Redskins

Thursday's Sports in Brief

Thursday's Sports in Brief

CLEVELAND (AP) Rob Chudzinski's first head coaching job will be with the team he loved as a kid.

Chudzinski, who spent the past two seasons as Carolina's offensive coordinator, has been hired by the Browns as their sixth full-time coach since 1999. It's the third stint in Cleveland for Chudzinski, who worked with the Browns previously as an assistant.

The Browns hope the first-time head coach can end years of despair and constant losing, and maybe resurrect a franchise that has made just one trip to the playoffs in the past 14 years.

The team confirmed Chudzinski's hiring with a release Thursday night and said he will be introduced at an 11 a.m. news conference at the team's facility in Berea on Friday

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When he ended his life last year by shooting himself in the chest, Junior Seau had a degenerative brain disease often linked with repeated blows to the head.

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health said the former NFL star's abnormalities are consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

The hard-hitting linebacker played for 20 NFL seasons with San Diego, Miami and New England before retiring in 2009. He died at age 43 of a self-inflicted gunshot in May, and his family requested the analysis of his brain.

``We saw changes in his behavior and things that didn't add up with him,'' his ex-wife, Gina, told The Associated Press. ``But (CTE) was not something we considered or even were aware of. But pretty immediately (after the suicide) doctors were trying to get their hands on Junior's brain to examine it.''

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The Jacksonville Jaguars fired coach Mike Mularkey after just one season, the worst in franchise history.

New general manager David Caldwell made the announcement two days after he was hired.

Mularkey, who went 2-14 this season, became the eighth head coach fired since the end of the regular season.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Tim Tebow won't be playing for his hometown team.

The Jacksonville Jaguars made it clear Thursday that they have no plans to pursue the popular and polarizing New York Jets backup quarterback.

The Jets are likely to release the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and Jacksonville native during the offseason, and many believed Tebow would land with the Jaguars.

But new general manager David Caldwell nixed that idea at his introductory news conference.

CLEVELAND (AP) - Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar says he has finally found a treatment to ease years of pain from concussions he sustained during his NFL career.

Kosar said he had more than a dozen documented concussions as a player. After more than a decade of constant headaches, insomnia and slurred speech, Kosar said he began to feel better following just a few weeks of treatments with Dr. Rick Sponaugle, who has a wellness institute in Florida. Kosar said he was skeptical about Sponaugle but he's now convinced the complex therapy, which involves nutritional supplements, works.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - David Akers is keeping his job as San Francisco's starting kicker. For now, anyway.

Coach Jim Harbaugh made the announcement after practice Thursday, two days ahead of the 49ers' NFC divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers (12-5) at Candlestick Park.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Rookie running back Chris Rainey has run out of chances with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Steelers cut the troubled 24-year-old following his arrest on a battery charge in Gainesville, Fla., , the latest in a series of off-the-field incidents that have threatened his career.

Gainesville police officers charged Rainey with a single count of misdemeanor simple battery after an altercation with his girlfriend.

BASEBALL

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) - Major League Baseball will test for human growth hormone throughout the regular season and increase efforts to detect abnormal levels of testosterone, a decision the NFL used to pressure its players.

Baseball players were subject to blood testing for HGH during spring training last year, and the agreement between management and the Major League Baseball Players Association expands that throughout the season. Those are in addition to urine tests for other performance-enhancing drugs.

Under the changes to baseball's drug agreement, the World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory in Laval, Quebec, will keep records of each player, including his baseline ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone, and will conduct Carbon Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) tests of any urine specimens that ``vary materially.''

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton vetoed a trade to the Seattle Mariners, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

The person asked to remain anonymous because Upton's decision had not been made public. Upton's contract gave him the power to turn down a trade to a short list of cities, Seattle included.

The Diamondbacks have a glut of outfielders and Upton, a former All-Star, is by far the most marketable. He is coming off a subpar season in which he was bothered by a thumb injury.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Although Pete Rose wasn't surprised when no players got a call from the Hall of Fame this week, baseball's career hits leader hopes to provide a few lessons in patience to the rest of his sport's tarnished superstars.

