Redskins

Practicing players: Pro Bowl will be more serious

Practicing players: Pro Bowl will be more serious

HONOLULU (AP) The NFC team ended its first Pro Bowl practice by breaking the huddle and shouting, ``Win.'' One night earlier, Denver quarterback Peyton Manning asked his fellow all-stars to play the game hard.

And players on both sides pledged Wednesday to play more determined in a game with a reputation of being taken less seriously than preseason exhibitions or meaningless Week 17 contests.

``We're professional football players. I think you take a professional attitude to the game,'' said Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, one of two rookie passers in the game along with Seattle's Russell Wilson. ``It is an obligation of ours to continue this game.''

The future of the game to be held Sunday in Hawaii is uncertain. The contest was almost not scheduled at all this year after players faced blowback from commissioner Roger Goodell and fans for clearly not trying last year.

That's made the 2013 Pro Bowl something of an audition. A league executive said Tuesday the NFL wants to decide on the future of the Pro Bowl by April, when the next regular season schedule comes out.

Manning responded later that night by urging players to play at full speed, according to a report by NFL.com. NFL officials said Wednesday a transcript of Manning's speech wasn't available, and Manning was not made available for comment after his team's practice.

The AFC and NFC squads showed slightly different styles during a low key practice at a high school on Oahu's west side, with players barely breaking a sweat while wearing T-shirts and shorts.

Manning and Luck took the field at the same time for passing drills to AFC receivers like Houston's Andre Johnson, Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne and Cincinnati's A.J. Green.

The NFC practice included 7-on-7 scrimmage plays, special teams practice with punts and field goals and plenty of passes for Drew Brees, Eli Mannning and Wilson.

While some players, including Brees, spent time signing autographs for fans waiting just outside a campus gate, others didn't linger around after practice as a bus promptly returned them to the team hotel.

Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz joked that he might take a surfing lesson before saying he thinks the game will be well-played.

When asked what the Green Bay coaches on the NFC side might think of him hitting the waves, Cruz said: ``That'll be our secret.''

Brees said the Pro Bowl is important in part because it's a big moment for Hawaii, a state without an NFL team.

``There's so many guys who come out here and take this with a sense of responsibility,'' Brees said.

Denver cornerback Champ Bailey says players should take the honor of a Pro Bowl seriously because they never know when they will get the opportunity to return.

``This is a tradition that needs to keep going,'' Bailey said. ``That's the only way we're going to keep it going, is if we come over here and take it seriously.''

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Associated Press writer Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/oskargarcia .

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

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Is Adrian Peterson a good fit with the Redskins?

Is Adrian Peterson a good fit with the Redskins?

Adrian Peterson is one of the best running backs in NFL history.

But is he the best running back for the Redskins right now?

The Redskins signed Peterson, 33 years old and a 12-year NFL veteran, to a one-year contract. They have been hit with injuries at the running back position, most notably the loss of second-round pick Derrius Guice for the season with a torn ACL. They didn’t make any moves when that diagnosis was announced a week and a half ago. But they lost two more backs to short-term injuries last Thursday and they decided that now is the time to go out and get somebody.

Is the need for a running back really there? Rob Kelley was the starter for the last half of the 2016 season and for seven games last year before a variety of ailments sent him to injured reserve. Samaje Perine became the starter after that and while he struggled at time he also showed growth potential.

Kelley is 25 and Perine is 22. In the absence of Guice, they could develop and when Guice returns next year the team would have a good stable of young running backs.

But now, Peterson is in the picture. We don’t yet know what his role will be, but they did not sign him to be the back who is inactive on game days. He will get some carries and that will take work away from Perine and Kelley.

Now, if Peterson is more productive than either of the two younger backs then that is a worthwhile swap. But what does he have left in the tank at age 33?

Last year, playing for the Saints and Cardinals he gained 529 yards on 156 carries, a very pedestrian average of 3.4 years per carry. That is very similar to the production of Perine, who had 175 carries for 603 yards, a 3.4 average. In his two years in the NFL, Kelley has averaged 3.9 yards per carry.

By signing Peterson, however, the Redskins are hoping that Peterson has one more big year, or at least a medium year by his standards, left in him. After all, it was just in 2015 that he led the NFL in rushing for the third time in his career as he ran for 1,485 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry. The Redskins would be delighted if he could get half of that total.

Any free agent signing can only be evaluated when the contract details are available. We only know that it’s a one-year deal and according to some reports he did not get any money guaranteed at signing. That seems to be a team friendly deal, but we will have to see what might kick in if he is on the Week 1 roster.

As with everything else, time will tell if this move works out. If the money is right, it’s a low risk transaction with some possible upside for Washington.

Back during minicamp while talking about how quickly Alex Smith would have to get up to speed with the offense, Jay Gruden said that the Redskins are not in a rebuilding mode and that they need to win now. After the trade for Smith, the Peterson signing is another indication that patience may be wearing thin.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler

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Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries

Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries


The Redskins agreed to terms with free agent running back Adrian Peterson, per multiple reports and confirmed by NBC Sports Washington.

Washington added Peterson as their running back group took a number of hits this preseason. Rookie Derrius Guice was lost for the year in the preseason opener, while Byron Marshall, Martez Carter and Samaje Perine got hurt in the second preseason game against the Jets.

Peterson is a huge name. He’s likely headed for the Hall of Fame when his career ends, and he’s one of only a handful of rushers to gain more than 2,000 yards in a season.

His best seasons came with the Vikings, but Peterson hasn’t delivered top flight results since 2015.

If he’s healthy and ready to go, Peterson could be a tremendous steal for the Redskins. There is no way to know until he suits up in the preseason, which could happen as soon as this Friday night against Denver.

On the roster, Washington has Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs and Chris Thompson available at running back. At his best, Peterson is significantly better than that group.

Will the Redskins get Peterson at his best?

That’s the big question. And with two preseason games remaining, he will get the chance to prove it.

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