Redskins

Thursday's Sports in Brief

Thursday's Sports in Brief

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Oregon's DeAnthony Thomas raced 94 yards for a touchdown on the opening kickoff and the fifth-ranked Ducks never looked back.

Triggered by Thomas' attention-grabbing return, Oregon raced past No. 7 Kansas State 35-17 Thursday night at the Fiesta Bowl in what may have been coach Chip Kelly's final game with the Ducks.

Teams that had that national title aspirations end on the same day, Oregon and Kansas State ended up in the desert for a marquee matchup billed as a battle of styles: The fast-flying Ducks vs. the execution-is-everything Wildcats.

With Kelly reportedly talking to several NFL teams, Oregon (12-1) was too much for Kansas State and its Heisman Trophy finalist, Collin Klein. The Ducks turned the game into a track meet and Kansas State could never catch up.

PENN STATE

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's attorney general said she granted Gov. Tom Corbett the authority to file a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA because the litigation could present a conflict of interest as her office prosecutes three Penn State administrators.

Attorney General Linda Kelly told The Associated Press that ``an actual conflict of interest could, and likely would, arise if this office were involved in both cases.''

Her office is prosecuting Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley on charges of endangering the welfare of children, obstruction, conspiracy, failure to report suspected child abuse and perjury. Prosecutors claim they illegally covered up complaints and suspicions about Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator who was convicted last summer of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including attacks inside campus facilities.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Bill O'Brien is staying at Penn State.

O'Brien's agent, Joseph Linta, said Thursday night that the Nittany Lions' head coach garnered interest from several NFL teams for vacant jobs at the next level.

But Linta said the ``heartstrings'' of O'Brien's experience from Penn State's 8-4 season in his first year outweighed the potentially big raise he could have received as an NFL head coach. He said O'Brien made the decision to stay at Penn State and not move forward with potential NFL opportunities Thursday.

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell is headed to the NFL draft after a junior season in which he carried the ball 382 times.

PRO FOOTBALL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs should be quite familiar by now.

The sides spent much of the day in negotiations for Reid to become the Chiefs' coach, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the situation.

The discussions followed nine hours of talks Wednesday that went well enough that Reid canceled plans to interview for other openings, the person told the AP. It was unclear which details were preventing the two sides from reaching an agreement.

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland Browns are among the teams courting Oregon coach Chip Kelly coming off the Ducks' Fiesta Bowl victory over Kansas State.

The Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills also are interested in signing Kelly, the offensive mastermind whose breakneck, stop-us-if-you-can system is already being copied in the pro game. There could be others courting the 49-year-old Kelly, but the Browns, Eagles and Bills seem to be leading the charge to land him.

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - With Andy Reid no longer in the picture, the Arizona Cardinals received permission to interview Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Todd Haley for their head coaching job, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The person asked not to be identified because the situation has not been made public.

Haley, former head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, was offensive coordinator for Arizona in the Cardinals' Super Bowl run in the 2008 season and has a good relationship with Cardinals President Michael Bidwill.

DALLAS (AP) - An autopsy found that Dallas Cowboys practice squad player Jerry Brown Jr. was sober when he was killed in a crash that led to an intoxication manslaughter charge against the driver, teammate Josh Brent.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office reported that Brown died of head and neck trauma when their vehicle overturned. He had a dislocated neck, a severely bruised spine and a blood alcohol content of 0.056 percent, well below the Texas limit of 0.08 percent.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - San Francisco 49ers placekicker David Akers said he received death threats on Twitter and closed the account.

Akers received the death threats late last month, but is unsure at the number of posts directed at him because he did not go further back on his account to see how many.

PRO HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - If there is going to be a hockey season, the NHL and the players' association can't afford many more days like this.

A long night of bargaining Wednesday that stretched into the early morning hours didn't end well and likely kept the sides apart for most of the day Thursday. No new full-scale negotiations took place, and outside of a few relatively brief, small sessions on specific topics, it was basically a lost day.

An agreement this week that could have led to a 52-game season now seems all but lost.

If the sides can't find common ground within the next week, a 48-game season - the shortest NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league would play - will become impossible, too

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Jeff Vanderbeek took over sole control of the New Jersey Devils and refinanced the team's debt.

The Devils said that CIT Group was the lead agency in handling the refinancing. In conjunction with the deal, the minority owners, Brick City Hockey and its related entities, no longer have a stake in the team.

PRO BASKETBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Known for getting rings, Phil Jackson finally has given one as well.

The retired coach, who won 11 NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls, is engaged to longtime girlfriend and Lakers executive Jeanie Buss.

Buss posted a picture on her official Twitter account of her left hand with a diamond ring on her finger.

Buss later confirmed the engagement to ESPN.com, saying she received the ring at Christmas.

BASEBALL

LAS VEGAS (AP) - San Francisco Giants pitcher Sergio Romo is facing a misdemeanor summons in Las Vegas alleging he violated airport rules after being detained by authorities at McCarran International Airport on New Year's Day.

The federal Transportation Security Administration issued a statement saying Romo failed to provide proper identification at a document checkpoint and engaged in a dispute with TSA officers about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

TENNIS

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) - Serena Williams seized her opportunities in a heavy-hitting match against Sloane Stephens to set up a semifinal against top-ranked Victoria Azarenka at the Brisbane International.

Azarenka had no trouble in a 6-1, 6-0 win over Kazakh qualifier Ksenia Pervak before Williams beat Stephens 6-4, 6-3.Isner still hopes to compete at the Australian Open beginning Jan. 14.

DOHA, Qatar (AP) - Gael Monfils' comeback from injury took a hit when he lost to German qualifier Daniel Brands 6-1, 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open.

CHENNAI, India (AP) - Top-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic and two-time champion Marin Cilic of Croatia reached the Chennai Open quarterfinals with contrasting styles.

Berdych stopped local hope Somdev Devvarman 6-3, 6-1, while Cilic rallied past Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

SHENZHEN, China (AP) - Klara Zakopalova advanced to the semifinals of the Shenzhen Open by beating second-seeded Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-2.

CYCLING

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Burry Stander, a two-time Olympian from South Africa and one of the world's best mountain bikers, was killed while training when his bike collided with a taxi. He was 25.

The circumstances of the accident near his home in Shelley Beach, south of Durban, were still being investigated, Cycling South Africa said.

SOCCER

BUSTO ARSIZIO, Italy (AP) - AC Milan players walked off the field because of racist chants, abandoning an exhibition match in the first half with lower division club Pro Patria.

The game was interrupted and later ended because of chants directed at several black Milan players, despite appeals to stop from the public address announcer.

After repeated chants directed his way, Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng picked up the ball and kicked it at a section of the crowd in the 26th minute of the first half.

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Derrius Guice out for Week 15 vs. Eagles as he awaits MRI results

Derrius Guice out for Week 15 vs. Eagles as he awaits MRI results

The injuries just keep coming for Derrius Guice.

The second-year running back will miss the Redskins Week 15 contest against Philadelphia after suffering a left knee injury against Green Bay, interim head coach Bill Callahan announced on Monday. The injury is on the same knee that Guice tore his ACL in just a year ago that caused him to miss the entire 2018 season.

The severity of the injury is still unclear. Guice underwent an MRI on his knee earlier on Monday. The team is still waiting for the results.

Guice missed eight weeks earlier this season after tearing the meniscus in his right knee during the Redskins Week 1 loss in Philadelphia. He was placed on injured reserve and returned in Week 11.

Entering Sunday's contest, Guice was coming off the best game of his young career. In Week 13, the second-year veteran ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries in the Redskins' victory over Carolina.

Guice seemed on his way to another big game in Green Bay before getting hurt. He finished with 42 yards on just five carries, including a 23-yard run, the play he suffered the injury on.

The LSU product has shown flashes of how good he can be, but injuries keep occurring for Guice. He's played in five NFL games in his two-year career and been forced to leave the game early in three of those.

Whether the injuries are just a series of bad luck or not, the Redskins need Guice to stay healthy.

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    Davey Martinez is unfazed by entering the third - and perhaps final - year of his contract

    Davey Martinez is unfazed by entering the third - and perhaps final - year of his contract

    SAN DIEGO -- Davey Martinez has been busy. His rural retreat, usually well-used by this stage of the offseason, has sat empty. He spent time with his kids in Tampa in between declining appearance requests. He tried to get his life back in order for the last five weeks. Time to himself has not been part of the process. Nor has anything but positive feelings.

    “It’s been awesome,” Martinez said. “Really has. Something that I wake up in the morning and think about everything that transpired and how we got to where we got to and the final moment... That, to me, never gets old.”

    Relaxed in a dress shirt and sport coat, Martinez started Monday with interviews by the reporters pool at the Winter Meetings. Two of his former players -- Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon -- are among the prime focuses of the event. Future contracts are what the meetings become about. Martinez is now included in that topic.

    He’s entering the third, and final, year of his three-year deal. The Nationals hold an option for a fourth year. Martinez said he is not thinking about it.

    “No,” Martinez said. “I really haven’t. For me, I feel blessed I got an opportunity to do what I do. I know I’m coming back. Now, I’m just getting some time off and getting ready for spring training.”

    Martinez entering his third year is notable. Managers of the Nationals rarely make it there. Manny Acta started a third season as manager. Davey Johnson handled two-plus seasons as manager. No one has made it through three full seasons since baseball returned to the District. And, who would have thought Martinez would?

    Year One was a mess. The Nationals missed the playoffs, Martinez appeared off-kilter at times, and injuries doomed the season as much as under-performance. A mere 82 wins followed, the fewest since 2011. 

    The pressure was high before the failed season. Washington’s ownership chose Martinez specifically over bringing back Dusty Baker. Why? Because advancing to the first round was not enough. Only the World Series was acceptable. Martinez, with vast major-league life experience and zero managerial experience, was charged with guiding the team to a spot its owners and payroll expected. The team barely won more than it lost.

    Then May of 2019 hit. The 19-31 nadir following multiple embarrassments in New York, against the Mets of all teams, pushed Martinez’s employment status toward the edge. He said then it wasn’t on his mind, though at the time he was unsure how to fix expansive bullpen problems. Managing principal owner Mark Lerner said during the postseason he never considered firing Martinez. Both are difficult to believe as 100% truths. 

    As the team turned, so did the view of Martinez. The postseason performed as a breakthrough for both. Washington finally made it out of the first round of the postseason. Martinez’s decision-making worked and worked again, all the way through Game 7 of the World Series. By the end, narratives flipped. The team which couldn’t play well when it mattered most completed a comeback-filled championship run. The manager so many wanted to push out, became a man of the people, drifting into the streets during the championship parade.

    Another year is coming. Davey Martinez remains the manager of the Washington Nationals. He’s into his third year and, barring disaster, appears set to make it to the end, which would be more history for the organization.

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