Redskins

Jaguars' assistant Cullen turns down DC offer

Jaguars' assistant Cullen turns down DC offer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Joe Cullen could have bailed on the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The defensive line coach had an offer to leave the Jaguars this month and become defensive coordinator at Boston College. The move would have reunited Cullen with one of his closest friends, new Boston College coach Steve Addazio, and taken Cullen back to where he grew up.

The decision was difficult.

But Cullen opted to stay in Jacksonville even though the Jaguars (2-13) are dealing with the worst season in franchise history and are surrounded by uncertainty regarding the future of the front office and the coaching staff.

Cullen says, ``it hasn't been the best of years, but I want to see this thing get turned around.''

Cullen, a longtime college assistant who spent the last six years in the NFL, has been with the Jaguars since 2010. He took over a defensive line that set a franchise record for futility when Jacksonville finished with 14 sacks in 2009. The Jaguars made strides in his first two seasons, recording 26 sacks in 2010 and 31 in 2011.

They were expected more progress this year, especially after re-signing Jeremy Mincey and then drafting former Clemson standout Andre Branch in the second round in April.

But it didn't work out as planned, and the team has a league-low 18 sacks.

The Jaguars opened the season without backup defensive ends Austen Lane, John Chick and George Selvie. The injuries forced Cullen to use Mincey and Branch way more than he wanted, and it showed in the box scores.

Jacksonville managed just three sacks though the first five games. Making matters worse, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton struggled early on after recovering from offseason eye surgery. Adding to the defensive woes, the Jaguars played the first 14 games without veteran Daryl Smith and all season without fellow linebacker Clint Session. Smith has 21 1/2 career sacks.

The result? The Jaguars slipped from sixth in total defense last season to 31st.

And with general manager Gene Smith getting the brunt of the blame, there has been speculation that owner Shad Khan might fire Smith and coach Mike Mularkey, and start over.

So no one would have blamed Cullen for jumping at another opportunity, especially since the coaches have gotten no assurances about their futures.

``Steve (Addazio) and I talked,'' Cullen said. ``Obviously, for me, it wasn't the right timing. I love Jacksonville, love the Jaguars, really enjoy the people I work with. No matter what happens, I'm going to coach somewhere, whether it's Pop Warner or somewhere else. With the timing of everything, it was best for me to stay in the NFL and help the Jaguars get to where I know we can get.''

The Jaguars have shown some life defensively in the second half of the season.

They held quarterback Aaron Rodgers and high-powered Green Bay to 238 yards, kept the Jaguars in several games and even sacked New England's Tom Brady three times in a close game last week.

``We got after them pretty good,'' Cullen said. ``It wasn't enough, but we were able to do some things.''

Cullen believes brighter days are ahead for Jacksonville.

It's the main reason he stayed - welcome news for Mularkey.

``I'm not surprised by Joe,'' Mularkey said. ``He's dedicated to what he's doing and he thinks we're close to what we're doing. I'm sure it's a tough decision. It's a great opportunity to do that.''

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Derrius Guice understands why Redskins fans are frustrated, but he's looking ahead

Derrius Guice understands why Redskins fans are frustrated, but he's looking ahead

Derrius Guice is a very positive person. Unfortunately, he's playing for a team right now that's shrouded in negativity.

The Redskins have played 10 games this season, and they've walked off the field as losers in nine of those contests. They've gotten rid of their head coach, and many are wondering how many other major changes will come.

And when it comes to the fans, many — if not most — are furious with the direction of the franchise. Guice is noticing that, too.

"It just sucks when I score, or someone else scores, and our team posts a picture to Instagram or Twitter and everything under it is just, 'Fire this, fire that, we suck," Guice told JP Finlay in a 1-on-1 interview on the Redskins Talk podcast. "That doesn't help anything."

The running back understands that frustration. However, he wants those who are angry to know one thing: While this current roster is obviously responsible for the 2019 issues, they aren't responsible for the two-decade-long slump that's affected the organization.

"I'm new here," Guice said. "I understand some of these fans have been here 20-30 years, but like, there's a lot of guys on this team that are new. Y'all can't bring all that negativity to us like we've been here 20 years. I don't think that's fair to us players."

That's what makes this situation so difficult for those on the field and those who watch those on the field. Fans have been on this unsatisfying ride for far too long, yet most of the players hopped on a stop or two ago. 

So people who post those hateful comments or send those angry DMs are doing so because they've seen a handful of free agency and draft classes bust, and because they've seen numerous coaches come in and fail, and they've been lied to repeatedly about how "close" the Redskins are. They aren't necessarily trying to take it out on Guice or Dwayne Haskins or Landon Collins, it just appears that way.

Guice, for one, is trying his best to improve how he handles that side of being an athlete. He's also choosing to focus on those who've stayed on his side through what's been a trying first couple of seasons in the league.

For all the negativity he encounters, he's grateful for those who remain positive like him.

"A guy that's been there two years and has only played two real games, there's a lot of fans that have still never left my side since I got drafted," Guice said. "That's something I always have to cherish."

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Report: Phillies sign another National, bring on assistant hitting coach Joe Dillion

Report: Phillies sign another National, bring on assistant hitting coach Joe Dillion

When you win a championship the way the Nationals did, other teams are going to try and capture that magic in any way they can. 

Of course, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg are at risk of leaving town and free agency, but now the Davey Martinez will have to make changes to his coaching staff as well. 

According to Jim Salisbury, the Phillies hired Washington's assistant hitting coach Joe Dillon as their new hitting coach under manager Joe Girardi. 

Working with hitting coach Kevin Long, Dillon helped the Nationals lead the national league in on-base percentage while ranking second in batting average and OPS. 

The Phillies struggled at the plate in 2019, ranking 22nd in batting average, 19th in on-base percentage and 17th in OPS. Despite acquiring Bryce Harper, Jean Segura and JT Realmuto last offseason, Philadelphia boasted an anemic offense under former hitting coach John Mallee. 

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