Redskins

Packers look forward after quieting critics

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Packers look forward after quieting critics

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers were able to hush their critics - for one day, at least - with a convincing road win against previously unbeaten Houston. Next they'll try to win consecutive games for the first time this season.

``Our team has a lot of pride. They have never lost any confidence. I haven't seen that. I think after (Sunday) night's win, it's even stronger,'' coach Mike McCarthy said a day after beating the Texans 42-24.

Now, the Packers (3-3) turn their attention to the Rams (3-3), whom they'll face Sunday in St. Louis in the last of three consecutive road games.

``But you just turn the page and you get up and you come into work today and you put on the St. Louis Rams tape and you see a team that had almost 500 yards of offense versus (Miami on Sunday) and they lose the game. So it's tough every week in this league, and you're foolish not to think so.

``We need to do all the little things that we did a better job of leading up this game and into this game this week as we did (Sunday) night. And that's the facts.''

Another fact: Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP, plays better when he feels he has something to prove - and he certainly felt that way against the Texans, who watched him complete 24 of 37 passes for 338 yards with a franchise record-tying six touchdowns and no interceptions (133.8 passer rating).

After the game, Rodgers was asked what he thought he told critics with the team's performance against Houston.

``Shhhhhhh,'' Rodgers replied before smirking and walking away.

There were certainly plenty of critics for Rodgers and the Packers to answer, both nationally and locally. In his postgame news conference, Rodgers didn't specifically address any of the criticism but acknowledged he was aware of it.

``Of course, I heard it,'' Rodgers said. ``It wasn't like I paid a lot of attention to it, but people, whether it's good stuff or bad stuff, friends of mine, they like to tell me what's being said out there. I'm not somebody that watches a ton of TV or puts a whole lot of worth into some of those comments, but I feel like I've always played with a chip on my shoulder. It helps when people give me a reason to have that chip.''

Meanwhile, McCarthy took issue with the idea that, before Sunday night's victory, there had been something ``wrong'' with his team. After dropping the regular-season opener to San Francisco at home, the Packers' next two losses came under unusual circumstances: Sept. 24 at Seattle on a contested desperation touchdown pass on the game's final play that was ruled a catch and not an interception by the NFL's replacement officials working the game; Oct. 7 at Indianapolis in which the Packers frittered away a 21-3 lead against an emotional Colts team that was playing its first game after head coach Chuck Pagano had been diagnosed with leukemia.

``There's such a fine line between winning and not winning. I think that sometimes gets lost in the conversation that the players and the coaches go through and when it doesn't go your way,'' McCarthy said. ``I think sometimes when you give honest answers to questions . things get skewed and strong opinions are made about individuals or how we're playing.

``We're 3-3, and I know exactly why we're 3-3. But I (also) know how to continue to improve. Maybe that gets old, but that's the way we operate. It's about fundamentals, it's about having the proper mindset and energy. Teams have to work and improve throughout the year at practice, we're doing that. Those are things we're focused on. That's not what's wrong with our team.''

NOTES: The Packers announced that both starting inside linebacker D.J. Smith and reserve running back Brandon Saine had been lost for the remainder of the season to knee injuries they sustained Sunday. Saine was placed on injured reserve on Monday to make room for ex-Buffalo Bills running back Johnny White, whom the team claimed on waivers. Saine played in all six games this season, but did not carry the ball and worked almost exclusively on special teams. . The team did not make a roster move with Smith, but defensive coordinator Dom Capers said he has a number of options at the position. Smith became a starter when standout inside linebacker Desmond Bishop had a season-ending hamstring injury in the Aug. 9 preseason opener at San Diego. . McCarthy indicated that injuries to two other starters - rookie outside linebacker Nick Perry (knee) and cornerback Sam Shields (shin) - were not season-ending and said more information would be available about each player on Wednesday after further medical testing.

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10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

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USA Today Sports

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

6) After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

5) Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

When a team picks in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, folks around the NFL expect that player to become a Pro Bowler. For Washington, that exact scenario unfolded with right guard Brandon Scherff. 

