Cincinnati sticking with struggling Legaux at QB


Cincinnati sticking with struggling Legaux at QB

CINCINNATI (AP) Coach Butch Jones' son showed up for Cincinnati's family trick-or-treat day dressed as the Bearcats' quarterback - and yes, it was still Munchie Legaux.

Jones is sticking with his struggling quarterback.

The junior has thrown five interceptions in the last two games, leading to losses at Toledo and Louisville that knocked the Bearcats (5-2, 1-1 Big East) out of the national rankings and out of a front-runner position in the conference race. The worst was a lob into the end zone in overtime that was intercepted, helping Louisville pull out a 34-31 win on Friday.

Jones said on Tuesday that he won't consider replacing him.

``I haven't flinched and not on person on our football team has flinched, and I'm not going to,'' Jones said. ``I believe in him.''

Playing in a cold, driving rain, Legaux had his worst game of the season on Friday, throwing three interceptions, including the clincher in overtime. He finished 13 of 28 for 157 yards with one touchdown.

When Jones' son, Adam, showed up for the Bearcats' trick-or-treat event on Monday, he was dressed as Legaux.

``He was a quarterback and he was Munchie Legaux and he wanted to go see Munchie,'' his father said.

Jones is prepared to go through more growing pains with Legaux, who balances good throws with the occasional forced pass that can turn the game around. The Bearcats expect Syracuse (4-4, 3-1) to try to shut down their running game on Saturday at Nippert Stadium and force Legaux to throw.

``I think he has all the quarterback intangibles,'' Jones said. ``He understands the offense. I think he has great physical tools. I just think it's experience. It's something he's going through.

``It's a growth process he's going through. But we do everything in practice with it. I have trust and belief that he will continue to get better at that. He's had some setbacks, but he will get better.''

The school declined to make Legaux available for interviews on Tuesday.

Jones will try to help the first-year starter by giving him more chances to run on Saturday. He carried five times for 32 yards and a touchdown in Louisville, and could get more scrambles to take a little pressure off his passing.

Jones has been reluctant to have Legaux run frequently because he could get hurt.

``We're going to make a commitment to run him more,'' he said. ``Five games left, every game's a playoff. Just try to change some things up offensively. Plus I think some of the things our opponents do lend themselves to our quarterback running the football.''

Jones indicated that senior defensive end Walter Stewart likely won't play again. Stewart, the Bearcats' top pass rusher and team leader, has missed the last two games because of a spine problem. He's gotten two medical opinions about the risks of playing again.

Jones has offered him a chance to become part of the coaching staff. Stewart might get another medical opinion before making a decision.

``He's realistic,'' Jones said. ``He's deciding what he wants to do with his life if playing football is not there. Obviously I'm trying to convince him to give coaching a try.''

Quick Links

For a January game, Wizards vs. Pistons has plenty of playoff implications

For a January game, Wizards vs. Pistons has plenty of playoff implications

Winners of six of their last nine games, the Washington Wizards have breathed new life into their season, now with revitalized hopes of making the playoffs. On Monday, they will get a shot at one of the teams standing in their way.

With a 2 p.m. tip-off on NBC Sports Washington, the Wizards host the Detroit Pistons in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee. The Wizards are 10th in the Eastern Conference and the Pistons are ninth.

With a win over the Pistons, the Wizards would move into a tie for ninth, just one spot out of the playoff picture. Though more than two months remain in the regular season, the Wizards can gain some valuable ground.

Whether that is on their mind going into the match-up depends on whom you ask.

"It's definitely too early to talk about it," head coach Scott Brooks said.

"I think there are some very important games [coming up] where we go head-to-head against the guys who are around us in the standings," guard Tomas Satoransky said, singing a different tune.

Satoransky doesn't just see an opportunity against the Pistons on Monday, he mentioned Friday's game against the Magic as well. Orlando is one spot behind the Wizards in 11th.

The standings are one thing. Even more important for the big picture is head-to-head records, which determine tiebreakers for playoff seeding. The Wizards are 0-1 against the Pistons, having lost in Detroit on Dec. 26. 

A win on Monday would tie the season series with only one meeting left, on Feb. 11. If the Pistons win on Monday, they would lock up the tiebreaker.

The Wizards have reasons to be confident going into this meeting with the Pistons. While they are playing their best basketball of the season, Detroit has been in a tailspin. Going back to Dec. 3, they are 7-18. Only the Cavaliers have more losses during that stretch.

In those 25 games, the Pistons have been 28th in the NBA in offensive rating (103.6) and effective field goal percentage (49.6). They have committed the third-most turnovers per game (15.6).

Injuries haven't been the reason, but the Pistons have a few to report entering Monday's game. All-Star center Andre Drummond missed their last game on Saturday with a concussion and is considered day-to-day. Guard Ish Smith is also day-to-day after missing Saturday's game with a groin injury.

The Wizards have a chance to beat a reeling team and gain some control of their playoff hopes. We'll see if they take advantage.


Quick Links

That time Antonio Brown and Kyler Murray practiced together


That time Antonio Brown and Kyler Murray practiced together

Thanks to Antonio Brown, we have the hopes and dreams of a splashy off-season for the Washington Redskins in one tidy four-second video.

Brown, the NFL’s best receiver, is angling for a trade out of Pittsburgh.

Kyler Murray is the reigning Heisman Trophy quarterback and a projected 2019 first round pick.

During the NFC Championship game, the Steelers wide receiver tweeted out a clip of him hauling in a deep pass from the University of Oklahoma product. Yes, that’s going to draw some eyeballs, perhaps especially from fans of a team with quarterback uncertainty and lacking offensive playmakers.

Another OU standout, wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown”, joined his cousin Antonio and Murray for the workout. This isn’t the first time all three shared a field.

View this post on Instagram

The best rolled thru today, appreciate you @ab 📞

A post shared by Kyler Murray (@kyler1murray) on

Marquise Brown, a true speed threat, could become the first wide receiver selected in the 2019 draft.

There’s no way for the Redskins to land all three. Even two seems highly unlikely considering the two prospects are projected first-round selections and acquiring Brown would cost a No. 1 and plenty more. It’s still cool to dream. Considering the quarterback concerns with Alex Smith, Jamison Crowder entering free agency and the need for more pieces regardless, even landing one of them would work.