Redskins

Wolves' Williams staying patient through DNPs

Wolves' Williams staying patient through DNPs

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The minutes have come and gone for Derrick Williams this season. Truthfully, they've been mostly gone for almost a month now.

The former No. 2 overall draft pick doesn't pout or whine behind the scenes. He just keeps working in hopes that his chance will come with the Minnesota Timberwolves sooner rather than later.

``Just try to keep working,'' Williams said on Monday after practice. ``Just because you're not playing, you can't stop working. Just pushing myself a little harder.''

The highest draft choice in franchise history has not played in four of the last nine games for the Wolves, with coach Rick Adelman preferring the veteran Dante Cunningham as the primary backup to All-Star Kevin Love at power forward. That hasn't prompted him to demand a trade or grouse publicly about his situation.

He was the only player on the team to play in all 66 games of the lockout-shortened season last year, but his inconsistent performances didn't sit well with coach Rick Adelman. Williams went to work in the offseason, slimming down and reshaping his body in hopes of moving from power forward, where Love gets most of the minutes, to small forward.

But the team signed Andrei Kirilenko in the offseason to be the starting small forward, and Williams' playing time has suffered for it. He was in the starting lineup on opening night and for much of the first month of the season while Love recovered from a broken right hand. He had 23 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in a loss at Golden State on Nov. 16, but hasn't played more than 16 minutes in a game since.

Not coincidentally, that is the last game Love missed because of his injury. Adelman was blunt when Love returned that some players were going to see their minutes go down. So far, that player has been Williams.

And so far, Williams is taking it in stride.

``I'm a patient player,'' he said. ``I just have to do with what I have. If I get 10 minutes, I get 10 minutes and I just try and do what I can with that.''

Adelman has long had a reputation for favoring veterans over young players, and it's clear that Cunningham's steady play and hard-nosed defense has won the coach over early this season. Williams started this season slow offensively, struggling to knock down shots at a consistent rate. But he showed flashes of much-improved defense against some of the better offensive power forwards in the league, including Indiana's David West and Chicago's Carlos Boozer. He also helped shutdown Orlando's Glen Davis, who had entered their third game of the season with some gaudy statistics.

Coaches are pushing him to be more aggressive on both ends of the court - to put up a bigger fight on pick-and-roll defense and not settle for jumpers on offense. So, as he has since he arrived in Minnesota last summer, Williams has consistently been one of the last players to leave the practice court every day.

``I'm not the coach. I don't control the minutes,'' said Williams, who is averaging 9.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. ``I just control whatever I can control. Show up in practice, keep working hard, staying after practice and lift weights, things like that. That's what I've been doing.''

He said he can't blame Adelman for leaning more on Love and Kirilenko in the frontcourt. He just hopes to be a bigger part of the game plan, eventually, and does think there is room in Minnesota for everyone.

``They're both good players. It doesn't mean I'm not a good player or anything like that,'' Williams said. ``It's coach's decision whether he plays me or not, whether he plays anybody. I try not to look at it like that. With Kevin and AK back, it makes our team a little bit better. I'm not going to complain about who is going to play and who is not going to play.''

And despite his name again surfacing in trade rumors surrounding Pau Gasol last week, Williams made it clear Monday he has not requested to be moved.

Team president David Kahn said last week he wanted to wait until point guard Ricky Rubio returned from a torn ACL before making any major personnel decisions. It is possible that the slick-passing Rubio could give Williams a boost as well. The two seemed to click well, especially on alley-oops, last season.

Adelman said on Monday there is still not a definitive timetable for Rubio's return. He will practice with the team again on Tuesday, and Adelman seemed hesitant about the possibility of him playing against Denver on Wednesday.

``I think he could go out and play some right now, but again, is that the smart thing to do?'' Adelman said.

They have a stretch of four games in five nights starting on Friday at New Orleans, which may make the home game on Saturday against Dallas a more realistic possibility.

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Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter:http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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The case for - and against - the Redskins signing Colin Kaepernick

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The case for - and against - the Redskins signing Colin Kaepernick

Don't look in this space for an argument that the Redskins - who are reportedly signing Mark Sanchez as Colt McCoy's backup - should, or should not, sign Colin Kaepernick.

This space will lay out reasons why the Redskins should, and should not, consider signing Colin Kaepernick. 

It's not a binary decision. In fact, it's just about the opposite. 

Any debate about Kaepernick often gets bogged down in differing political view points. This is not the place for that. Rather, here is an attempt to make the case for or against Kaepernick from a football perspective. 

The case to sign Colin Kaepernick

  • The Redskins need a quarterback. Alex Smith broke his leg and Colt McCoy needs a backup. Of the available free agents out there, Kaepernick has by far the best stats and resume. As Chris Thompson explained of Kaepernick, "He made it to a Super Bowl." When he last played in 2016, Kaepernick had 16 TDs against just four INTs in 12 starts. 
  • Kaepernick has familiarity in the West Coast offense, and once backed up Alex Smith and played with Vernon Davis. 
  • Redskins QB coach and passing game coordinator Kevin O'Connell worked on the 49ers staff with Kaepernick.
  • Multiple Redskins players, including Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson, said that the Nike pitchman deserves another chance in the NFL. 

The case not to sign Colin Kaepernick

  • Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL for nearly two full seasons. He hasn't practiced in a professional setting for more than a year. The Redskins are competing for the NFC East title. If they have to go to a backup QB, they want somebody that is game ready. It's hard to think Kaepernick fits that bill today. 
  • Earlier this season, Redskins CB Josh Norman had some choice words for Kaepernick after Panthers safety Eric Reid spoke out against the NFL Player's Coalition. Norman is an active particpant and leader on the Player's Coalition, a social rights group that Kaepernick distanced himself from. Putting Norman and Kaepernick in the same locker room might create some friction for a first-place team. 
  • At 6-4, the Redskins are in first place in the NFC East and should still be able to win games with McCoy at quarterback. Regardless how one feels about Kaepernick's activism, it will create a side show for any organization that brings him in. Cable news outlets like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC will descend on the Washington locker room should Kaepernick get signed. 

 

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    Redskins will reportedly sign Mark Sanchez as backup QB

    Redskins will reportedly sign Mark Sanchez as backup QB

    Mark Sanchez is reportedly set to join the Washington Redskins in advance of the Week 12 Thanksgiving day game against the Cowboys, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

    A devastating, season-ending injury to Alex Smith in Week 11 pushed Colt McCoy into the starting quarterback position, and without a third quarterback in-house, the Redskins had to sign a late replacement.

    Sanchez, who last played for the Bears during the 2017 season,  spent four seasons with the Jets after the team selected him out of Southern Cal with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

    Sanchez led the Jets to two AFC Championship games, but will ultimately be remembered for the "butt fumble" in a 2012 Thanksgiving day blowout loss to the New England Patriots. Sanchez's first game with the Redskins will take place exactly six years after the infamous moment.

    Sanchez has appeared in 77 games in seven seasons, starting 72. He's thrown for over 15,000 yards and has tossed 86 touchdown passes, while also throwing 86 interceptions.

    McCoy will start for the Redskins on Thursday in Dallas and is expected to be the starting quarterback for the rest of the season, with Sanchez serving as his backup and safety net.

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