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Fresh Start: Reid and Chiefs agree to 5-year deal

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Fresh Start: Reid and Chiefs agree to 5-year deal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Andy Reid didn't have to wait long to find a fresh start.

The longtime coach of the Eagles landed in Kansas City on Friday, signing a contract with the Chiefs just four days after he was fired by Philadelphia following 14 mostly successful seasons.

Reid's contract is for five years, a person familiar with the terms told The Associated Press. Reid also began to assemble his coaching staff, the person said on condition of anonymity because those details were not made public.

The Chiefs have scheduled an introductory news conference for Monday.

Reid's agreement was finalized shortly after the Chiefs parted ways with general manager Scott Pioli, whose four tumultuous seasons ended with a brief statement issued by the team.

It's expected that Reid will pursue longtime Packers personnel man John Dorsey or former Browns GM Tom Heckert - or perhaps both of them - to work with him in the front office.

Reid inherits a team that went 2-14, matching the worst record in franchise history. But he'll also have the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, and with five players voted to the Pro Bowl this season, Kansas City has building blocks in place to make a quick turnaround.

``Overall the job is still attractive,'' Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt told the AP earlier this week. ``The franchise remains very well respected.''

Hunt promised to be thorough and efficient in finding a replacement for Romeo Crennel, who was fired Monday after one full season. The Chiefs interviewed Atlanta assistants Dirk Koetter and Keith Armstrong on Tuesday before flying to Philadelphia and meeting with Reid.

Nine hours of negotiations Wednesday went well enough that Reid called off interviews in Arizona and San Diego, and the two sides continued working out details Thursday.

When news broke that Pioli was out, Reid's agreement quickly followed.

Neither the Chiefs nor Reid issued a statement Friday - the team posted a short video that mentioned the hiring - but Eagles chief executive Jeffrey Lurie offered his ``congratulations to Clark Hunt for hiring a good man and a good coach.''

``Congrats Big Red on taking your talents to KC,'' former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb tweeted. ``Big Red fans get ready to cheer on your new boss and new team from 2013 and on.''

Reid arrived in Kansas City aboard a chartered jet Friday afternoon and drove with Hunt and other Chiefs officials to Arrowhead Stadium. He later visited the team's training complex while the final details on his contract were being worked out.

Reid will be getting a fresh start after enduring a difficult season on the field and away from it. His oldest son, Garrett, died during training camp after a battle with drug addiction, and then the Eagles - expected to contend for a division title - scuffled to a 4-12 finish.

Reid was fired by Lurie on Monday.

Long considered one of the NFL's bright offensive minds, Reid had a record of 130-93-1 in Philadelphia. He took a team that was 3-13 the year before his arrival and, in the space of only two years, finished 11-5 and second in the NFC East. That began a stretch of five straight years in which Reid won at least 11 games, including one trip to the Super Bowl.

During his tenure, the Eagles made nine playoff appearances while Kansas City made three, and won 10 playoff games - Kansas City hasn't won any since 1993. Meanwhile, the Chiefs went through five head coaches and are now on their third in three years.

One of Hunt's priorities was to find a coach who would bring stability to the franchise.

That's a big reason why Hunt decided to change the Chiefs' organizational structure, with the coach and general manager now reporting directly to him. Since his late father Lamar Hunt founded the team 53 years ago, the coach typically reported to the general manager.

That was the way it was under Pioli, whose two coaching hires ended badly.

That alone wasn't enough to force Pioli out, though. It was a combination of poor draft choices, ineffective free-agent moves and a growing fan rebellion that led the Chiefs to issue a statement Friday that said they had ``mutually parted ways'' with their general manager.

``There is no way to overstate the level of respect and admiration I have for Scott on a personal level,'' Hunt said in the statement. ``His character, loyalty, integrity and commitment to a team are extraordinary, and throughout the last four years, he has consistently put the best interests of the Chiefs ahead of his own.''

Still, those qualities failed to translate to success.

Most of the Chiefs' top stars were drafted by Pioli's predecessor, Carl Peterson. The former Patriots executive struggled to find impact players, particularly at quarterback, while cycling through coaches and fostering a climate of dread within the entire organization.

Numerous longtime staff members were fired upon Pioli's arrival, and his inability to connect with fans resulted in unprecedented unrest. Some of the fans even paid for multiple banners to be towed behind planes before home games asking that he be fired.

On Dec. 1, linebacker Jovan Belcher shot the mother of his 3-month-old daughter, Kasandra Perkins, at a home not far from Arrowhead Stadium. Belcher then drove to the team's practice facility and shot himself in the head as Pioli and Crennel watched in the parking lot.

Pioli hasn't spoken publicly since the incident.

``The bottom line is that I did not accomplish all of what I set out to do,'' Pioli said in a statement released through by team. ``To the Hunt family - to the great fans of Kansas City - to the players, all employees and alumni, I truly apologize for not getting the job done.''

The three-time NFL executive of the year often spoke of putting together ``the right 53,'' but he failed to do so, and now it falls on Reid and his staff to finish the job.

The most glaring position of need is quarterback.

Matt Cassel has two years left on a $63 million, six-year deal, but he played so poorly this season he was benched in favor of Brady Quinn, who is now a free agent.

It's expected that the Chiefs will pursue a veteran quarterback while also choosing one in the draft, giving Reid options in training camp. Reid has a history of success working with young quarterbacks, including Brett Favre in Green Bay and Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia.

Decisions will also have to be made about left tackle Branden Albert, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and even Pro Bowl punter Dustin Colquitt, all of whom can become free agents.

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AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

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Maryland basketball to host College GameDay for first time in 15 years

Maryland basketball to host College GameDay for first time in 15 years

It’s happening, folks.

For the first time in 15 years, ESPN College GameDay is coming to College Park.

Maryland basketball, currently ranked 7th in the AP Poll, is hosting Michigan State, formerly number one in the polls, Saturday night at 8 p.m.

The Terps played at Michigan State on February 15, also a College GameDay game, in East Lansing. This is only the second time ever College GameDay game has visited a rematch in the same season, after last year’s Duke-Virginia game.

It’s also Maryland’s second-ever time hosting the broadcast, with the last game coming in 2005. It’s the fourth time they’ve been involved on a College GameDay broadcast, the third of which comes against the Spartans.

As enthusiastic as fans are, head coach Mark Turgeon and his players are equally excited.

"We are thrilled to have been selected to host ESPN College GameDay next week," Turgeon stated in a press release. "It will be an incredible day for our program, fans and community. We can't wait to show Rece, Jay, Seth, LaPhonso and the rest of the crew what College Park is all about!"

The game against the Spartans was already big for Maryland’s Big Ten championship chances, and the matchup has been sold out for weeks.

Now, it’s one of the biggest games in College Park in more than a decade.

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Rui Hachimura's learning curve can be seen on offense late in games

Rui Hachimura's learning curve can be seen on offense late in games

WASHINGTON -- Wizards forward Rui Hachimura has translated so smoothly to the NBA level that it is easy to forget he is still just a rookie with only 31 games under his belt. For a reminder of his inexperience, just look at the fourth quarter.

Hachimura tends to start games hot on the offensive end, like he did on Friday in the Wizards' loss to the Cavaliers when he had eight points by the end of the first quarter. But he scored only nine points after that and went scoreless through seven minutes in the fourth.

That has been a consistent theme for him this season. He averages 4.8 points in the first quarter shooting 48.4 percent from the field, 4.0 points in the second shooting 57 percent and then 4.3 points on 47.9 percent in the third. In the fourth quarter those numbers plummet to 1.9 points on average and 33.3 percent shooting.

Basically, Hachimura often comes out on fire but then slows down considerably once opponents make midgame changes. Against the Cavs, Hachimura said it was because they disrupted passing lanes.

"They are an NBA team. They just adjusted. They didn't want me to catch the ball. They didn't let me just catch the ball. I think that's why," he said.

The Wizards have seen teams switch defensive match-ups midgame to counter Hachimura. Sometimes taking away his midrange jumper will be prioritized. The Cavs seemed to find success playing Hachimura more physically in the second half, bumping him away from his comfort zones.

Over time, Hachimura can improve his ability to sustain scoring throughout games simply by becoming more versatile. The more consistent he becomes at making three-point shots and creating off the dribble, the more difficult it will be for teams to stop him. As long as he keeps improving, he will reach a point where he can stay ahead of the defense with a multitude of counters.

Developing a more reliable outside game and more dribble combinations will take some time. For now, Hachimura believes the key to him keeping up his scoring pace involves working with his teammates, particularly star shooting guard Bradley Beal.

"I just gotta connect more with Brad. Brad is the one everybody is trying to guard. Screens and pick-and-rolls with him, that kind of stuff will help me," Hachimura said.

Hachimura's game against the Cavaliers reflected how the team played overall. After scoring 41 points in the first quarter, they managed only 42 in the second half. They blew a 16-point lead and lost, 113-108.

So, he wasn't alone. And those rooting for Hachimura to round out his game should feel good about his odds. He has a relentless work ethic and is often staying after practice to go over film with player development coach Dave Adkins.

Hachimura is perceptive and driven to improve. In order to take the next step as a scorer, he will have to get better at closing games.

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