Redskins

Arkansas QB Wilson next up for Tulsa's sack attack

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Arkansas QB Wilson next up for Tulsa's sack attack

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Tyler Wilson, beware.

No team in the country has sacked more opposing quarterbacks this season than Tulsa, which will be chasing after Arkansas' NFL prospect of a quarterback on Saturday.

The Golden Hurricane (7-1) lead the nation with 35 sacks this season, averaging a whopping 4.4 per game. All that pressure on the quarterback is one reason why Tulsa will carry a seven-game winning streak into its matchup against the Razorbacks (3-5).

``We never set a goal about the sack thing,'' said linebacker DeAundre Brown, who leads Conference USA and is tied for ninth in the nation by averaging a sack per game.

``It just came to us and now we pride on it and we just keep pushing forward to make it better.''

Although Brown leads the way from his middle linebacker spot, second-year defensive coordinator Brent Guy has been getting pressure from everywhere in his front seven. Thirteen players have recorded sacks for Tulsa this season, including every starting defensive lineman and linebacker.

Defensive end Jared St. John is right behind Brown with seven sacks this season.

``We've been more effective and efficient at the same time. We're being unselfish and listening to the play call, not doing our own thing,'' Brown said.

The challenge could get tougher this week against an SEC offensive line that is allowing only 1 1/2 sacks per game. Through the first seven games, the Razorbacks had allowed four sacks to Alabama's top-ranked defense but a total of only four against the other six opponents.

Then, Mississippi got to Wilson three times while beating Arkansas 30-27 last week.

``I think it's interesting that we do a good job with sacks and getting them, they do a great job of preventing them,'' Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship said.

Texas A&M is the only SEC team that has flung it around more than Arkansas, which has thrown 304 passes on the season with 11 sacks allowed.

``They're throwing the ball all over the place and yet not giving up many sacks,'' Blankenship said.

``Part of that is certainly a tribute to the offensive line. I think those guys are really solid up front. ... I think they've done a good job of protecting Tyler, but also I think you have to give him some credit that he doesn't sit back there and hold the football. He's pretty good about getting rid of it. He kind of has the timing in his head and handles that pretty well.''

The clock could be ticking come Saturday.

``They do a good job of changing up their pressures,'' Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said. ``A lot of them, they've gotten people to not check. They disguise them pretty good and a lot of them keep people from checking. Some of them have been on second effort. Some they got the quarterback to hold the ball. ... And then some of them, I think, have been because they've had a big lead. They've got people to throw the ball so much and they've gotten a lot of sacks.''

While the Golden Hurricane have gotten to the quarterback more than anyone else, they've also had issues when they don't get there. They allowed more than 1,100 yards passing in a three-game span against UAB, Marshall and UTEP despite notching 14 sacks.

``We'll get exposed pretty fast if we didn't get them cleaned up,'' ``Tyler Wilson is an outstanding, outstanding quarterback. ... A year ago, we saw I think arguably four of the best in college football and I think he fits right in that category'' with ex-Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma's Landry Jones, ex-Houston quarterback Case Keenum and ex-Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore.

``I think he's definitely an NFL-type guy. He seems to be very smart with the ball, knows what he wants to do, doesn't hang onto it and very productive. All you have to do is look at the numbers.''

Wilson's reputation has also caught the attention of Tulsa's defenders.

``Any time you get to go against somebody who's slated to be a top draft pick, he's got scouts talking about him, as a defense, we just see that as an opportunity to make a big name for ourselves,'' said cornerback Lowell Rose, adding that even Tom Brady was affected by pressure against the New York Giants in a pair of Super Bowls.

The Golden Hurricane certainly don't intend to back down.

``We're not going to quit trying to getting pressure on him. We do think that even when we don't get a sack, pressure can make a difference. So, we'll do what we do,'' Blankenship said. ``We're going to put pressure on and try to mix it up and disguise it.''

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Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Following the Redskins' Week 2 preseason win over the Jets on Thursday, Jay Gruden said both Byron Marshall and Samaje Perine were "OK" after the two running backs each left the game with injuries. Marshall's was labeled a lower-leg issue, while Perine's injury was called a twisted ankle.

Timetables for their recoveries were then reported on Friday, and while the two members of the backfield escaped anything too severe, they will each be sidelined for decent chunks of time.

Perine will miss a week, according to Mike Garafolo. Marshall, meanwhile, is looking at a longer two-to-four week recovery, per Tom Pelissero. Those pieces of news hurt them in more ways than one.

Derrius Guice's torn ACL in Week 1 of the team's exhibition schedule meant that Marshall and Perine both had a big-time opportunity to step up and earn a spot on Washington's 53-man roster, spots that were harder to envision for them when Guice was healthy.

Overall, the two were slated to compete with Kapri Bibbs for what will likely be two spaces on the depth chart behind the absolutely safe Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley. Now, though, they'll be forced to sit until they're healed up, giving Bibbs more chances in practice and the two remaining August contests to earn Jay Gruden's trust.

Against New York, Bibbs struggled on the ground but led the offense with seven grabs, including a 29-yard gain off a screen play. That performance absolutely brought him closer in the race with Marshall, who scored vs. the Patriots a week earlier. Next, he'll need to prove he can run effectively between the tackles vs. the Broncos in Week 3, which will put some heat on Perine as well.

The 'Skins have 15 days left until they have to finalize their regular season roster. As things stand now amongst the running backs, Bibbs presently has a real shot at stealing a job from the two shelved RBs. But with the way this race has unfolded thus far, that can all change in a split second. 

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Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

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Associated Press

Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

Despite being a brand new franchise with a new roster and new facilities, the Capital City Go-Go will carry into their inaugural season a level of continuity. Both their general manager and head coach are familiar with what they are getting into and the people they will be working with.

GM Pops Mensah-Bonsu is no stranger to the D.C. community and the Wizards franchise. He made a name for himself starring at George Washington University, spent time with the Wizards as a player in their 2013 training camp and remained a frequent visitor to Wizards games as a scout for the Spurs in recent years.

"To be back in the community and the first general manager of the G-League team is special," Mensah-Bonsu said. "This is D.C.’s team. I want them to embrace us."

Head coach Jarell Christian played college ball in Virginia and goes back several years with Wizards coach Scott Brooks. Christian joined the Oklahoma City's G-League staff when Brooks was in his final year as head coach of the Thunder.

Christian began his coaching journey with an eye trained on how Brooks goes about his job.

"My introduction to pro basketball was under Coach Brooks and his philosophies. A lot of that stuff, I believe in wholeheartedly. That’s my foundation," Christian said. "I got a chance to know him through training camp and throughout that season. He and I developed a bond and a relationship that stood the test of time. To this day, we still talk often. It’s just another chance for me to reconnect with him and to continue to grow our relationship."

The Go-Go intend to make what they do as similar to the Wizards as possible. When guys like Devin Robinson, one of their two-way players, is called up he can step right in without a learning curve of the playbook or how they practice.

Having Christian in place will help that process in particular.

"There won’t be any issue or any slippage with guys going up and down to know what’s in store for them," Christian said. "A lot of the stuff that the Wizards will do, we will implement with the Go-Go. Just some offensive and defensive concepts. Some of the playcalls and the terminology will be the same."

"Whatever you see the Wizards doing, you will probably see the Capital City Go-Go doing, too," Mensah-Bonsu said.

The symmetry between the G-League and the NBA teams will also be helped by the fact they will share the same practice facility. Their proximity will come with many advantages from the Go-Go perspective.

"I think it’s going to help motivate these guys. We’re going to be practicing in the same place that the Wizards do and the Mystics do," Mensah-Bonsu said. "I think if these guys can see Dwight Howard and John Wall and Bradley Beal walking around every day, it will help motivate them to get to that next level."

"The exposure our players get with the Wizards [front office], the Wizards personnel, being able to watch them practice daily, watching their practice habits and what their routines may be, is really big," Christian said.

That element will also apply beyond the players. Christian, who is just 32 years old, will get to watch how an NBA coaching staff operates on a daily basis.

Christian has yet to take a tour of the new building in Ward 8, but he has seen blueprints. Among the amenities the Go-Go will enjoy that other G-League teams do not usually have is a dedicated dining area.

Many G-League teams do not go to that length.

"A lot of organizations do not provide food for their players on a daily basis, but we will. That’s the No. 1 thing in my opinion that’s gonna set us apart from our competitors," he said.

The Go-Go won't take the floor for their first game until November, but it seems like a good foundation is starting to take place.

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