The 71-year-old Rose says he's ``a little sad'' nobody was elected to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Although Rose says he's a friend of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and every star of baseball's Steroids Era, he also says anything that artificially alters the game's statistics shouldn't be praised or honored.

PRO HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - NHL players will have 36 hours from Thursday night until Saturday morning to vote on the new labor deal that would end the four-month lockout.

The players' association announced that electronic voting will begin Thursday at 8 p.m. EST and will last until Saturday at 8 a.m. The union said it will announce the result after voting is finished.

If a majority of the more than 700 players choose to accept the deal that NHL owners unanimously ratified on Wednesday, training camps will open Sunday, and a 48-game regular season will begin Jan. 19.

TENNIS

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams are in the same half of the draw at the Australian Open, setting up the possibility of a semifinal match between the defending champion and the title favorite.

No. 2-ranked Maria Sharapova, the French Open champion, is on the other half of the draw with No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 5 Angelique Kerber and No. 6 Li Na. She could meet Venus Williams in the third round.

Novak Djokovic's bid for a third consecutive Australian Open title got a boost when No. 2-ranked Roger Federer and U.S. Open champion Andy Murray both landed in the other half when the official draw was made Friday.

SYDNEY (AP) - Agnieszka Radwanska claimed back-to-back WTA titles by dispatching Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-0, 6-0 in the Sydney International final.

HOBART, Australia (AP) - Unseeded Russian Elena Vesnina defeated American teenager Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-2 to reach the Hobart International final against titleholder Mona Barthel.

GOLF

HONOLULU (AP) - Scott Langley made a rookie debut on the PGA Tour he won't soon forget.

Russell Henley wasn't too shabby, either.

Langley thrived on a penetrating ball flight and a pure putting stroke for an 8-under 62 that gave him a one-shot lead over Henley after the first round of the Sony Open.

SKIING

Lindsey Vonn's divorce from her husband of more than four years has become official.

Thomas Vonn confirmed the information in an email to The Associated Press on Thursday night. The couple announced their separation more than a year ago.

In the email, he said: ``I wish Lindsey all the best in her new life. I hope she finds the happiness that she's looking for - that's all I've ever wanted for her.''

Vonn returned to the World Cup circuit with a downhill training run in St. Anton, Austria, after a three-week absence caused by an intestinal illness.

SOCCER

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - David Villa scored twice to raise his season total to 10 goals and Alexis Sanchez got his second and third goals of the season to lead defending champion Barcelona over Cordoba 5-0 and into the Copa del Rey quarterfinals.

Resting Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez, Barcelona won the total-goals series 7-0 and will play against Malaga in the next round. Barcelona also plays at Malaga in the Spanish league on Sunday.

AUTO RACING

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Al-Attiyah's buggy led the first Chilean stage all the way from Arica on the coast inland to Calama, beating defending champion Peterhansel in his Mini by more than eight minutes to cut the Frenchman's overall lead to an insignificant 1 minute, 18 seconds.

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The Redskins' loss to the Bears needs to be remembered as the humiliation it was

The Redskins' loss to the Bears needs to be remembered as the humiliation it was

The 31-15 final score suggests that the Redskins were beaten soundly on Monday night by the Bears, but not dismantled. Don't fall for that.

What happened at FedEx Field — in front of a national audience, in a game that was needed to turn around the season — was yet another humiliating result and it needs to be remembered and evaluated as such.

31-15 isn't what you need to look at. 28-0 is. That was the advantage Chicago held over Washington late in the first half.

This time, the hosts couldn't even make it to the third quarter before their usual collapse.

Case Keenum's pick-six after an opening stop by the Burgundy and Gold was an enormous buzzkill. That said, it is possible for a group to come back from an unfortunate start. That didn't happen, though.

Instead, Greg Manusky's defense — a unit that was supposed to bring more aggression and play with tighter communication, a unit that was supposed to take advantage of a slumping opponent — allowed three second quarter touchdowns, two of which came on drives that spanned more than 60 yards.

