Redskins

Jaguars locked into franchise's worst season

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Jaguars locked into franchise's worst season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) There's nothing the Jacksonville Jaguars can do to prevent the worst season in franchise history.

It's on coach Mike Mularkey's resume now.

It also could lead to his ouster, along with general manager Gene Smith.

The Jaguars (2-12) clinched their spot in history with a 24-3 loss at Miami on Sunday, the team's seventh defeat by 16 points or more this season.

Not even Jacksonville's inaugural team in 1995 - a group comprised of mostly rookies and street free agents - was overmatched as often. Coach Tom Coughlin's rag-tag bunch finished 4-12 back then, losing four games by at least 16 points. The 4-12 record is the worst in franchise history.

The Jaguars would have to win out to get that many victories in 2012. More likely is another lopsided loss Sunday when New England (10-4) brings the league's most prolific offense to town.

``No one thought we'd be in this situation with only having two wins this late in the year,'' linebacker Paul Posluszny said Monday. ``I think we have too many guys who can make plays and do things the right way. But for whatever reason, we haven't been able to bring it all together to win.''

The Jaguars have dropped 10 of their last 11 games, setting the stage for changes under first-year owner Shad Khan.

Smith, the team's architect the last four seasons, is likely gone. Jacksonville is 22-40 during Smith's tenure, failing to draft or acquire a single Pro Bowl player. He seemingly whiffed with defensive tackle Tyson Alualu in 2010 and quarterback Blaine Gabbert in 2011.

Former owner Wayne Weaver convinced Khan to keep Smith last year, and Khan allowed Smith to lead the search for a new coaching staff. So Smith was the one who suggested Mularkey and was the driving force behind decisions to keep several assistants from the previous regime.

All of them could be gone in two weeks.

``Like I said to the players, if you do everything the right way and you do it the best you can, you'll be successful here and wherever else that will be,'' Mularkey said. ``That's the only thing I will go by or anybody else that's going to be in this building is going to go by. We're going to just do the best we can.''

Mularkey and his players insist no one is quitting, although the Jaguars have been outscored 26-0 in the third quarter of the last three games and gashed on the ground in the second half of those losses. They allowed 139 yards rushing against the Dolphins after intermission, following poor performances against the New York Jets (116 yards in the second half) and Buffalo (158 yards in the second half).

``Who would (quit)? That's what losers do,'' said running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who is questionable to return from a sprained foot this week. ``We have a losing record, but there are no losers in here. We get paid to do our job and we're going to give everything we've got to do it. A loser is going to be the one who gives up and doesn't care. Effort has never been the case with this team.''

A lack of talent is the real issue.

No doubt, injuries have taken a toll on Jacksonville. Between Jones-Drew, Gabbert, guard Will Rackley and linebackers Daryl Smith and Clint Session, the Jaguars have had their share of missed starts, but every team in the league deals with injuries. The good ones have enough depth to overcome those setbacks.

The Jaguars, though, seem a long way off.

Against the Dolphins, they had two touchdowns taken off the scoreboard and got stopped three times on fourth down. They finished with 10 penalties, none more costly than an illegal substitution called against offensive tackle Guy Whimper that nullified a TD and proved to be the catalyst in the latest one-sided affair.

``This year didn't go the way anyone wanted, but we'd like to build on the coaches and players that are here,'' Posluszny said. ``(Changing coaches), that's not the winning formula. You look at winning organizations throughout the league and they don't go through things like that. Three head coaches in three years would not be a positive thing.''

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The case for - and against - the Redskins signing Colin Kaepernick

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USA Today Sports

The case for - and against - the Redskins signing Colin Kaepernick

Don't look in this space for an argument that the Redskins - who are reportedly signing Mark Sanchez as Colt McCoy's backup - should, or should not, sign Colin Kaepernick.

This space will lay out reasons why the Redskins should, and should not, consider signing Colin Kaepernick. 

It's not a binary decision. In fact, it's just about the opposite. 

Any debate about Kaepernick often gets bogged down in differing political view points. This is not the place for that. Rather, here is an attempt to make the case for or against Kaepernick from a football perspective. 

The case to sign Colin Kaepernick

  • The Redskins need a quarterback. Alex Smith broke his leg and Colt McCoy needs a backup. Of the available free agents out there, Kaepernick has by far the best stats and resume. As Chris Thompson explained of Kaepernick, "He made it to a Super Bowl." When he last played in 2016, Kaepernick had 16 TDs against just four INTs in 12 starts. 
  • Kaepernick has familiarity in the West Coast offense, and once backed up Alex Smith and played with Vernon Davis. 
  • Redskins QB coach and passing game coordinator Kevin O'Connell worked on the 49ers staff with Kaepernick.
  • Multiple Redskins players, including Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson, said that the Nike pitchman deserves another chance in the NFL. 

