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Matthew Paras

Matthew Paras

Matthew Paras is a digital sports writer for the Washington Times, covering the Washington Capitals and whatever else is needed. Originally from Chicago, he attended DePaul University and was the editor in chief of the student newspaper, The DePaulia. He had previous internships with the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Northwest Herald. He can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Matthew Paras

Head coach Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers coaches against the Arizona Cardinals in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. Panthers defeated the Cardinals 34-10. (AP Photo/Jeff Lewis)

Life after Rivera: Aggressive Panthers’ rebuild a stark contrast with Washington

Sunday's game against the Panthers will be a reunion for Rivera and many others who are now with the Burgundy and Gold. Washington has more than 30 coaches, executives and players who hold Carolina ties -- including Rivera, executive Marty Hurney, offensive coordinator Scott Turner and quarterback Taylor Heinicke. But the faces they'll recognize on the opposing sideline won't be as many as one might expect. Published November 17, 2021

FILE - Washington Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard smiles at an NBA basketball press conference, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, in Washington. Sheppard has received a contract extension amid Washington's fast start to the season. Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. that Sheppard and Sashi Brown signed multiyear extensions and received promotions. Sheppard now becomes president and GM of the Wizards. Brown, who has served as a chief planning and operations officer, is now president of Monumental Basketball and special advisor to the office of the CEO at Monumental Sports & Entertainment. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

Wizards extend general manager Sheppard

The Washington Wizards gave general manager Tommy Sheppard a contract extension and promoted him to team president Wednesday amid the franchise's best start in 47 years. Sheppard will also retain his title of general manager as part of the deal. Published November 17, 2021

Washington Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. gestures during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Savvy coaching, stingy defense spur Wizards’ best start in 47 years

The improved record and defense speak to the depth the Wizards have this year. But just as responsible for Washington's strong start is Wes Unseld Jr. -- the first-year coach who has crafted Washington's successful defensive schemes and been able to adapt to players coming in and out of the lineup. Published November 16, 2021

Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young uses crutches on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Washington looks to maintain pass rush without Young

Washington finally had the breakout performance that players and coaches insisted was coming when the team toppled the defending Super Bowl champions. But it came at a cost: Defensive end Chase Young indeed suffered a season-ending knee injury against Tampa Bay, coach Ron Rivera said Monday. Published November 15, 2021

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf walks off the field after being ejected in the fourth quarter during an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette via AP)

DK Metcalf tried to reenter game after ejection

Seattle Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf was ejected in Sunday's 17-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers, but he tried to reenter the game in the fourth quarter. Published November 15, 2021

Denver Broncos offensive tackle Bobby Massie (70) battles Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Young defends slow start: ‘You gotta block out the haters’

Chase Young was a busy man this past offseason. Filming one commercial to another -- serving as a face for eBay, Under Armour and others -- the Washington defensive end learned to juggle his time between being a professional athlete and his newfound life as a businessman. Young even chose to skip the team's voluntary practices to keep up with his schedule, though he often maintained his own workouts -- going as far as to send footage to coach Ron Rivera over texts. Published November 11, 2021

Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) signals a first down against the Denver Broncos during an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Before Tampa, after Tampa: One game changed it all for Heinicke

Taylor Heinicke estimates he got only 45 minutes of sleep on the night his life changed forever. Riding high in the wake of an electric -- if ultimately unsuccessful -- playoff performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last January, the Washington quarterback spent hours returning text messages from friends and family. Published November 10, 2021

San Francisco 49ers kicker Joey Slye celebrates his field goal with Charlie Woerner (89) and Mitch Wishnowsky during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks) ** FILE **

Washington cuts kicker Chris Blewitt, signs Joey Slye

The Washington Football Team cut kicker Chris Blewitt on Tuesday and signed Joey Slye, parting ways with Blewitt after two games. Last week, coach Ron Rivera hardly endorsed Blewitt, telling reporters that he was the team's kicker "for now." Published November 9, 2021

A fan holds a sign in support of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers before the start of an NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) **FILE**

State Farm backs Rodgers despite vaccine controversy

The insurance company is standing by the Green Bay Packers quarterback after Rodgers found himself in controversy over comments he made recently about the vaccine. On Friday, Rodgers, who is on the NFL's COVID-19 reserve list, defended his decision to not get the vaccine -- decrying the "woke mob" during an appearance on the "Pat McAfee Show." Published November 8, 2021