Redskins

Bucks extend contract of GM Hammond

Bucks extend contract of GM Hammond

When the Milwaukee Bucks and coach Scott Skiles decided to part ways earlier this month, the franchise appeared to be treading on some pretty unstable ground.

Owner Herb Kohl has watched his resilient young team hold it together and on Wednesday decided to try to solidify things even further. Kohl signed GM John Hammond to a three-year contract extension, providing some stability to a front office that certainly needs it with some major decisions looming.

``John does a terrific job for our basketball team,'' Kohl said in a statement issued by the team. ``He and his staff have assembled a roster of very talented players who are also very good people, which our fans appreciate and enjoy watching. John is highly respected by the players and among his peers and I'm happy he will continue to lead our basketball operations department.''

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hammond, who was in the final year of his contract, took over in April 2008 and was voted by his peers the league's Executive of the Year in 2009-10 after swinging a trade for John Salmons that helped propel the Bucks to a 46-36 season that ended with a seven-game loss to Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs. But the Bucks missed the playoffs the next two seasons and Skiles, the only coach who had worked in Milwaukee under Hammond, abruptly left on Jan. 7.

The Bucks are 6-2 under Jim Boylan, Skiles' lead assistant who took over when the hard-nosed coach walked away, and are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference playoff field. At 22-18, the Bucks were just three games out of first place in the Central Division after Tuesday's games.

Hammond has suffered his hits and misses in four and a half seasons on the job. His trade for Salmons in his second year proved to be a masterful move, igniting the Bucks to their first playoff berth in four seasons.

But Salmons' production dropped considerably after he signed a five-year, $39 million contract, and he was traded to Sacramento. A five-year, $32 million given to Drew Gooden hasn't worked out, either. Headaches like Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette have come and gone, and in their place Hammond has started to establish a young core with more promise going forward, if the right moves are made.

Brandon Jennings will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season. Monta Ellis can opt out of his deal and become a free agent as well. And Hammond will have to make a decision on a permanent replacement for Skiles, whether that is Boylan or someone else.

If Hammond makes the right decisions, the future may well be bright for the Bucks. Ersan Ilyasova is showing signs of breaking out of his funk and playing more like the difference-maker he was last season, Larry Sanders has developed from a raw first-round draft pick three years ago into the NBA's leading shot-blocker and a fan favorite, and Hammond has assembled a solid veteran cast of role players - Mike Dunleavy, Luc Mbah a Moute and Beno Udrih among them - to complement the dynamic Jennings-Ellis backcourt.

``We're going to fight to the end, that's been our motto all year,'' Sanders said. ``We're planning on winning as many as we can and being in a good position come April for the playoffs. I see that in our future.''

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Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter:http://twitter.com/APkrawczynski

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49ers seal rainy victory over Redskins with slip-n-slide celebration

49ers seal rainy victory over Redskins with slip-n-slide celebration

After coming across the country and holding the Redskins scoreless, the 49ers celebrated their victory over Washington in the most appropriate way possible.

In a rain-fulfilled contest that featured poor field conditions, including multiple puddles throughout the playing surface at FedExField, several players on both sides slipped constantly on Sunday. 

On the last play of the game with a San Francisco victory just seconds away, 49ers rookie Nick Bosa sacked Redskins quarterback Case Keenum as the clock winded down. Bosa celebrated with a headfirst slide across the grass, fully embracing the poor field conditions that affected both sides all afternoon long.

But as soon as Bosa hit the turf, several of his 49ers teammates joined him in the act. All of a sudden, dozens of white jerseys were sliding across the wet grass, as the two teams began to commemorate postgame.

"It was a lot of fun. It was definitely worth it," 49ers defensive end Deforest Buckner said. "I saw Bosa out there sliding, so I said, 'Let's do it.' Everybody else started sliding around and everything. It was like a bunch of little kids out there. That's part of the game, having fun. Right now, we're having a lot of fun."

Even head coach Kyle Shanahan, who was likely happier about this victory than many others, considered joining in.

"I did think about it," Shanahan said. "But I don't think I would have done it right."

The head coach wasn't the only 49er to sit the celebration out.

"I spent plenty of time getting wet in the game," tight end George Kittle said. "I let other guys do [the celebration] for me."

"I saw those guys running and diving on the ground," cornerback Richard Sherman said. "I was like, I got out of this one healthy, so I'm just going to go. I'm just going to observe and then jog to the sideline, but it was fun. It was the 'Mud Bowl 2019 Champions.'"

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo also sat the celebration out, but not by choice.

"I missed the slide. I was upset about that," he said.

After holding the Redskins to zero points and just 154 total yards, the 49ers deserved to celebrate in any way they wanted. And they did just that.

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Marcus Peters nabs pick-six off Russell Wilson in first game with Ravens

Marcus Peters nabs pick-six off Russell Wilson in first game with Ravens

The Ravens’ secondary was a big area of concern through the first six weeks of the season, as the team had allowed the eighth-most passing yards per game (269.5) in the NFL—and the loss of safety Tony Jefferson to a torn ACL only made the struggles all the more alarming.

So the Baltimore front office went out and traded for Rams cornerback Marcus Peters, shipping linebacker Kenny Young and a 2020 fifth-round pick to Los Angeles for the two-time Pro Bowler. He suited up for his first contest with the team in Week 7 against the Seahawks, and it only took two quarters for him to make a big impact on the game.

Peters returned Russell Wilson’s pass 67 yards to the house, putting Baltimore ahead in the road contest against one of the teams atop the NFC standings. The interception was his third of the season.

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