Nationals

Andy Reid agrees to 5-year deal to lead Chiefs

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Andy Reid agrees to 5-year deal to lead Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Andy Reid pulled up to Arrowhead Stadium in a black SUV on Friday, stepped out of it wearing a dark suit and red tie, and walked briskly toward the doors of the Kansas City Chiefs' home.

His new home, as it turned out.

Just a few hours later, Reid officially became the coach of the Chiefs.

The longtime Eagles coach signed a five-year deal, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the terms of the contract.

The Chiefs have scheduled an introductory press conference for Monday.

Reid's agreement was finalized shortly after the Chiefs announced they had parted ways with general manager Scott Pioli after four tumultuous seasons in Kansas City.

It's expected that Reid will pursue longtime Packers personnel man John Dorsey or former Browns GM Tom Heckert - or perhaps both of them - to work with him in the front office.

Reid inherits a team that went 2-14, matching the worst record in franchise history. But he'll also have the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, and with five players voted to the Pro Bowl this season, Kansas City has building blocks in place to make a quick turnaround.

``Overall the job is still attractive,'' Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt told the AP earlier this week. ``The franchise remains very well respected.''

Hunt promised to be thorough and efficient in finding a replacement for Romeo Crennel, who was fired Monday after his first full season. The Chiefs interviewed Atlanta assistants Dirk Koetter and Keith Armstrong on Tuesday before flying to Philadelphia to meet with Reid.

Nine hours of negotiations on Wednesday went well enough that Reid called off interviews in Arizona and San Diego, and the two sides continued working out details on Thursday.

When news broke that Pioli was out, Reid's agreement quickly followed.

Reid arrived in Kansas City aboard a chartered jet Friday afternoon and drove with Hunt and other Chiefs officials to Arrowhead Stadium. He later visited the team's training complex while the final details on his contract were being worked out.

The fresh start afforded by the Chiefs should be welcomed by Reid, who endured a difficult season on the field and an even more trying time away from it. Reid's oldest son, Garrett, died during training camp after a long battle with drug addiction, and then the Eagles - expected to contend for a division championship - struggled to a 4-12 finish.

Reid was fired on Monday, the same day the Chiefs parted with Crennel.

Long considered one of the NFL's bright offensive minds, Reid had a record of 130-93-1 in 14 seasons in Philadelphia. He took a team that was 3-13 the year before his arrival and, in only two years, finished 11-5 and second in the NFC East. That began a stretch of five straight years in which Reid won at least 11 games, including one trip to the Super Bowl.

During his tenure, the Eagles made nine playoff appearances while Kansas City made three, and won 10 playoff games - Kansas City hasn't won any since 1993. Meanwhile, the Chiefs went through five head coaches and are now on their third in three years.

One of Hunt's priorities was in finding a coach who would bring stability to the franchise.

That's one of the reasons that Hunt decided to change the Chiefs' organizational structure, with the coach and general manager reporting directly to him. Since his late father Lamar Hunt founded the team 53 years ago, the coach typically reported to the general manager.

That was the way it was under Pioli, whose two coaching hires ended badly.

That alone wasn't enough to force Pioli out, though. It was a combination of poor draft choices, ineffective free-agent moves and a growing fan rebellion that led the Chiefs to issue a statement Friday that said they had ``mutually parted ways'' with their general manager.

``There is no way to overstate the level of respect and admiration I have for Scott on a personal level,'' Hunt said in a statement. ``His character, loyalty, integrity and commitment to a team are extraordinary, and throughout the last four years, he has consistently put the best interests of the Chiefs ahead of his own.''

Still, those qualities failed to translate to success.

Most of the Chiefs' top stars were drafted by Pioli's predecessor, Carl Peterson. The former Patriots executive struggled to find impact players, particularly at quarterback, while cycling through coaches and fostering a climate of dread within the entire organization.

Numerous longtime staff members were fired upon Pioli's arrival, and his inability to connect with fans resulted in unprecedented unrest. Some fans even paid for multiple banners to be towed behind planes before home games asking that he be fired.

On Dec. 1, linebacker Jovan Belcher shot the mother of his 3-month-old daughter, Kasandra Perkins, at a home not far from Arrowhead Stadium. Belcher then drove to the team's practice facility and shot himself in the head as Pioli and Crennel watched in the parking lot.

Pioli hasn't spoken publicly since the incident.

``The bottom line is that I did not accomplish all of what I set out to do,'' Pioli said in a statement released through by team. ``To the Hunt family - to the great fans of Kansas City - to the players, all employees and alumni, I truly apologize for not getting the job done.''

The three-time NFL executive of the year often spoke of putting together ``the right 53,'' but he failed to do so, and now it falls on Reid and his staff to finish the job.

