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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

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Jody Fortson (88) makes a catch against Washington Football Team safety Landon Collins (26) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Linebacker? Safety? Collins shifts ‘downhill’ in new role

Ron Rivera never used the word "linebacker" to describe Collins on Wednesday, but in speaking with reporters, the Washington coach made clear that the team's highest-paid defender is now in a different role. Published October 20, 2021

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) dribbles the ball during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the New York Knicks, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Beal’s future looms over new Wizards season. As usual.

Bradley Beal called catching the coronavirus a few months ago a "blessing in disguise." Yes, the positive test cost him a shot at winning a gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics. But looking back, the Washington Wizards guard said he was able to redirect his focus -- and come to terms with the whirlwind of change that the franchise experienced over the summer. Published October 19, 2021

Washington Wizards center Daniel Gafford (21) dribbles in the first half during NBA game against the New York Knicks, Friday Oct. 15, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) **FILE**

Wizards, Gafford agree to three-year, $40 million extension

Washington Wizards center Daniel Gafford agreed to a three-year, $40 million extension, the team announced Tuesday -- a move that rewards the 23-year-old for his productive play and keeps him under contract for the foreseeable future. Published October 19, 2021

Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera spits as he walks off field at the end of the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Lack of discipline has Rivera mulling change

A day after his team's 31-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Ron Rivera broke out another one of his pithy aphorisms: "What you allow is what you accept." And for the Washington coach, that means a change in approach. Published October 18, 2021

Members of the late Sean Taylor's family gather on the field as the Washington Football Team retire his number during a ceremony before the start of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Landover, Md. Sean Taylor is only the third player in franchise history to receive such an honor.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Jackson Mahomes apologizes for dancing on Sean Taylor memorial

Jackson Mahomes, the brother of Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, apologized Sunday for dancing on the patch of sideline dedicated to late Washington Football Team safety Sean Taylor at FedEx Field. Published October 18, 2021

Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) throws a touchdown during an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.)

Heinicke, Washington offense can’t keep pace with Chiefs

The result of Taylor Heinicke's final throw in Sunday's 31-13 loss to Kansas City Chiefs only was fitting given the way the second half had gone: The Washington quarterback's pass was swatted at the line of scrimmage and immediately grabbed by the bulky defensive lineman who blocked it. Published October 17, 2021

Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) celebrates during an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.)

Young: ‘Gut-check time’ for Washington after loss to Chiefs

As a tribute to Sean Taylor, Chase Young decided to tape his face mask just like the late safety once did. But standing at a lectern Sunday, fresh off a 31-13 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Washington defensive end was in little mood to talk about that, Taylor's jersey retirement or anything else for that matter, really. Published October 17, 2021

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) passing the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Washington falls as Mahomes rediscovers form in second half

For a half, Washington's defense looked like last year's unit that dominated opposing offenses. Pressure was there. Turnovers were forced. Even the team's coverage was sound in the secondary. Then, the Patrick Mahomes of old showed up. Published October 17, 2021

Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke looks for a receiver in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Heinicke’s XFL stint shaped quarterback’s journey to Washington

Just as the pandemic started to shut everything down in March 2020, Taylor Heinicke was in limbo. The XFL, the upstart league the quarterback joined to keep his football dream alive, had canceled the rest of its season. And Heinicke, a backup for the St. Louis Battlehawks, wondered what to do. Published October 14, 2021

New Orleans Saints tight end Garrett Griffin celebrates with fans after an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Landover, Md. New Orleans won 33-22. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

‘Worst it’s been’: FedEx Field attendance this year worst in NFL

This season, Washington is averaging a league-low 51,002 fans through three home games -- by far the worst attendance figure since the franchise moved to Landover. In fact, the number is even worse than the 53,468 the team averaged in its final season at RFK Stadium in 1996. And it is lower than what the franchise averaged during its stay at RFK Stadium over a 35-year period: 51,295. Published October 13, 2021

Washington Football Team linebacker Jamin Davis (52) walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Atlanta. The Washington Football Team won 34-30. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

Washington rookie class underwhelming so far this season

The limited contributions from Washington's draft class stand in stark contrast to what the team got last season. A year ago, defensive end Chase Young, running back Antonio Gibson and safety Kam Curl were high-impact starters whose youthful energy played a big part in the 7-9 team's surprising division title. Published October 13, 2021

Former NFL head coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, left, talks with Washington Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen, right, on the sideline during organized team activities at Redskins Park, Ashburn, Va., Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

NFL facing renewed calls for Washington workplace report to be released

The NFL is under new pressure to release its full investigation into sexual harassment allegations inside the Washington Football Team after the disclosure of years-old racist and vulgar email exchanges between the team's former top executive and then-television analyst Jon Gruden. Published October 12, 2021

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving handles the ball during an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, in this Thursday, May 6, 2021, file photo. Unable to attend the Brooklyn Nets' media day, Kyrie Irving asked for privacy Monday when pressed about his vaccination status and availability for home games. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) ** FILE **

No basketball for Kyrie Irving with Nets while unvaccinated

The Brooklyn Nets announced Tuesday that star guard Kyrie Irving won't participate in practice or play in games until he fulfills New York City's COVID-19 vaccination mandate. The city requires local athletes to have at least one dose of the vaccine in order to participate in their sport, and so far, Irving has not complied with the rule. Published October 12, 2021

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden speaks during a news conference after an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Gruden resigns as Raiders coach amid uproar over emails

Jon Gruden resigned as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after a series of leaked emails showed that he called Commissioner Roger Goodell a homophobic slur and used other derogatory remarks when corresponding electronically with former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen. Published October 11, 2021