Redskins

Mountaineers' Holgorsen faces former boss Gundy

Mountaineers' Holgorsen faces former boss Gundy

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) Dana Holgorsen's stay at Oklahoma State was brief. His impact was immense.

Between his offense developing into one of the nation's best and his presence allowing Mike Gundy to get out of offensive meetings and focus on the big picture, Holgorsen helped the Cowboys take a big step toward their first Big 12 championship a year ago.

It also served him well, with his 10-month stint in Stillwater providing the platform that helped him get his first head-coaching job at West Virginia.

``I think it worked out good for everybody,'' Holgorsen said.

Holgorsen returns to Oklahoma State on Saturday as an opponent, his Mountaineers (5-3, 2-3 Big 12) trying to break a three-game losing streak against Gundy's Cowboys (5-3, 3-2).

This time, for a change, someone has to walk away a loser.

When Holgorsen arrived at Oklahoma State, the Cowboys were entering what was supposed to be a rebuilding year after starting quarterback Zac Robinson finished the most productive career in school history and Dez Bryant and Russell Okung were picked in the first round of the NFL draft.

Instead of a step back, Oklahoma State took a leap forward with Holgorsen installing the wide-open offense he'd learned from Mike Leach at Texas Tech and used to rack up big numbers at Houston. Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon went from unknowns to first-round picks, even though Holgorsen didn't stick around for their senior years to see it firsthand.

``When we hired Dana, that was a good move,'' Gundy said, stating the obvious at this point. ``Not the most popular at that time but it was a very good move, in my opinion.''

Gundy, who had been the offensive coordinator under Les Miles at OSU, had remained involved with the game-planning until he hired Holgorsen. It wore on him.

``I think Mike wanted to go to where he could be more of a CEO-type head coach as opposed to being in the offensive room for 18 hours a day, trying to get the offense better,'' Holgorsen said. ``I think he's done a tremendous job of that if you just look back at since he made that switch, they've won an awful lot of ball games.''

Indeed, the Cowboys are 28-6 since the switch, including the best season in the program's history last season as Todd Monken picked up where Holgorsen left off. One of Holgorsen's many quirks was that he never used an actual playbook, so Gundy and Monken had to do their best to duplicate it without anything on paper.

``We've just kind of taken it and we've changed some of the routes and some of the ways we do motions and some of the play-action stuff. You've got to make it your own, like he did. Now it's ours and it's Oklahoma State's offense,'' Monken said. ``When I leave, they'll probably hate half the stuff I'm doing and change all of that, too.''

For now, though, there's not much difference between what Geno Smith is running at West Virginia and what Oklahoma State has run with three different quarterbacks this season - with it still up in the air whether Wes Lunt will be able to start or third-stringer Clint Chelf will get the call on Saturday.

``I've watched a couple of their TV copies here, and I can call out about 90 percent of their plays, so I'd assume that's something that is on their mind as well as it is on our mind,'' Holgorsen said. ``We have to be careful what we do from both an offensive standpoint and a defensive standpoint.''

The connection goes beyond just Holgorsen and Gundy. Joe DeForest, who was Oklahoma State's special teams coordinator and a defensive assistant for the past 11 years, now runs the Mountaineers' defense. Holgorsen's running backs coach, Robert Gillespie, served the same role on the Cowboys' staff for two seasons. West Virginia quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital and graduate assistant Andrew McGee also came from OSU.

``They would be much more familiar with us, obviously, than we are with them. They've been here. We only know them. We don't know their players,'' Gundy said. ``But once the game gets going, in most cases you actually forget who's on the other side.''

That might be a bit of an overstatement. No one at Oklahoma State has forgotten the Red Bull-drinking night owl whose fingerprints are all over the program to this date.

``He had his own way he liked to do things, and so what I tried to do was just stay out of his way and let him do his job because what I needed him to do was be productive for us,'' Gundy said. ``There's traditional coach thoughts that we all have. ... Some people do things a certain way because that's the way they've always done it. Well, he goes against a lot of things, and that's OK.''

