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Wednesday, August 23, 2017



DeShone Kizer

Hue Jackson: DeShone Kizer ‘positioning himself’ to win starting QB job

The Cleveland Browns announced on Wednesday that DeShone Kizer will start in Saturday’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Hue Jackson implied that the rookie could end up winning the quarterback battle altogether. Jackson said in a statement that he is “very excited” to see what Kizer will do in a starting role….Read More

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Rob Gronkowski has given up alcohol with new diet

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is trying a new approach in an attempt to remain healthy, and that has involved changing his diet rather dramatically. How big of an adjustment has Gronk made? He has sworn off … wait for it … alcohol.

That’s right, Gronkowski has not tossed back any cold ones in a while as he prepares for Week 1. He has adopted a variety of the diet Tom Brady swears by, which prohibits caffeine and alcohol intake. Although, Gronk says he usually doesn’t drink during the season, anyway.

“I don’t do that stuff right now. It’s football time,” he told ESPN’s Mike Reiss on Tuesday. “I never really have done that stuff during football time.”

While you may find that hard to believe, there’s a reason the Patriots have historically left Gronkowski alone when he parties shirtless seemingly all offseason. When it comes time to get down to business, he does just that. Still, the team has to be pleased that he has adopted a similar diet to the one used by its 40-year-old reigning Super Bowl MVP quarterback.

So how has the new diet been treating Gronk? He says some of the meals on Brady’s plan are “kind of hard to eat” while others are “really, really good.”

Even if Gronkowski did help rack up an astronomical bar tab at a casino this summer, he seems to be all business heading into his eighth NFL season. If he can stay healthy for an entire 16-game slate plus the postseason, the Patriots will be even more dangerous than they were in 2016.

Report: Brock Osweiler will not play in third preseason game

Brock Osweiler

The Cleveland Browns announced on Wednesday that DeShone Kizer will start in the team’s third preseason game on Saturday, and all signs point toward the rookie doing the same in Week 1.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Osweiler is not expected to play at all on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The third game of the preseason is typically viewed as the most important, with first-string players getting significant playing time in their final preparation for the regular season. Most starters don’t play at all in the fourth game.

Unless Osweiler is dealing with some sort of injury, it would appear the starting quarterback job is Kizer’s to lose. Kizer has outplayed Osweiler in the first two games, with the latter showing he is still incapable of making accurate throws down the field. Based on Hue Jackson’s latest remarks about Kizer, it sounds like the rookie is going to be thrown into the fold immediately to begin his NFL career.

Frank Lester believes Jon Jones’ positive steroid test is a ‘straight set up’

Jon Jones crying

Jon Jones has once again been stripped of a UFC championship belt due to a positive drug test, and most of us are stunned he could be that careless. Fellow MMA fighter Frank Lester, who is teammates with Jones and trains with him, refuses to believe Jones is guilty.

Lester wrote on Facebook Tuesday night that he believes Jones’ positive steroid test is a “straight set up.” He insists it would make no sense for Jones to take a steroid in the time period he has been accused of using one.

“I was just at dinner sitting next to Jon Jones when he got the phone call about this failed drug test. Supposedly the story is between weigh ins and fight night he took a oral steroid,” Lester wrote. “Which makes zero sense since it wouldn’t do anything at all for Jon to do so. It takes weeks for steroids to build up in your system to be a performance enhancer. Jon was devastated to say the least. This is a set up, straight up, no athlete would test clean his entire fight camp, and then randomly take some cheap f—ing oral steroid betweens weigh ins and fight night knowing he would be tested once he got done fighting. This is a straight set up. They are trying to ruin this kids life. It makes no sense and Jon wouldn’t do it. Let’s see what happens with all of this but I truly believe Jon is innocent & I hope that all of you will give him a fair chance before you send hateful judgements his way.”

Jones was banned for the UFC for a year before his initially-scheduled fight with Daniel Cormier for testing positive for two banned substances. He also failed a drug test in 2015 for cocaine and had his UFC light heavyweight title stripped earlier that year after he was arrested on hit-and run chargers. It’s easy to see why no one is giving Jones the benefit of the doubt.

The last time he tested positive, Jones broke down crying in front of reporters and insisted he had no idea he ingested a banned substance.

LeSean McCoy seemingly responds to trade rumors

LeSean McCoy has heard his name pop up in trade rumors over the past week or so, but the star running back does not seem all that concerned about what the future holds.

McCoy seemingly addressed the trade speculation in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

“So popping they just keep popping up with rumors … u can’t control the future but put ya future in Gods hands and watch … WE STILL on the CHASE .. on the way to #10kchase – #12kchase big big BLUEBILLS,” McCoy wrote.

With LeGarrette Blount struggling in the preseason and Ryan Mathews having been released, there has been some talk that it might make sense for McCoy to return to the Eagles. The Bills know they are nowhere close to contending for a championship, and McCoy carries a cap hit of around $9 million for the next three seasons. Getting some value in return for him before he hits the dreaded 30-year-old running back mark might make some sense.

However, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported on Tuesday that the Bills have not entertained trade offers for McCoy and will not do so in the near future. Buffalo may have traded away one of its biggest playmakers already, but that does not mean a fire sale is forthcoming.

Some NFL personnel still concerned about Colin Kaepernick’s passion for football

Colin Kaepernick Castro

There have been rumblings all offseason about Colin Kaepernick not being committed enough to his football career, and those concerns apparently still exist for some NFL coaches and executives.

ESPN’s Mike Sando recently conducted his fourth annual QB Tiers survey, which asked 50 NFL coaches and execs to sort 36 quarterbacks into five tiers. One of Sando’s takeaways regarding Kaepernick is that the 29-year-old’s passion for football is still being questioned.

“Everyone else is worried about him working, but I never hear him say how much he wants to work,” one voter said. “That hits a chord. People want to hear, ‘I want to work in the league, I want to work for you, I want to do this more than anything.’ It’s like with Tim Tebow — he’d rather be on the outside switching sports than be relegated to the [third team] and getting 20 percent of the reps.”

For what it’s worth, Kaepernick came in at 29th overall with an average of 3.88 for his tier. When the survey was conducted a year ago (before Kaepernick made his first national anthem protest), the results were almost identical. The free agent ranked 28th overall then with an average tier of 3.83.

Kaepernick worked out for the Seattle Seahawks earlier this offseason, and they came away feeling there is no question he is still committed to football. With all the talk about NFL teams blackballing Kaepernick, it’s possible the “passion for the game” argument is just a way for teams to justify ignoring him.

If you want to know the real reason Kaepernick has not been signed, some comments John Elway made recently sum it up pretty well. Teams would be willing to deal with a potential distraction if they thought Kaepernick would help them win games. No matter how you look at it, his lack of a contract offer has to do with both skillset and political views.

Hue Jackson: DeShone Kizer ‘positioning himself’ to win starting QB job

DeShone Kizer

The Cleveland Browns announced on Wednesday that DeShone Kizer will start in Saturday’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Hue Jackson implied that the rookie could end up winning the quarterback battle altogether.

Jackson said in a statement that he is “very excited” to see what Kizer will do in a starting role. Perhaps more importantly, the head coach said Kizer is “positioning himself well to earn the starting quarterback job heading into the regular season.”

Browns coaches have made it a point all offseason to say that Kizer still has a long way to go before he is ready to start at the NFL level, but Jackson’s comments on Wednesday indicate that is not the case. That probably has more to do with how uninspiring Brock Osweiler has been than anything else.

Jackson has reportedly sought the opinion of veterans on his team, and it was believed that he was leaning toward Osweiler based on what they told him. The third preseason game is typically the most important, so Kizer is being given a great opportunity to grab ahold of the job and not give it back.

Danny Ainge: Isaiah Thomas may not be ready for start of season

Isaiah Thomas

The Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers completed a blockbuster trade on Tuesday, and, as luck would have it, those two teams will be tipping off the 2017-2018 NBA season in October. But will one All-Star player involved in the deal be unavailable?

Shortly after the Celtics officially announced they traded Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a first-round pick to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving, Danny Ainge said Thomas may not be fully recovered from his hip injury for the start of the season.

Ainge also admitted that Thomas’ status played “some” role in Boston’s decision to trade the point guard, though he said he believes Isaiah will be “fine and healthy as the season goes along.”

Thomas missed the final three games of the Eastern Conference finals after injuring his hip. He opted to not have surgery, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Cavs are not concerned.

If Thomas’ injury was a major concern, the Cavs would not have gone through with the deal. At this point, they may want to worry more about the awkward tweets Thomas sent about LeBron James than the 28-year-old’s health.

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