Last year's champion is back to being 1

Last year's champion is back to being 1

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- Alabama is the new No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll, moving past Southern California after its resounding victory against Michigan.The Crimson Tide swayed more than enough voters with its 41-14 win Saturday night in Texas to overtake the preseason No. 1 Trojans, who beat Hawaii 49-10. USC entered that game a 40-point favorite at home.The Tide receives 45 first-place votes, up 28 from last week. USC draws 11 first-place votes and No. 3 LSU four.It's the 47th time Alabama has been No. 1, the 16th under coach Nick Saban.This is the 86th time in the 76-year history of the AP media poll that the top-ranked team won and dropped in the rankings. It's happened at least once every year since 2007.

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Gruden gives timeline for Perry Riley, Shawn Lauvao return from injury

Gruden gives timeline for Perry Riley, Shawn Lauvao return from injury

The Redskins are missing two key cogs right now to injury: LG Shawn Lauvao and LB Perry Riley. Jay Gruden thinks he knows when both players will be back. 

Of Lauvao, Gruden said he does not have a lot of conerns and expects his left guard back soon. 

"I think he’s really, really close," Gruden said. "I'd be shocked if he wasn’t ready by Saturday, or as early as Monday."

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Lauvao has voiced that he thinks he's ready to be back on the field, but Gruden said the team wants to be sure their guard is confident in changing directions and exploding on his surgically repaired ankle.

"We just want to make sure he's solid and sound before he gets back out there."

Gruden gave a similar prognosis for linebacker Perry Riley. 

"He feels like we're holding him back," Gruden said of Riley. "He wants to practice."

Riley's situation is a bit different than Lauvao. When the guard returns, he comes back as the starter. When Riley returns, he will be competing with Will Compton and Mason Foster, a duo that played well last season once Riley went down.

For now, the coach just wants to make sure Riley can go at full speed for a few days without soreness before letting him back on the practice field. 

"We want to put him through the drills, look at him run around, make sure he can do it," Gruden said. "His strength is his ability to run laterally, side to side."

RELATED: GRUDEN PREACHES PATIENCE FOR DOCTSON, BUT SAYS HURRY UP, TOO

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Gruden's advice for injured Josh Doctson: Be patient and hurry up

Gruden's advice for injured Josh Doctson: Be patient and hurry up

RICHMOND - News that first-round rookie WR Josh Doctson would begin training camp on the PUP list was obviously a disappointment, but Redskins coach Jay Gruden says the team is being cautious.

"We weren’t very satisfied with the way his Achilles was coming along," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of Doctson. "He’d have a lot of soreness in the morning when he’d wake up. We're going to keep him down for a little bit until he’s good to go 100 percent."

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Gruden made clear that Doctson has not had surgery on his Achilles, but is receiving extra treatment. The lingering issue has forced Doctson to miss significant time since he was drafted, both in OTAs and minicamp. Missing actual training camp practice is a new thing, and a bigger deal, for the rookie.

"I don’t think he’s very far away, it's more cautious right now because it is a significant deal, an Achilles for a wide receiver with his explosion," the coach said. "You don’t want that to reoccur."

The path to playing time for Doctson was already going to be tricky, with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon solidified as starters and Jamison Crowder locked in the slot. The injury will make that even tougher.

"He’s frustrated, he wants to be out there. He’s a great competitor."

Gruden said the best thing for Doctson right now is patience, as the team's priority is for him to be healthy for 16 games, not training camp. The flip side, however, is the coach wants his first round pick on the field.

"Be patient," Gruden said, "but hurry up."

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Five observations from Day 1 of Ravens training camp

Five observations from Day 1 of Ravens training camp

OWINGS MILLS – Here are five observations from Day 1 of Ravens’ training camp:

1. Joe Flacco didn’t look like someone who had not practiced since November.

First of all, there is nothing wrong with Flacco’s arm. Early in drills, he effortlessly floated a long pass to rookie Chris Moore on a ball that traveled at least 55 yards in the air. Secondly, Flacco moved well wearing a brace on his surgically-repaired left knee, moving out of the pocket several times without any sign of favoring the injury. It remains to be seen if Flacco feels discomfort after several days of practice, and of course, he is not taking any hits. But this was a good first step.

“It felt really good to be out there,” Flacco said in quotes provided by the team. “I wasn’t as efficient as I’d like to be, but I felt comfortable. I just need to throw it a little better and complete some more passes.”

2. Veteran tight end Ben Watson didn’t have the greatest practice.

The usually sure-handed Watson dropped two passes early. Maybe Watson was nervous in his first practice with Flacco, or maybe he was adjusting to the pace of Flacco’s throws. But Watson will be looking to bounce back quickly, competing for playing time at tight end with Crockett Gillmore, Dennis Pitta, and Maxx Williams.

3. The starter at inside linebacker could be rookie Kamalei Correa.

While Correa is taking reps both outside and inside, the Ravens are searching for a starter at inside linebacker next to C.J. Mosley. If Correa wins the starting job, it means the Ravens’ top two picks, left tackle Ronnie Stanley and Correa, could be starters from Week 1.

4. Pitta looks like Pitta, running patterns and making catches.

Fans still love Pitta, and he received a huge ovation whenever he made a catch. Pitta’s attempt to come back from his second major hip injury is a feel-good story and people are rooting for him.  However, a major test for Pitta will come Saturday when the Ravens put on pads for the first time.

5. John Urschel could be the starter at left guard, but he is also taking reps at center.

Urschel is the favorite to replace Kelechi Osemele as the starting left guard. However, Urschel’s best position may be center. If anything happens to starting center Jeremy Zuttah, the Ravens could shift Urschel to center and play either Ryan Jensen or rookie Alex Lewis at left guard.

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