After all, the Cowboys now have Big 12 championship rings and a Fiesta Bowl trophy they might not have had if not for Holgorsen.

All that matters Saturday is who wins a single game with a bearing on the conference standings and bowl scenarios.

``I think there's always a competitive nature. I think anybody that says that there's not a competitive nature, they're crazy,'' Gundy said. ``But you end up coaching against guys you know all the time. ... Now, Dana's a little different because he was here. But once the game gets going on, you forget who's over there and you certainly can't do anything any more or any less.''

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

After a fight-filled start to joint practices between the Redskins and Jets, the Skins' 2018 NFL preseason schedule continues Thursday night at Fed Ex Field against New York. 

Week 2 of the NFL preseason still doesn't provide a lot of answers to questions about team performance, but it begins to reveal the depth the Redskins could have this season.

One storyline that won't be taking place, is the return of former Redskin Terrelle Pryor, who told reporters after Monday's practice he won't be playing in the game.

The Redskins have bigger things to worry about though, like who will replace rookie Derrius Guice, who's now out for the year with a torn ACL.

The Redskins also have one less name in the fight for receiver depth as well, after Robert Davis suffered a season-ending leg injury as well. 

Ahead of Thursday's preseason matchup, here's everything you need to know to watch.

REDSKINS vs. JETS, PRESEASON WEEK 2

Who: Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets

What: Game 2 of the 2018 NFL Preseason

When: Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, 8:00 p.m. ET

Where: Fed Ex Field, Landover, MD

TV Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Washington, -3

Over/Under: 39.5

Weather: 90 degrees, partly cloudy

REDSKINS vs. PATRIOTS TV SCHEDULE:

5:00 PM: Redskins 100
5:30 PM: Redskins Nation
6:00 PM: Best of the Sports Junkies
7:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live

REDSKINS 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (L, 26-17)

Week 2: Thurs., 8/16, vs. New York Jets, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 3: Fri., 8/24, vs. Denver Broncos, 7:30 p.m. 

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

 

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Jeff Green happy to reunite with head coach Scott Brooks on Wizards

Jeff Green happy to reunite with head coach Scott Brooks on Wizards

The city of Washington, where he grew up near and was a star in college at Georgetown University, isn't the only factor that makes joining the Wizards familiar for Jeff Green. He is also reuniting with his former coach, Scott Brooks, who now leads the Wizards.

Long ago, Brooks was cutting his teeth on the sidelines while Green was finding his way on the court. When Green was a rookie on the Seattle Supersonics in 2007, Brooks was a 42-year-old assistant coach. The team moved to Oklahoma City the following year and by late November of 2008, Brooks was the head coach after P.J. Carlesimo was fired.

Brooks helped oversee Green's first four seasons as an NBA player and Green remembers those days well.

"He looked way better than he does now," Green joked.

Brooks, now 53, has a knack for taking playful shots at those he works with, whether that be players, fellow coaches or the media. Green is clearly on that level and feels comfortable ribbing his head coach, knowing he can both dish it out and take it.

All jokes aside, Green is still appreciative of the tutelage he received from Brooks back in the day.

"Scotty was my No. 1 guy, he’s always been, but when I first stepped foot on an NBA floor, he was there for me. He was a coach with Seattle when I first got into the league," Green said.

The NBA has taken Brooks and Green to very different places in the seven years since they split ways. Green left for the Celtics and has since played for the Grizzlies, Clippers, Magic and most recently the Cavaliers. Brooks stuck around with OKC through the 2014-15 season before he was let go. After taking a year off, he joined the Wizards.

Much has changed in Brooks and Green's lives. They have lost and gained jobs. Their families have grown. Now, they are back on the same team and Green is excited about it.

"We’ve been close and tight ever since. We never lost contact. So, I’m looking forward to being coached by him again. I know he’s going to put us all in great positions to succeed. We just have to do our part on the floor," Green said.

Green spoke with Brooks on the phone before deciding to sign with the Wizards as a free agent in July. His presence was one of the many reasons he felt Washington was a good fit.

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