Redskins

Texas Tech's Kingsbury gets rousing reception

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Texas Tech's Kingsbury gets rousing reception

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Kliff Kingsbury is finally back where it feels like home.

Kingsbury was formally introduced Friday as the new head coach at Texas Tech, where he starred as the quarterback of some of Mike Leach's high-flying offenses. The former offensive coordinator at Houston and, most recently, Texas A&M, said those jobs were purely business.

``But being here now, this is personal to me,'' said Kingsbury. ``This is where I want to be. This is a place that's helped shape me as a man. It's given me so much.''

Kingsbury, a mentor to Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel this year and the first in a string of record-setting Red Raiders quarterbacks, was hired Wednesday to succeed Tommy Tuberville, who left unexpectedly for Cincinnati less than a week ago after logging three losing Big 12 seasons in West Texas.

The 33-year-old Kingsbury has never been a head coach. He's the youngest head coach of a BCS school and the second-youngest in the Football Bowl Subdivision behind Toledo's Matt Campbell.

Kingsbury has a four-year deal that averages $2 million a year - not bad for a guy who just five years ago was making less than $30,000 a year as a quality control assistant at Houston.

He promised a ``young and energetic'' coaching staff and has already gotten Eric Morris, a former Red Raiders receiver who coached with Leach this season at Washington State, and Kevin Curtis, a former safety, to sign on.

This is all wonderful news to the Texas Tech faithful who have watched the program stumble in the aftermath of Leach's 2009 firing and Tuberville's struggles. On Friday, it was clear Kingsbury's hire was a home-run decision by athletic director Kirby Hocutt.

``I don't have any doubt about that because he brings a level of enthusiasm and excitement'' fans want for the program, said Rick Dykes, who was offensive coordinator under his father, former Red Raiders coach Spike Dykes, and recruited Kingsbury in 1998.

During his time under Leach's pass-happy offense, Kingsbury helped engineer wins over Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Texas. He led the Red Raiders to a 38-28 win over the Sooners as a redshirt freshman in his first start, throwing for three TDs and running for a fourth. In 2002, Kingsbury's final home game saw him throw for 473 yards and six touchdowns to outlast the Longhorns 42-38.

On Friday, Kingsbury wasn't ready to reveal what sort of offense fans will see. He said the program is ``not broken'' despite back-to-back seasons where the Red Raiders slid down the stretch. This year, they lost four of their last five games and in 2011 they dropped five straight to close the season for the program's first losing season since 1992.

``I'm more of a walking-type guy, not a talking-type guy, so I'll let you all see that in the fall,'' he said. ``But it's going to be an exciting brand of football.''

There's little doubt about what kind of offense the Red Raiders will run Kingsbury has been part of some of the most prolific offenses in the country the past few years. His offenses spread the field and moved quickly, favoring a fast tempo that is all the rage.

Kingsbury followed Kevin Sumlin to A&M from Houston, where he mentored quarterback Case Keenum and the 2011 Cougars led the nation in total offense, passing offense and scoring. This year, Texas A&M is third in the nation in total offense at 552 yards per game heading into the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma.

Kingsbury found it a ``little poetic,'' that Friday's weather was classic West Texas - plenty of wind. Tuberville frequently complained about the often-breezy conditions. None of that from Kingsbury, a Texas native from New Braunfels, not far from Austin.

``I'm going on record that I actually enjoy the wind,'' he said. ``You'll never hear me complain about it.''

Then, near the end of his remarks, Kingsbury got fans riled up when he turned to Hocutt to ask a question.

``I was going to see if there's any way possible we can get Cincinnati on the schedule next year?'' he said, bringing a roar from the crowd.

One fan who's watched the Red Raiders since he was about 7 gave up his season tickets the year after Leach's firing. Jimmie Gowens, who said he might change his mind now, thinks Kingsbury's hiring will reunite the fan base.

``I think people have finally realized that Leach isn't coming back,'' said Gowens, a retired postal worker. Kingsbury is ``going to have to produce within a few years, but I think he will be given a better chance than Tuberville.''

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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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