Washington Football

Arizona's Scott makes wait pay off

Arizona's Scott makes wait pay off

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Matt Scott entered his sophomore season as Arizona's starting quarterback, having no reason to believe it was anything but the start of three great years.

Instead, it lasted three games.

His job gone and his confidence almost shot, Scott decided to stick it out at Arizona, patiently waiting for his chance to come again.

It took more than two years, but Scott finally got it.

And, boy, did he make the most of it.

Shredding defenses with his arm and his legs, Scott developed into one of the nation's top quarterbacks his final season in the desert, securing his place in Arizona lore and possibly a spot in the NFL in a short period of time.

``Matt's played with a chip on his shoulder since we've been here and you can tell,'' said Rod Smith, Arizona's co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

``His past experiences have driven him and he told me, `coach, I'm not relinquishing anything this year, I'll to be the best we've ever had.' He worked and prepared that way.''

It just took him a while to get there.

One of the nation's top quarterback recruits out of Centennial High School in Corona, Calif., Scott played sparingly as a freshman, but emerged from spring drills and preseason camp as the starter in 2009.

He started the first three games, but was replaced by Nick Foles after struggling against Iowa.

Foles went on to start the rest of the season and the two years after that, leaving Scott to mostly fill in as an injury replacement or in mop-up duty.

He did well in two starts after Foles was injured during the 2010 season, piling up 688 yards of combined total offense in games against Washington and UCLA. Mostly, though, he waited around, watching instead of playing, his confidence still dented from being benched so early in his career.

``It was real tough,'' Scott said. ``Coming out of high school, everybody is that guy and it's real hard to take a backseat to someone else. It was a real humbling experience for me.''

Scott got his chance to show what he could really do this season.

After a redshirt season in 2011, he was the undisputed starter entering this season after Foles was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Scott turned out to be a perfect fit for new Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez's read-option offense.

An athletic 6-foot-3, Scott has a strong arm and can make every throw imaginable. He threw for 3,238 yards and 24 touchdowns, both third on Arizona's all-time single-season list.

Scott also was a dangerous runner, finishing as Arizona's second-leading rusher behind All-American Ka'Deem Carey, the FBS leader.

Scott had 3,723 total yards, second in Arizona history and seventh nationally this season, and had four of Arizona's top 10 single-game performances for total yards. Against Stanford, which has one of the nation's best defenses, he set school records by completing 45 of 69 passes and came close to another mark by throwing for 491 yards.

Not bad for a player who was mostly an unknown entity to Arizona's new coaching staff.

``Matt Scott is a stud,'' Rodriguez said earlier this season.

He's also pretty tough.

With depth issues on the offensive line, the Wildcats had a hard time protecting Scott. There were times when Arizona's coaches called fewer running plays for Scott to protect him and sometimes it didn't matter what they did.

He suffered a painful hip injury against Oregon early in the Pac-12 season, was knocked out of the game against Southern California and suffered a concussion against UCLA.

Other than the concussion, which caused him to sit out against Colorado, Scott kept getting back up, even vomiting on the field a couple of times before playing on.

``Even when we didn't run him, he took a beating,'' Smith said. ``But in college football, the quarterback is going to take a beating. But he's a tough kid. Never once did he ever want to sit out a game. He's one of those guys who just wants to play. If it's broke, he'll just cut it off and keep going.''

Now it's time for Scott to head off to his future,

Considered an average NFL prospect at the start of the season, Scott had scouts flowing to Arizona's games this season to get a look at his arm strength, decision-making and improvisational skills.

But for Scott, there's no time to think about that just yet.

He still has a final game to play.

After leading Arizona to seven wins in Rodriguez's first season, Scott will take the Wildcats to Albuquerque on Saturday night to face Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl.

No matter what happens in that game, Scott has already cemented his place in Arizona football history with a legacy that may be tough to match.

``Hopefully, they see me as one of the best quarterbacks to play here,'' Scott said. ``I only had one season to prove that, but I think we did prove a little something.''

He sure did. It just took a while to get his chance to do it.

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Washington Football Team has noticed the Red Wolves movement from fans

Washington Football Team has noticed the Red Wolves movement from fans

The Washington Football Team has announced that it will not have a new moniker until the 2021 offseason at the earliest, but that hasn't stopped fans from giving their input on what the franchise's new name should be.

As part of the process for selecting a new name, Washington has asked for fans to send in their suggestions. On Monday, the team's official account shared a submission from one fan named Sarah, who is in favor of the name 'Red Wolves.'

"Once I saw it, I really fell in love. I really love the idea of Washington Red Wolves," Sarah wrote. "I have been a fan of the team since I was born, so that's over 26 years, and my dad has been a season ticket holder for a while. Can't wait for what's next."

Out of all the potential name suggestions, Red Wolves is the suggestion that has arguably gained the biggest following amongst the Washington fanbase - at least on social media.

In polls taken by NBC Sports Washington, the Washington Post and popular fan account formerly known as @RedskinsToday_, Red Wolves was the overwhelming favorite.

RELATED: MAKING THE CASE FOR RED WOLVES AS WASHINGTON'S NEW TEAM NAME

Monday's post from Washington was the fourth fan submission the team has shared on its official Twitter account. However, the post on Monday was a little different than the first three.

The suggestion from Sarah was the first post the franchise shared that suggested a specific name; the first three fan responses Washington shared were generic and didn't have one individual favorite name.

The fans have made their voice heard, as Washington has received over 5,000 responses of potential name suggestions. 

While this may mean a whole bunch of nothing (this is just Twitter, after all), Washington has now officially acknowledged the Red Wolves movement from fans.

And for those that desperately want Washington Red Wolves to be the team's name from 2021 and on, that's good news no matter what way you look at it.

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Capitals could sit Lars Eller even if he is cleared in time for Game 1 against the Islanders

Capitals could sit Lars Eller even if he is cleared in time for Game 1 against the Islanders

The Capitals may be without forward Lars Eller in Wednesday's Game 1 against the New York Islanders even if he is cleared by the NHL in time to play. That was the thought of head coach Todd Reirden on Monday who expressed he would have to make a decision to avoid any possible injury that could keep him out longer.

Eller left the bubble in Toronto for the birth of his second child. He is now back in Toronto under quarantine in his room and cannot leave until he tests negative four times over a four-day period, per NHL protocols. It is unclear when Eller took his first test. If it was Monday, he will not be ready in time for Wednesday's game. If it was on Sunday, there's a chance he could be cleared to play by Wednesday.

"The NHL will be the ones that decide that, have the overall final call on it," Reirden said.

But even if Eller just manages to clear before the 3 p.m. game time on Wednesday, there's a chance he still may not play.

While under quarantine, Eller is not allowed to leave his hotel room at all.

"He’s not allowed to leave his hotel room, so he hasn’t been doing any exercise outside of his room and until we’re told differently that will be how it is," Reirden said.

That could be a problem.

RELATED: CARLSON MAKING STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

Eller first left the bubble on Aug. 5. By Wednesday, he will have gone a week without being on the ice or being able to exercise, beyond whatever he can do in his room. Typically in these situations, players get a practice in before getting back into the game lineup and Reirden made it clear on Monday that he may have to consider sitting Eller for Game 1 to prevent any sort of injury after missing a week.

“I think it’s something you have to consider is the player hasn’t been on the ice," Reirden said. "He obviously plays a huge role on our team and if you remember a few years ago the success and kind of the X factor that he was for our team when we won against Vegas. So I think it’s important that we handle this situation and make the proper the decision to give this player the best chance to be able to, if it’s not Game 1, then he’s ready to go for Game 2 and he’s as close to healthy in terms of conditioning-wise, he’s ready to go on the ice and be able to add the things he can add and do it safely so that we can have him for an extended time here in this playoffs because he is definitely a big factor in our team success.”

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If Eller is out, Travis Boyd will likely play in his place. Boyd centered the third line in Eller's absence in the last two round robin games.

Luckily, that is the only real question mark down the middle for Washington. Nicklas Backstrom, who missed a practice last week but played against the Boston Bruins on Sunday, said Monday that he had "no concerns" in terms of his status heading into the playoffs.

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