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Broncos in no hurry to hear Manning's future plans but should they be?


Broncos in no hurry to hear Manning's future plans but should they be?

One of the great storylines surrounding Super Bowl 50 is the possibility that Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will leave the field for the last time while hoisting a Lombardi Trophy in the air.

There are two things that could get in the way of this storybook ending. One is that the Panthers are favored by about a touchdown and the chances are that they will be the ones handling the Lombardi. The other is that this may not be Manning’s last hurrah.

The signs point to him being at the end. The 39-year-old was sidelined with a left foot injury for seven games and even when healthy he has been a shadow of his old self, his passes lacking zip. After winning the AFC championship game, he told Patriots coach Bill Belichick that “this might be my last rodeo”. It was supposed to be a private remark but NFL films microphones picked up the audio.

At the Super Bowl, Manning has not said anything about retirement one way or the other.

"I've tried to stay in the moment, tried not to look back," Manning said in the opening minutes of his session at the Super Bowl 50 media night. "Just tried to stay in the moment."

Those close to Manning, including his brother Eli and father Archie, claim that Peyton has not told them of his plans one way or the other. John Elway, the current Broncos boss who lived the retire after raising the trophy dream following Super Bowl XXXIII, says that he is in no hurry to find out Manning’s decision.

He’s got plenty of time, whatever time he needs,” Elway said. “I think it’s never going to be a quick decision. You don’t want it to be. It’s one that’s going to change his life, . . . and it’s always a hard decision. So we’ll give him plenty of time.”

It’s a pretty safe bet, however, the Elway is hoping that a Manning decision will come in a few weeks rather than in a few months. Brock Osweiler, who played well when filling in for Manning this year, is going to be a free agent when the new league year starts on March 9. It would be helpful to know Manning’s plans and how much cap space is available before trying to strike a deal with Osweiler.

One thing to keep in mind is that playing for the Broncos in 2016 and retiring are not necessarily the only two options for Manning. The Rams have had internal discussions about signing Manning to play out his final seasons in Los Angeles.

Manning would have the option to sign with another team if the Broncos decided that they wanted to move on to Osweiler and get rid of Manning’s $19 million salary for next year. Whether he would want to play for the Rams or any other any other team is another matter.

If Manning does decide to retire, he could get a very nice golden parachute on his way out. Manning took a pay cut for 2015 but his new contract gave him a chance to earn the money back. A Broncos win on Sunday would make Manning a $2 million incentive bonus. As far as retirement gifts go, that certainly would beat a gold watch.

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Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

USA Today Sports

Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

Yahoo! Sports ranked all 32 head coaches in the NFL and Washington Redskins fans may not be too happy with where Jay Gruden ended up.

Entering his fifth year as head coach, Gruden was ranked as the No. 27 head coach in the NFL. Here's Yahoo!'s rationale behind his ranking:

"Four years, one playoff berth, one plus-.500 season, one franchise quarterback run out of town."

All that is ... not false, but the whole franchise quarterback being run out of town thing is at least debatable. And even if the ranking is fair, it's still okay to be upset because it's the middle of July, training camp hasn't started yet and the offseason is the perfect time to get irrationally angry about things like these.

Elsewhere in the NFC, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur checks in at No. 23, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is No. 17 and the Eagles' Doug Pederson is No. 2.

Unsurprisingly, Bill Belichick was ranked No. 1; he may be the greatest of all time when all is said and done, if not already. The top five rounds out with Pederson at No. 2, New Orleans's Sean Payton at No. 3, Minnesota's Mike Zimmer at No. 4 and Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin at No. 5.


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10 Questions in 10 Days: What can the Redskins expect from Derrius Guice?

10 Questions in 10 Days: What can the Redskins expect from Derrius Guice?

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold before the team heads to Richmond. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart 

No. 9: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

No. 8: More investments on D-Line, but who goes where?

No. 7: Do the Redskins have a 1,000-yard WR?

No. 6: Is Shawn Lauvao the concern, or is the issue bigger on the O-Line?

No. 5: What can the Redskins expect from Derrius Guice?

No rookie draft pick excited the Redskins fan base like Derrius Guice since Robert Griffin III came to Washington back in 2012. That's a fact. 

Guice slipped during the draft to near the end of the second round, a position much too late for a player with his talent. Rumors emerged that he had character issues, but in the months since April's selection, they seem unfounded. In quick time, Guice has emerged as a Redskins fan favorite and has performed plenty of charitable acts.

So, moving past the erroneous off-field questions, it's time to manage expectations for what Guice can do on the field. 

DJ Swearinger recently said he expects Guice to make the Pro Bowl and rush for more than 1,000 yards. As a rookie. (Listen here)

That's not unheard of, last year rookie Kareem Hunt led the NFL in rush yards. In 2016, Ezekiel Elliott did the same thing. Rookie running backs can step in and produce right away in the NFL, unlike some positions that usually bring more of a learning curve. 

Can Guice do that?

The first and most important questions will be health and durability. Guice dealt with lingering knee injuries last year at LSU, and the Redskins will need him fully healthy. A 1,000-yard season is not unrealistic if Guice plays a full 16-game season. It would require rushing for about 65 yards-per-game. 

The bigger key is opportunities. 

How many carries will Guice log in 2018? Early on in the season, Guice might still be learning pass protection in the Redskins scheme, and Jay Gruden will not tolerate missed assignments that result in big hits on QB Alex Smith.

If Guice can lock in on blitz pickup, 200 carries seems reasonable. Remember that Chris Thompson will still be a featured part of the Redskins offense, and Rob Kelley will get chances too. 

Last season, Samaje Perine led all rushers with 175 carries. He didn't do much with the chances, averaging just 3.4 yards-per-carry. Kelley had 62 carries before injuries shut his season down after parts of seven games. 

Combine Perine and Kelley's carries, and then things start to get interesting. With 230 carries, at an average of 4 yards a pop, Guice starts to approach 1,000 yards.

One problem with extrapolating too much data from last season is the crazy amount of variables. Late in the year, with Perine largely ineffective and a very beat up offensive line, the Redskins simply couldn't produce on the ground. In their last five games of 2017, the Redskins never rushed for more than 100 yards. They averaged just 60 yards-per-game on the ground during that stretch, including a season low 31 rush yards against Arizona in December. 

The line can't be that beat up again, right?

Guice has to be able to deliver more than Perine, right?

If the answers to those questions are yes, then a 1,000-yard season seems possible for Guice in 2018. 

One misnomer from the Redskins 2017 campaign emerged that Washington simply did not run the ball well or enough. In fact, early in the year when the Redskins looked like a possible playoff team, they ran the ball quite well. In three of the first four games, Washington went over 100 yards on the ground, including 229 rush yards in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Guice might get to 1,000 yards in 2018. It's no sure thing, and there are plenty of variables, but it's possible. That hasn't happened in Washington since Alfred Morris, and would be a very welcome sight. 

The rookie runner has invigorated the Redskins faithful, and that's before he even steps on the field. If Guice can produce, the fans will go crazy.


— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions 

— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap


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