- ‘Gay Jeans’ that fade into rainbow-colored denim created
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- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
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- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
A turnover turnaround
One of the major factors in the Washington Redskins’ strong finish last season was the defense’s sudden knack for making big plays. The Redskins, who had forced just eight turnovers during a 5-5 start, took the ball away 20 times during the 5-1 stretch drive that earned them a playoff spot.
It’s too soon to say history is repeating, but after forcing just five turnovers during this year’s 3-6 start, Washington’s defense recorded two takeaways in each of the past two games, a 20-17 loss at Tampa Bay and a 17-13 victory over Carolina.
While there certainly are other reasons that determine games, it’s probably not coincidental the top four teams in takeaways (Chicago, Baltimore, Dallas and St. Louis) have a 30-14 record while the bottom four (Washington, New Orleans, Houston and Tampa Bay) are 17-27.
“It turned around at a good time for us last year, and we’re hoping for the same thing this year,” said Redskins linebacker Marcus Washington, who started the turnaround by falling on a bobbled snap at Tampa Bay. “You don’t know when that ball is going to bounce out, and it bounces so funny sometimes.”
Washington said the defense hasn’t changed anything to force more turnovers. But left end Phillip Daniels credited assistant head coach Gregg Williams’ decision to regularly commit four pash rushers instead of three for putting more pressure on Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme, who threw two interceptions.
Gibbs: No one talked
Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs doesn’t believe one of his players complained anonymously to ESPN.com about the defensive coaches.
“I don’t think one did,” Gibbs said sharply. “If someone puts something out there and puts names on it, then I’ll talk about it. If someone wants to quote somebody, then I’ll deal with it. I think I have a good feel for our team, the way our team feels. When you lose, you have to understand that a lot of things are going to be said.”
Novak in trouble?
Gibbs didn’t rule out auditioning kickers today after Nick Novak missed a 37-yard field goal try against the Panthers and averaged reaching just the 13-yard line on his four kickoffs.
Novak is just 5-for-10 on field goal attempts. He beat out Todd Peterson and Jose Cortez and Tyler Jones, who was in camp with Washington this summer, in a tryout Oct. 10 after John Hall injured his groin. Hall was put on injured reserve the next day.
Mike Vanderjagt, the most accurate kicker in NFL history, was cut by Dallas yesterday.
Troy Vincent, who ceded the starting strong safety spot to Vernon Fox after straining a hamstring during the loss to the Buccaneers, plans to try to practice tomorrow after missing all of last week. The hamstring injury is the second this year for Vincent, 35. Receivers Santana Moss, who had his worst day as a Redskin with just 12 yards on three catches along with a drop, and David Patten, who missed a seventh straight game, also have ailing hamstrings.
“It’s much, much better,” Vincent said. “I try to test it a little bit every day. During training camp [with Buffalo], that was really the first time in my career I had a hamstring injury and I tried pushing through it, being what I call dumb tough. Now I understand that when you pull it, and it’s a severe pull, you have to get off it.”
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
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- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014