NFL Capsule: Browns at Broncos

NFL Capsule: Browns at Broncos

CLEVELAND (5-9) At DENVER (11-3)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. CBS

OPENING LINE - Broncos by 12

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Cleveland 8-5-1; Denver 9-5

SERIES RECORD - Broncos lead 18-5

AP PRO32 RANKING - Browns No. 23; Broncos No. 1

LAST MEETING - Broncos beat Browns 27-6, Sept. 20, 2009

LAST WEEK - Browns lost to Redskins 38-21; Broncos beat Ravens 34-17





STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Browns haven't beaten Denver since Oct. 8, 1990. ... Broncos have longest active winning streak in NFL, at nine games. ... RB Trent Richardson has 11 rushing touchdowns, surpassing Jim Brown for most rushing TDs by a rookie in Browns history. ... Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno averaging 121.8 yards from scrimmage over past four games. ... WRs Eric Decker (923) and Demaryius Thomas (1,210) seeking to become first Broncos receiving duo with 1,000-plus yards since Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie in 2004. ... Browns WR Josh Gordon leads NFL rookies in yards receiving with 759. ... Broncos QB Peyton Manning 5-0 vs. Browns. Manning has most TD passes (31) in single season for Broncos. ... Broncos S Mike Adams spent last five seasons in Cleveland. ... Browns WR/KR Travis Benjamin has 69-yard touchdown catch and 93-yard punt return for score over last two weeks.


Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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WATCH: Rui Hachimura punishing Spurs interior defense with dunk and two layups

WATCH: Rui Hachimura punishing Spurs interior defense with dunk and two layups

As Rui Hachimura continues to grow and take his lumps at the NBA level, one important point of development for the Wizards' rookie will be finishing through contact at the rim. 

The Wizards play the Hornets on Friday at 7 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Washington.

On Wednesday night against the Spurs, Hachimura hit a nice hook shot over LaMarcus Aldridge and then finished through traffic after attacking a closeout a few plays later. He entered the game shooting nearly 70 percent at the rim, a major reason why he's one of the top-scoring rookies this season. 

Then at the end of the first half, Isaiah Thomas found Hachimura on a back-door cut for the easy slam. Well-timed cuts are a great source of points for young players. 

After the break, the ninth-overall pick flashed a little finesse at the rim for another pretty finish. 

His three-point shooting will have to improve at some point down the line and learning better positioning as a defender is something every rookie has to go through. 

Both of those skills can be improved in the practice gym or in the film room. Finishing at the basket through contact is learned by repetition in-game, so it's a promising sign to see Hachimura take the ball to the rim. 


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When Gregg Popovich thinks the NBA will be ready for a female head coach

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When Gregg Popovich thinks the NBA will be ready for a female head coach

WASHINGTON -- The Wizards hosting the Spurs on Wednesday night brought together two of the 11 NBA teams that currently employ a female assistant coach. The Wizards have Kristi Toliver on their bench and the Spurs have Becky Hammon.

That confluence prompted a question to San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich on the future of women in the NBA coaching ranks and whether a head coaching hire could happen sometime soon. 

The Wizards play the Hornets on Friday at 7 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Washington.

Though it has been five years since he hired Hammon as the first full-time female assistant coach in league history, Popovich is uncertain on exactly when a team will make the leap to hiring a woman to run their operation.

"That depends on people and organizations," he said. 

"It's a process and it doesn't happen quickly. But I think the more women there are [in the game] and as it becomes more commonplace and more the rule, it will then depend on an organization realizing there are women that can do this. Every woman can't, every man can't. But the point is there gotta be enough to choose from and it's gotta be pretty commonplace before I think somebody's gonna pull the trigger."

Popovich believes it will happen, he's just not sure when. The Wizards hiring Toliver last summer was another step in that direction and he believes she and others are showing the basketball world what they are capable of.

"There's no difference between a woman who knows the game and a man who knows the game. It's just another prejudice that probably has to be overcome just like a lot of other prejudices in the world have become less and less as people paid attention to them," Popovich said.

Hammon made the news over the weekend when Popovich was ejected from the Spurs' loss to the Kings and a committee of assistants coached the rest of the game. Popovich was asked why he didn't appoint Hammon to serve in the role for the rest of the game and he told reporters he was "not here to make history." 

Still, though there has never been a female head coach in any of the four major U.S. sports, it seems like the NBA is by far the closest with people like Hammon and Tolliver already knocking on the door.