Redskins

Manny Fernandez to enter Dolphins' Walk of Fame

Manny Fernandez to enter Dolphins' Walk of Fame

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) Standing side by side were two men who both played defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins, but in different eras, which is why Manny Fernandez found himself looking up to Tim Bowens.

The 6-foot Fernandez played at 250 pounds in the 1970s and now weighs a svelte 205. The 6-foot-4 Bowens played at 325 pounds a decade ago and looks it.

``What makes you think the game has changed?'' Fernandez said with a laugh.

Fernandez and Bowens are among six former players to be inducted into the Dolphins' Walk of Fame, the team announced Wednesday. Joining them in a ceremony before Sunday's game against Jacksonville will be quarterbacks Earl Morrall and Don Strock, receiver Nat Moore and former defensive end A.J. Duhe.

Fernandez played with the Dolphins from 1968-75 and was a member of their Super Bowl championship teams in 1972 and 1973. Morrall (1972-76) also won Super Bowl rings, and Strock (1974-87), Moore (1974-86) and Duhe (1977-84) played on Super Bowl teams.

Bowens (1994-2004) helped Miami reach the playoffs seven times, but that sort of success now seems long ago.

The Dolphins (5-8) are on the verge of their fourth consecutive losing season. But the team led by first-year coach Joe Philbin and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill does show signs of progress, the Walk of Fame newcomers agreed.

``This team isn't rebuilding. They're building,'' Duhe said. ``You can only rebuild something that has been built before. This team hasn't had a built structure or been a state of the art franchise in a long time. But I like the direction of the team.''

Strock, a mentor for Dan Marino, said Tannehill provides the Dolphins with a solid foundation.

``They have a bright future,'' he said. ``They have a young quarterback who I think is going to be a star in the league. They're missing a few components, but I don't think they're that far from getting there.''

The Walk of Fame was established in 2011, and the first honorees included retired coach Don Shula and the eight former Dolphins players who are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Early returns show solid Redskins squad, with potential for more

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Early returns show solid Redskins squad, with potential for more

More than 100 days remain before the Redskins take the field in meaningful NFL action.

Any and all excitement needs to be tempered, significantly, because what happens on a practice field in May without pads does not represent what will happen in September, October and beyond. 

Still, the Redskins group that took the field this week for OTAs showed promise. 

New quarterback Alex Smith looked crisp, connecting with a variety of wideouts and commanding the huddle. New wideout Paul Richardson made the best play of the session when he streaked down the field past rookie cornerback Greg Stroman and hauled in a deep pass from Smith. The play showed Smith's ability to identify open receivers downfield, as well as Richardson's ability to go up and grab a contested catch. Even Stroman, the seventh-round rookie, positioned himself well, he just fell victim to a perfect pass and tremendous athleticism.

That was only one play in a two-hour session. Again, don't take too much from May, when players don't wear pads or engage in any of the violence that the NFL is predicated upon. But the OTAs do serve a purpose, both for players and coaches, and there were nuggets to absorb and try to project for the fall. Here they are:

  • Jay Gruden made clear he's not concerned about the health of his offensive line. Trent Williams and Morgan Moses are recuperating from offseason surgery, but Gruden believes both are on track for when things start to matter. It's a good thing the coach isn't concerned because this was the 'Skins line in OTAs (left to right): Geron Christian, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, John Kling. Should that lineup take the field this fall, there will be trouble. 
     
  • The Redskins lost Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland this offseason, and the secondary depth will be something to watch throughout training camp. At OTAs, newly signed veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick lined up opposite Josh Norman in the team's base 3-4 defense. In nickel and dime coverage, Quinton Dunbar lined up opposite Norman and Scandrick moved to the slot. As things progress, it will be interesting to see if Dunbar surpasses Scandrick in base coverage, and what becomes of 2017 third-round pick Fabian Moreau. Stay tuned.  
     
  • Rookie running back Derrius Guice looked every part of the first-round talent many judged him to be before draft season rumors caused him to slide to the late second round. Guice cuts with authority and is able to see holes before they form and patiently wait to hit the open space. Guice also looked fine in pass-catching drills, one area that was a question coming out of LSU (but that says more about LSU's prehistoric offense). Watching the Redskins offense work, it seems clear Guice will be the heaviest used runner this fall.
     
  • That said, don't count out Robert Kelley. He looks leaner and plenty quick, showing a few impressive runs during the session. Byron Marshall also looked good, and Gruden pointed out his success in his post-OTA press conference. The running back group will have plenty of competition all the way through Richmond. 
     
  • Jonathan Allen has switched jersey numbers from 95 to 93. Rookie Daron Payne is now wearing 95. Payne and Allen both went to Alabama, both are huge, and both play defensive line. The number switch will take some getting used to. 
     
  • Zach Brown missed the OTA session as he was moving, and interestingly in his spot with the starting defense was Josh Harvey-Clemons. The second-year pro out of Louisville showed impressive speed in coverage, and remember he played safety in college and performed quite well. He has ball skills and great size to be a coverage linebacker. Some were surprised when the Redskins kept JHC last season at the cut to 53, but his development appears to be paying off for the organization. 
     
  • Another linebacker that made a play was Zach Vigil. He impressed for the Redskins late last season and was running the Washington second-team defensive huddle. At one point, Vigil broke through the line of scrimmage and blew up a run play. That prompted D.J. Swearinger to yell from the sideline, "OK Zach. OK ZACH!"
     
  • Speaking of Swearinger, the Redskins defensive captain seemed in midseason form when it comes to yelling encouragement on the field. Nobody hypes up the defense like Swearinger, particularly when the secondary makes a big play. On one pass Dunbar made a nice diving play to break up a pass, and Swearinger and Josh Norman got very fired up, shouting and jumping around. The entire defense responded. Little stuff like that helps disrupt the monotony of offseason work. 
     
  • Jamison Crowder looks jacked and quick. The end. 

 

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

The Capitals are the Eastern Conference Champions!

After dispatching Tampa Bay in Game 7, the Caps claimed the conference crown for just the second time in franchise history. But they're not done yet. Now it's on to Vegas to face the Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps' win over the Lightning and look ahead to the matchup with the Knights.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.