Capitals

Jaguars figure 2 Greg Jones better than 1

Jaguars figure 2 Greg Jones better than 1

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Greg Jones, meet Greg Jones.

The Joneses crossed paths for the first time this week in Jacksonville's locker room, the veteran fullback nicknamed ``The Bull'' exchanging pleasantries with the second-year linebacker probably best known for proposing to his girlfriend on the field after the Super Bowl.

The meeting was a little strange, and being together surely will lead to confusion in the mail room.

``It's the first time being on the same team as a guy with the same name,'' said the linebacker Jones, who was signed Monday. ``It's pretty cool. Obviously, I know a good amount about him and his game. I have a lot of respect for his career.''

The linebacker was a sixth-round draft pick by the New York Giants in 2011. He played in all 16 regular-season games, starting five of them, and was a key contributor on special teams. And he has a Super Bowl ring, which he earned the same night he asked his girlfriend, Mandy Piechowski, to marry him on the confetti-covered field inside Lucas Oil Stadium.

But the Giants waived Jones during final cuts, parting ways with the former Michigan State standout.

``I felt like I was improving in camp,'' Jones said. ``My first preseason game wasn't my best at a new position, but I felt like I improved from there on and I got better every day and I was learning. Coach said it was a numbers game and they needed help at other positions.''

Jones figured someone else would pick him up, but he waited more than two months for the phone to ring.

The Jaguars (1-8) offered him a workout, and Jones obliged, but general manager Gene Smith couldn't sign him right away because of concerns at receiver. But Jacksonville eventually came through, offering Jones a contract after his second visit.

``That was a little bit of a roller coaster, but it worked out,'' Jones said. ``I'm adjusting pretty well. This whole thing has been a blessing for me. Now I'm just focused on learning this defense, contributing and helping the team win.''

With linebacker Clint Session (multiple concussions) on the physically unable to perform list and fellow starter Daryl Smith (groin) on injured reserve, Jones should get a chance to contribute in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars can only hope he plays as well as the fullback Greg Jones.

The former Florida State star has been an integral part of Jacksonville's rushing attack since the team selected him in the second round in the 2004 NFL draft.

Jones paved the way for Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, and many believe Jacksonville's struggling ground game has something to do with Jones missing the last two games because of a thigh injury.

Jones hopes to return for Sunday's game at Houston (8-1).

In the meantime, he has a new teammate to share stories with.

``I always knew of him, of course, playing in the NFL and knowing there's another Greg Jones out there,'' the fullback said. ``But it's kind of weird right now, us being in the same locker room.''

Even though they hadn't met until Monday, there was no way to avoid each other before.

When the Jaguars were given a demo of Madden13 during training camp, players got a kick out of a little mistaken identity. Instead of seeing a picture of their Greg Jones next to his bio page, they got the New York Giants linebacker.

Before that, at the ESPY Awards, the Giants' Greg Jones was introduced as Greg Jones from Florida State.

``It was funny,'' the linebacker said. ``That's happened a couple times, where I've been out and people have said my name and they think I'm him. I doubt if it's the other way around. He's a little bit bigger than me.''

Maybe so, but even the fullback's agent has inadvertently texted the other Greg Jones.

``It hasn't happened a lot, but it's happened a few times here and there,'' the linebacker said.

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

LAS VEGAS—Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom weren’t expecting to lose their head coach less than two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup.

But business is business, Ovi said, and Barry Trotz is handling his by attempting to capitalize on claiming the championship.

“It’s sad,” Ovechkin said on the red carpet at the NHL Awards, where he accepted his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy on Wednesday night. “Obviously, we won together.”

The Caps’ captain also thanked Trotz for directing him—and his teammates—to new heights.  

“First of all, [I want to] thank him for a great job to be our coach, to be our dad, to give us a chance to win,” Ovechkin said. “But then again, it’s a business. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be fine and I wish him luck.”

Backstrom, meanwhile, said he was caught off guard by Trotz’s decision to step down over a contract stalemate with the team. Trotz asked for $5 million per for five seasons; the Caps balked over the terms Trotz’s camp sought.   

“I was a little surprised, obviously,” Backstrom said. “I heard the scenario.”

Like Ovechkin, though, Backstrom praised the job Trotz did during his four-year tenure.

“He’s done a great job in Washington,” Backstrom said. “We obviously have him to thank for a lot. He’s done a tremendous job of schooling us and winning a championship. No one is going to take that away from him.”

Trotz’s next move is unclear, but he’s a free agent and currently eligible to negotiate with any team. The Islanders are the only team with an opening for a head coach.

As for Washington, GM Brian MacLellan said that associate coach Todd Reirden will get the first crack at replacing Trotz.

Ovechkin said he thinks Reirden would be a good fit.

“We all respect Todd,” Ovechkin said. “We all like him. Again, it’s not our thing to say who’s going to be head coach, but if it’s going to be Todd, it’s going to be fun.”

MORE CAPITALS COVERAGE:

Quick Links

A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

ovi_words.jpg
Daniel Duffy on Twitter/@RealArtOfWords

A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

How do you make a photo of Alex Ovechkin hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time even more memorable?

You make it out of all the Capitals' game scores this year, of course.

Capitals fan and artist Daniel Duffy (@RealArtOfWords) posted a phenomenal finished piece commemorating the Cup win on Wednesday, June 20. It's a little meta and astounding to look at, but very fun to try and read. If you want to relive the glory that was the parts of the 2017-18 Capitals season, check out the piece.

The piece, which appears to be done in a traditional medium like pen or marker, holds the team faced, arena played at, and final score of every game. It uses six colors and over sixty lines of text. Ovechkin roars as he holds the Stanley Cup overhead, the white away jersey shaded with bits of grey text. It takes a skilled eye to sort text and colors into shapes and shading, but Daniel did a fantastic job! It's awesome to see a fanbase create different interpretations of iconic moments. We'll surely see more of Ovechkin in this moment.

Just as we thought we were going to get tired of the celebration, fans find new ways to surprise us. Stay creative, Caps fans!

LATEST CAPITALS NEWS