Redskins

Louisville jumps to No. 1 in AP basketball poll

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Louisville jumps to No. 1 in AP basketball poll

Rick Pitino is guessing his Louisville Cardinals won't be the last team to be No. 1 this season.

The Cardinals took advantage of losses by Duke and Michigan to move up two spots to No. 1 on Monday in The Associated Press' Top 25 poll. This is just the second time in school history they're on top. The other time was the final poll of 2008-09, a season in which they reached the final eight of the NCAA tournament.

Louisville (15-1) was one of five teams to receive a first-place vote this week, and that backs Pitino's point.

``I think the top teams will play musical chairs for No. 1 for the next two months and it will be really significant at the end of the year,'' Pitino said Monday, hours before the Cardinals took their No. 1 ranking into a game at Connecticut. ``We played a tough nonconference schedule and I'm really happy the way our guys have battled through injuries. We'll try to hold the musical top as long as we can.''

The Cardinals, who have won 10 straight since losing to Duke in the finals of the Battle 4 Atlantis, received 36 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel. That's 23 more than Indiana, which moved up from fifth.

Indiana was No. 1 in the preseason poll and for the first five weeks of the regular season. Duke, which was No. 1 for the last four weeks, was third with 14 No. 1 votes. The Blue Devils were followed by Kansas and Michigan, which drew one first-place vote each.

Four teams entered the week unbeaten: Duke, Michigan, then-No. 4 Arizona and unranked Wyoming and they all took their first loss.

It was the first time three of the top four teams lost in the same week since November 2003, when the top four teams - Connecticut, Duke, Michigan State and Arizona - all were defeated.

Syracuse, Arizona, Gonzaga, Minnesota and Florida rounded out this week's top 10.

There were four newcomers to the poll this week: No. 21 Oregon, No. 22 Virginia Commonwealth, No. 24 UCLA and No. 25 Marquette.

It is VCU's first ranking since the 1984-85 season. Oregon is back in for the first time since 2007-08. Marquette was ranked last season and UCLA, which was No. 13 in the preseason poll, is back after being out for the last seven weeks.

They replaced Georgetown, Cincinnati, Wichita State and UNLV, who all lost once last week.

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The Redskins did exactly what DeAngelo Hall said they should on opening drive vs. Packers

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USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins did exactly what DeAngelo Hall said they should on opening drive vs. Packers

These days, DeAngelo Hall is an analyst on NBC Sports Washington's Redskins pre- and postgame shows. Before Sunday's Redskins-Packers matchup, though, Hall showed he wouldn't be too shabby of an offensive coordinator. 

The former corner wasn't pleased with what he saw from Washington in their Week 2 loss vs. Indy (the entire region is right there with him, of course) but was specifically upset with the offense. And on "Redskins Kickoff Live," he explained the change in approach he wanted to see in Week 3.

"Alex has to be comfortable enough with his targets and with those guys and know how they like the balls downfield," Hall said. "This Green Bay team is struggling on defense."

"Our offense can exploit those guys," he continued. "We have to take those shots downfield and give them opportunities."

Well, uh, it only took four plays for the 'Skins to be more aggressive through the air. On their opening drive, Smith found Paul Richardson deep down the seam for a 46-yard scoring strike to give the home team an early lead.

Overall, Smith looked more willing to push the ball past the sticks and beyond throughout the entire first half. It's almost as if a 14-year NFL veteran and ex-defensive back knows how to attack a secondary!

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Le'Veon Bell might be available in a trade, but don't expect the Redskins to call

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Le'Veon Bell might be available in a trade, but don't expect the Redskins to call

Want to make a deal? Evidently the Steelers do, and it involves star running back Le'Veon Bell. 

ESPN reported Sunday morning that Pittsburgh will listen to trade offers for Bell. An All-Pro back last season, Bell is holding out for a lucrative, multi-year contract instead of the one year, $14 million franchise tag the Steelers used for this season. 

The biggest question becomes what team will trade for Bell, and what will that trade look like. 

Don't expect the Redskins to be that team.

On the most basic level, Washington could not afford Bell. The 'Skins have about $10 million of salary cap space, and that wouldn't even cover Bell's franchise tag. No team will make the move for Bell without a long-term deal in place, and Washington certainly does not have space for that.

Beyond just the money, the Redskins selected Derrius Guice in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft with the intention of making the former LSU star the running back of the future. 

Guice got injured in preseason, and the team signed future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson to replace him. In two games, Peterson has shown he has plenty of gas left.

And, oh yeah, the Redskins also have Chris Thompson. He's one of the best third down backs in the NFL, and he's under contract through the 2019 season. 

Bell might get moved, but don't believe he will be wearing Burgundy and Gold. 

The price tag for Bell will be high. Expect first round draft picks to be a part of any package. For a team to do that, they need to feel like one elite player could push them to a Super Bowl.

What are some teams like that? Bell paired up with Aaron Rodgers would be lethal. Just saying. 

 

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