Bill Belichick accepts a hefty fine from the NFL

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Bill Belichick accepts a hefty fine from the NFL

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL fined New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick 50,000 and Washington Redskins assistant Kyle Shanahan 25,000 on Wednesday for their conduct toward replacement officials.The fines come as the league and its referees' union were meeting amid reports they were close to ending the lockout of the regular officials.Belichick grabbed an official's arm at the end of Sunday night's game after the Ravens kicked a winning field goal. Shanahan was cited by the league for "abuse of officials" in Washington's loss to Cincinnati."It was inappropriate for me to contact the official. I take responsibility for what happened," Belichick said in statement released by the team. " I accept the discipline and I apologize for the incident Sunday night in Baltimore."Shanahan, the son of Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for berating officials in the final seconds of the Redskins' 38-31 loss. He also confronted an official in a stadium tunnel after the game."Any time you do what he did you're going to get fined, and that's the nature of the game," Mike Shanahan said. "If you don't abide by the rules, you're going to pay a penalty and usually after a guy pays 25 grand, they usually learn very quickly."Also, the NFL said Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh won't be fined for making contact with a game official during Sunday's 31-30 win over New England. Ray Anderson, the NFL's vice president of football operations, said Harbaugh did not violate the rule regarding abuse of officials.On Monday, the league fined Broncos coach John Fox 30,000 and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio 25,000 for berating officials during a loss to Atlanta on Sept. 17.

Terps once again suffer championship heartbreak thanks to OT loss

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Terps once again suffer championship heartbreak thanks to OT loss

The Maryland men's lacrosse program seemed destined to finally get the championship monkey off its back. But for the fourth time since 2011, the Terps fell just short in the National Championship, losing to North Carolina 14-13 in overtime.

Maryland began the overtime with possession thanks to an unsportsmanlike penalty by UNC at the end of regulation. But after Tar Heels goalie Brian Balkam denied Connor Kelly from outside, North Caorlina got possession and a chance to win.

Chris Cloutier, who set the all-time goals record for a single tournament with 19, had a great look on the crease but Maryland senior goalie Kyle Bernlohr made an incredible save.

But following the play, a late hit by Maryland's Mike McCarney resulted in a man-advantage and possession.

On the ensuing possession Cloutier once again found the ball in his stick on the crease and finished the game, and once again dashed the Terps' title hopes.

Maryland held leads of 9-7 and 13-11, but could not pull away from the Tar Heels. Cloutier scored three straight goals to but Carolina up 10-9, and after Matt Rambo led the Terps back in front, Steve Pontrello and Luke Goldstock closed the gap.

Cloutier finished with five goals and was named championship game MVP. Goldstock finished with four goals while Pontrello and Brian Cannon scored twice as well for the Tar Heels. Midfielder Connor Kelly led the Terps in scoring with four goals on eight shots. Philadelphia-native Matt Rambo finished with three goals and three assists in the loss. Colin heacock finished with two goals and two assists, while Dylan Maltz the third member of the Terrapins' attack trio, finished with two goals and one assist. 

Bernlohr finished with nine saves, while Balkam finished with 13. The victory gives the Tar Heels' its fifth in program history and first since 1991. With the Tar Heels defeating the Terrapins in the women's championship game on Saturday, North Carolina becomes the first university since Princeton in 1994 to win both the men's and women's championships in the same year. 

Seven months after switch, Redskins vet DeAngelo Hall is settling in at safety

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Seven months after switch, Redskins vet DeAngelo Hall is settling in at safety

Although he’s already played half a season at safety, DeAngelo Hall anticipates taking a significant step forward in the coming months.

Why? He’ll benefit from an entire offseason of first team reps at his new position, rather than attempting to master a new job on the fly, as he did late last season. 

"I’m still learning some different things, but I’m having a blast," Hall said. "I enjoyed being able to get a little taste of it last year, and [now] starting from scratch this year."

Hall, 32, made the switch to safety last November in part because, well, he had to. He had toyed with the idea of making the transition for a couple of years, but upon returning from toe injury in Week 10, the longtime corner found himself in need of a place to play with Chris Culliver and Bashaud Breeland entrenched as the starters.

And so, at long last, Hall officially began following in the footsteps of Charles Woodson, Rod Woodson and Ronde Barber—all of whom made a successful, late-career pivot from corner to safety.

Indeed, after playing his first 11 seasons exclusively at corner, Hall played the final seven games of 2015, including the Wild Card loss to the Packers, at safety. Although the transition went as smoothly as possible, changing positions in the middle of the season, much less during a pressure packed playoff push, is never ideal.   

Now, though, Hall’s finally getting the opportunity to really sink his teeth into his new role, which, he recently revealed, will feature a key tweak.

"I’m pretty comfortable," Hall said. "It’s a little different; last year, I played a little more strong than free, and this year I’ll play a little more free than strong. But in our defense you have to be able to do both. You have to be able to interchange. [The offense] can motion one guy, and the free safety becomes the strong safety and the strong safety becomes the free safety. You got to know them both. So, to say I’m free safety really doesn’t mean much because, like I said, one motion and I’m the strong safety in the defense."

During the only OTA practice open to the media last week, Hall, who is entering his ninth season in Washington, lined up as one first string safety. Newcomer David Bruton Jr., meantime, was the other. And while Bruton could face some competition, it's probably safe to pencil in Hall as a Week 1 starter.

"It’s been fun,” Hall said. "That’s probably the best word I can use."

Joseph still waiting for first RBI of 2016

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Joseph still waiting for first RBI of 2016

BALTIMORE—It looked like an ideal spot for Caleb Joseph’s first RBI. The Orioles had loaded the bases with two outs, but Joseph grounded out to end the inning.

Joseph began the game with a .175 average and no RBIs in 22 games. His fifth inning single didn't drive in a run, but it snapped an 0-for19 streak. 

In his first two years with the Orioles, Joseph had 20 home runs and 77 RBIs. 

Manager Buck Showalter said that he has confidence that Joseph will start to hit, but defense comes first for a catcher.

“He will again. I think they all know where the priority is. It’s stressed all through the organization. Offense is just a plus. If you can get offense at a position that normally doesn’t bring it…it’s an added plus,” Showalter said. 

“He makes a lot more contributions catching defensively than he does offensively. Caleb can hit. He’ll hit. I know he’s getting a little frustrated by it because he knows he’s better than that. It’s not one of those things that I stay up at night about.”

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