As a whole, the problems that Jay Gruden's squad had in Weeks 1 and 2 returned for a third time. The running game was ineffective. The defense was really ineffective. The Redskins racked up nine penalties. 

On a larger scale, the problems that Jay Gruden's squad has had throughout his entire tenure in D.C. returned for a who-knows-what-number-this-is time. They started slowly. They were destroyed at the end of the first half. They faltered in primetime. They were the ones reacting instead of initiating.

Afterward, the quotes coming from Gruden and his players sounded very familiar. Things need to "get cleaned up." It's only "the beginning" of the year. No one is "jumping ship."

In that respect, this was just another standard loss for Washington. It shouldn't count as one, however. This one was exceptionally awful and unacceptable.

Now, the Redskins stand at 0-3 and arguments can be made for changes at quarterback, defensive coordinator and even head coach. No player at any spot should feel comfortable with their spot on the depth chart.

Just 16 days ago, there was talk about hope and possibly a surprise playoff push. The talk now, sadly, is about plenty of other things, and none of them are good. And right now, this team simply isn't, either.

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Emotional post-game speech by Jonathan Allen tries to keep Redskins together 

Emotional post-game speech by Jonathan Allen tries to keep Redskins together 

Jonathan Allen was blunt and to the point. 

The Chicago Bears had just trashed the Redskins in yet another Monday Night Massacre at FedEx Field. Don’t let the late rally fool you. This game was 28-0 late in the second quarter. It finished 31-15. Washington is 0-3. This is about the time when NFL teams go off the rails. 

Allen gave an impassioned post-game speech demanding teammates stay accountable and united despite their clear frustration, a source told NBC Sports Washington’s JP Finlay. 

“We’re supposed to be the best athletes in the world,” Allen said. “If you don’t have the mental toughness to stay focused after three weeks in a 17-week regular season, I don’t know what to tell you. Each guy has to be held accountable and just take it from there. There ain’t no magic sauce to get this thing turned around.”

Listed as questionable before the game, playing on a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, Allen gutted through the game after missing the Week 2 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. 

The Redskins were left seething because they have found different ways to lose every week. They blew a 17-0 lead to the Philadelphia Eagles. They were sloppy and out-manned at the line of scrimmage against the Dallas Cowboys. Turnovers killed them for the first time this season against the Bears in a disaster of a first half. 

Allen insisted the locker room will not fracture. Those could be dismissed as just words, but the expression on his face made you uneasy. He played college football at Alabama. He is not used to losing. 

Neither is wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who caught another touchdown pass and had six catches for 70 yards. It’s been a great individual start to his rookie season, which means nothing to a player who won so many games at Ohio State. 

“I’m a win-loss kind of guy. I scored. We lost," McLaurin said. "I want to be productive for my team, but at the end of the day I want to win and we all want to win. The boxscore doesn’t say ‘Terry had a great game.’ It says ‘The Redskins lost.’ I feel like that. Our team feels like that.” 

The Redskins next travel to New York to play the 1-2 Giants in what absolutely is a must-win game. Jobs are on the line now. Allen and McLaurin said there would be no finger-pointing. Accountability starts with each individual player and they vowed to check their own play. Running back Adrian Peterson echoed his younger teammates.

"Everyone contributes. From Week 1 to now," Peterson said. "If anything you've got to point the finger at yourself. For me, even with everything that happened in the first half, at the end of the day, we were in a position to convert a first down and I didn't execute. And if we do that we're in a position with a fresh set of downs to get seven [points] and now we're down six and it's a totally different ballgame."

But these are all words. They must be backed up on the field in New York on Sunday or they don’t mean much. The Redskins better adhere to the message or the season will slip away from them a quarter of the way into it. Will they? Allen’s manner suggested anyone who isn’t on board will face consequences.       

“Nothing is ever impossible to fix. I don’t care how you lose,” Allen said. “Nothing is ever impossible. Losing sucks. Regardless of how you lose, we lost...[But] they’re going to have to be. It’s not a question of ‘if’ but you’re going to have to be and we’re going to be.”

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