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lin yelan (elaine95)
Free Member · Join Date: 29 May, 2018 · Posts 208
14 Sep, 2018 · #1
ASHBURN Mark Clayton Jersey , Va. (AP) — Trent Williams and Paul Richardson are pretty sure.

Jay Gruden and Jordan Reed understand there’s no way to know.

After the Washington Redskins‘ starting offense didn’t take one snap together as a complete group during the preseason, there’s reason for both apprehension and optimism going into their season opener Sept. 9 at the Arizona Cardinals.

On one hand, there’s zero evidence new quarterback Alex Smith and his full complement of options will gel in time, and yet there’s the thought of limitless potential when tight end Jordan Reed, third down back Chris Thompson and receiver Jamison Crowder are back in the mix.

“We never know,” Reed said. “You never know how it’s going to go. All you can do is control right now, and right now we’re putting in the work to be successful come Week 1.”

Because the exhibition finale Thursday at Baltimore will almost certainly feature a matchup of the backups, the preseason wraps up with Smith and the first team putting up 151 yards and two field goals on 36 plays over five series.

Thompson and Reed never took a snap as they work back from offseason operations, Crowder was bothered by a groin injury and Williams saw only limited action coming off knee surgery.

Gruden conceded there’s a bit of concern not knowing how those players will handle being reintroduced to full-speed games.

“Just seeing what kind of shape they’re in,” Gruden said. “Some of the guys like Jordan and Jamison, they missed quite a bit of time. Chris has been getting a lot of work running and all that and I don’t feel too worried about him. You’re talking about your key weapons not getting a lot of playing time and that’s a little bit concerning, but since it is Jordan and Jamison, both are very quarterback friendly and I think Alex will adapt fine.”

Williams said “of course, no doubt,” when asked about the offense being able to click once everyone is on the field. Richardson, signed in the spring to give the passing game the kind of speed it has lacked since DeSean Jackson left, is downright itching to see what the offense can do when finally together.

“That’s why I don’t have no doubt in our offense at all: We’ve been able to execute at a high level Riley Dixon Jersey ,” Richardson said, citing the second preseason game against the Jets.

“We’re able to operate with guys that aren’t the starters. That just makes us more confident for when we get our first string in there that we’re going to be able to move the ball even more. We’re going to be able to execute more, and we’re going to score more.”

Washington ranked 16th in the NFL in offense and scoring offense last year — but that was under Kirk Cousins, without veteran running back Adrian Peterson and amid injuries that derailed the season.

Smith was up and down in the preseason and is cautiously hopeful about the offense’s upside while acknowledging the Redskins will have to try to put up points no matter who’s on the field.

“Any offense is going to be better with all the weapons out there, of course,” Smith said. “Hopefully we’ll have them all out and ready to roll. I’m hopeful for that. At the same time, whether that’s the case or not, we’re going to kick off and we’re going to play.”

The game snaps haven’t been there for the first-team offense, but Richardson and Reed find confidence in the practice time that will continue to accumulate before the regular season starts.

Gruden will have to wait and see how players handle getting hit by Arizona defenders, though learning the playbook and work in practice should ease fears about developing chemistry.

“That’s what practice is for: for us to get reps together and take advantage of the reps,” Reed said. “And that’s what we’ve been doing for the most part. We can see how things are gelling in practice and manifest it on Sundays.”

Until that happens, there will be doubt. Williams pointed out early in training camp that everyone is optimistic around the NFL when each team is 0-0, so it’s no surprise some of that is flowing for a new-look Redskins offense that has much to improve on.

“I think we’re going in the right direction,” Richardson said. “Guys are just not where we need to be yet. That’s why we continue to drill in practice, we continue to work in practice, so we’ll be prepared when the lights come on for Arizona.”

Jack Eichel has difficulty accepting the sorry state of the Buffalo Sabres, who haven’t had a sniff at the playoffs in the three years since his celebrated arrival.

”When I got drafted James White Jersey , if you would’ve said we’d be in this position, I probably would’ve told you to give your head a shake,” Eichel told The Associated Press.

Instead, it’s the 21-year-old shaking his head in disbelief over a franchise that’s finished no better than 14th in the Eastern Conference since 2012-13 and in jeopardy of finishing last in the overall standings for the third time in five years.

This isn’t what anyone – from since-fired GM Tim Murray to Sabres fans encouraging the team to tank – were anticipating during the 2014-15 season. That’s when Buffalo was in a race to the bottom for the right to draft one of the two touted, generational prospects: Eichel and Connor McDavid, who was selected first overall by Edmonton.

What’s worse for Eichel is seeing other teams jumping ahead of Buffalo in the rebuilding process.

”You look at Colorado and some of these teams, New Jersey, that make a quick turnaround and all of a sudden they’re in the playoff hunt,” he said.

If misery likes company, the Sabres aren’t the only ones stuck in a rut.

Whatever watershed moment the 2015 draft was supposed to represent by infusing game-changing talent to the NHL’s neediest teams, it has yet to make more than a ripple in the standings.

Eichel hasn’t made a dent in the Sabres’ fortunes despite averaging nearly a point a game. For all of McDavid’s offensive exploits and earning NHL MVP honors last season, the Oilers will miss the playoffs for the second time in his three years.

Instead, the 2015 draft serves as a cautionary example of how bottoming out doesn’t guarantee instant turnarounds.

With the exception of Toronto, three of the teams, including Arizona, with top-five selections in 2015 have already been eliminated from this year’s playoffs, and a fourth Jermon Bushrod Jersey , Carolina, could join them soon.

So much for the tanking tenet held by several NHL executives, who thought the best way to build a champion was to start by losing big.

Pittsburgh did that in building its three most recent Stanley Cup champion teams with two No. 1 draft picks (Sidney Crosby and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury) and a No. 2 (Evgeni Malkin). Chicago’s three most recent Cup winners followed the Blackhawks selecting Jonathan Toews with the No. 3 pick in 2006 and Patrick Kane No. 1 the following year.

And yet, there are exceptions.

Detroit won four titles from 1997 to 2008 despite not drafting higher than No. 19 from 1992 to 2013.

Boston has had a top-10 pick just twice in 10 years.

Just look at the NHL expansion Vegas Golden Knights, who have clinched a playoff berth and are leading the Pacific Division with a team cobbled together from scratch.

”A lot of teams have a lot of good hockey players, but there’s not many Malkins and Crosbys in the NHL. No, we don’t have them,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. ”It’s all about being a team. And we’ve been a team since Day 1.”

This year, Nashville is leading the NHL with a roster featuring one top-five draft pick, forward Ryan Johansen, who was acquired in a trade with Columbus, and no other player selected in the top 10.

”You don’t always have to be real bad for a few years to win,” Predators veteran forward Mike Fisher told The AP.

Goalie Pekka Rinne credits Predators management for assembling the team through trades and identifying talent in the later rounds of the draft. The Predators feature six players Nashville selected in the fourth round or lower, including Rinne, an eighth-rounder in 2004.

”We’ve never had to rebuild,” Rinne said. ”And for a guy like myself being here for a long time, it’s nice to have that. You don’t have to waste any years.”

Having a wealth of high picks is no guarantee.

Florida has made the playoffs twice since 2001-02 despite having a top-10 pick 10 times over that span.

The Oilers have made the playoffs once since 2010 despite selecting first four times.

The New York Islanders will miss the playoffs for a sixth time since selecting John Tavares with the No. 1 pick in 2009.

After 2015 Ronde Barber Jersey , there are even fewer benefits to finishing last after the NHL altered its draft lottery formula. Now, the last-place team is assured of nothing more than the No. 4 pick, as opposed to No. 2.

On Wednesday, the NHL announced the team finishing last will have an 18.5 percent chance of landing the first pick, up from 18 percent last year. The odds also improved for teams finishing second to last (13.5 percent, up from 12.1) and third last (11.5 from 10.3).

Coyotes forward Brad Richardson wondered whether teams adopting a strategy to lose had lasting effects.

”I don’t want to say tanking, but when you do tank, I think it sets a precedent in your organization that it’s OK to lose, and you’re showing the young guys that losing’s acceptable,” Richardson told The AP.

HOLLAND’S FUTURE

Red Wings GM Ken Holland told The AP he has received no assurances from the team he’ll return for a 21st year, despite reports indicating he will be back.

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