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Police dash-cam video — Browns’ Kareem Hunt says he’d fail drug test

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Dash-cam video of Kareem Hunt‘s traffic stop shows the Cleveland Browns running back admitting he would not pass a drug test.

Hunt was pulled over last Tuesday in Rocky River, Ohio, and cited for just speeding, though in the police report it was noted marijuana was found in the car.

In the video, the police officer is heard telling Hunt that he’ll write the running back just a speeding ticket if nothing else is found in the car aside from the already discovered marijuana. The police officer is seen returning from Hunt’s vehicle with a bottle of alcohol in an evidence bag.

“Here’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to write you a traffic ticket then I’ll just seize this stuff, OK? Fair enough?” the officer is heard saying. “I’m not going to write you a weed ticket either.”

The officer, who describes himself as being a Browns fan, was sympathetic to Hunt, who was suspended for the first eight games of the season.

“If I were to write you a ticket for weed, then you’d just pay the ticket. How would that work?”

“I would be tested right away,” Hunt responded.

“Would you fail the test?”

Hunt then answers in the affirmative.

“It’s the offseason,” Hunt later said. “Sorry I was having a good time.”

Hunt’s eight-game suspension at the start of this season was for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. That stemmed from two incidents, including one in February 2018, when he shoved and kicked a woman during an altercation outside his downtown Cleveland residence. The other incident, in June 2018, involved a physical altercation with other men at Put-in-Bay, Ohio.

The release of the video showing him kicking the woman — and the fact that Hunt had lied about it — prompted the Kansas City Chiefs to release him in November 2018, before his hometown Browns picked him up this offseason.

“I should be playing for a freaking Super Bowl, man. It hurts my soul, like you don’t even understand,” Hunt is heard saying on the video. “I’ve been fighting a lot of s— lately. It still hurts me to this day. I love Cleveland, I love the Browns, but you don’t understand.”

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Jets’ Sam Darnold implodes as Adam Gase’s seat gets hotter – New York Jets Blog

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The “Tank-for-Trevor-Lawrence” chorus got a lot louder Sunday, almost as loud as the “Fire-Adam-Gase” groundswell.

The New York Jets‘ season has turned into bad stereo, as quarterback Sam Darnold did his embattled coach no favors by throwing three interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) in a 36-7 loss to the host Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Playing without six starters, including promising rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton (second-quarter shoulder injury), Darnold wrecked his slim margin for error by giving away 21 points. Not only was he first Jets’ quarterback since Geno Smith (2013) to throw two pick-sixes in a game, but he also threw a red zone interception. You never want to be in the same sentence as Geno Smith.

“I just have to play consistent,” a down and frustrated Darnold said. “I mean, I’m not playing consistent enough to play well in this league.”

You felt bad for Darnold, who played with a replacement-level supporting cast, but his three interceptions were terrible throws. His regression doesn’t bode well for Gase, who was hired to turn the young quarterback into a star. Time could be running out for Gase, who was blown out for the third straight week — outscored by 57 points. He dropped to 7-12, with 10 losses by at least 10 points. That’s bad.

Gase is 0-3 for the second straight year. That has happened only one other time in franchise history, 1980 and 1981.

Only 11 days ago, CEO Christopher Johnson gave an effusive endorsement of Gase, calling him a “brilliant offensive mind.” He might eat those words; his offense has produced only four touchdowns. The Johnson family, which has owned the team since 2000, never has made an in-season coaching change. But, as ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Sunday morning, team brass is monitoring the situation closely this week as the Jets play again Thursday night.

If the Jets fall to 0-4 by losing in prime time to the Denver Broncos (0-3), Johnson will be under intense pressure to make a change heading into the mini-bye. There’s little hope for a turnaround. The team is ravaged by injuries and lack of hope.

Two words to describe the game: No chance. The Jets never led. In fact, they’re the only team that hasn’t held a lead this season.

Troubling trend: The Jets fell behind early — again. They faced a double-digit halftime deficit for the third straight game, something they hadn’t done since 1971. In three games, they’ve been outscored in the first half 59-10. They don’t even know how to give themselves a chance. This time, Darnold’s early pick-six put them in a hole, but the overriding reason is poor preparation. That’s on the coaches.

