the Panthers game is unfair to banged up players. 

Peterson was hurt, from top to bottom. 

Yet, despite the injuries, he still went out and rushed for 97 yards on 17 carries, good for a 5.7 yards-per-carry average. 

"I had already made up in my mind Friday, 'Hey, I'm going to give it a go,' and I know it's going to be painful but it's mind over matter and keep pressing," Peterson said following the 23-17 Redskins win. 

"So that's what I ended up doing."

In a remarkable endeavor, Peterson was the most consistent player on the offense. Alex Smith played fine but not necessarily good.

The Redskins offense needs more from Smith, but couldn't even ask for anything else from Peterson. 

"I can't say enough about what he did today, playing through the pain of the shoulder and the knee," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said of Peterson. "What a pro. What a pro he is."

In the second half, when the Redskins pass game really fell apart, Washington leaned on Peterson even more. It wasn't pretty, but the team got enough to eat up possession and pad the lead with field goals. 

"Adrian Peterson ran hard," Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. "I think he created the opportunity for them down the stretch to control the clock a little bit."

Rivera is right. 

Without Peterson, the Redskins probably don't win on Sunday. 

And it's even more remarkable that none of this was supposed to happen. The Redskins seemed reluctant to even give Peterson a tryout after rookie Derrius Guice went down in the preseason. Guice was the plan, and Peterson wasn't even really the backup.

Back then, Gruden explained that Peterson was simply too impressive in his August workout for the team to do anything but sign him to the active roster. 

Now, five games into the season, averaging well more than 4 yards-per-carry and on pace to lead the Redskins in rush yards, it's hard to imagine what Washington's offense would look like without Peterson. 

Sure, he's 33-years-old, but he's also the Redskins most consistent offensive threat. 

Asked what surprised him during his team's loss, Rivera inadvertently summed up the Peterson experience.

"I don't think there was anything surprising. They're a good football team. They run the ball extremely well with Adrian."

Rivera is right.

The Redskins run the ball extremely well with Peterson.

Even with the separated shoulder, the busted knee, the bruised ankle. On Sunday, the Redskins ran the ball extremely well with Peterson.

And that says a lot about Adrian Peterson.