Redskins

Crist throws for TD, runs for score in NFLPA game

Crist throws for TD, runs for score in NFLPA game

CARSON, Calif. (AP) Though Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist's college football career didn't exactly go as planned, he made the most of his opportunity to showcase his talents in front of professional scouts and coaches.

Crist threw for a touchdown and ran for another to lead the National team to a 34-0 victory over the American on Saturday at the second annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

Crist completed 7-of-10 passes for 61 yards and was named MVP. He opened the scoring with a 1-yard run in the second quarter and followed it with a 7-yard touchdown pass on the next possession to help stake the National to a 17-0 halftime lead.

``I think the biggest thing for a game like this is you show that you can go out and compete with whoever, they have the best here,'' said Crist, who went to high school about 30 miles from the Home Depot Center in Sherman Oaks and had friends and family in attendance. ``Just go out and compete and showcase your ability. Show all the organizations in attendance what you can bring to them and make their team better.''

One of the top quarterback prospects coming out of high school in 2008, Crist was expected to be the next great Notre Dame quarterback.

But he suffered season ending knee injuries in both his sophomore and junior seasons and lost his starting job midway through his senior year. He was granted an extra year of eligibility and transferred to Kansas, but once again was benched as a starter midway through the year and finished with the lowest quarterback rating in Division I.

``I think the adversity that I faced throughout my college career gives me a pretty unique perspective,'' he said. ``I honestly feel that there's nothing thrown at me that I can't handle. I just thank God for the opportunity to be here and go out and compete.''

South Carolina kicker Adam Yates kicked field goals of 40 and 41 yards, Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel threw for a score, Rice tight end Luke Wilson had three receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown, and Texas Tech running back Eric Stephens Jr. ran for a touchdown as well to round out the National scoring.

The American squad fumbled the ball seven times, turned it over five times, and didn't cross midfield until late in the third quarter.

The National poured it in the second half, aided in large part by the American squad turning the ball over on its first two possessions.

``They turn the ball over like that, there is no way they can win,'' said National coach Dick Vermeil, the longtime NFL coach who also guided the National team to a victory in last year's game. ``It makes us look even better than we are.''

Virginia Tech's Bruce Taylor ended the American's first possession of the second half when he picked off a pass from Southern Utah quarterback Brad Sorenson and returned it deep into American territory, setting up a 40-yard field goal by Yates.

South Carolina State's Jakari Allen then fumbled away the ensuing kick return, and six plays later Tuel rolled to his right and found Norfolk State wide receiver Xavier Boyce for a 9-yard touchdown strike.

Stephens Jr., who finished with 38 yards rushing on 13 carriers, capped the scoring with a 1-yard plunge up the middle in the fourth.

Tuel started and completed all eight of his passes for 64 yards.

In addition to forcing the five turnovers, the National defense recorded three sacks and 13 tackles for a loss and held the American to just 193 total yards.

``Not having a scouting report or anything on offense, it was important that we communicated on defense,'' Taylor said. ``It was just bringing the energy..Guys were flying to the ball and really communicating about the different formations they were coming out in.''

Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers, the younger brother of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, completed 8 of 11 passes for 91 yards and also carried the ball five times for 23 yards to lead the American squad

``The coaches did a good job and the players responded well,'' Vermeil said. ``They really did a good job and it was so much fun, so refreshing.''

Despite the big loss, American coach Herm Edwards spoke positively about the experience of coaching the showcase for draft-eligible prospects.

``The game plays out however it plays out,'' he said. ``The key is it's about these young men. They are looking for the opportunity to get to the next level.This is the future of the National Football League these guys, and they got an opportunity to play in an All-Star Game and its good for them.''

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Derrius Guice out for Week 15 vs. Eagles as he awaits MRI results

Derrius Guice out for Week 15 vs. Eagles as he awaits MRI results

The injuries just keep coming for Derrius Guice.

The second-year running back will miss the Redskins Week 15 contest against Philadelphia after suffering a left knee injury against Green Bay, interim head coach Bill Callahan announced on Monday. The injury is on the same knee that Guice tore his ACL in just a year ago that caused him to miss the entire 2018 season.

The severity of the injury is still unclear. Guice underwent an MRI on his knee earlier on Monday. The team is still waiting for the results.

Guice missed eight weeks earlier this season after tearing the meniscus in his right knee during the Redskins Week 1 loss in Philadelphia. He was placed on injured reserve and returned in Week 11.

Entering Sunday's contest, Guice was coming off the best game of his young career. In Week 13, the second-year veteran ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries in the Redskins' victory over Carolina.

Guice seemed on his way to another big game in Green Bay before getting hurt. He finished with 42 yards on just five carries, including a 23-yard run, the play he suffered the injury on.

The LSU product has shown flashes of how good he can be, but injuries keep occurring for Guice. He's played in five NFL games in his two-year career and been forced to leave the game early in three of those.

Whether the injuries are just a series of bad luck or not, the Redskins need Guice to stay healthy.

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    Davey Martinez is unfazed by entering the third - and perhaps final - year of his contract

    Davey Martinez is unfazed by entering the third - and perhaps final - year of his contract

    SAN DIEGO -- Davey Martinez has been busy. His rural retreat, usually well-used by this stage of the offseason, has sat empty. He spent time with his kids in Tampa in between declining appearance requests. He tried to get his life back in order for the last five weeks. Time to himself has not been part of the process. Nor has anything but positive feelings.

    “It’s been awesome,” Martinez said. “Really has. Something that I wake up in the morning and think about everything that transpired and how we got to where we got to and the final moment... That, to me, never gets old.”

    Relaxed in a dress shirt and sport coat, Martinez started Monday with interviews by the reporters pool at the Winter Meetings. Two of his former players -- Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon -- are among the prime focuses of the event. Future contracts are what the meetings become about. Martinez is now included in that topic.

    He’s entering the third, and final, year of his three-year deal. The Nationals hold an option for a fourth year. Martinez said he is not thinking about it.

    “No,” Martinez said. “I really haven’t. For me, I feel blessed I got an opportunity to do what I do. I know I’m coming back. Now, I’m just getting some time off and getting ready for spring training.”

    Martinez entering his third year is notable. Managers of the Nationals rarely make it there. Manny Acta started a third season as manager. Davey Johnson handled two-plus seasons as manager. No one has made it through three full seasons since baseball returned to the District. And, who would have thought Martinez would?

    Year One was a mess. The Nationals missed the playoffs, Martinez appeared off-kilter at times, and injuries doomed the season as much as under-performance. A mere 82 wins followed, the fewest since 2011. 

    The pressure was high before the failed season. Washington’s ownership chose Martinez specifically over bringing back Dusty Baker. Why? Because advancing to the first round was not enough. Only the World Series was acceptable. Martinez, with vast major-league life experience and zero managerial experience, was charged with guiding the team to a spot its owners and payroll expected. The team barely won more than it lost.

    Then May of 2019 hit. The 19-31 nadir following multiple embarrassments in New York, against the Mets of all teams, pushed Martinez’s employment status toward the edge. He said then it wasn’t on his mind, though at the time he was unsure how to fix expansive bullpen problems. Managing principal owner Mark Lerner said during the postseason he never considered firing Martinez. Both are difficult to believe as 100% truths. 

    As the team turned, so did the view of Martinez. The postseason performed as a breakthrough for both. Washington finally made it out of the first round of the postseason. Martinez’s decision-making worked and worked again, all the way through Game 7 of the World Series. By the end, narratives flipped. The team which couldn’t play well when it mattered most completed a comeback-filled championship run. The manager so many wanted to push out, became a man of the people, drifting into the streets during the championship parade.

    Another year is coming. Davey Martinez remains the manager of the Washington Nationals. He’s into his third year and, barring disaster, appears set to make it to the end, which would be more history for the organization.

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