Troubling trend, part II: The one positive from the season — Becton — suffered what could be a serious injury. The first-round draft pick was sensational in his first two games, but he went down late in the first half and never came back. He was replaced by Conor McDermott — a disheartening blow for the Jets.

Sell stock in the Jets’ defense: Remember when this used to be a smart, scrappy group that relished the idea of a 60-minute fistfight? That was last season. That mentality is gone. The current unit got pushed around by the Colts, missing a ton of tackles and generating no pressure on Philip Rivers. They busted coverages (a 46-yard completion to a wide-open Mo Alie-Cox) and made too many mental errors. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has a mess on his hands. Clearly, they miss star safety Jamal Adams.

Biggest hole in the game plan: For the third straight game, tight end Chris Herndon (three catches for 21 yards) was a nonfactor in the passing game. With the injuries at wide receiver, he should’ve been featured, especially against a Cover-2 defense. What happened to attacking the soft middle?

Eye-popping Next Gen Stat: On his 16-yard touchdown pass to Braxton Berrios, Darnold scrambled for 8.44 seconds, the longest time to throw in the NFL on touchdown pass since Darnold held for 9.81 seconds in Week 14, 2018 on a Robby Anderson 7-yard TD

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49ers dominate Giants despite missing 10 projected starters – San Francisco 49ers Blog

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Don’t go kicking crumbs of rubber on the San Francisco 49ers‘ season just yet.

The injury-ravaged Niners entered Sunday’s game against the New York Giants with 10 projected starters out because of injury. And they were returning to the artificial surface of MetLife Stadium, where many of those injuries occurred.

No matter, the 49ers dominated the struggling Giants from beginning to end, surging to a 36-9 victory and improving to 2-1. Yes, it was just another win against another lowly New York team, but that shouldn’t mean the Niners get any less credit for what they did on their two-game New York swing.

On Sunday, the Niners were missing starters in defensive end Dee Ford (back), quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), linebacker Dre Greenlaw (quadriceps), tight end George Kittle (knee), running back Raheem Mostert (knee), receiver Deebo Samuel (foot), center Weston Richburg (patellar tendon), cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) and defensive linemen Nick Bosa (ACL) and Solomon Thomas (ACL). They were also without running back Tevin Coleman (knee) and receivers Jalen Hurd (ACL) and Richie James Jr. (hamstring).

For as long and daunting as that list looks, the only players who have been ruled out for the year are Bosa, Thomas and Hurd. While those are important losses, especially Bosa, the Niners should be getting most everybody else back at some point in the near future. After Week 6, center Weston Richburg, defensive end Ronald Blair III and defensive lineman Jullian Taylor can return from the physically unable to perform list.

With winnable games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins the next two weeks at Levi’s Stadium, the Niners have every reason to believe they can be 4-1 when the Los Angeles Rams come calling on Oct. 18. By then, they could be back closer to full strength and ready to prove they are still a legitimate contender.

Count them out at your own peril.

QB breakdown: Backup quarterback Nick Mullens looked right at home stepping in for Garoppolo, completing 25 of 36 passes for 343 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. His passer rating was 108.9 and the Niners did not punt or have a turnover. You can’t ask for much more from your backup, and the Niners have to feel good about him starting again if Garoppolo’s ankle doesn’t allow him to return next week.

Buy Brandon Aiyuk‘s breakout performance: Perhaps it’s an overstatement to call Aiyuk’s day a “breakout” but there were some encouraging signs that the rookie receiver is starting to get comfortable. On a second-half drive to put the game away, Aiyuk had three catches for 39 yards and a 19-yard touchdown run. He finished with 70 yards on five catches and three carries for 31 yards with that score.

With reinforcements on the way, Aiyuk’s target share probably will remain about the same, but he’s earned the right to remain a prominent part of the offense moving forward.

Troubling trend: Long-snappers don’t often get more reliable than the Niners’ Kyle Nelson but he had a day to forget. Nelson’s snaps were all over the place on field goals and extra points. Holder Mitch Wishnowsky did well to give kicker Robbie Gould the chance to get most of his kicks off, but Nelson had several that were either too high or too low. One of those resulted in a missed field goal for Gould. Another meant a missed extra point. Backup offensive lineman Justin Skule replaced Nelson as the snapper on the team’s final extra point.