The case not to sign Colin Kaepernick

  • Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL for nearly two full seasons. He hasn't practiced in a professional setting for more than a year. The Redskins are competing for the NFC East title. If they have to go to a backup QB, they want somebody that is game ready. It's hard to think Kaepernick fits that bill today. 
  • Earlier this season, Redskins CB Josh Norman had some choice words for Kaepernick after Panthers safety Eric Reid spoke out against the NFL Player's Coalition. Norman is an active particpant and leader on the Player's Coalition, a social rights group that Kaepernick distanced himself from. Putting Norman and Kaepernick in the same locker room might create some friction for a first-place team. 
  • At 6-4, the Redskins are in first place in the NFC East and should still be able to win games with McCoy at quarterback. Regardless how one feels about Kaepernick's activism, it will create a side show for any organization that brings him in. Cable news outlets like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC will descend on the Washington locker room should Kaepernick get signed. 

 

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    Holtby is back, but Copley will start

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    Holtby is back, but Copley will start

    The Capitals take on the Montreal Canadiens to finish off a four-game road swing on Monday (7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Washington). Washington has won two of its first three games on the trip and look to take win No. 3 in Montreal.

    Here are four things to watch:

    Braden Holtby is back, but Pheonix Copley will get the start

    The Caps reassigned Ilya Samsonov to the Hershey Bears on Monday signaling that Braden Holtby will be back in the lineup for Monday’s game, but Pheonix Copley will still get the start.

    Copley has been impressive on the road trip getting all three starts thus far with a .922 save percentage and 2.01 GAA. It says a lot that even with Holtby back, the Todd Reirden is still willing to put in Copley. Per Isabelle Khurshudyan, Reirden said he wanted to get Holtby back into his routine before starting him.

    No Oshie, no Kuznetsov

    T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov were both injured in Wednesday’s game and will be out of the lineup in Montreal.

    Here is a look at the lines from the morning skate:

    Alex Ovechkin – Lars Eller – Tom Wilson

    Jakub Vrana – Nicklas Backstrom – Andre Burakovsky

    Chandler Stephenson – Travis Boyd – Devante Smith-Pelly

    Dmitrij Jaskin – Nic Dowd – Brett Connolly

    Dmitry Orlov – John Carlson
    Michal Kempny – Matt Niskanen
    Christian Djoos – Madison Bowey

    It is important to remember that when the Caps finally get healthy, they will have two extra forwards on the roster. While the Caps can afford to keep two, most teams typically only carry one and Washington may look to trim one of those extra forwards in the coming weeks. That makes games like this one where more players are getting into the lineup and getting more minutes because of Oshie and Kuznetsov’s absence critical for those players who may or may not be fighting to stay on Washington’s roster.

    Todd Reirden remembers

    The last time these two teams met, things did not go that well for the Caps. Washington had a 4-3 lead late in the third period, but the Canadiens would score three goals in the final 3:04 of the game to win it 6-4.

    Reirden has not forgotten about that game and called a fake goalie interference challenge late in Colorado on Friday just so he could remind his team to finish strong.

    “It was a situation where a few weeks ago we had the lead and let it go against Montreal and it was something that we discussed with our team,” Reirden said following Friday’s game.”

    Reirden reminded the players about how that game ended as a way to motivate them in Colorado. How much more will he remind them about it on Monday in a rematch against the Canadiens and will it lead to a stronger finish for Washington?

    Max (Power) Domi

    Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin has been widely criticized for many of the moves he has made while with the Canadiens. It appears this summer, however, like he may have done something right.

    Bergevin acquired forward Max Domi from the Arizona Coyotes for Alex Galchenyuk. It is a deal that looked decidedly one-sided in favor of Arizona, but let’s take all of the context out of it for one moment and just look at how Domi is performing right now. He looks like a tremendous player.

    Domi has already racked up 10 goals in just 20 and comes into Monday on a nine-game point streak, a streak that started on Nov. 1 in the game against Washington. He has far and away been the team’s top offensive threat this season and leads Montreal in points with 24, seven more than second-place Tomas Tatar.

    Speaking of Tatar, he is also someone the Caps will have to look out for as he has seemingly settled in with his new team and has six goals in his last six games.

    MORE CAPITALS NEWS: