Redskins

Cowboys add former Lions coach Marinelli to staff

Cowboys add former Lions coach Marinelli to staff

IRVING, Texas (AP) The Dallas Cowboys hired former Detroit head coach Rod Marinelli as defensive line coach Friday, a day after the Chicago Bears said he wasn't returning as defensive coordinator.

Marinelli's hiring reunites him with new Dallas defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Marinelli held the same title from 1996-2005 under Kiffin in Tampa Bay, and the Buccaneers consistently finished in the top 10 in total defense.

Marinelli left Kiffin's staff in 2006 to become head coach of the Lions, who had the only 0-16 record in NFL history in his final season in 2008. His three-year record was 10-38.

A four-year stint in Chicago ended this week when Marinelli decided he didn't want to return after coach Lovie Smith was fired. New Bears coach Marc Trestman said he wanted to keep Marinelli, who was defensive coordinator the past three seasons.

The Cowboys hired Kiffin after deciding to switch back to the 4-3 defense. Marinelli and Kiffin won the Super Bowl under Jon Gruden after the 2002 season, the year after Gruden replaced Tony Dungy. The Bucs were the first team since the 1985 Chicago Bears to lead the league in total defense, points allowed and interceptions.

Under Marinelli, Tampa Bay's defensive line, led mostly by Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice, had an NFL-high 328 1/2 sacks from 1996 to 2005. In Marinelli's three years as Chicago's defensive coordinator, the Bears' defensive line had 88 sacks.

``The big part of playing the defense this way is getting people who really, really believe in it,'' said Dungy, who was in the Dallas area Friday for the NCAA convention. ``You have to sell it to your group. And what we had back then, we hand Monte, Herm Edwards, Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli. And they all believed.''

Marinelli has 17 years of NFL experience among his 37 in coaching. He was a college assistant at Utah State, California, Arizona State and Southern Cal.

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Week 6's Redskins game marked another successful celebration of the THINK-PINK! campaign

Week 6's Redskins game marked another successful celebration of the THINK-PINK! campaign

During the Redskins-Panthers Week 6 matchup, the FedEx Field end zones ditched their usual gold trim for some pink instead. As it turns out, burgundy and pink go quite well together.

The reason for the change was to celebrate the Redskins Breast Cancer Awareness game as well as the 20th anniversary of Tanya Snyder's THINK-PINK! campaign.

Mrs. Snyder started the movement two decades ago by passing out 8,000 handmade pink ribbons at the team's stadium meant to remind people that early detection of breast cancer can make a major difference.

Now, her campaign has gone league-wide and is the reason you see so many players wearing pink in October, fans waving pink towels in the stands and other awareness-raising initiatives throughout the NFL.

"Very, very, very proud," Snyder said while handing out ribbons before the Washington-Carolina game. "We're not finished, but we are making a difference with early detection. So I'm beaming." 

For more information on Snyder and the NFL's breast cancer efforts, head to redskins.com/thinkpink. And for more details about the events held at FedEx Field during Week 6, check out the video above.

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Dwight Howard practices for first time with Wizards, raising likelihood he plays in opener

Dwight Howard practices for first time with Wizards, raising likelihood he plays in opener

On Monday, for the first time since 2018-19 training camp began, the Wizards were complete.

Dwight Howard, who missed three weeks due to a strained piriformis muscle, participated in his first full practice with his new team. The 32-year-old signed a free agent deal with the Wizards in July, but had yet to take the court due to the injury, which began bothering him shortly before camp began on Sept. 25.

Howard had a setback on Oct. 6 and saw a specialist in New York. He received a pain injection on Tuesday and on Saturday began shooting again.

After clearing that hurdle, he was ready to be a full-go with his new teammates.

"It felt pretty good. I really gotta catch my wind and learn some of the offense. But other than that, it felt pretty good," Howard said of Day 1.

Howard practicing on Monday gives him two more days to work with before the Wizards open their season on Thursday at home against the Miami Heat. Both he and head coach Scott Brooks say it's too early to tell if he will be available.

"We'll see how it feels. I will do everything I can to make myself available for all 82 games," Howard said.

Howard not only has to play himself into game shape, he has to develop chemistry and timing with his new teammates. He missed all five of their preseason games.

If Howard can play, that would certainly be a positive turn of events for the Wizards. As of the end of last week, it seemed highly unlikely he would be ready when the regular season began.

But Howard turned a corner and now appears to be coming along quicker than once expected. 

"It was probably our best practice of training camp," Brooks said Monday after finally getting Howard into the mix.

"He has a natural feel. His IQ was pretty high, I was impressed with that. He picked things up."

Howard signed a two-year contract worth $11 million to join the Wizards in July.

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