The good news is that Nelson’s woes didn’t hurt the team. But whatever the issue, it’s something the 49ers will have to take a look at this week to figure out if Nelson can return to form.

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Rob Gronkowski of Tampa Bay Buccaneers marvels at Tom Brady’s play

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski doesn’t believe father time has caught up with longtime teammate Tom Brady.

In fact, he doesn’t think it has come close to affecting the 43-year-old signal caller, who tossed three first-half touchdowns in the Bucs’ 28-10 win over the Broncos on Sunday in Denver. Gronkowski also believes Tampa Bay’s offense is just starting to scratch the surface of what it can do.

“There are people that have talked garbage about him since I started playing with him 10 years ago, saying he didn’t have anything left in the tank — that is simply not true,” Gronkowski said. “Just the way that he can air the ball out and put a dime where he needs to … I just feel like he can do it. It is like he isn’t even 43 years old.”

Brady completed passes to eight different receiving targets Sunday, going 25-of-38 for 297 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions — his first Bucs game without a pick. When asked if this was Brady’s best performance so far as a Buccaneer, coach Bruce Arians said, “I think so far for sure. We put a lot on him today, and he delivered.”

Two particular passes stood out as evidence against Brady critics who believe he has lost his touch and can’t throw the deep ball. One was a 33-yard pass (26.6 air yards) to tight end O.J. Howard, and the other was a 47-yarder (42 air yards) to receiver Scotty Miller.

On the dime to Howard, there were just 0.53 yards of separation between him and the nearest defender, Josey Jewell, when the pass arrived, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Since the NFL began tracking separation in 2017, Brady has had only one other completion of 25-plus air yards with 0.5 yards or less of separation, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

On the pass to Miller, there were just 0.83 yards of separation between him and the nearest defender, Justin Simmons. That was the first time in Next Gen tracking that Brady completed a pass of 40-plus air yards with less than 1 yard of separation. The last time Brady completed a pass of 40 or more air yards was in Week 1 of last season, and he was 0-for-5 on such passes entering Sunday.

“Just the way he prepares, week in and week out, the way he takes care of himself, the way he goes out to the practice field to make sure that he’s on-point — seeing what I see, from day in and day out, coming to practice, coming to games prepared, mentally and physically, and just doing everything he needs to do so he can make those [tight-window] passes,” Gronkowski said. “And those passes are incredible. Just the way that he puts them in there, there’s not even any separation … he just lays it there so only the receiver can make a play — it’s just unbelievable. I think he has a lot left, even more, in the tank.”

Brady acknowledged that some of that risk-taking is due to his increasing level of confidence running Arians’ offense and improving chemistry and trust with teammates. They didn’t have an offseason together and spent training camp trying to play catch-up, although members of the coaching staff think the private workouts Brady hosted with teammates at Tampa’s Berkeley Prep helped enormously.

“We’re getting there. It’s a long process,” Brady said. “This would have been our third preseason game. Still a lot to learn, there’s a lot to grow, there’s a lot of room for improvement. I know everyone feels that way. We’ve gotta get to know each other. We’ve gotta understand kinda what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to accomplish, and then make it happen. We’re only gonna, I think, make improvements as we keep going.”

Brady wasn’t the only one who managed to defy some critics.

After managing just two catches for 11 receiving yards in Weeks 1 and 2 combined, Gronkowski went 6-of-7 on his targets from Brady for 48 receiving yards against the Broncos.

“Not every week you’re gonna get targets your way because you never know how the game’s gonna go, but today, it went that way, where I had a lot of targets, and it just felt good to get involved,” said Gronkowski, who called himself a “blocking tight entering” in the days leading up to Sunday’s game. “I just knew that if I kept week in, week out just practicing hard, doing what we need to do, it was going to click. I’ve been in the league for a while, and there are some games where you just don’t get any looks, and then there are some games where you get a lot of looks. There’s some games where I’m just not clicking and everything’s just not clicking.

“I’m here just getting better week in, week out and fix the problems when there [are] problems and things aren’t going right. That’s the grind of the football season. I did definitely have the faith that I was going to get involved in the passing game, and it happened today. I truly believe that we can keep getting better.”

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