With the 2016 offseason about to kick into high gear, Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir are going to take one last look at 2015 in the coming days. That’s right, it’s time to hand out six awards, including: Play of the Year, Coach of the Year, Special Teams Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.
Defensive player of the Year
Tandler: My defensive player of the year was not supposed to be a starter. Chris Baker was listed second on the depth chart behind free agent acquisition Stephen Paea during the preseason and when the regular season started. But he didn’t accept that and worked his way to the top of the depth chart. Baker ended up playing 635 snaps, 240 more than any defensive lineman not named Jason Hatcher. And he had impact, with six sacks, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. On a defense that scuffled at times, Baker was the one consistent force.
El-Bashir: I figured we’d eventually agree on one of these awards. And the reason we agreed on this one is simple: From week to week, Baker was the Redskins’ most impactful player on defense, and there’s really no debating that. The 28-year-old end didn’t just get better in ‘15, he took a huge leap forward. His six sacks, which earned him a $280,000 bonus, tripled his career output. He went from goose eggs in forced fumbles and fumble recoveries to three and two, respectively. And according to ProFootballFocus.com, he was tied for ninth among all 3-4 ends with 32 stops, which the website describes as solo tackles that constitute an offensive failure. Amazing what happens when a guy (temporarily) faces a challenge for his job, isn’t it?
Redskins officials fear that linebacker Reuben Foster has torn the ACL in his left knee, sources tell NBC Sports Washington.
Additionally, there is concern about a more significant injury that could include the artery in his left leg, sources said.
Foster went down on his first snap in a non-contact drill during OTAs on Monday after stepping on the leg of guard Tyler Catalina. Immediately, Foster fell to the ground, and it was obvious he was in intense pain. He was audibly screaming and crying while writhing in pain on the field.
Moments later, the Redskins medical staff rushed out to Foster, and within a matter of minutes, his leg was placed into a stabilizing device. He was then helped onto a cart and wheeled off the practice field.
After practice, Jay Gruden said the team was unsure of Foster's prognosis but did say, "I’m just very disappointed in what happened in his first rep as a Redskin. He runs through the gap and gets injured."
The Redskins took a major public relations hit by signing Foster last fall, and the team's belief was that his play on the field would be worth the controversy that enveloped his signing. Foster won't be playing in 2019, but remains under contract for 2020, and Washington will have the option to keep him in 2021.
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LAS VEGAS -- Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott was handcuffed by police, but not arrested, after a scuffle involving event staff at a Las Vegas music festival.
Police Officer Laura Meltzer said Monday that the 23-year-old running back was detained briefly early Saturday during the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Cellphone video posted by celebrity website TMZ appeared to show Elliott speaking with a woman and then with several security and event staff members, including one who falls backward over a metal parking area barricade.
Elliott's attorney, Frank Salzano in New York, told TMZ that event security misconstrued the situation and overreacted and that Elliott left Las Vegas for Dallas after the incident to be at his youth football camp Sunday.
Salzano didn't immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press.
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