Capitals

As always, Manning finds the target

As always, Manning finds the target

DENVER (AP) Turns out, Peyton Manning can hit his targets off the field, as well.

To get over last week's season-ending loss, Manning hooked up with an old buddy from Tennessee, Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, and the two have been crisscrossing the country on a hunting trip.

``He told me he killed, in one day, a duck in Colorado and a deer in Mississippi,'' Manning's dad, Archie, told The Associated Press.

Anything for Peyton to take his mind off Denver's 38-35 loss to Baltimore last Saturday.

``He's trying to get it out of his system,'' said Archie Manning, who played quarterback for his hometown Saints from 1971 through 1982. ``I don't know when that happens or how. But when he reflects on it, he's already said it, it was really a special year.''

To put things in perspective, all Peyton's dad has to do is look back to a year ago this week. Younger son Eli was preparing to take the New York Giants into the NFC title game in San Francisco. Peyton, meanwhile, had been on the sideline for a year and could barely throw a football 10 yards - still recovering from multiple operations on his neck.

``As a parent, it's easy to look at the big picture,'' Archie Manning said. ``Here we are one year later. He left a city and a team, the only place he played. Had to pick a new spot. Leaving was hard. Picking a new spot was difficult to do.''

Manning had one of his best seasons. His 4,659 yards and 37 touchdowns and, yes, his 68.6 percent completion accuracy, were each second-best in his 14 healthy seasons. Denver went 13-3 and had top-seeding in the playoffs.

The Broncos expected to be getting ready for the AFC title game this weekend. Instead, they dispersed last Sunday. Some to golf courses. Others to their hunting stands.

Archie Manning (Who, for the record, said he was good with coach John Fox's decision to run out the last 31 seconds of regulation against Baltimore) says doctors believe some of the nerves in Peyton's neck, shoulder and hand still have room to regenerate, meaning there's even more room for improvement in 2013 and beyond.

Assuming Peyton passes a physical next month, the Broncos intend to pick up an option on his contract for the next two years.

In the meantime, Archie figures after Peyton flushes this tough loss from his system, he'll be back and working as hard as ever.

``At age 36, he truly lives that old theory of, `enjoy the journey,''' Archie Manning said. ``But along the way, we kid him. He's bossy. But that's who he is. I know he won't quit working. He won't quit trying to improve.''

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How to watch Capitals vs. Maple Leafs NHL 20 simulation and Caps' chippy Nov. 18 win over Ducks

How to watch Capitals vs. Maple Leafs NHL 20 simulation and Caps' chippy Nov. 18 win over Ducks

The Capitals’ simulated season continues on Tuesday night when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs in NHL 20, aired on NBC Sports Washington. Real-life Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin will be on the call.

In a partnership with Monumental Sports Network, NBCSW is airing all Wizards and Capitals games in simulated NBA 2K20 and NHL 20 games, taking place on the dates and times according to each team's regular season schedule with commentary from NBCSW's experts surrounding the coverage.

After the game wraps up, NBCSW will reair the Caps’ physical Nov. 18 affair with the Anaheim Ducks. Richard Panik scored his first goal in a Washington uniform and Garnet Hathaway was ejected after exchanging more than just blows in a fight with several Ducks.

Here’s how you can catch both games Tuesday night.

Broadcast Schedule

7:00 PM – NHL 20: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Capitals (P)

8:00 PM – NHL Classics: Anaheim Ducks @ Capitals from Nov. 18, 2019 (R)

10:30 PM – NHL 20: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Capitals (R)

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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How Ben Olsen is coaching D.C. United during coronavirus quarantine

How Ben Olsen is coaching D.C. United during coronavirus quarantine

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the MLS season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen is working to find his way in the face of massive changes to the day-to-day life of so many around the world.

"The priority right now with the group that we have is to maintain a level of fitness," Olsen said on a conference call with local reporters this morning. "All we can do right now is follow the guidelines given by MLS."

Even though the team is not able to meet face-to-face like they normally would, Olsen and his staff have had to get creative in ways to continue to build team chemistry and make sure everyone is on the same page.

"We have a once-a-week call with everyone on a Zoom chat with the trainers," he said. "We talk about things like social media and how to stay connected to fans, the programs we are sending out and we get feedback from [the players] on what is going well."

Dealing with the pandemic has been especially challenging for players from overseas, who might not have the same support systems that those longtime MLS players have in the area. The club is making a particular point to reach out to those players.

D.C. United and its staff are also making sure that all of the club’s players are able to partake in individualized training to keep a level of fitness, even if that means getting some workout equipment to players who might not have it where they live.

As new challenges arise and are met, Olsen is trying to keep a positive mindset and joked that he now has the time to be a better husband and father than he normally would at the start of a new season.

"There’s this underlying positivity that again I feel very, very lucky because of the scenario I’m in," the head coach noted. "I’m also constantly thinking about others that are not in the situation I’m in. Whether it’s the EMTs, the firemen, the D.C. support system, our medical doctors, so many people on the frontlines that are doing so much and putting their lives in danger right now. I make sure we as a family are constantly reminding our children that there’s a lot of people out there doing some great things in a very, very tough time."

When asked what he misses most about what would be the end of the opening month of the MLS season, Olsen stated that he misses the locker room and being with his players.

"Dealing with the ups and downs of a season, dealing with the journey of the season," he said. "It’s a special thing that we have and I think in some ways you have to lose it to appreciate it. Right now I miss being in that locker room, I miss the guys, I miss my staff."

While no one knows yet when the season will return, Olsen is "very bullish and optimistic" that MLS will recover quickly.

"Of course the league will take a hit, just like every other league and every other business across this country," Olsen said. "This league will be just fine when we get through this, just like our country will be just fine."