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after his red shirt year at
ASHBURN, Va. -- When Robert Kelley showed up a few pounds heavier after his red shirt year at Tulane, running backs coach David Johnson gave him a backpack with Fat Rob inscribed on it, and the nickname stuck.More of a moniker among friends than anything else for several years, Fat Rob resurfaced when Kelley joined the Washington Redskins in training camp. The undrafted free agent is now going into his third game as the Redskins starting running back Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers.He earned the spot by being Positive Rob.Usurping Matt Jones as the No. 1 back, Kelley has stabilized the offense by holding onto the ball and seemingly always getting back to the line of scrimmage if not much further.There arent many negative plays with Robert, coach Jay Gruden said. You stay on track as a play-caller, and it makes the game flow a lot smoother when youre in second-and-7, second-and-6, second-and-5, and thats a great tribute to him. Hes a hard runner.Kelley isnt flashy, but hes effective. Since taking over the starting role Oct. 30 against the Cincinnati Bengals, 39 of his 43 carries have been for positive yardage, with just one loss and three for no gain.Kelley takes great pride in that stat.Thats how I run the ball, Kelley said. Im not one of (those) guys that sits back all day and just try to dance around. I try to get north and south as much as possible.Gruden said Kelley putting the Redskins in manageable down-and-distance situations means your whole playbook is open and allows quarterback Kirk Cousins to freeze defenders with play-action. It worked in a 26-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings when Kelley ran for 97 yards.It does make a difference and keeps our offense going in a positive direction, Cousins said. The play-action game can be effective for us.Because third-down back Chris Thompson is a capable receiver out of the backfield and the change-of-pace runner, Kelley doesnt have to try to do too much -- just hold on to the ball. While Jones lost the job in part because of his fumbling problems, Kelley has yet to fumble in 60 NFL carries.Success has come quick for the 24-year-old from New Orleans, so much that he doesnt believe it. When Jones hurt his shoulder during the preseason, Kelley was reluctant to say if hed be able to carry the load as the starter.When Kelley learned from Gruden last month that he was being named the starter, he tempered his excitement and was determined to make the coaching staff proud. Hes in the midst of doing just that, but he didnt expect to be a pro starter this quickly.Im always surprised, he said. I always try to take advantage and dont just go out there and get big-headed and stuff like that.Far from becoming over confident, Kelley continues to study film in the hopes of improving. He saw cuts he missed against the Bengals and worked to not make the same mistakes in his second start.He said some of his biggest runs have come on off-schedule plays, but he hasnt yet broken off anything longer than 18 yards. Kelley considers cohesion with the offensive line the next step in his progression.Just keep constantly showing my guys I trust in them -- the front line, the front five -- and make those guys look better, Kelley said. They also try to make me look better. They make holes for me that I dont have to do too much to get through and stuff like that. We kind of work together and try to build that chemistry with those guys.NOTE: WR DeSean Jackson was a limited participant in practice Wednesday because of a left shoulder injury. After missing the Vikings game he took part in individual workouts, but Gruden was noncommittal about Jacksons status for Sunday night.---For more NFL coverage: and Brett Favre Super Bowl Jersey . -- Stanfords Kevin Danser knelt on one knee and hardly moved on the sideline as Michigan State celebrated its Rose Bowl victory and his Cardinal teammates made their way to the locker room. Ray Nitschke Super Bowl Jersey .C. - The Carolina Hurricanes have placed backup goalie Anton Khudobin on injured reserve with an unspecified lower-body injury. . Inter president Erick Thohir says in a club statement on Wednesday that Vidic is "one of the worlds best defenders and his qualities, international pedigree, and charisma will be an asset. Raven Greene Super Bowl Jersey . Neymar curled home a free kick from just outside the area to put the 2014 World Cup host ahead in the 44th minute. Three minutes after the break, a simple through pass from