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Titans set NFL mark routing Jags 38-20 in finale

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Titans set NFL mark routing Jags 38-20 in finale

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Mike Munchak believes he's the man to coach Tennessee back to the playoffs.

His case: two wins in his final three games along with some young talent that helped the Titans become the first in NFL history with two players scoring twice each on returns.

Mike Mularkey's argument for keeping his job in Jacksonville may be a bit tougher, especially after what happened in the season finale.

The Titans rallied with Darius Reynaud scoring on consecutive punt returns and rookie Zach Brown returning two interceptions for touchdowns Sunday in routing the Jaguars 38-20.

``Obviously, I feel I'm the guy for the job,'' Munchak said. ``I feel like we're going to get this thing going ... 9-7 a year ago, 6-10 not happy. But I think we're getting the right guys here, we're doing it the right way, so yeah obviously I think myself and the staff feel good about the direction we're going.''

Titans owner Bud Adams will make the final decision. Jaguars owner Shad Khan has yet to put his stamp on Jacksonville, and general manager Gene Smith and Mularkey both could be gone after the team lost 12 of its final 13 games. It was the worst season in franchise history yet the Jags landed only the No. 2 pick in the draft.

Mularkey talked about how hard he and his assistants worked this season, and he defended their effort by pointing out the Jaguars played hard every week.

``There has been no give-up, there has been no quit by any of these guys,'' Mularkey said. ``I give them credit. I think they can walk out of this locker room, whatever their record is, with their head up knowing that they did everything they could.''

Still, Mularkey has lost 20 of his last 23 games as a head coach dating back to Buffalo, and these Jaguars lost eight games by 16 points or more.

``This is the worst season I've ever been a part of, and it's extremely disappointing,'' Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny said. ``To finish the season the way that we did with some of those plays it's outrageous. The whole thing was very disappointing because we came into this year with such high hopes and we felt like we had a special group of guys that could do some things.''

The Titans (6-10) head into the offseason with optimism despite being outgained 375-221 in total offense with the Jaguars holding the ball for more than 32 minutes. They also set a franchise mark for most points allowed in a season, giving up 471 points.

``We have a lot of work ahead of us, but it's nice to end up with a win,'' Munchak said.

The defense did sack Chad Henne seven times while picking him off three times. They did drop three other chances at interceptions before Brown picked off a pass and ran it back 79 yards for a TD. Reynaud followed with a 69-yard punt return just before halftime taking a 21-14 lead in the span of 75 seconds.

Then Reynaud got the scoring started after halftime, returning a punt 81 yards after the Jaguars went three-and-out to open the third. Two plays later, Tommie Campbell deflected a Henne pass to Brown, who ran it back 30 yards for a 35-14 lead.

``The first one I dropped it, but coach told me that he was going to throw me another one,'' Brown said. ``I was just waiting for me. He threw it to me two times.''

Reynaud also became the first player in franchise history to return two punts for TDs in a game and tied an NFL mark with 13 others.

Jacksonville led 14-7 with Henne tossing a 5-yard TD pass to Jordan Shipley and a 30-yarder to Justin Blackmon until the Titans defense started catching the balls they got their hands on.

``We had total control of what we were doing and we were moving the ball, so it's on us,'' Henne said.

The Jaguars made Keith Toston the fifth different running back to start a game this season, and he had a career-high 66 yards on 12 carries by halftime as the Titans missed tackles and dropped three would-be interceptions. Toston finished with 74 yards.

NOTES: Reggie Bush was the last to score on two punt returns in a game on Oct. 6, 2008. ... The Titans' previous mark for most points allowed in a season was 460 in 1983 as the then-Houston Oilers. ... This was the 17th time in Tennessee history with multiple return TDs in a game. ... The Titans also had three return touchdowns Sept. 23 in an overtime win over Detroit. Reynaud had a 105-yard kickoff return in that game. ... Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis had a career-high 103 yards receiving.

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Wizards' second round pick Issuf Sanon will take time, much like Tomas Satoransky did

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NBA

Wizards' second round pick Issuf Sanon will take time, much like Tomas Satoransky did

The first round of the NBA Draft played out expectedly for what the Wizards had planned for the night. In Troy Brown, they clearly got the guy they wanted all along, seeing as there were many interesting prospects they passed on to choose him.

The second round was a bit more chaotic. Team president Ernie Grunfeld said there were a few players picked just ahead of them at No. 44 that they had their eyes on. They contemplated trading up, but no perfect deals were presented.

So, they decided to think long-term, like really long-term. In choosing Ukrainian point guard Issuf Sanon, the Wizards understand it may be years before he plays in the NBA.

"We hope to have him developed in a few years," Grunfeld said.

Sanon, just 18, plays for Olimpija Ljubljana in Slovenia. He may stay in Europe into his 20s before he comes to the United States.

The Wizards have utilized the draft-and-stash model with other players. Their 2015 second round pick, Aaron White, has been playing in Europe for the past three seasons.

Sometimes those players never convey and contribute for the Wizards. But sometimes they do and Grunfeld pointed to a player already on their roster as a model to consider.

"We drafted Tomas [Satoransky] at an earlier age, he went overseas [and] he played at the highest level and it got him ready for the NBA," Grunfeld said.

The difference between now and then is that the Wizards have a G-League franchise starting this fall, the Capital City Go-Go. Because of that, it seemed more likely going into the draft that the Wizards would use the second round pick on a guy who can play there right away. 

Grunfeld, however, opted for roster flexibility. By keeping Sanon in Europe, the Wizards can have another open roster spot. They could either fill that spot, or leave spots on the end of their roster open as they did for much of last season.

"We want to preserve a roster spot, so just because you draft someone in your second round, if you sign him, he still has a roster spot even if you let him play for the GoGo," Grunfeld said.

Sanon may have a bright future. He is a 6-foot-4 point guard with impressive athleticism who doesn't turn 19 until October. He said he models his game after Russell Westbrook, as a guard who can score the ball.

The Wizards passed on several interesting prospects to pick Sanon. Still on the board were Keita Bates-Diop of Ohio State, Hamidou Diallo of Kentucky and Svi Mykhailiuk of Kansas, three players they brought in for pre-draft workouts. But instead, they went with a long-term investment, hoping they found the next Satoransky.

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Capitals Draft Tracker

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Draft Tracker

The 2018 NHL Draft starts on Friday with the first round and runs through Saturday. Here's a running tracker of the Caps' picks.

1st round, 31st overall: D Alexander Alexeyev, WHL, 6'4", 196 pounds

The Caps' first first-round pick sine 2016, Alexeyev is a smart two-way defenseman with good size.

Read more on him here.

2nd round, 46th overall (from Florida, via New Jersey): D Martin Fehervary, Allsvenskan (Sweden), 6'2", 194 pounds

A physical style defenseman who is very strong in his own end, but does not have much offensive upside. Sort of a throwback style of play which makes him a surprise pick this high.

2nd round, 47th overall (From Colorado): F Kody Clark, OHL, 6'1", 179 pounds

Kody Clark boasts an NHL pedigree as the son of Wendel Clark, a first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs who recorded 330 goals and 564 career points in 763 NHL games.

3rd round, 93rd overall: F Riley Sutter, WHL, 6'3", 203 pounds

Riley Sutter also boasts a strong NHL pedigree as the son of Run Sutter and nephew of Darryl Sutter.

Riley is a power forward who played alongside Caps prospect Garrett Pilon on the Everett Silvertips in the WHL and recorded 53 points in 68 games last season.

4th round, 124th overall: G Mitchell Gibson, NAHL, 6'1", 187 pounds

A Harvard commit, Gibson posted a 1.59 GAA and .935 save percentage in the NAHL last season.

6th round, 186th overall: 

7th round, 217th overall: