Wednesday 25 April 2018

Gruden takes up reins at Redskins

AMERICAN FOOTBALL

Jay Gruden has landed his first NFL head coaching job after being charged with ending the perpetual state of turmoil that has become the Washington Redskins.

Gruden spent the last three seasons as the offensive co-ordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals, where he helped to develop Andy Dalton. He will be hoping to use the same skills when he takes on the task of grooming another young franchise quarterback, Robert Griffin III.

Mike Shanahan was sacked by the Redskins last week after a 3-13 season that ended with eight consecutive losses.

The Redskins finished last in the NFC East division during three of Shanahan's four seasons in Washington, a time marked by discord among ownership, quarterback and coach. Gruden will become Dan Snyder's eighth coach in 16 seasons as an NFL owner. The span includes four winning seasons and seven last-place finishes.

Unlike Shanahan, Gruden will not have final say over all gridiron matters. He will report to general manager Bruce Allen, who has taken charge of assembling the roster and other personnel decisions.

MAD MOOSE has been forbidden from competing by the British Horseracing Authority after refusing to race or been tailed off in four of his last eight races.

Officials looked at the record of the horse, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, after he pulled up in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown last month and a disciplinary panel has ruled that no further entries will be accepted for the 10-year-old gelding.

Mad Moose was once considered one of the most promising horses at the stable of Twiston-Davies, who has won the Grand National with Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002).

Juan Martin del Potro continued his encouraging build-up to the Australian Open by reaching the semi-finals of the Sydney International.

World No 5 Del Potro was dragged into a scrap by Radek Stepanek and needed to recover from a mid-match meltdown before fending off the Czech veteran 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to set up a clash with 2008 champion Dmitry Tursunov.

Defending champion Bernard Tomic strolled past Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-3 and will meet another Ukrainian, Sergiy Stakhovsky, in the other semi-final.

SPAIN'S Nani Roma avoided the mishaps suffered by his rivals to win the fifth stage of the Dakar Rallyand regain the overall lead.

The mainly sandy stage from Chilecito to Tucuman was supposed to be 400km but was shortened by 100km because of extreme heat. Organisers prevented motorbikes and quads from racing the second half of the stage out of fear for their safety.

Roma won his second stage of the week 4 minutes, 20 seconds ahead of Giniel De Villiers of South Africa, and 20:12 in front of third-placed Robby Gordon.

Irish Independent

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