Paulinho freed Oscar and the Chelsea star rounded goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong to extend Brazils lead. Darnell Savage Jr. Super Bowl Jersey . -- The proud fathers huddled near the Dallas Stars dressing room, smiling, laughing and telling stories while wearing replica green sweaters of their sons team. NEW YORK -- After an empty trip to Yankee Stadium, the skidding Toronto Blue Jays headed home in second place.Bryan Mitchell earned his first major league win, combining with Luis Severino and Tyler Clippard to shut down Torontos dangerous lineup, and the New York Yankees kept up their surprising surge with a 2-0 victory Wednesday night that completed a three-game sweep.For the first time since Aug. 12, the Blue Jays fell out of the top spot in the AL East. They dropped a game behind new leader Boston, which won 7-2 in San Diego.Were right in it. We just need either a big play or a big hit somewhere to get us going back in the right direction, nicked-up catcher Russell Martin said. Youre not going to see any panic from me.Following a day off, Toronto begins a pivotal three-game series Friday night at home against the Red Sox.Marcus Stroman (9-7) struck out eight in five innings, but the Blue Jays lost for the fifth time in six games. They were swept for the third time this season, the first since May 16-18 by Tampa Bay.Torontos power-packed team has been blanked on six occasions this year, three at Yankee Stadium.Were fine. Extremely confident group of guys that we have, Stroman said. Were just going through a little bit of a rough patch, but our mentality hasnt changed for a second in this clubhouse.Starlin Castro homered and Brian McCann had an RBI single for the Yankees, who have won four straight and 10 of 14. They closed within 2 1/2 games of Baltimore for the second AL wild card and are 4 1/2 behind Boston.Making an unexpected run at the postseason after trading several veteran stars for prospects this summer, the youth-infused Yankees (73-65) climbed a season-best eight games above .500.Weve been playing playoff baseball really since about August 1, manager Joe Girardi said. We keep getting closer, and thats the idea here. And its been fun.Helped by two double plays, Mitchell (1-0) yielded four hits over five-plus innings in his fourth career start and first major league outing this season. The 25-year-old right-hander pitched in place of injured rookie Chad Green.Mitchell was promoted Tuesday from Triple--A after missing much of the year because of an injury to his left big toe sustained late in spring training.dddddddddddd He became the third Yankees rookie to have a scoreless start in the past three-plus weeks.After the whole season, what I went through, tonights very rewarding, Mitchell said. Its been my goal all year to get back here.A leadoff double by Devon Travis in the sixth ended Mitchells night before Severino tossed three innings of one-hit ball.Travis got caught breaking for third on Josh Donaldsons comebacker and was tagged out in a rundown. Severino was aided by a replay reversal in the seventh, and Edwin Encarnacion flied out to the wall in right field with a runner on to end the eighth.Clippard, filling in as the closer with Dellin Betances and Adam Warren unavailable, struck out two in a perfect ninth to finish the five-hitter. His only other save this season came with Arizona before he was traded back to New York.Guys are in a good frame of mind, but physically were a little banged up, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.SEEKING A SPARKLooking to shake some things up, Gibbons moved DH Jose Bautista into the cleanup spot and batted Travis leadoff. Gibbons said he was hoping to get Bautista more RBI opportunities.HOMETOWN KIDThe 25-year-old Stroman, who grew up on Long Island about 55 miles from Yankee Stadium, had beaten New York five straight times. He is 5-2 with a 2.10 ERA in seven starts against the Yankees.TRAINERS ROOMBlue Jays LHP Francisco Liriano (back) was unavailable. ... Martin (left knee) was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the ninth. He said his knee bothered him on every swing and he felt he wasnt helping the team at the plate. Im a tough guy, so Im not really worried too much about it, he said. Ive been dealing with it for a while now. And Ive actually hit pretty well with my knee bugging me.UP NEXTToronto RHP Marco Estrada (8-7, 3.56 ERA) starts the series opener Friday night against Red Sox RHP Rick Porcello (19-3, 3.23), the major league leader in wins. ' ' '

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