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John Wooden statue stands vigil outside UCLA arena

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John Wooden statue stands vigil outside UCLA arena

LOS ANGELES (AP) The stern gaze behind black-rimmed glasses, arms crossed, rolled-up program tucked under his arm. John Wooden is now standing vigil outside Pauley Pavilion.

UCLA unveiled an 8-foot bronze statue of the late revered coach on Friday outside its newly renovated arena on the Westwood campus. Wooden's family members, who were consulted by sculptor Blair Buswell, were pleased with how the nearly 400-pound tribute turned out after a few tweaks suggested by Wooden's daughter, Nan.

``The ears weren't quite right,'' she said, noting her father's right earlobe was slightly longer than his left. She also had Buswell smooth out the area under her father's arms and jacket that originally made it look as though the trim coach had a pot belly.

``I just wanted people to look at him and be able to say, `That's John Wooden,''' she said. ``I don't think there's any doubt.''

Hall of Fame basketball player Ann Meyers Drysdale, who emceed the ceremony under a searing sun, UCLA chancellor Gene Block and athletic director Dan Guerrero were among many in attendance who knew Wooden and agreed he would be embarrassed by the hoopla.

``He'd probably pooh-pooh this,'' Meyers Drysdale said. ``He was not one to draw attention to himself.''

Nan Wooden said, ``He's probably shaking his head, saying, `I don't deserve this.'''

Greg Wooden said his grandfather ``would have been against it unless his whole team could be out there.''

Other members of the Wooden family, players on the current men's basketball team, the university band and cheerleaders were among the crowd that watched as each of the speakers placed a hand on the yellow cord to yank down the white canvas covering the statue. Wooden stands tall in a jacket and tie, his usual sideline attire.

``He's intense,'' said Buswell, who created the sculpture at his studio in Pleasant Grove, Utah, and had it delivered 800 miles to campus this week.

Current Bruins coach Ben Howland added, ``It really captures Coach.''

Howland said Wooden might have downplayed the honor ``but he also understood how many lives he's touched and what he's meant to everyone here at UCLA.''

Wooden, who died in 2010, led the Bruins to 10 national championships, including seven in a row. The statue resembles Wooden in the final years of his 27-year career, which ended with a 620-147 record in 1975. Wooden was a frequent presence at basketball games in retirement, and he was sought out for his teachings on leadership and teamwork.

His autograph in his familiar unadorned cursive - a signature he gladly gave out countless times at games - is on the base of the statue. A plaque with his name and years as coach includes one of his quotes:

``Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.''

UCLA alum Jim Collins and his wife, Carol, donated the money for the statue. Collins, chairman emeritus of Sizzler International, recalled asking Wooden to serve on the steak restaurant's board of directors because the coach and his wife, Nell, ate at the location near their home most days.

``For nine years he never missed a meeting,'' Collins said.

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Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Two days after losing Reuben Foster for the year, the Redskins made a move to at least provide reinforcements to a weakened linebacker group.

On Wednesday, Washington announced that they have signed Jon Bostic, a six-year veteran. The 'Skins also officially placed Foster on injured reserve.

Bostic was a 2013 second-round pick of the Bears out of Florida. He's since bounced around to New England, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh, where he started 14 times for the Steelers in 2018 and posted 73 tackles. He's been traded twice in his career and missed all of 2016 with a foot injury. 

So, what does the move accomplish for the Redskins?

Well, Bostic — or any other free agent signing at this point — isn't going to have close to the level of talent and potential that Foster had. However, getting another option at linebacker was necessary for the Burgundy and Gold, and the 28-year-old has played in 30 contests over the past two years, so he's relatively established. 

Yes, he's far from a gamechanger, considering he has just one interception and 5.5 sacks as a pro. But he's regarded as a solid run defender and tackler and should at least push Mason Foster and Shaun Dion Hamilton. His presence also could alleviate some of the pressure that would've been on rookie Cole Holcomb. 

Signing a defender who's been with five franchises in six years isn't exactly inspiring, but Bostic has experience as a starter and could give the Redskins useful snaps on first and second down at a minimum. Now it's on him to take advantage of the opportunity he's been given.

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Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

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Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

You may not know the exact dates of the Redskins' two matchups with the Giants this season, which will take place Sep. 29 and Dec. 22 in 2019. But Landon Collins sure does.

"I'm gonna circle it for the next six years," the 'Skins new safety told ESPN in a recent interview. 

No, Collins isn't circling those dates from now until 2024 because he wants to be very organized and ensure he doesn't have any scheduling conflicts. He's doing it because he's dying to get revenge on his former team, who let him leave as a free agent in part because of their "culture change," according to him.

"All we wanted to do was win, and we spoke up because we had to get them to listen to us," Collins told ESPN, referring to himself and other now ex-Giants like Odell Beckham and Damon Harrison. "I think we were too vocal, and that platform was bigger than the Giants... If it's not good media, they don't want that kind of media."

In addition to the organization wanting to go in a different direction culture-wise, New York didn't want to pay the amount of money the Redskins ended up paying for Collins because he wasn't an ideal fit in their defense. The 25-year-old pushes back against the idea that he's strictly a "box safety," though, as do current and former players.

Interestingly enough, Collins isn't the only member of the Redskins' secondary who's in D.C. thanks to a decision by Dave Gettleman. Gettleman was also the same guy who decided the Panthers needed to move on from Josh Norman in April 2016.

Collins, for one, doesn't sound like he'll miss Gettleman at all. The defender didn't love how the GM consistently failed to make an effort to connect personally with his players. 

"I don't know him, he don't know me, that's kind of how it just kind of was," he explained.

All that, however, doesn't matter anymore. Collins is going to be the foundation of the Redskins' defense for quite some time, and that's a challenge he's ready to accept.

"I'm on a team that loves me and wanted me here," he said.

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