Capitals

Gore, Brown set to play Sunday for 49ers

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Gore, Brown set to play Sunday for 49ers

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Frank Gore carries a heavy load every week for the 49ers and it will be more of the same when San Francisco hosts the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

``Frank is one of the best, if not the best, back in the league,'' 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Friday. ``So, he's going to run and he's feeling good. He had a good week at practice.''

Gore, who gained 58 yards on 23 carries last Sunday against the Rams, and cornerback Tarell Brown took a little time off to heal nagging injuries this week - but both insisted they will be ready for the Dolphins.

``I could play right now,'' Gore said. ``I feel all right.''

Gore is nursing a wrist problem, while Brown's hamstring has been problematic.

``I'll be fine, I just have to listen to the trainers,'' Brown said. ``I just needed a day to let it rest.''

San Francisco will be trying to rebound from a 16-13 overtime loss to St. Louis.

``We've responded well,'' Brown said. ``You never want to lose, but at the same time it's part of the game. You just have to stay focused.''

Harbaugh said there were two ways to respond after a loss.

``You're ticked off, and when you're ticked off you're going to do one of two things: You're going to come back and do something about it, or you go cower in the corner and shrivel up in the fetal position,'' he said. ``I haven't seen any of the latter around here. You come back, chest somebody up and let's do something about it.''

Wide receiver Mario Manningham remains doubtful with a shoulder injury, and several other players are listed as probable.

Manningham's absence could clear the way for rookie A.J. Jenkins to make an impact.

``Yes, I've seen progress from A.J.,'' Harbaugh said. ``He's been on his assignments. He's executed well when he's been out there. He's given great effort and football rewards that effort.''

Gore, who went to the University of Miami, needs 28 yards rushing against the Dolphins to reach 1,000 for the sixth time. Only the Rams' Steven Jackson has more 1,000-yard seasons (seven) among active players.

Gore also needs one touchdown to match Roger Craig and Joe Perry (50) for most in franchise history.

``Whatever it takes,'' Gore said. ``If there's a successful play and we win, and I'm part of it, I'm good.''

Harbaugh did say the coaching staff has been talking about ways to share the load at running back.

``It's part of the game plan,'' he said. ``We have some other backs that we feel confident with.''

The 49ers have won nine consecutive home games in December, second only to the New England Patriots (19). The Dolphins have won the past two meetings between the teams, the last on Dec. 14, 2008, in Miami. The Dolphins also won in San Francisco in 2004.

The 49ers last beat Miami at home in 2001.

NOTES: Dolphins OT Jonathan Martin played for Harbaugh at Stanford. ... The 49ers' defense has allowed 23 opposing drives to reach the red zone, the fewest in the NFL.

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How the Caps upset the Lightning to win the conference championship

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USA TODAY Sports

How the Caps upset the Lightning to win the conference championship

It wasn't supposed to happen.

The Capitals celebrated too hard after beating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. The Tampa Bay Lightning had been here before. Tampa Bay's roster was deeper. Their goalie was hotter. They had home ice advantage. They had easily won their first two series. Nicklas Backstrom was still injured. Washington wouldn't be able to stop the Lightning's power play.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

For all of those reasons, many did not even give the Caps a chance. Washington overcame every obstacle in their way and was, for the most part, the better team through seven games defeating Tampa Bay to win the Eastern Conference for just the second time in franchise history.

The Capitals showed in their second-round win over the Penguins that these weren't the "same old Caps." They continued to prove that in the conference final when they stunned the Lightning to win Game 1 and Game 2 both on the road.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

When Washington lost the next three, many thought that meant the real Lightning had awoken, but it was the Caps who rose to the occasion in Game 6 and Game 7 where they face elimination as they completely dominated Tampa Bay by a combined score of 7-0.

The Caps now advance to take on the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. The Knights have lost only three games this entire postseason and will hope to carry that momentum with them into Game 1.

If there is one thing this Washington team has proven, however, it's that you should never count them out.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

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Need to Know: Redskins' Jay Gruden and Alex Smith from the podium

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Associated Press

Need to Know: Redskins' Jay Gruden and Alex Smith from the podium

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 24, 64 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

What Jay Gruden and Alex Smith had to say from the podium

After yesterday’s OTA practice, Alex Smith and Jay Gruden took the podium. Here are some of their quotes and my comments on them:

Smith was asked about getting together with his new teammates:

So I think every guy these last two days has enjoyed just getting back out there and losing yourself in the game, right? To be limited, it does make you miss it, and I think it makes you appreciate it, so that’s been nice. 

Comment: This is a guy who loves football and everything that goes with it. Smith would start playing games tomorrow if they were scheduled.

Gruden was asked how Smith has looked in these first two days of OTAs:

He’s got good command of the offense already. Great command in the huddle. He’s just getting a feel for the receivers, the players around him, how we call things, but overall, the first two days, I would say I’m very pleased with his quick progression and learning. I knew that wouldn’t be an issue with as much as he’s played in a similar-style system.

Comment: It did seem that Smith was in sync with his receivers, Jamison Crowder in particular. He and Paul Richardson connected on a deep pass after giving each other a look at the line of scrimmage. The encouraging thing is that he is coming from a similar offensive system, so the learning curve should not be too long. 

Smith had a great analogy when asked about similarities to the offenses he has run:

Both from West Coast worlds, so it’s kind of like they are all Latin-based languages, you know, but they are not the same. There are some similarities, structure of the playbook, of how we call things, things like that. There are a lot of similarities but it’s not the same language. I guess that’s the best analogy I can make

Comment: If terminology is the biggest obstacle for Smith to overcome it will be a smooth transition for him. 

Gruden was impressed with the running backs. 

“I’ll tell you what, just today in general, you could see the competition. You could see Rob Kelley step up. Samaje Perine’s had a couple big days. Byron Marshall, I mean, he had a couple great routes today. He’s running the ball between the tackles. [Kapri] Bibbs had some big runs yesterday. Obviously, Derrius Guice has come in here and fueled the fire a little bit.

Comment: I think that the Redskins are going to have to release some good running backs. Rob Kelly never really earned the nickname “Fat Rob” but he looked particularly lean and quick running the ball. He wants nothing to do with being on the roster bubble. Marshall moved quickly and showed his speed. Although Gruden wouldn’t say it, Guice clearly was the best of the bunch; his ability to change direction while maintaining his speed will serve him well. It must be noted that they are not in pads and not getting tackled so more definitive opinions will have to wait until we are in Richmond for a few days. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline  

Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 19
—Training camp starts (7/26) 64
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 78

The Redskins last played a game 144 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 108 days. 

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