The most glaring position of need is quarterback.

Matt Cassel has two years left on a $63 million, six-year deal, but he played so poorly this season that he was benched in favor of Brady Quinn, who is now a free agent.

It's expected that the Chiefs will pursue a veteran quarterback while also choosing one in the draft, giving Reid options in training camp. Reid has a history of success working with young quarterbacks, including Brett Favre in Green Bay and Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia.

Decisions will also have to be made about left tackle Branden Albert, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and even Pro Bowl punter Dustin Colquitt, all of whom can become free agents.

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AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

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3 things to watch as the Nationals try to even the series with Colorado

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3 things to watch as the Nationals try to even the series with Colorado

Here are three things to watch for as the Nationals try to even the series in Colorado: 

1. Brian Dozier's slow start to 2019 seems to be in the rearview mirror. The second baseman hit his third long-ball in four games Monday night inside Coors Field. 

2. How long will Anthony Rendon be held out of the lineup? The third baseman is nursing his left elbow after being hit by a Jose Urena pitch Saturday in Miami. 

3. One of the MLB's best closers remains unsigned 20+ games into the season. Craig Kimbrel could very well help solve an NL East division-wide problem

Coming Up:

Tuesday, 4/23: Nationals @ Rockies, 8:40 p.m. ET, Coors Field

Wednesday, 4/24: Nationals @ Rockies, 3:10 p.m. ET, Coors Field

Friday, 4/26: Padres @ Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET, Nationals Park

Download the MyTeams app for even more Nationals content, and check out the latest episode of the Racing Presidents podcast below.

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A frustrating Game 6 loss, but Caps can't dwell on the negative

A frustrating Game 6 loss, but Caps can't dwell on the negative

RALEIGH — By the end of the night the frustration was evident. Three times the Capitals have played at PNC Arena during this Stanley Cup playoffs first-round series and three times they have left the ice stick-smashingly angry. 

Capitals coach Todd Reirden screamed at the officials. Alex Ovechkin earned a game misconduct after a mock wave following a late penalty call. By then the Carolina Hurricanes had already assured there would be one final game in this closer-than-expected series with a 5-2 win. Now both teams face elimination with Game 7 looming Wednesday at Capital One Arena. 

Washington’s anger was understandable. Alex Ovechkin apparently poked home the game-tying goal with 9:26 remaining. But while the Capitals celebrated, referee Kyle Rehman blew his whistle. In his view, Ovechkin had shoved Carolina goalie Petr Mrazek’s pads to force the puck into the net. 

The NHL Situation Room in Toronto upheld that call on the ice after the Capitals tied it. Just 1:24 later, ex-Capitals forward Justin Williams stuck a dagger in the heart of his old team with a deflected goal to give the Hurricanes a 4-2 lead.

"I don't think anyone expected it to be easy,” defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “They played well all series. We were up 2-0 and we were probably fortunate to be up 2-0 and we've been good on home ice and now we have a Game 7 and it is probably good that we have home ice."

There were other issues on Monday. Dmitry Orlov was whistled for embellishment in the second period that denied Washington a power play. Carolina tied the game 2-2 at 1:56 of the second period when referees – in the Capitals’ view – missed an obvious slash by Sebastian Aho on defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler behind the net. His attempted clear was flubbed and Aho found Teuvo Teravainen alone in front for an easy goal.

None of it matters now. The Capitals didn’t play well enough to win anyway, especially in a ragged second period that ominously looked like the 5-0 Hurricanes win in Game 3. Reirden himself admitted that Carolina earned the breaks it got. Goalie Braden Holtby was especially critical of his team for not building on a dominant 6-0 win at home in Game 5 on Saturday. 

“I don’t know. I thought we played pretty well to come out and we just faded,” Holtby said. “I’m not sure why. At this point it doesn’t matter. It’s over with and it’s down to one game.”

The challenge will be leaving all of that negativity in the PNC Arena locker room. One player walked away and said to no one in particular “No goal….what a call.” The sarcasm dripped. But it can’t follow the Capitals back home to Washington. This group of players has plenty of experience putting bad playoff losses behind them. 

If anything carries over into Game 7, however, they could be in trouble. Those days are thought to be long over after last spring’s Cup. And maybe they are. But the Capitals will have to forget about what happened in Raleigh. They have one last chance. It can't be clouded by what happened here.  

"It's over. Again, right now nothing you can do,” Ovechkin said. “After fight, you can't do anything. It was a good battle. Good for them, they win Game 6, and you know, Game 7 is going to be much interesting. We know how to play that. Pressure on both teams, but it's a good chance for us to beat them at home." 

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