Redskins

Uncertain offseasons begin for Jets, Bills

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Uncertain offseasons begin for Jets, Bills

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Their disappointing seasons having finally come to a close, no one was ready to discuss what changes might be in store for the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills.

``Let's talk about today, and let's talk about tomorrow or next week at a later date,'' Bills coach Chan Gailey said after a 28-9 season-ending win over the Jets on Sunday.

Gailey's on the hot seat after two consecutive 6-10 finishes and a 16-32 record in three seasons in Buffalo. And there are questions being raised as to whether general manager Buddy Nix's job is secure.

It's no different in New York for Jets' one-time franchise quarterback Mark Sanchez, offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and general manager Mike Tannenbaum. And don't forget Tim Tebow, who might also be on his way out after a season in which the high-profile backup created more headlines than game-deciding plays.

Jets coach Rex Ryan was in no mood to look beyond Sunday.

``As much as I hate talking about this Buffalo game, that's where I'd like to keep the questions,'' Ryan said.

Deferring the tough conversations to another time won't make the uncertainty go away for two AFC East rivals, who opened the season with much higher aspirations only to both close with 6-10 records. It's Buffalo that, under tiebreaking rules, will finish last in the division for a fifth consecutive year, while having already extended the league's longest active playoff drought to 13 seasons.

``Not a lot of jubilation,'' Gailey said of team's mood. ``Everybody knew we had won the ballgame, and they were happy. But it was not excited.''

Gailey's status has been in question since the Bills went into a tailspin following a 3-3 start. Their win over the Jets snapped a three-game skid.

Despite an NBC report that he could be fired as early as Monday, Gailey is sticking with a business-as-usual plan.

On Monday, he's scheduled to address his players, meet with his coaching staff and then hold his annual season-ending news conference with reporters.

The decision on Gailey and Nix is in the hands of Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson, who has remained silent all season. Wilson did attend the team's holiday party in Buffalo on Friday, before returning home to Detroit.

Bills players are bracing for changes.

``There's going to be change, and we all know that,'' said Stevie Johnson, who finished with 111 yards receiving in becoming the first Bills player to surpass 1,000 yards in three straight years.

Safety Bryan Scott returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown. C.J. Spiller had 59 yards rushing and scored the go-ahead touchdown late in the second quarter on a 66-yard catch and run. Brad Smith scored on a 4-yard run, and Tashard Choice on 13-yard run for the Bills, who ended a six-game losing streak against the Jets.

The Jets' offense was once again the team's downfall. After opening the season with a 48-24 win over Buffalo, they closed it by combining for 60 points in their final five games.

Sanchez went 17 of 35 for 205 yards passing, while throwing his 18th interception and also losing a fumble. That was reminiscent of his last start, two weeks ago, when he turned the ball over five times in a 14-10 loss at Tennessee.

``We just didn't execute, and it starts with the quarterback,'' the 2009 first-round draft pick said. ``I have to be better. When you're inconsistent, it's tough to win in this league.''

The Jets trailed 14-9 at the half despite gaining more yards than Buffalo (204-132), getting more first downs (13-4) and holding a whopping edge in time of possession (23:15-6:45).

Sanchez was supposed to be on the bench on Sunday, and only got the start after third-stringer Greg McElroy complained of concussion-like symptoms on Thursday.

``I know I'm better than this,'' said Sanchez. ``I'm contracted to be here. And I want to be here.''

This is not the finish many expected for the Bills, either. They also opened the season with expectations of being a bona fide contender after their defense was supposed to have been improved with the addition of high-priced defensive end Mario Williams.

``The win doesn't change how the season went as far as reaching our team goals,'' safety George Wilson said. ``But, at the end of the day, we're able to go into the offseason on a winning note.''

NOTES: The Bills had the sticker ``WWFD'' on the back of their helmets, honoring two West Webster Fire Department firefighters who were ambushed while responding to a fire in the Rochester, N.Y., suburb on Monday. ... Jets PK Nick Folk kicked three field goals, including a 47-yarder, and also had a 30-yard attempt blocked by DT Marcell Dareus. ... Bills PK Rian Lindell missed wide left from 50 and 46 yards.

