Nationals

Vols' Sentimore wants to beat his former team

201210111326484149624-p2.jpeg

Vols' Sentimore wants to beat his former team

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee defensive end Darrington Sentimore says he still has plenty of friends at Alabama, where he began his college career. He apparently doesn't include Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban among them.

``With some players, he'd see you in the hallway and he'd just walk right past you like he (didn't) see you,'' Sentimore said.

The 6-foot-2, 288-pound Sentimore said he would have extra motivation Saturday when Tennessee faces the top-ranked Tide.

``I want this game more than any other game because I want to beat Saban,'' Sentimore said.

Sentimore played sparingly for Alabama in 2010, but he was suspended indefinitely in June 2011 for an undisclosed violation of team rules. After the suspension, Sentimore spent last season at Gulf Coast (Miss.) Community College before signing with Tennessee.

``I won't lie to you,'' Sentimore said. ``I kind of regret going to Alabama.''

The junior said Tuesday that he likes Saban, but he added that he didn't enjoy playing for him.

``He was a good player when he was here,'' Saban said Monday. ``We're happy he's doing a good job and having success. I hope he's doing what he needs to do off the field, in school. His problems here were not relative to being a football player. It had nothing to do with pass rush or sacks, or any of that.''

Sentimore has collected three sacks and four tackles for loss to lead the Vols in both categories. Tennessee has recorded only eight sacks as a team, the lowest total in the Southeastern Conference.

Sentimore said it would feel different playing against his former team.

``It's a new experience for me,'' he said. ``I'm looking forward to it. I don't know how it's going to be because I've never played against them, but I'm hoping that I'm going to kick their behind.''

This isn't the first time Sentimore has made some attention-getting comments.

Before the Vols' season opener with North Carolina State, Sentimore called Wolfpack quarterback Mike Glennon an ``average'' player. The Vols intercepted Glennon four times in a 35-21 victory.

After a 51-13 triumph over Georgia State last month, Sentimore predicted Tennessee would beat Florida in its next game. The Vols lost 37-20.

``He's an emotional guy,'' Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said. ``He's a passionate guy. I'm sure he says things and does things that he looks back on and wishes he wouldn't (have done). That's part of maturing. We've had a lot of discussions with him, and Darrington's made a lot of mistakes that he acknowledges. That's just part of his growth. He's made a lot of progress from a maturity standpoint in the last year. He really has. And he's got a lot to keep building on. I'm really proud of how he's integrated in.

``I think he learned a lot of lessons from his time at Alabama. I think Darrington will be the first to tell you he made a lot of mistakes that he wishes he didn't make. He probably could have had success there like he's having here had he made a lot better personal choices.''

Sentimore's experience at Alabama has given him an idea of what's required to pull an upset this week.

``You've got to play physical for 60 minutes,'' Sentimore said. ``They're going to try to outthink you and outsmart you. You have to study film and be on top of your game.''

NOTES: Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray returned to practice Tuesday with a brace on his left knee after sitting out Monday's workout. He said afterward that he felt fine and that the brace didn't bother him. ``It's not like I'm a dual-threat quarterback,'' Bray said. ``I don't need to run anywhere.'' ... Tennessee linebacker Curt Maggitt also practiced Tuesday and said he'd play against Alabama, though he has a shoulder stinger and a toe injury. ... Dooley said freshman receiver Jason Croom has had shoulder surgery and will take a medical redshirt this season. Tennessee freshman defensive back Tino Thomas is awaiting shoulder surgery and also will be a medical redshirt.

Quick Links

Nationals the latest team to extend protective netting in stadium

nationals-park-independence-day-2019.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Nationals the latest team to extend protective netting in stadium

The Nationals return to the nation’s capital Monday night for their first homestand of the season’s second half. When they do, players and fans may notice a slight change at Nationals Park: extended netting.

The issue of extending protective netting down the lines of baseball stadiums has grown more and more prominent in recent years, especially with the rash of avoidable injuries fans are incurring on foul balls.

As hitters have grown stronger and exit velocities have skyrocketed, it’s become harder for fans in certain sections to protect themselves or their children from these dangerous shots into the crowd.

More and more teams have announced plans to extend the netting at their stadiums all the way down the lines, though it’s come with a little (misguided) controversy.

Monday night marks the debut of the Nationals’ extended netting.

“Throughout Major League Baseball there have been some tragic incidents this year,” Nationals VP of Public Safety and Security Scott Fear explained in a statement priovided by the team. “So we at the Washington Nationals decided to extend the netting to make sure our fans are safe.”

“And that’s what this is all about,” Fear continued. “We want to protect our fans, the children, the adults, everyone that comes to the game, to make sure they have a great time without worrying about being hurt.”

Perhaps in anticipation of some pushback from fans concerned about a diminished view, the Nats were quick to describe the new netting as being nearly see-through.

Plus, with the changes, the Nationals installed retractable netting, allowing it to come down prior to gametime. This will afford fans even more opportunities to interact with players and ask for pregame autographs and pictures.

“This is something we feel is going to be very positive, and our fans will feel safe being here watching the game,” Fear concluded.

Ultimately, safety should be the number one priority of any major franchise, the Nationals included. They are one of the first teams to embrace this change in the name of safety, and they certainly won’t be the last.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Trent Williams will not report to Richmond to open training camp, per report

trent_bruce_usat.jpg
USA Today Sports

Trent Williams will not report to Richmond to open training camp, per report

Trent Williams will not report to training camp this week when the Redskins head to Richmond to officially begin their 2019 season, according to NFL Network.

The news comes as no surprise, as Williams missed all of the Redskins voluntary offseason workouts and skipped the team's mandatory minicamp in June. Reports streamed out that Williams was upset about his contract and looking for a new deal -- not to mention reports that he was angry with the team's medical staff after a missed diagnosis with a growth on his scalp. 

Williams has made no official statements, and the Redskins organization offered very little in terms of a timeline for his return. Washington team president Bruce Allen said he knows "the truth" about Williams' situation, and head coach Jay Gruden said he hoped things would be resolved before Week 1 in Philadelphia. 

A seven-time Pro Bowler, Williams is arguably the best left tackle in the NFL. He's an immensely talented offensive lineman with two years remaining on his deal. Beyond the medical situation, Williams could be upset that in 2020, the final year of his deal, there is hardly any guaranteed cash. The team could release Williams with less than $2 million in salary cap penalty and save nearly $13 million against the cap. 

Without Williams, the Redskins could be in real trouble. Second-year pro Geron Christian did not seem capable of playing at a starting tackle level last fall, and that was before a knee injury landed him on IR. Morgan Moses should be locked in as the right tackle, but opposite him in Williams' spot will be dicey. 

Multiple sources with the Redskins and around the NFL suggested more cash could change Williams' mind before Week 1, and for now, it looks like the 31-year-old will be waiting for that increased payday. If Williams missed actual games, he would begin to lose money from this year's $14 million salary.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS