Yet another rookie QB named a starter

Yet another rookie QB named a starter

From Comcast SportsNetPete Carroll and John Schneider were overjoyed during the April NFL draft when the Seattle Seahawks were able to grab Russell Wilson in the third round.Even they couldn't anticipate that Wilson would be the Seahawks' Week 1 starter.Carroll announced Sunday night that the undersized, but highly successful rookie quarterback from Wisconsin will be the starter when the Seahawks open the regular season on Sept. 9 at Arizona. Wilson beat out Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson -- in the process of being traded to Buffalo -- for the starting gig."It's been a very exciting competition that has gone on and Russell has taken full advantage of his opportunities and has done everything that we have asked for on the field and more than what you guys could know off the field in meeting rooms and with our players and how he's represented. He's earned this job," Carroll said on a conference call Sunday night. "It was a legitimate competition as we said from the beginning and with the opportunity he's taken advantage of he deserves to start."Wilson has been a dynamic star during the preseason. For the first two weeks, his performance came against backups during the second halves of victories over Tennessee and Denver.But what Wilson displayed during those two halves were enough for Carroll to give him the start Friday night against Kansas City. Wilson's response: 13-of-19 passing for 185 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 134.8. And if he didn't show enough with his arm, Wilson added another 58 yards rushing.His total preseasons numbers thus far are eye-popping: 35 of 52 (67.3 percent) for 464 yards, five touchdowns and a league-leading 119.4 QB rating. Wilson's only preseason mistake was throwing a careless end zone interception against Tennessee.Otherwise, Wilson's been almost perfect."This isn't just based on the quarters we've seen him play. This is based on the practice and the challenges that he's undertaken here on the practice field," Carroll said. "We've combined everything and with the circumstances that have been presented he won this opening challenge here."Wilson's most recent performance had Seattle fans buzzing, with Twitter overrun with "Russellmania" comments Friday night as he picked apart the Chiefs. As the game progressed, most began accepting the idea that Wilson would be the starter.Carroll said Wilson took the news in stride."He expects to be good and he expects to be successful and he expects to make plays," Carroll said.Wilson has been able to pick up the Seahawks offense quicker because of his experience playing in a West Coast offensive system in college. He spent his first three seasons at North Carolina State before transferring for his final year to Wisconsin. In Madison, Wilson led the Badgers to the Rose Bowl and was named the first-team, all-Big Ten quarterback."He is so prepared. He doesn't seem like a first-year player," Carroll said. "He seems like he's been around. He gets it, he understands and he is a tremendous leader in that way. He doesn't do anything but the right thing in all of his work and his preparation and his competitiveness has been demonstrated again."Wilson being named the starter leaves Flynn on the sidelines and according to Carroll understandably disappointed. Flynn was Seattle's big free-agent splash in the offseason and the most highly sought after quarterback not named Manning after spending the last few seasons as Aaron Rodgers backup in Green Bay. But Flynn failed to show the same flashes as Wilson during his two preseason opportunities and sat out the game in Kansas City with a sore elbow.Flynn's injury isn't considered to be severe, but sitting out against the Chiefs didn't help his case for the job."Matt's done a great job for us in every way, just the opportunities didn't seem to come in as big a way as it did for Russell," Carroll said. "He made the most of his."

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Orioles strengthen playoff position with win over Arizona

Orioles strengthen playoff position with win over Arizona

BALTIMORE—The Orioles ended their home season with 50 wins, equaling the most in Oriole Park history. That came in 2014, and if the Orioles wish to reach the American League Championship Series, they’ll have to have success on the road. 

For much of 2016, the Orioles played wonderfully at home, but in August and September they’ve been just 13-15. Their road record of 35-40 isn’t good, but in the last two months, they’re 13-11. 

They ended their home regular season with a 2-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks before 31,229 on Sunday. 

They’ll have lots of work to do if they want to play here again. 

Sunday’s win completed their first three-game sweep since July 22-24. It followed the four straight losses to Boston that finished their American League East hopes. 

Dylan Bundy allowed one run on three hits in five innings for the win. Hyun Soo Kim hit a two-run home run in the second inning while Mychal Givens, Brad Brach and Zach Britton combined for four scoreless one-hit innings. 

Manager Buck Showalter says the Orioles sweep of Arizona (64-91) won’t erase the Boston hurt.

“It doesn’t take it away because that’s come and gone. It really has. It left. You have to do that and our guys do it. Just like, do the Red Sox fold the tent when we were beating them early in the season, sometime during the season?” Showalter said. 

“That’s the fortitude you’ve got to have. Our guys are warriors. They grind through a lot of things. Working on short sleep, game 150-whatever. That’s a hard game to win today. It really is. And our bullpen and our starting pitcher made Kim’s home run stand up. Of course, the defense was unbelievable.”

The Orioles (85-71) begin a three-game series in Toronto on Tuesday night trailing the Blue Jays by 1 ½ games in the wild card chase, but they hold a 1 ½ game advantage over Detroit for the second wild-card spot. 

The Orioles split four games with Tampa Bay, lost four to Boston and swept three against Arizona to end their longest and final homestand 5-6.

“Initially, I thought about this homestand, how much we wanted to play well and win the games in front of that type of crowd. End of the regular season, obviously, kind of it is for the fans. You want to repay their support more than anything. Their support has a lot to do with us having a good record. It’s always been, what’s a good word? Refuge or safe haven for us. A lot goes into making that atmosphere such from the clubhouse to the players to the fans to the organization as a whole, and most of all, the city. It played to our advantage,” Showalter said.

Bundy (10-6) retired the first nine Arizona hitters before Jean Segura doubled starting the fourth. Segura scored on Paul Goldschmidt’s single. 

His 109 2/3 innings this season are a professional high, and his 10 wins a surprise.

“Definitely didn’t expect it. I was expecting to throw 70 innings out of the pen. I’ll take it. I’m not going to complain about it or anything, but were just trying to get team wins right now. That’s all that matters right now,” Bundy said. 

Showalter joked about Bundy’s accomplishment.

“I knew that all along,” Showalter said. “The team allowed him to win 10 games and the doctors allowed him to win 10, and most of all he did. But where we hope to end up this year, five would have not surprised me, but 10 would have been a little bit of a stretch.”

Kim hit his fifth home run of the year, a two-run shot against Braden Shipley (4-5) in the second to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead. 

Britton polished off the Diamondbacks in the ninth for his 46th consecutive save. 

“It’s nice but it doesn’t mean a whole lot if we don't get to the postseason. That’s where my focus is right now,” Britton said.

Showalter said he didn’t want to use Tommy Hunter or Darren O’Day, saving them for Toronto, and he used his platform to campaign for Britton’s candidacy for the American League Cy Young award.

I’m biased about the type of recognition he should get when this season is over. It’s a historical…Take a good look at it because it won’t pass your way again,” Showalter said. 

NOTES: Orioles pitchers struck out 13 batters. … Davis struck out twice. He has a career-high 210 strikeouts this season, the fifth highest total in major league history. … The Orioles drew 2,172,344 this season, down about 150,000 from last year. The average crowd was 26,819. … The Orioles finished interleague play with 14 wins, most in team history. 

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Redskins win, but await status of multiple injured players

Redskins win, but await status of multiple injured players

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—The Redskins had to play with a patchwork lineup on both sides of the ball as injuries sidelined player after player. They got the win but now they have to deal with the aftermath. Here is a look at what we know from preliminary diagnoses from right after the game.

—It looks like safety DeAngelo Hall has the worst injury. He left the game in the second quarter and the initial examination revealed an ACL tear. If that is the case he will be out for the season and the Redskins will be looking for safety help.

—Center Kory Lichtensteiger left with a calf strain and did not return. Coach Jay Gruden said he will be examined tomorrow. Spencer Long played in his place.

—Left guard Shawn Lauvao exited with an ankle injury and missed most of the second half. Gruden said that this injury is concerning, perhaps because ankle injuries kept him out for 13 games last year. He had a boot on the foot in the locker room.

—Cornerback Bashaud Breeland suffered what Gruden called a high ankle sprain. He was seen in the locker room wearing a boot and moving with the assistance of crutches.   

The Redskins have largely been healthy most of the season but now they will have to deal with some injury adversity. We will learn more about the injuries during Gruden’s news conference on Monday at 3 p.m.