Football is back! Brees, Saints defeat Cardinals

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Football is back! Brees, Saints defeat Cardinals

From Comcast SportsNet
CANTON, Ohio (AP) -- Tour the Pro Football Hall of Fame and see all the bronze busts. Cheer tackle Willie Roaf's induction. Watch Drew Brees produce a touchdown on his only try. Pretty good weekend for the New Orleans Saints. And boy, did they need it. Brees didn't need much time to top off a good visit, smoothly leading a touchdown drive in his only series Sunday night during a 17-10 victory over Arizona in the Hall of Fame game. "Just to be up here and see all those guys get inducted and take a tour of the Hall of Fame, that was really special," said Mark Ingram, who scored the first touchdown on a 1-yard run. "For us to all be here, it puts a lot of things into perspective going into this football season." The game was canceled last year for the first time in 45 years, a casualty of the NFL's lockout of the players. Labor issues also came into play in Sunday night's game -- the seven officials were replacements. It showed. The referee announced the result of the coin flip incorrectly -- Craig Ochoa said the Saints won the toss and deferred, then caught his mistake and said the Cardinals had won the toss. There were some other communication problems as well for the first-time crew. The win completed a good trip for the Saints (No. 9 in the AP Pro32), who needed a few smiles after their offseason dominated by their bounty scandal. Suspended coach Sean Payton got the league's permission to attend a dinner for Roaf and the other five Hall of Fame inductees on Friday night. Payton isn't allowed to have any contact with the team this season as punishment for the team's bounty program. Players got to tour the hall and sat in the back three rows of the stadium for Roaf's induction on Saturday, wearing black t-shirts with his No. 77. It was a proud moment for a franchise that's been overshadowed by the bounty scandal all offseason. "The induction was great," interim coach Joe Vitt said. "Our young players went through the Hall of Fame yesterday and saw a lot of history of the NFL and really took it in. From that standpoint, it was a great weekend." Don't forget that opening drive. Brees was sharp on the 10-play drive, completing 4 of 5 passes for 41 yards with one off-target throw. Brees skipped offseason workouts and minicamp because he was unhappy getting the team's franchise tag. He later agreed to a five-year, 100 million deal. Nothing has changed. "Drew was Drew," Vitt said. "That's the first unit. There's high standards here." The Cardinals (No. 23) are using the preseason to pick a quarterback, with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton competing for the starting job. Kolb got to start the game but had a tough time, throwing an interception on his first pass and leaving after bruising his ribs on the third series. "He has a bruise in his chest and that makes it kind of tough to rotate, move," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "I think he'll probably be practicing sometime this week." Skelton took over and completed 4 of 6 for 32 yards. "You never want to have an injury in the preseason, especially an early game like this, having to play that fifth preseason game," Skelton said. "But he will be OK." The Cardinals finished 8-8 last season, Kolb's first in Arizona. He started nine games and threw for nine touchdowns with eight interceptions while learning a new offense on the fly because of the lockout. Skelton filled in when Kolb was hurt and went 5-2 as a starter. After the opening series for each team, the backups got into the game and things got ragged. The fill-in officials had a few rough moments, too. Ochoa, who has eight years of experience with BCS leagues and 16 years at Division III, flipped the ceremonial coin and announced that New Orleans had won and deferred. As he started walking away, he caught his mistake. "Correction," he said. "Arizona won the coin toss." After New Orleans scored on its first possession, several Saints came in to block for the extra point and gestured to the officials to point out that they had reported for the play. Coming out of the 2-minute warning in the first half, Ochoa announced that the previous play was under review, then corrected himself and said it was not. The officials had trouble spotting the ball after a punt that involved a penalty, repeatedly moving the ball after consultations. The league has locked out its officials and hired replacements in case the labor dispute extends into the season. They've trained them for the last two months. The league used replacement officials for the opening week of the 2001 season before reaching agreement with the union. Notes: It was the Saints' fifth appearance in the Hall of Fame game, their first since 2007. The Cardinals made their fourth appearance, their first since 1986. ... Arizona's Dave Zastudil had a 79-yard punt, a record for the Hall of Fame game. ... Saints rookie Laron Scott had a 67-yard kickoff return. ... Arizona LB Paris Lenon limped off with an ankle injury after the opening series and didn't return.

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After promising rookie season ends with terrible injury, Redskins waive Kyshoen Jarrett

After promising rookie season ends with terrible injury, Redskins waive Kyshoen Jarrett

Kyshoen Jarrett was one of the best stories on the Redskins last year. A 6th-round rookie from Virginia Tech, Jarrett found his way into an important role for Washington as the slot cornerback, and saw his playing time steadily increase throughout the season. 

Then, in a meaningless Week 17 win over the Cowboys, Jarrett sustained a shoulder injury. But the shoulder injury wasn't the worst part as he sustained nerve damage that stunted his rehab. 

In a move that surprised few who saw him this summer, on Monday the Redskins waived Jarrett with a failed physical designation. 

From a football sense, the 'Skins secondary should still be much improved after the signing of free agent Josh Norman and drafting Kendall Fuller, another Hokie, in the third round this year. From a personal sense, the Jarrett news is sad to see, as coaches and teammates often said he was a hard worker with what appeared to be a good NFL career in front of him. 

Jarrett played in 16 games last year, making 58 tackles to go with four passes defensed and a forced fumble. 

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With Junior Galette out for the season are any free agents worth bringing in? Greg Hardy?

With Junior Galette out for the season are any free agents worth bringing in? Greg Hardy?

Just days before training camp begins, Junior Galette again tore his Achilles and will be out for the year. Are there any edge rushers available on the gree agent market that the Redskins would consider?

One name stands out: Greg Hardy.

Though a disappointment on the field and a mess off of it for the last two seasons, few players in the NFL can get after quarterbacks like Hardy once did. In 2012 and 2013 Hardy combined for 26 sacks and a trip to the Pro Bowl. 

Undoubtedly Hardy's name carries a lot of personal questions. A lot. But that won't scare off everybody in the NFL - in fact, Hardy recently worked out for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The guess here is Washington does not even consider Hardy, but stranger things have happened. 

Another name that will be mentioned is Dwight Freeney. At 36 years old, Freeney's best days are behind him, but the veteran was able to post eight sacks last year with the Cardinals. Arizona smartly deployed Freeney in a strict situational role, and if the 'Skins could come up with a similar plan, he might be a fit. 

Beyond Freeney and Hardy, it's hard to see a current free agent that would be better than the Redskins options behind Galette. And given Hardy's history, it's unlikely he is an option.

Considering Washington won the NFC East last year without Galette, and second-year LB Preston Smith could continue to emerge after eight sacks his rookie season, it would not be a surprise if Scot McCloughan simply stands pat.

 

 

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Junior Galette reportedly tears Achilles tendon days before training camp

Junior Galette reportedly tears Achilles tendon days before training camp

Junior Galette has suffered a torn Achilles tendon and he will miss the entire coming season.

No, you did not accidentally click on a post from last summer. After missing all of last season with a torn Achilles on one foot, Galette tore the other one doing some drills on Sunday, according to Rand Getlin.

That will knock him out for the 2016 season.

RELATED: RANKING THE REDSKINS ROSTER

The Redskins took a chance in signing him just after the start of training camp last year. The Saints had cut him loose, taking a big salary cap hit in the process, after some issues with domestic violence. After talking to Galette, GM Scot McCloughan decided to sign him to a one-year deal with no guaranteed money at the league’s minimum wage.

But before Galette could even play so much as a preseason game he suffered a torn left Achilles tendon in practice and was out for the year.

The Redskins re-signed him to an incentive-laden deal in the spring with the hopes that he could have a big year and justify getting a big-money deal in 2017.

Galette was on the verge of breaking out with the Saints, posting 12 sacks in 2013 and 10 in 2014. There were big expectations for him this year but we will have to wait until 2017, when he will turn 29, to see if he can make it back.

The Redskins still have some pass rushing firepower at outside linebacker with Ryan Kerrigan (9.5 sacks in 2015) and Preston Smith (8) but they say that you can’t have too many pass rushers and Galette was going to be an important cog.

The Redskins begin training camp in Richmond, Va. on Thursday, July 28.