Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski has a pretty solid resume so far -- a four-time Super Bowl champion, five-time Pro Bowler, and he's pretty much a lock for the Hall of Fame one day whenever he decides to retire again. But there's one record he hasn't broken yet, and that's Tony Gonzalez's record of the most 100-yard games by a tight end. Gonzalez sits at the top with 31.
Gronk is currently sitting at 30 games with 100-yards or more, just one shy of Gonzalez's record. Next up? Breaking this record, and Gronkowski intends to do just that.
"Let me tell you, I'm trying to break that record," Gronkowski told NFL Network. "I mean, why wouldn't I try to break that record? I'm coming for it. Tony, I'm coming for it. Basically, you got every record, so I'm coming for this one, and it's a pretty cool one, too, for sure. It just shows that I guess you're a baller and Tony's a baller."
The one thing that has hindered Gronk during his career is injuries, so it's fair to assume he may have already broken this record, right? It's also why he retired the first time and probably the reason he would again. When he finally decides he's had enough, Gronk is a lock for the Hall of Fame, regardless of the record books.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was absent from practice again on Thursday, making it the second straight practice missed. While it was said that he was just dealing with some back soreness, it is somewhat alarming that he's missing yet another day of work. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman gave an update on his status.
The Arizona Cardinals are currently undefeated, and a lot of that is due to quarterback Kyler Murray. While he's currently being talked about within the ever-elusive "MVP Conversation," Murray says he's not really thinking about that right now. "It's a long season, and I was always raised and taught that if you win as a team, the individual accolades will come. That's how I treated it in high school, that's how I treated it when I won the Heisman, same thing for now. I'm not really worried about MVP or anything like that."
Earlier this week, Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera said that he wants quarterback Taylor Heinicke to calm down a little bit and focus on managing the game better. In other words: Stop doing too much. Heinicke says he takes no issue with Rivera's comments. "I have no problem with it. That's what every quarterback should be - game manager. You take what's there, take what's given, and you move the ball down the field."
I know he's supposed to say this stuff, but Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera is really buttering up his opponent for next week. Rivera kind of over-did it when it came to talking about Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. "I mean, this is a savvy guy, this is a guy that's been doing it a long time and has had a lot of success. He's a league MVP. So you know, he's a really good football player. He's got a good arm. He still makes all the throws. He is a little older, but with that comes wisdom and experience. And that's what you see from Matt." Is it, though?
Oh no. Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr had some strong words to say about this week's game against the Los Angeles Chargers and I'm just going to leave them here and call it a jinx. "It was always looked at as another home game and that's no disrespect, it's a fact. The way you practice, the way you meet, it felt like a home game. I fully expect Raider Nation to take over the majority of the stadium again. They usually do." Oh no.
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Tom Brady's return to New England is being drilled into our heads this week (I'm already sick of it), but I'm going to talk about the other quarterback in this situation: Patriots rookie Mac Jones. It has to be somehow harder on him than us to constantly hear about Brady's return while he's the new guy just trying to get through his first rodeo. Jones, however, is turning his focus on correcting last week's mistakes. "I think just fixing the corrections from the game we just played is obviously really important and then moving on with the game plan for this week. It will definitely be exciting. Tampa Bay is a great team, and it's a new week. We're excited, and the only thing we can do is focus on each day, and then when Sunday comes, we'll just go out there and play as hard as we can." I hope Jones doesn't turn on ESPN this week.
Houston Texans rookie quarterback Davis Mills made his first NFL start last week because of an injury to starter Tyrod Taylor. Because he didn't get a lot of time to prepare for the start, we should assume the team should take off the training wheels a little bit, and we should expect him to do more in his second start in Week Four. Head coach David Culley explains: "Well, he's going to have a lot more put on him than we put on him last week. I feel like he'll be able to handle that. We're just going to run our offense and let him handle it from there."
With Ryan Fitzpatrick still out for the Washington Football Team, it's up to quarterback Taylor Heinicke to take the reins. But head coach Ron Rivera wants him to rein it in just a smidge. "When Taylor manages things and doesn't force things, you can see him move the ball for us. But when he tries to do more than he needs to, bad things seem to happen." The good news? They have the Atlanta Falcons next week, so they have a chance to work out those kinks.
The GOAT himself, Josh Rosen, got a chance to audition for his new team, the Atlanta Falcons, on Sunday (how ironic) and did about as good as one can do with only three days of practice. After the game, Rosen was highly transparent in how his career has been up to this point with bouncing around on different teams and about how he knows he doesn't have many chances left and needs to make the most of it while he still can. "You just get an opportunity, you got to seize the moment, and it was kind of, it was a little bit refreshing, to kind of get out on the field and kind of half know the offense and just kind of let go and play football and have fun with it like you did back in Pop Warner. At times I felt a little bit like a chicken with my head cut off running around, but I thought it was fun. Could have cleaned up a lot of stuff but overall thought it was a productive night."
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is straight-up fucking with everyone again by rotating both starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie Trey Lance in and out of their last preseason game on Sunday. While it seems to most people that doing that during the regular season, Shanahan is still leaving room for other teams to think they'll be doing just that. "We've got two guys who can play, and we've been doing it in practice a little bit, wanted to do it out there in the game, and it's always going to be an option."
Speaking of Lance, it was announced late on Monday evening that he will miss about seven days (or a week, whichever timeframe you're into) after he jammed his finger on someone's helmet during Sunday's game. Lance has a "small chip," but he's not highly concerned about it. "I'll see how it feels [Monday] for sure. I think we'll be able to tell a little bit more. But yeah, not too worried about it at all."
Detroit Lions backup quarterback Tim Boyle may have taken himself out of the backup competition for 2021. Boyle suffered a thumb injury on Friday that will require surgery. David Blough is the other backup option for Detroit. As for when Boyle will be back, they're not sure.
Goff, meanwhile, has high hopes for his new team this season. "I don't know what the stat is, but every year there's new teams in the playoffs. Every year there are teams that were in the playoffs last year that aren't. Why not us?" Well, I can think of a few reasons, but I like the high hopes.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield played well in Sunday's exhibition game, but he's ready to move onto the real stuff. "I know our guys are ready. They're itching to go. We can feel that how close it is. Just all that preparation you put in throughout the offseason, and ever since you lost to the Chiefs in January, we've been working to this point right now, and I think our guys are ready to go."
The starting quarterback position is still up in the air for the New England Patriots, and while it's assumed that Cam Newton will be out there Week One, the team has also rallied around rookie Mac Jones. "Not many rookie quarterbacks have ever gotten the reps and the opportunity that he has, and he has embraced it full-on, head-on," Brian Hoyer said. "He goes out there every day and does the best that he can and has earned the respect of his teammates, which I think is huge, especially being a young guy with a team with a lot of veteran guys who have played here."
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Cam Newton was pretty much a lock for the New England Patriots' starting quarterback job, and then this week happened. Long story short, Newton didn't quite follow COVID-19 protocols and was required to stay away from the team for the week, which gave all reps with the starting team to rookie Mac Jones. Jones has been taking the reins in practice and is currently breathing down Newton's neck for the starting role. This will be something to keep an eye on.
The savior of the Atlanta Falcons' quarterback position is here, hallelujah. Josh Rosen has signed with the team, and should be in line as the best QB on the team in no time. Head coach Arthur Smith agrees with me, saying he expects Rosen to play in the final preseason game. "That's only the fair thing to do. We signed him. We have to figure out this backup quarterback spot. So, you'll see him play at some point Sunday night." Challenge accepted.
Tom Brady may be more like us, after all. After winning the Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in February, Brady underwent knee surgery to repair a torn MCL. Brady spoke about his recovery from surgery this week, detailing the process. "When you miss time and you don't continue to train the way you're capable of training, it's tough because your body wants to, you know, it feels like, 'OK I get time off.' And then you get your body going again, it's hard."
After being questionable to start the 2021 season, it seems like Carson Wentz is trending in the right direction for the Indianapolis Colts' opener. Wentz returned to practice earlier this week from foot surgery, and so far, so good. The next step? Going through a practice without any restrictions.
The inevitable happened. Trevor Lawrence has been announced as the Jacksonville Jaguars' starting quarterback, which pretty much everyone knew was going to happen. Lawrence was, of course, asked about how he felt about the situation. "I'm really excited for the opportunity; I'm grateful for it. It doesn't really change anything though. We still have the same task in front of us."
Joe Burrow will finally be making his debut since tearing his ACL late last season. While I assumed Burrow wouldn't see any preseason action due to protecting his health behind that horrid offensive line, Burrow should play in the Cincinnati Bengals' final preseason game. And that's okay with him.
San Francisco 49ers fans wanted you to believe all along that there was a quarterback competition, but as it turns out (and like I told you all along), there really hasn't been one at all. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said as much, without really naming his starter, which he honestly doesn't even have to do. "I've got a pretty good idea," he said. "I've always had a pretty good idea, but there's a lot of days between now and then, at every position."
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