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DB Rolle, Giants ready to show some more fight

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DB Rolle, Giants ready to show some more fight

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Antrel Rolle wants the New York Giants to start being a little nastier, and not just the defense.

The veteran safety who tends to be the team's most outspoken player said Wednesday that the Giants (7-5) need to start showing the tenacity of one of those nasty dogs who is not out to make any friends.

``I don't think we have played dominant on a consistent basis,'' Rolle said Wednesday. ``I think we can definitely go out there and have a little more dog in our system. Attack a lot more, be more physical at the point of attack and make plays when the opportunity presents itself.''

The Giants have done that only twice this season, and both came in games against teams that are leading their divisions They dominated San Francisco, 26-3, in mid-October, and made Green Bay look ordinary two weeks ago en route to a 38-10 win.

The rest of the season has been a series of ups and downs. The most recent was of the latter variety, a 17-16 loss to the Washington Redskins Monday. The Giants shot themselves in the foot with nine penalties, and a failure to get a defensive stop late.

As such, the season has come down to four games for the defending Super Bowl champions. And now is the time to pick it up despite holding a one-game lead over Washington (6-6) and Dallas (6-6) in the NFC East.

The stretch run starts Sunday at MetLife Stadium against New Orleans (5-7), a desperate team that likely needs to win out to make the postseason.

Rolle not only wants to see the Giants be more physical, he wants them to play with an attitude - the same kind of style they used last season in finishing with a six-game winning streak.

``This game is just as much mental as it is physical,'' Rolle said. ``You got to give yourself an edge. You can't go in there, you know, praising this team, praising that team. You've already somewhat defeated yourself at that point.''

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said Rolle is right on the mark, and that the defense has to step up.

``I think we're a little soft, but I think we'll get there,'' he said. ``We haven't played our best game this year. I know that for a fact.''

Pierre-Paul would not say specifically how the defense was soft, other than repeating the best is still to come.

``As a defense, we have to make a statement,'' he said. ``We haven't made a statement ever since, I'll say, San Francisco. Well, I'm lying, because we did beat up on Green Bay quite a little bit. But, ever since then, we haven't made a statement. We've just been losing. And we're all not playing together. When you're a team, on an organization like this, you've got to play together as one.

``Otherwise, you'll keep going downhill.''

The third-year player, slowed by a sore back last week, said everyone just needs to work harder, and listen to the coaches. Especially with the Saints coming to town. New Orleans is not what it used to be, clearly. But the Saints handled the Giants, 49-24, last season. Saints quarterback Drew Brees has posted four wins in four games vs. the Giants, as well.

But New York knows one thing. Brees won't scramble as much as Washington's Robert Griffin III did on Monday.

``The Redskins got a great scheme going on there, especially with their QB. Playing that option, man, is crazy,'' Pierre-Paul said. ``I think we're one of the best teams that have played it, played it well. But it's a pain. I hate playing it. So, now going up to a traditional offense, we know what we're going to probably get, and it's much easier.

``Having an option quarterback, coming from college, and the kid's fast, man. I'm getting old, you know? It should be much easier this weekend.''

Not sure Brees feels the same way. Combined, he threw for eight touchdowns - with no interceptions - in lopsided wins over New York in 2009 and 2011.

``I have all the confidence in the world in this team. And I am sure other players here feel the same way,'' Rolle said. ``We just need to go out there and have that same confidence in ourselves when we take the field, which we do. But we need to go out there and prove it. Talk is cheap.

``We have to go out and play the game.''

Rolle laughed when asked what breed of dog the Giants needed to be.

``All dogs bite,'' he said. ``Just need to go out there and play ball. That's it. Save the hugs and kisses for after the game.''

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What It Means: Wizards reportedly expected to make extension offer to Bradley Beal

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USA Today

What It Means: Wizards reportedly expected to make extension offer to Bradley Beal

Despite the litany of teams who would love to get their hands on Bradley Beal this offseason, Washington has so far remained committed to keeping Bradley Beal a Wizard.

And when he's eligible in July, they plan to offer him a three-year, $111 million extension, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.  

"He's eligible for a three-year, $111 million extension," Wojnarowski said during ESPN's televised mock draft special. "I'm told it's the team's intention to offer that up to him and try and move forward."

Keeping Beal long-term may wind being a smart move, as NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig wrote this week. The extension would lock Beal up for the next five years and secure him and John Wall -- once he's fully recovered from offseason Achilles surgery -- as the Wizards' backcourt for the foreseeable future. 

The offer may seem financially burdensome, considering the Wizards just signed John Wall to a massive supermax extension that starts this season. But although the Wizards are currently strapped for cash, there's hope on the horizon. Ian Mahinmi's $15.6 million deal and Dwight Howard's $5.4 million deal expire after the 2019-2020 season.

The Wizards could decline Jabari Parkers $20 million team option and let Bobby Portis walk in restricted free agency this offseason. If both those happen, the Wizards could open up cap space for Beal's extension.

Considering John Wall is out for likely the entire next season and the Wizards still don't have a GM, their best move might be to lock in what proven production they have.

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Rain knocks out another Phillies-Nationals game

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Rain knocks out another Phillies-Nationals game

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and Phillies are 2-for-2.

Tuesday night's game was postponed following a two-hour rain delay. Monday's game was postponed after a three-hour rain delay.

Tuesday's game will be made up as part of a split day-night doubleheader Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., bumping a four-game series to a five-game series. The Nationals and Phillies are scheduled to also play a split day-night doubleheader Wednesday.

The day was not without news. Nationals ace Max Scherzer broke his nose in batting practice when a ball bounced off his bat and struck him in the face. Scherzer was attempting to bunt at the time.

Scherzer's injury and the multiple postponements throw the Nationals' pitching plans into disarray. They're not sure if Scherzer will pitch as expected Wednesday. It appears Austin Voth, who was scratched from his Thursday start for Triple-A Fresno, will be available to pitch in one of the Wednesday games -- should they be played. More rain is expected Wednesday.

The Nationals will bump Patrick Corbin, who was slated to pitch again Tuesday, into a Wednesday spot. Wednesday's other starter is TBA. It could be Scherzer if he is ready. It could be Erick Fedde, and Voth could be used in the bullpen as the 26th man. That would provide Scherzer a chance to pitch Thursday and Strasburg on Friday against Atlanta. 

Or, Scherzer could be provided more time off. There's a lot to sort out once again thanks to the rain.

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