Mostly. 

Selected fifth overall in 2015, the Redskins took Scherff to play right tackle and anchor the offensive line opposite Trent Williams. That idea quickly faded, helped by the emergence of Morgan Moses, and Scherff moved inside to play guard. For four years, it's worked out great, with Pro Bowl selections in 2016 and 2017. 

Scherff is a mauler in the best sense of the word. He has great footwork and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has called the former Iowa Hawkeye the best pulling guard in the NFL. Scherff is strong and nasty, words that won't win beauty pageants but absolutely win in the trenches of the NFL. 

Considering all of that, a contract extension for Scherff should be easy. Right?

Wrong. 

Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, multiple reports stretching over the last six weeks indicate that the organization is way off in their extension offers to Scherff. He might not command the biggest contract in the league, but he will get paid like a top three guard. In 2019, that means a lot of money.

Cowboys guard Zach Martin makes $14 million a year. Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell makes $13.3 million a year. Scherff might not get to Martin's salary, but he will probably get to Norwell, whether Washington pays it or not.

That means the Redskins need to pony up the cash now because as each day passes, the team is approaching an ugly set of options. Scherff and his representatives might continue to negotiate during the season, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Once free agency becomes in view, players tend to wait for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. 

In fact, the situation between Scherff and the Redskins has some resemblance to the Cousins saga from a few years ago. 

In that case, Washington low-balled their homegrown quarterback in their first set of negotiations. From there, things went sideways, and the team used consecutive franchise tags on Cousins before he finally left via free agency. 

If the Redskins can't get a deal done with Scherff, the team could use a franchise tag in 2020. But that's a dangerous game of roulette. 

The time to get a deal done with Scherff is now, if not last month. Redskins team president has said in the past that deadlines drive deals, but with Scherff, there is no exact deadline. He can decide to stop working on a contract extension at any moment, particularly once the pads come on at training camp. 

The Trent Williams holdout might be complicating things a bit, if Williams only wants more cash and the issue isn't about much more than that. The truth is a Scherff extension would actually free up cap space in the short term, as his signing bonus would be spread out over the life of the contract, and some of that salary cap relief could go to Williams right away. 

Williams' status isn't the hold up between Scherff and the Redskins. Whatever is the actual holdup best be resolved soon, or the Redskins are beginning down an all too familiar franchise path.

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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Anthony Santander has a huge outing in blowout loss to the Boston Red Sox

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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Anthony Santander has a huge outing in blowout loss to the Boston Red Sox

Check out the latest news and notes on the Baltimore Orioles

Player Updates:

Even in a loss, the night belonged to OF Anthony Santander who went 4-for-5 with a homer, triple and two runs scored. Santander tripled and scored during the Orioles' five-run rally in the third inning. He then tagged Rick Porcello for a solo shot in the fifth that pulled the Orioles to within 10 runs at 16-6. It was the first four-hit game of the young outfielder's career. 

SP Thomas Eshelman had a rough day on the mound giving up nine runs (five earned) on six hits over 3 2/3 innings of work. The right-hander also issued three walks while striking out three. He struggled to keep the ball in the ballpark in this one, giving up home runs to Jackie Bradley Jr., Rafael Devers and Mookie Betts before departing in the fourth. 

Due to Pedro Severino's illness, the Orioles optioned C Austin Wynns to Triple-A Norfolk. He has played in 16 games for the O's this year with a .233 batting average, zero homers and three RBI in 47 plate appearances.

Injuries:

C Pedro Severino: Illness, Day-to-day

SP Dylan Bundy: Knee, 10-day Injured List

RP Josh Rogers: Elbow, 10-day Injured List

OF DJ Stewart: Ankle, 10-day Injured List

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 60-day Injured List

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 60-day Injured List

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-day Injured List

Coming Up:

Sunday 7/21: Orioles vs. Red Sox, 1:05 p.m., Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Monday 7/22: Orioles at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m., Chase Field

Tuesday 7/23: Orioles at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m., Chase Field

Source: Rotoworld

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