Capitals

Tuesday's Sports in Brief

Tuesday's Sports in Brief

A televised confession by Lance Armstrong isn't enough.

Anti-doping officials want the disgraced cyclist to admit his guilt under oath before considering whether to lift a lifetime ban clouding his future as a competitive athlete.

Armstrong has been in conversations with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency officials, touching off speculation that he may be willing to cooperate with authorities there and name names.

Interviewer Oprah Winfrey didn't say if the subject was broached during the taping Monday at a downtown Austin hotel. In an appearance Tuesday on ``CBS This Morning,'' she declined to give details of what Armstrong told her, but said she was ``mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers.''

Asked whether the disgraced cyclist appeared genuinely contrite after a decade of fierce denials, Winfrey replied, ``I felt that he was thoughtful, I thought that he was serious, I thought that he certainly had prepared for this moment. I would say that he met the moment.''

She was promoting what has become a two-part special, Thursday and Friday, on her OWN network.

Around the same time, World Anti-Doping Agency officials issued a statement saying nothing short of ``a full confession under oath'' would cause them to reconsider Armstrong's lifetime ban from sanctioned events.

The International Cycling Union also urged Armstrong to tell his story to an independent commission it has set up to examine claims that the sport's governing body hid suspicious samples from the cyclist, accepted financial donations from him and helped him avoid detection in doping tests.

The AP reported earlier Tuesday that Justice Department officials were likely to join a whistleblower lawsuit against Armstrong by former teammate Floyd Landis, citing a source who works outside the government and requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record about the matter.

PRO FOOTBALL

SAN DIEGO (AP) The Chargers introduced Mike McCoy as their new coach, hiring the 40-year-old Denver Broncos offensive coordinator to replace Norv Turner.

Turner and general manager A.J. Smith were fired after the Chargers finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the third straight season.

McCoy's hiring came three days after the top-seeded Broncos were eliminated from the playoffs in a home loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

The coaching search was led by Tom Telesco, who was hired as Chargers GM last week. Telesco also is 40.

NEW YORK (AP) - From nearly unstoppable to nearly invisible.

Tim Tebow was two wins from the Super Bowl a year ago. Now, he's pretty much a player without a team - likely to be released by the New York Jets after one frustrating season and his hometown team in Jacksonville already pulling in the welcome mat.

Even Tebow doesn't know how this will unfold. A backup role on another NFL team? A position change? The Canadian Football League?

``I don't know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future,'' the devout Christian said in a recent interview with Fox Business Network, his only public comments since his strange Jets season ended.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says injuries to ``multiple lower extremities'' will keep him out of the Pro Bowl later this month.

TENNIS

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Novak Djokovic was all but perfect in his second-round match Wednesday against Ryan Harrison, beating the 20-year-old American 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 to stay on track for his third consecutive Australian Open title and the fourth of his career.

Maria Sharapova was even more convincing a few hours earlier, winning 6-0, 6-0 for the second time in two matches to set up a third-round encounter with Venus Williams. The second-seeded Russian beat Japan's Misaki Doi in just 47 minutes.

Williams beat Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-3 in the match preceding the Djokovic-Harrison encounter at Rod Laver Arena, which will be the likely venue for her big matchup Friday against Sharapova.

PRO BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) -Days after Carmelo Anthony's overreaction to some bad words led to an NBA suspension, MSG chairman James Dolan had listening devices monitoring everything said to and by Anthony, according to a report in the Newark Star-Ledger.

The report Monday said Dolan had two MSG Network audio technicians stationed at opposite corners of the court during Friday's home game against Chicago. Holding umbrella-shaped parabolic microphones, they were told to record Anthony's interactions and send the tape directly to Dolan.

The Knicks did not comment on the report. The team left Monday night for a game Thursday in London against Detroit.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says he has received approval from NBA Commissioner David Stern to present a counteroffer to the league from investors who would keep the Kings in California's capital city.

Speaking at the annual State of Downtown Breakfast, Johnson says the city is in a ``six-week sprint'' to put together a proposal for the NBA's Board of Governors to consider. The league's deadline for teams to apply for relocation is March 1.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Nevada athletic officials are trying to capitalize on ``Kap'' mania.

Ex-Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick has the San Francisco 49ers one win away from their first Super Bowl since 1995. And university officials are hoping the man who is fast becoming one of the school's most famous alums will help them sell some football tickets next year.

They announced that anyone who purchases or renews at least two season tickets will be eligible to win up to four tickets and pregame field passes for the 49ers' 2013 season opener.

BASEBALL

WASHINGTON (AP) - Reliever Rafael Soriano and the Washington Nationals reached agreement pending a physical on a $28 million, two-year contract that includes $14 million in deferred money, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

Speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet official, the person said Soriano's contract contains a $14 million option for 2015 that would become guaranteed if he reaches 120 games finished over 2013 and 2014 combined.

NEW YORK (AP) - Theo Epstein traded for Adrian Gonzalez and signed Carl Crawford following pressure from Boston Red Sox owners to build a ``sexy team,'' according to a book co-authored by former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

Epstein, who left as general manager after the 2011 season to become a Chicago Cubs executive, said Boston owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Larry Lucchino made the team's image a priority, according to excerpts released Tuesday by Sports Illustrated.

``Francona: The Red Sox Years'' is co-written by the Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy and is scheduled for publication by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Jan. 22.

Cleveland hired Francona as its manager in October.

GOLF

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Paul McGinley was chosen as Europe's Ryder Cup captain for 2014, ending a chaotic campaign marked by a late challenge from former captain Colin Montgomerie.

McGinley, a 46-year-old Irishman, replaces Jose Maria Olazabal, whose team rallied to victory over the United States in October at Medinah, outside Chicago. Europe will defend the trophy at Gleneagles, Scotland.

SKIING

FLACHAU, Austria (AP) - American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin won a World Cup night slalom, buoyed by a roaring crowd for her third victory in her first year on the circuit.

The Vail, Colo., skier was already the first American to win two World Cup races before turning 18. She is exactly the same age - 17 years, 308 days - as Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell was when she earned her third career victory in 1971. Moser-Proell holds the career record of 62 World Cup wins.

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How the Caps upset the Lightning to win the conference championship

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USA TODAY Sports

How the Caps upset the Lightning to win the conference championship

It wasn't supposed to happen.

The Capitals celebrated too hard after beating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. The Tampa Bay Lightning had been here before. Tampa Bay's roster was deeper. Their goalie was hotter. They had home ice advantage. They had easily won their first two series. Nicklas Backstrom was still injured. Washington wouldn't be able to stop the Lightning's power play.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

For all of those reasons, many did not even give the Caps a chance. Washington overcame every obstacle in their way and was, for the most part, the better team through seven games defeating Tampa Bay to win the Eastern Conference for just the second time in franchise history.

The Capitals showed in their second-round win over the Penguins that these weren't the "same old Caps." They continued to prove that in the conference final when they stunned the Lightning to win Game 1 and Game 2 both on the road.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

When Washington lost the next three, many thought that meant the real Lightning had awoken, but it was the Caps who rose to the occasion in Game 6 and Game 7 where they face elimination as they completely dominated Tampa Bay by a combined score of 7-0.

The Caps now advance to take on the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. The Knights have lost only three games this entire postseason and will hope to carry that momentum with them into Game 1.

If there is one thing this Washington team has proven, however, it's that you should never count them out.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

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Need to Know: Redskins' Jay Gruden and Alex Smith from the podium

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Associated Press

Need to Know: Redskins' Jay Gruden and Alex Smith from the podium

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 24, 64 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

What Jay Gruden and Alex Smith had to say from the podium

After yesterday’s OTA practice, Alex Smith and Jay Gruden took the podium. Here are some of their quotes and my comments on them:

Smith was asked about getting together with his new teammates:

So I think every guy these last two days has enjoyed just getting back out there and losing yourself in the game, right? To be limited, it does make you miss it, and I think it makes you appreciate it, so that’s been nice. 

Comment: This is a guy who loves football and everything that goes with it. Smith would start playing games tomorrow if they were scheduled.

Gruden was asked how Smith has looked in these first two days of OTAs:

He’s got good command of the offense already. Great command in the huddle. He’s just getting a feel for the receivers, the players around him, how we call things, but overall, the first two days, I would say I’m very pleased with his quick progression and learning. I knew that wouldn’t be an issue with as much as he’s played in a similar-style system.

Comment: It did seem that Smith was in sync with his receivers, Jamison Crowder in particular. He and Paul Richardson connected on a deep pass after giving each other a look at the line of scrimmage. The encouraging thing is that he is coming from a similar offensive system, so the learning curve should not be too long. 

Smith had a great analogy when asked about similarities to the offenses he has run:

Both from West Coast worlds, so it’s kind of like they are all Latin-based languages, you know, but they are not the same. There are some similarities, structure of the playbook, of how we call things, things like that. There are a lot of similarities but it’s not the same language. I guess that’s the best analogy I can make

Comment: If terminology is the biggest obstacle for Smith to overcome it will be a smooth transition for him. 

Gruden was impressed with the running backs. 

“I’ll tell you what, just today in general, you could see the competition. You could see Rob Kelley step up. Samaje Perine’s had a couple big days. Byron Marshall, I mean, he had a couple great routes today. He’s running the ball between the tackles. [Kapri] Bibbs had some big runs yesterday. Obviously, Derrius Guice has come in here and fueled the fire a little bit.

Comment: I think that the Redskins are going to have to release some good running backs. Rob Kelly never really earned the nickname “Fat Rob” but he looked particularly lean and quick running the ball. He wants nothing to do with being on the roster bubble. Marshall moved quickly and showed his speed. Although Gruden wouldn’t say it, Guice clearly was the best of the bunch; his ability to change direction while maintaining his speed will serve him well. It must be noted that they are not in pads and not getting tackled so more definitive opinions will have to wait until we are in Richmond for a few days. 

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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Timeline  

Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 19
—Training camp starts (7/26) 64
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 78

The Redskins last played a game 144 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 108 days. 

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