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RB Richardson thinks Saban will stay at Alabama

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RB Richardson thinks Saban will stay at Alabama

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Trent Richardson would be surprised if Nick Saban followed him from Alabama to the Cleveland Browns.

Saban, who will lead the Crimson Tide against Notre Dame in the BCS national championship game in Miami on Jan. 7, has been mentioned as returning to the NFL, perhaps with the Browns if second-year coach Pat Shurmur is fired at season's end.

``I can't see him coming to the NFL,'' Richardson said Wednesday. ``I would be very shocked.''

And Richardson knows the coach quite well. After all, he was a standout running back for Saban at Alabama before being selected in the first round by Cleveland in April. Richardson ran for 1,679 yards last season for the Crimson Tide.

``How can you get tired of winning,'' Richardson asked. ``He's got so much going there. He has no reason to leave. He gets what he needs and he treats his program like the NFL (anyway). He makes sure his players are prepared for the game and prepared for the next level when the time comes.''

Any exit to the NFL wouldn't be foreign to Saban, who led Alabama to national titles in 2009 and 2011. He left his post at LSU, in fact, to become coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2005. After going 15-17 in two seasons there, he went back to the SEC, this time in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

``I can see him staying at Alabama,'' Richardson said, ``and retiring at Alabama.''

Saban, who played and coached at Kent State, has Cleveland roots, as well. He was the Browns defensive coordinator from 1991-94, which has helped to spark the speculation.

``I don't believe it,'' Richardson said. ``Rumors are rumors. I don't buy into it and that's one thing he taught me to do - not buy into rumors.''

Richardson is more concerned with playing the playoff-bound Denver Broncos (11-3) on Sunday. The No. 3 overall pick is 46 yards shy of surpassing Hall of Fame standout Jim Brown's 55-year-old team rookie rushing record of 942 yards for the Browns (5-9).

``I'm ready for a big day,'' Richardson said. ``Anytime Jim Brown's name is mentioned, it is big for me. Huge.''

Richardson, who missed all of training camp after having minor surgery on his left knee in July, has already set a new franchise rookie mark with 11 rushing touchdowns. Overall, he has 258 carries for 897 yards.

``I'm good to go,'' he said. ``No issues with the knee. None. With the ribs, I am not going to stop playing ball. I am going to keep on going no matter what.''

All that said, he did reveal for the first time that he occasionally had trouble breathing in his first few games with the injury. He has adjusted his mindset to ignore the pain. He doesn't anticipate difficulty in Denver's mile-high thin air.

``I've never played there, but I'll be OK,'' he said. ``If I need oxygen, I'll take it and go play.''

Shurmur has not considered resting Richardson, either.

``He'll play,'' he said. ``None of us are 100 percent right now. I think that's fair to say at this time of year. Guys are playing through things.''

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NOTES: DB Dmitri Patterson, released by Cleveland on Monday, landed with Miami. Shurmur declined to say why Patterson was cut: ``I'm not going to talk about the whys or what-fors there. I will say this though, I'm happy for him that he's going to be able to finish out the year in Miami. That will be great for him.'' ... TE Jordan Cameron (head) and DL Frostee Rucker (groin) did not practice. ... WR Jordan Norwood practiced for the first time since sustaining a foot injury Oct. 7. He's not on the active roster. ... TE George Bryan was signed to the practice squad. He played at N.C. State (2008-11) and was in camp with Dallas last spring. ... The Browns are 3-0 vs. the AFC West, with the first-place Broncos on deck.

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That time new Wizard Troy Brown dunked on No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley

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That time new Wizard Troy Brown dunked on No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley

Back in high school, the newest Washington Wizard Troy Brown was an athletic freak. So much so that Brown dunked over the No. 2 pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, Marvin Bagley III.

Playing at Centennial High School from Las Vegas, Nevada, the 15th overall pick went straight at the dominating 6-11 Bagley and posterized the man.

Now from the other side: 

Although both were merely kids at the time (an each a few inches shorter), still you cannot question the confidence and athleticism of the Wizards' top pick. 

Heck, Brown is still athletic.

Now Oregon never got the chance to play Duke this past season, but Brown will get two chances for another poster on his wall with Bagley now on the Sacramento Kings. 

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Now the Islanders' coach, Barry Trotz explains why he left the Capitals

Now the Islanders' coach, Barry Trotz explains why he left the Capitals

DALLAS — Hours after being named head coach of the New York Islanders on Thursday, Barry Trotz made his first public comments since stepping down in Washington earlier in the week.

And, from the sounds of it, his departure was mostly a business decision.

“Yeah, obviously, I love the D.C. area,” he told reporters on a conference call. “But when it came to the business aspect, from my standpoint, I felt that it wasn’t really sincere [given] what we did together. So I decided that it was better to just move on.”

“I thank the fans,” he added. “I’m glad we could get it done. I said we could get it done in four years, and we did.”

Although the value of his contract with the Islanders has not been publicly disclosed, Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Trotz is set to earn “at least $4 million” per year—or more than twice what he was earning in Washington.

A source told NBC Sports Washington earlier this week that Trotz, who directed the Caps to their first Stanley Cup two weeks ago, sought $5 million per season for five seasons. The five-year term, that source said, was a non-starter as far as the Caps were concerned, given the relatively short shelf life of NHL coaches and the fact that Trotz had already been in Washington for four seasons.

When it became clear that the sides weren’t going to close the considerable gap between their positions, Trotz offered to step down and the resignation was accepted, making the 55-year-old a free agent.

When “I got the [counteroffer], I guess I knew it was time to go in a different direction,” he said.

In New York, Trotz replaces Doug Weight, who was fired earlier this month along with GM Garth Snow. Lou Lamoriello, a longtime NHL executive, took over for Snow and immediately started a search for a new head coach.

Once Trotz became available, it didn’t take Lamoriello to zero in on the NHL's fifth all-time winningest coach. The two met, exchanged ideas and quickly realized that they had found a good fit in one another. Trotz said he's already reached out to the Islanders' star captain, John Tavares, who could become the biggest prize on the free agent market on July 1. 

And, like that, Trotz now is the coach of a Metropolitan Division foe. The Caps and Isles will face off four times next season, beginning with a Nov. 26meeting in New York.

It’ll be weird, for sure. But professional sports is a business. And all sides involved in the Trotz saga were served a painful reminder of that this week.

Asked if he felt wanted in Washington, Trotz said: “Well, I’ll leave that up to the Caps to answer that. I think, absolutely. We just won a cup together and so I don't think that was an issue. I think it was more principle.”

In the end, Trotz wanted to be compensated like one of the top coaches in the game. And now he will, settling in behind big market coaches such as Toronto’s Mike Babcock ($6.25 million per year), Chicago’s Joel Quenneville ($6 million) and Montreal’s Claude Julien ($5 million).

“It’s good to be wanted,” he said. “It happened really quickly because you go from one emotion of winning the cup to the next emotion of leaving the team that you just won the Cup with, and you have to make some quick decisions. I know the timing of it—end of the season, the draft coming up, free agency [and] all that—there was some urgency on that. Both parties knew that, so we went to work at it and got it done.”

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