Capitals

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.

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Remembering the other series-clinching goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov

Remembering the other series-clinching goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov

When you think about Evgeny Kuznetsov in the playoffs, most probably think of his overtime-winning goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2018 that ended the series and handed Washington a long-awaited victory over its archrival. But that wasn’t the first series-clinching goal Kuznetsov scored.

Before the Stanley Cup was brought to Washington, before the bird celebration, there was another epic moment of Kuznetsov’s career that now feels overshadowed by the 2018 run.

In 2015, the Caps returned to the playoffs after a one-year hiatus. They entered the postseason as the second-place team in the Metropolitan Division, drawing the third-place New York Islanders in the first round.

A back-and-forth series, it ultimately went the distance with Game 7 being played in Washington. As even as the series had been, the Caps dominated that Game 7, suffocating the Islanders and giving up only 11 shots on goal. Joel Ward put Washington ahead 1-0, but Frans Nielsen tied it early in the third period. Despite the dominant defensive performance, Jaroslav Halak (remember him?) would not allow the Caps to the chance to put the game away.

Just when it began to feel as if Halak was going to steal away another Game 7 from the Caps, a young Russian center in just his first full NHL season took over.

With less than eight minutes remaining in the third period, Kuznetsov took a pass along the half wall, showed Frans Nielsen his back and when Nielsen bit, he spun and cut to the center of the ice. Nielsen was caught a step behind and whacked Kuznetsov in desperation, actually diving to the ice to try to keep him from breaking loose. In one slick move Kuznetsov had cut through the Islanders’ defense and was in alone on net. Halak went down to the butterfly as Kuznetsov cut to center, but Kuznetsov showed incredible patience and did not immediately shoot. Suddenly, Halak was committed and helpless. He dove to his right desperately holding up the glove as Kuznetsov kept gliding across the ice, but Halak had left too much of the net open by going down too soon and Kuznetsov hit the corner.

With 7:18 remaining in the game and the series, Kuznetsov had given the Caps the 2-1 lead.

The series was a breakout performance for Kuznetsov who returned the following season and earned a top-six role, something not all that easy for young players to do under head coach Barry Trotz. It also gave a franchise still bearing the scars of Halak’s 2010 upset a measure of revenge.

And the rest is history.

What heroics does Kuznetsov have in store for the Islanders on Saturday when the two teams meet at 1 p.m.? Tune in to NBC Sports Washington at 12 p.m. for coverage.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Wizards committed more turnovers against the Raptors than they have in any game in 25 years

Wizards committed more turnovers against the Raptors than they have in any game in 25 years

Whether it's good or bad, nothing the Wizards do is subtle. 

They'll score a million points and give up two million points. They'll beat the Heat, Nuggets and Celtics without Bradley Beal but also blow an 18-point fourth quarter lead to the Bulls. 

The Wizards had some turnover issues Friday night, but again, they're never subtle. 

Washington committed 28 turnovers on the way to a 29-point loss. Following the first seven minutes of play, the Wizards had seven turnovers and seven points. 

The last time the Wizards turned the ball over that much was April 2, 1994, in a 104-96 win over the Bucks. The last time an NBA team turned it over 28 times? The 2010 Suns. 

Nine Wizards players had multiple turnovers, while five players had at least three. 

Following Bradley Beal's comments criticizing the team's culture and need to develop winning habits, the Wizards' response left more than enough to be desired. Credit the Raptors defense utilizing their length and ball pressure to take advantage of when the Wizards were loose with the ball, but it takes more than good defense to turn it over 28 times. 

The bright side is this was an uncharacteristic performance for the Wizards. They currently average the 10th-fewest turnovers per game in the NBA, so there's a good chance they clean things up on Monday against the Pistons. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: