Redskins

Coughlin talks it out with emotional RB Bradshaw

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Coughlin talks it out with emotional RB Bradshaw

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Playing with emotion makes Ahmad Bradshaw one of the NFL's toughest running backs.

Putting them on display Sunday with the running game struggling came close to getting the New York Giants veteran in big trouble with coach Tom Coughlin.

An angry and frustrated Bradshaw slapped Victor Cruz in the back of the helmet after the receiver missed a block on a third-quarter run, and then screamed at his 66-year-old coach minutes later to run the ball more as the offense went on the field following a Redskins' turnover.

A disciplinarian, Coughlin yelled right back at Bradshaw.

The coach addressed the issue Monday with his No. 1 running back, but would not disclose what was said a day after the Giants (5-2) rallied for a 27-23 win over Washington on a 77-yard pass from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz with 1:13 to play.

``There's never been any question about Ahmad Bradshaw's toughness, his intensity level,'' Coughlin said. ``He plays the game hard. You'd like to have everybody play as hard he plays, to be honest with you. He gives it everything he's got. You want people to recognize that fact, but sometimes you do have to control yourself and control your emotions ... and he's working on it.''

Bradshaw said Coughlin's response was as animated as his, but both men felt it was a heat-of-the-moment exchange.

``That is the thing about this team, we all just want to win and anything we can do to help, I think it helps,'' said Bradshaw, who tossed his helmet after sitting on the bench following the incident.

Bradshaw, who had rushed for a combined 316 yards the previous two games, let his emotions get the best of him in the third quarter of a game in which Washington was stuffing New York's run repeatedly. It started after a 15-yard run to the left, his longest run on an afternoon where he gained 43 yards on 12 carries.

The play had the potential for more, but Cruz missed a downfield block on Washington's Madieu Williams and the safety upended Bradshaw. The running back quickly got up, went right at Cruz and screamed at him while slapping him in the back of the helmet.

Cruz laughed when asked if he suffered a concussion from the hard slap. But he also said he wasn't offended, saying Bradshaw wants the best from everyone on the offense.

``We understand what kind of person Ahmad is and we understand he's emotional and he wears his heart on his sleeve,'' Cruz said. ``He's the pulse of the offense sometimes. The way he runs the ball, he wants the ball every chance he gets. And we understand that. The emotions (are) just what he brings to the table. We respect it. Obviously from the outside looking in, it looks a little iffy.

``But all that matters is what we think about him in this locker room, and (on) the coaching staff.''

Manning said the Giants appreciate how Bradshaw works, especially in a week where he was bothered by a foot injury.

``He does a great job in running hard and I think he thought he had a shot to break even a bigger run on that play,'' Manning said. ``So, he's trying to make sure those guys know that he tries to do everything to protect and give them opportunities to make plays. He wants the same in return.''

Teammates had no problem with Bradshaw's actions.

"Hey, if I'm going to a fight, I'm taking Ahmad with me,'' safety Antrel Rolle said. ``I love that guy, I love his passion, I love the attitude he brings to a game. He's a very emotional guy. Nothing he does is meant to be disturbing to anyone else. It may come across like that, it may not. But we all know Ahmad means the world (to us).

``We ride or die with Ahmad.''

Guard Kevin Boothe said football is an emotional game and players yell at times, noting Bradshaw's blowup drew more attention because he is a high-profile player on a champion team.

``He's the starting running back for the New York Giants,'' Boothe said. ``If he's yelling, I think that draws more attention than if I'm yelling. I think if we're both yelling on the sideline, chances are you guys will pick up Ahmad Bradshaw rather than Kevin Boothe.''

Tight end Martellus Bennett said Bradshaw is the same person whether he's on the field, in the locker room or eating lunch.

``That's why we love him,'' Bennett said. ``I don't know a good adjective to describe him, but Ahmad is Ahmad. That's who he is.''

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New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

Alex Smith in, Kirk Cousins out.

That's certainly the headline, but there are plenty of other questions for the Redskins, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

For the last two seasons, most of the questions going into OTAs for Washington came from the defensive side of the ball. After consecutive drafts with a first-round defensive lineman selection, the defense should be much improved. 

On offense, however, there are a lot of new parts. 

  1. The headliner - No position in sports is as important as NFL quarterback. This will be Alex Smith's first action in a Redskins uniform with media present. The 34-year-old veteran is coming off the best season of his career, and if he can continue that level of accuracy and play-making, the Redskins could be poised for an explosive year.
  2. The speedster - Washington's wideouts lacked separation in 2017. It was apparent through much of the year, and likely played a roll in some of Kirk Cousins' reluctance to make tough throws. Free agent addition Paul Richardson is supposed to help, immediately. He has elite deep speed and the 'Skins brass hopes he can bring a similar element to the offense that DeSean Jackson provided a few years back. Time to prove it Paul. 
  3. The injuries - There are big reasons for concern, namely two very large men in Jordan Reed and Trent Williams. Reed will not participate in OTAs, and has been dealing with a foot/toe injury for the better part of a year. Williams, who seems highly unlikely to attend OTAs, underwent knee surgery in January. Beyond Smith, Reed and Williams are probably the two most important offensive players on the Redskins. OTAs aren't important, Reed and Williams participating, or even attending, OTAs is not important. Both men being healthy and ready to go in September is quite important. 
  4. The Rookie - Has Derrius Guice become the most popular player on the Redskins? Maybe. The dynamic rookie running back, with an interesting draft weekend slide, has the charisma and ability to be a star. The "off-field concerns" that hurt his draft status seem like myths at this point, but there was some injury concern his junior season at LSU (see video above). Guice has an opportunity to be a huge part of the Redskins offense, and all eyes will be watching the rookie. 
  5. The leap? - In 2017, Josh Doctson showed flashes of the player that warranted a first-round pick in 2016. Will 2018 be the year he proves it, week after week, game after game? Getting off to a good start with Smith should help, and even more important would be an injury-free offseason. 

There are questions for the defense too, particularly at cornerback after Josh Norman, but this year, the offense has more new parts. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions 

— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

The Eastern Conference Final is going the distance!

After losing three straight to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Capitals won Game 6 to force a Game 7 in Tampa Bay. Can the Caps beat the Lightning one more time and advance to the Stanley Cup Final?

JJ Regan, Tarik El-Bashir and special guest cameraman Mike D break it all down.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to schedule and time constraints, this podcast was recorded by phone and the audio quality is not up to our usual standards.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.