Redskins

Cincinnati coach Jones weighing options

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Cincinnati coach Jones weighing options

CINCINNATI (AP) Coach Butch Jones was weighing his options Tuesday after returning to Cincinnati's campus after two days of interviews at Purdue and Colorado.

Jones attended a news conference about the Bearcats' appearance in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 27 against Duke. Cincinnati (9-3) finished with a share of the Big East title for the fourth time in the last five years.

He declined to talk about his interviews or his future.

``I'm still the coach here, that's all that matters,'' Jones said. ``This is about the Belk Bowl. I have every intention (of coaching in the bowl). You have to understand why we're here. If you don't, we can end it right now.''

School officials were meeting with him to see what it would take to keep him at Cincinnati, where he's finishing his third season. He signed a contract extension following last season that stretches through 2017 with a $1.4 million buyout if he leaves before Jan. 1.

Keeping football coaches has been a challenge for Cincinnati. The last two used the job as a stepping stone to a bigger program, leaving after three-year stints.

Mark Dantonio oversaw the Bearcats' move into the Big East, but was discouraged with their inability to draw much of a crowd at 35,000-seat Nippert Stadium - a sticking point for years. Dantonio landed at Michigan State.

Brian Kelly took over after the 2006 season and led the program to its greatest heights, including appearances in the Orange Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. He also left after three seasons to coach at Notre Dame, his dream job. Kelly went to South Bend as the unbeaten Bearcats were preparing for their first Sugar Bowl appearance, leaving the team in disarray. They got drubbed by Florida, 51-24, while Kelly was settling in at Notre Dame.

Jones, who succeeded Kelly at Central Michigan, also replaced him at Cincinnati. The Bearcats have gone 23-14 in three seasons under Jones, including a win over Vanderbilt at the Liberty Bowl last season.

During Jones' tenure, the university has expanded its practice facilities, adding a football field with a protective bubble for bad weather. The school also has been trying to figure out a way to upgrade Nippert, which is the second-oldest playing site in the nation for a college team behind Penn's Franklin Field. Nippert has been in use since 1901.

Despite their Big East success, the Bearcats have played in front of less-than-capacity crowds at Nippert much of the time. They drew only 21,171 fans on senior night - their smallest crowd of the season - for a 27-10 win over South Florida.

The university also has been trying to find a place during the Big East's massive exodus. Last month, Louisville was accepted into the Atlantic Coast Conference, which also considered Cincinnati but chose one of its biggest rivals instead.

Jones interviewed at Purdue on Sunday and at Colorado a day later. Bearcats players have off this week before resuming practice for the Charlotte bowl. The players talked among themselves about Jones' future and were awaiting his decision.

Players were trying not to get caught up in the uncertainty.

``It's not a big deal for us,'' junior defensive lineman Jordan Stepp said.

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Need to Know: The best running backs the Redskins will face in 2018

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Need to Know: The best running backs the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 18, eight days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best running backs the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the running backs are up. They are roughly ranked 2017 rushing yards, although I did some juggling based on offseason moves and other factors. Prior to this, we looked at the best teamsreceivers, and quarterbacks

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys—He actually finished 10thin the league in rushing yards behind two backs who will face the Redskins. Elliott gets boosted up the list because he was suspended for six games last year. He averaged 98 yards per game played and had he been able to play in 16 games he would have led the league in rushing yards with over 300 yards to spare. In three games against the Redskins, he has averaged 110 yards per game and he has five touchdowns. The Redskins’ revamped rushing defense will be tested twice.

Mark Ingram, Saints—He will be coming off of a four-game suspension for Redskins vs. Saints in Week 5. Will he be rested or rusty? If he’s in any kind of form, the Redskins defense will have to be on its game. Last year against Washington in the Superdome Ingram rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries. 

Leonard Fournette, Jaguars—The rookie did surpass the thousand-yard mark, posting 1,040. Some pointed out that it wasn’t a consistent effort as he gained 310 yards, almost 30 percent of his total, in two back-to-back games in Weeks 5 and 6. That’s fine but he still is a difficult opponent with his combination of size and speed. I look for him to have a big breakout this year. 

Dion Lewis/Derrick Henry, Titans—Lewis averaged 5.0 yards per carry with the Patriots last year and Henry gained 744 yards while sharing time with the now-retired DeMarco Murray. Lewis will play a lot of third downs and will spell Henry sometimes early in games. That will leave the 6-3, 247-pound Henry fresh to grind up the clock if the Titans have a late lead. 

Jay Ajayi, Eagles—Nobody has quite figured out why the Dolphins dealt him to the Eagles in midseason, but Philly was more than happy to add him to the offense. Ajayi became a workhorse in the postseason with 42 rushing attempts and six receptions in three games. 

I do need to mention Giants rookie Saquan Barkley here. I have to think that the second overall pick of the draft will rank somewhere on this list but without seeing him in an NFL uniform yet it’s hard to rank him. He will be dangerous, no doubt. 

Best of the rest: Lamar Miller, Texans, Alvin Kamara, Saints, Ronald Jones, Bucs

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline 

Former Redskins offensive tackle Geroge Starke, one of the original Hogs, was born on this date in 1948.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 8
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 22
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 45

The Redskins last played a game 199 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 53 days. 

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A quick recap of Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game, including how your Nats did

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A quick recap of Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game, including how your Nats did

Tuesday evening's All-Star game was fairly uneventful until its later innings. The American League triumphed over the National League, 8 - 6, for their sixth straight All-Star game victory.

Despite fears of potential rain and inclement weather delaying the game, there were no unexpected stops in play. 

The AL started very strong offensively, with runs from Aaron Judge and Mike Trout in the top of the second and third innings, respectively. Jean Segura's three-run homer in the top of the eighth made victory look inevitable for the AL by the fifth. 

Max Scherzer, unsurprisingly, was well received among fans at Nationals Park. The Nats starter pitched the first two innings, giving up four hits. One was Judge's second-inning homer, but Scherzer remained unfazed and lighthearted. Four strikeouts made his performance commendable.

Bryce Harper did not get on as well, striking out in both of his at-bats. After Harper's Home Run Derby Win last night, there was chatter of him going for the MVP title as well. 

It didn't work out, but given Harper's consistent presence at the All-Star game, there's always another chance.

Elsewhere in the dugout for the NL, who rallied back from the three-run deficit, the kids were all right. Willson Contreras of the Cubs had a solo homer at the bottom of the third, the Rockies' Trevor Story had one in the seventh, and Christian Yelich added another in the eighth. A two-run homer by Scooter Gennett in the bottom of the ninth brought the game back to a 5-5 tie.

Jesus Aguilar struck out for the NL, and extra innings began.

In the top of the tenth, Alex Bregman and George Springer, both of the Astros, hit home runs almost immediately off of Dodgers pitcher Ross Stipling. Stop us if you've heard that one before.

With no outs, Michael Brantley took a sacrifice flyout to right field, and Jean Segura got in one more run to put the score at 8-5.

Though Joey Votto (Reds) hit one last home run in the bottom of the tenth, the NL couldn't quite make up the deficit.

After a late night, the American League will be going home happy.

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