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Ron Rivera describes situation with Trent Williams as 'fluid,' has no update on guard Brandon Scherff

Ron Rivera describes situation with Trent Williams as 'fluid,' has no update on guard Brandon Scherff

Redskins head coach Ron Rivera was asked a plethora of questions when he addressed the media at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday, such as what impressed him about quarterback Dwayne Haskins and what players the team will consider with the No. 2 pick.

While Rivera talked in detail about meeting with top quarterback prospects and what his view on free agency is, the head coach did not offer much insight about two offensive linemen: Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff.

Rivera confirmed recent reports that he had spoken with Williams, the team's cornerstone left tackle, but would not go much further than that.

"Trent Williams and I have talked. We had a good conversation," Rivera said. "Again, that's a work in progress and we'll see how things unfold. It's a fluid situation."

Williams, of course, did not play a snap for the Redskins in 2019, holding out after believing Redskins doctors misdiagnosed a cancerous growth on his head for nearly six years. But after the organization had practically a complete reboot this offseason, firing longtime team president Bruce Allen and athletic trainer Larry Hess.

Rivera stated he has a plan to get Williams to return. A report last week stated No. 71 will return to the Redskins because of Rivera. But thus far, nothing has amounted.

"I think where it is, we're still working through details," Rivera said. "We're in a good place. We had a good conversation and we're going to go from that."

The head coach was also asked questions about right guard Brandon Scherff, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Scherff reportedly turned down a hefty extension last year that would have paid him upwards of $13 million annually, but did tell NBC Sports Washington last October he wants to remain in Washington for the entirety of his career.

Rivera was asked about his plan with Scherff and whether the franchise tag was a potential option. The head coach gave a vague response while avoiding answering the question directly.

"Well, the biggest thing again, is that we like our guys," Rivera said. "We like our guys that are free agents. We want to try to bring those guys back, we'll see how things go."

The head coach's answer did not sound like he's confident the Redskins will be able to retain the three-time Pro Bowler.

"You have to look at everything," Rivera said. "What happens if they don't come back? It's a pretty fair free agency, but you never know, because guys are trying to re-sign their own players."

The Redskins have until March 12 to place the franchise tag on Scherff, should they decide to go that route. Until then, the two sides are expected to continue to work on reaching a long-term deal.

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Carter Kieboom’s early defensive struggles at third base aren’t a major concern--yet

Carter Kieboom’s early defensive struggles at third base aren’t a major concern--yet

Carter Kieboom is getting his chance.

The 22-year-old infield prospect is competing for the Nationals’ starting job at third base this spring following the departure of Anthony Rendon in free agency. A natural shortstop, Kieboom has started just nine games at third in his professional career but is shifting across the infield because that’s where the Nationals need him.

So far, the early returns have been—well, not great. On Sunday, Kieboom dropped a line drive off the bat of Miami Marlins slugger Jesús Aguilar then sailed the throw over the head off first baseman Eric Thames for his first error of the spring. He picked up his second miscue against the New York Yankees on Tuesday, when he charged a groundball and missed his target while throwing on the run.

The plays aren’t pretty, but that’s what spring training is for.

Competitions are held, young players get their shot, everyone has something they’re working to improve. Kieboom is trying to earn a job at a position he hasn’t played regularly since he was a kid. Mistakes shouldn’t be reasons for alarm, they should be expected.

That being said, Kieboom will only be granted the it’s-still-early grace period for so long. Opening Day is less than a month away, meaning manager Davey Martinez is going to have to make a decision in the next few weeks about what he’s going to do with Kieboom.

If these errors continue, then he won’t be forced into playing Kieboom in the majors. The Nationals have a backup plan in Asdrúbal Cabrera ready to assume the position should Kieboom need more time in the minors to work at the position. Washington is already faced with few clear opportunities for Howie Kendrick to get at-bats, so sending Kieboom down makes it easier for him to make regular starts.

But for now, there’s no reason to panic over Kieboom’s first few errors. As NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes pointed out on the Nationals Talk podcast, the Nationals’ spring training leader in errors was none other than Victor Robles (he had three). You know, the Victor Robles who was a Gold Glove finalist in center field?

Kieboom is getting his chance. It’s just a question of how many the Nationals are going to give him.

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