How horse riding developed into an Olympic sport, and what you need to know to watch it.
On defense, Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio are emphasizing an approach that's heavy on attacking. They want their personnel moving upfield and playing with aggression, something Montez Sweat became just the latest to reference on Thursday.
They aren't the only side of the ball in Washington that's trying to be more assertive, though.
Also on Thursday, Terry McLaurin explained that he thinks the offense will be speeding things up in 2020 as they, too, aim to gain more control of every game.
"I feel like when you’re on offense, you should be dictating the tempo," the star receiver told reporters on Zoom. "You should decide when you guys get up to the line, when you’re snapping the play, when you’re calling audibles and running motions and things like that."
A major instigator of that change, according to McLaurin, will be new offensive coordinator Scott Turner.
"It’s just some things that Turner does a great thing on, that versatility and unpredictability," he said. "I’m really excited to see his style of play calling and how it works."
That type of plan could really aid a unit that's coming off a season where it was the NFL's worst at putting up points and entering a season where expectations aren't much higher. For a bunch that's slated to feature a second-year signal caller and set to surround him with a mostly very young supporting cast, picking up the pace will be useful.
And it's something Turner is already discussing. A lot.
"I have heard Coach Turner speak numerous occasions on having some tempo in the way we get in the huddle, the way we get the play so the quarterback has enough time to assess what’s going on defensively," McLaurin said.
In evaluating Turner's entire scheme beyond the desire for operating with more speed, McLaurin identified it as a "very concise offense" that doesn't force the players to think too much. If they're not thinking, of course, they can devote more energy to producing. That is what every coach wants to accomplish in their job.
Overall, it wasn't surprising to hear McLaurin bring optimism to his presser with the media, because he's an optimistic person to begin with and August is not the time to touch on the shortcomings of one's team.
Even so, as McLaurin was describing the mentality that Turner is instilling on his group, it was fun to, just for a moment, consider an outcome where things do click and they do take opponents by surprise.
At the very minimum, he laid out a compelling picture of how it could all come together.
"Just that attack mindset, it starts obviously up front with how we run the ball with Adrian Peterson and the group of guys we have on the offensive line, and then our skill players we have on the outside making plays, and I feel like that really opens up our offense because I feel like you can’t really key in on one thing or the other," he said.
Having that vision and introducing that vision beginning on September 13 are two very different tasks, but the vision on its own is a promising one. In 2019, Washington was both lifeless and toothless with the ball. In 2020, they should at least improve in one of those areas.
Stay connected to the team with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.
MORE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM NEWS:
By the time the home runs stopped on a humid night in Philadelphia, the Orioles had not just beaten the Phillies for the third-straight game, they’d done so in convincing fashion.
In an 11-4 win over the Phillies, the Orioles homered twice, had 15 hits and scored in four of the final five innings as they put a bow on their fifth win in a row in a series sweep.
The offense, which has carried the Orioles through the first few weeks of the season, remained red hot as the Orioles kept winning — and kept surprising the league as a result.
“The team is taking good at-bats together, playing good fundamental baseball, playing defense, turning double plays, our pitching is doing a great job for us,” shortstop Jose Iglesias said. “Everything is just going our way. We’ve just got to take it one day at a time.”
The Phillies had a two-run lead for all of one half inning, before four Orioles runs in the top of the fifth inning gave them a lead they wouldn’t give up.
They added two runs in the seventh, three in the eighth and two more in the ninth. The Orioles have now scored 10 or more runs for the third time in the last six games — with four more innings to play of a completed game Friday afternoon, a game they've scored five runs in already.
“It’s fun to win, I think this team is doing a great job battling every day,” Iglesias said. “We’re playing a good baseball game right now.”
But it hasn’t just been the bats that have carried the Orioles. Manager Brandon Hyde credited the pitching staff, which has kept batters off the base paths throughout the season.
Starting pitcher Thomas Eshelman threw five innings, allowed four hits and just two earned runs. More importantly, he and the three Orioles relievers didn’t allow a single walk.
“We’re just playing good baseball right now,” Hyde said. “Looking at the box score here, no walks tonight. That’s just something we didn’t do well last year. Quite a few games now where we haven’t walked many people. That is super key against good offensive clubs.”
The Orioles entered Thursday night’s game, which was delayed by rain, with one of the best offenses in the American League, with two of its hottest hitters in Hanser Alberto and Iglesias. Both went 2-for-4, and Iglesias added two RBIs.
Approaching the 20th game of the season — a third of the 60-game shortened season, the Orioles are starting to make the league take notice of what’s going on in Baltimore.
At least through the first few weeks of the season, the Orioles have become the biggest surprise in the sport.
“Regardless of whether we're winning or losing, I see potential,” Iglesias said. “I see hungry players with a lot of talent that want to get better. I see chemistry. I’ve been around and I see a good group that wants to compete and gets along. That, to me, has a lot of value.”
Stay connected to the Orioles with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.
MORE ORIOLES NEWS: