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Browns defensive end Myles Garrett ‘I want to look like a Grecian god’ — Body Issue 2019

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Chris Paul, Liz Cambage, Brooks Koepka and NFL stars such as Myles Garrett and the Eagles offensive line are featured in ESPN’s 2019 Body Issue. To see interviews, pictures, videos and more, visit our full 2019 gallery.

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has been making headlines for his impressive physique since — well, since before he was a Browns defensive end. After his insane combine measurements and shirtless Pro Day workout went viral in 2017, Garrett was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 Draft and led the Browns in sacks (with seven) in his rookie year. Now, with a few new faces in his locker room and huge expectations on his team, Garrett sat down with The Body Issue to talk about the shoot, his teammates, and his Cinnabon habit.

How did you get approached to be in the BODY Issue?
Mother worked tooth and nail to get this for me.

I’m sorry, your Mother worked tooth and nail to get this for you?
Mi madre, yes. My Mother’s responsible for me being naked in the desert. [We interrupt this interview for a brief message from Audrey Garrett, mother of Myles: “Oh, I pushed it. Myles has always worked on his body, he’s very proud of it. And I like the artistic nature of the Body Issue. I’ve looked at it for many years and I said, ‘As soon as Miles gets an opportunity, we got to get in there.’]

So how did you prepare for this? Keep on doing what I’m doing. You didn’t change anything?
You know, eating one less French toast. It’s usually three — now down to two. I tried one, but it’s not filling enough.

So when this issue comes out in September, who do you think is going to have the most fun with it in the locker room?
Whew, you already know. The loudest mouth of them all. It’s hard to say, now we have another one. So, it’s either going to be Baker or Odell because they both love being all in your face.

Let’s talk about that Browns locker room this year. Are you excited?
I’m excited, but at the end of the day you got to actually put thoughts into action. Odell, Baker, Jarvis, they all put in the work to make this year special. We just got to believe in each other. The D-line, we’ve all been at OTAs together; nobody’s really missed any days so we’re all really getting that chemistry. It’s going to be a blood bath.

Did you ever play anything besides football?
In high school, I was a ball player. I wanted to be a hooper, I didn’t really care about football. My coach said, I’m going to bring you over to beef the line. Initially, I was like, I’m going to be a receiver, catch some balls, go to basketball, and don’t worry about this football thing. Then we had our first scrimmage and I dropped back (on D-line) and a guy comes across the middle and I light him up. I was like, I kind of love this.

Do you have any issues with your body? Any insecurities at all?
My obliques could be a little bit better; I should work on my side crunches.

Nine out of 10, or 10 out of 10, people would say that your physique is perfection. Is there a physique that inspires you?
I used to look at classic body builders like Lou Ferrigno or Arnold. I know it’s probably not obtainable for me and it’s probably not going to be functional on the field, but those kinds of things inspire me because that’s kind of the peak of physical appearance.

I’m always striving for more and I always want to look like a Grecian God. I want to be at my best physical appearance just to know that I’m using all my God-given abilities. If you don’t want to look like that, whatever is comfortable for you, whatever makes you happy, I say do it. Life’s short. If you want to eat cake, if you want to eat Cinnabon, if you want to eat pizza, I’m there with you. I’ll sit down there and eat with you.

If you knew it wouldn’t affect your physique at all, how many Cinnabon could you eat?
Regular Cinnabon? I could probably eat six. I eat three easily so it’s like another three wouldn’t hurt.

Fill in the blank for me. Myles Garrett on the field is?
Ferocious.

Myles Garrett off the field is?
A knucklehead.

How so?
I’m a ferocious and graceful but fun-loving knucklehead. I love going out hiking, playing games, bowling or playing laser tag. I’m just trying to explore the world one place at a time.

What part of your body gives you an advantage on the field?
I know people judge my feet, but I think they benefit me by allowing me to bend the edge when I stick my foot into the ground. They’re like, “you got these big old flippers” and I’m like okay, you see that, but when I’m turning the edge like a motorcycle, then you understand.

What part of your body are you most proud of?
A lot of people make comments on my biceps, but my Dad gave me those. It was natural for me, but I had to work on the stomach and chest. That didn’t come naturally. My brother used to call me a bird chest, so, it took a lot of push-ups.

How much of your physique is genetic and how much is discipline and hard work?
When I was a freshman in high school I was like 6-2, like 180 pounds. My coach said, you’re going to work with me, I don’t care if it’s basketball season or track season, you’re going to come with me after school and we’re going to get in a session. By the end of my senior year, I was 245.

If you didn’t play football anymore, in six months what would you weigh?
I would go to like 295 because I still want to eat. That French toast’s not going to hurt. Then I’d look in the mirror like, ‘oh, that ab is gone.’ Then I’d start running. That’s all I’d do; all that lifting would be gone. I’d probably get down to 220.

How important is sleep for you? How much sleep do you usually get a night?
Oh, this is team no sleep. None. During the season, I’ll go to sleep between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. But during the offseason, I stream a little Twitch and make a little YouTube. Give people a little window into my life and end up staying up until 4:00 in the morning.

Take us through what you eat in a normal day.
On an off day it’s time to get fat so, we go get three French toast and we’ll go get some omelet, A real man’s omelet, and some fruit. For dinner, we’re going to get some steak and ribs. Timber Lodge. It’s the best ribs you’ll have. That’s a promise. I can eat three racks and still eat more dinner. If I got practice the next day, I’m going to cool it, eat two racks. That might be my dinner with a side of vegetables. But if I don’t have anything the next day, I can eat three racks, eat a Tomahawk steak with some mashed potatoes and a couple broccoli. I’ll drink a couple glasses of water for lunch. Honestly, I just need two big meals.

You’ve said in the past that you like to write. What kind of things you like to write?
Mostly poems.

If I asked you to write a poem about your experience today, what would you say? Go!
A day filled with laughter and fun, surrounded by the hot California sun. With a mix of gracefulness, fun and class, I’ll walk out of here — get some steak, some sushi and free at last.

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Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay Packers lobbied in fourth for Allen Lazard to play

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers wanted Allen Lazard on the field, and Lazard wanted Rodgers to throw him the ball.

Both moves helped save the Green Bay Packers on Monday night against the Detroit Lions.

Even with Davante Adams already out for a second straight game with turf toe and Geronimo Allison knocked out of the game with a head and chest injury, the Packers still didn’t immediately turn to Lazard.

In fact, it wasn’t until after rookie receiver Darrius Shepherd dropped a pass at the Lions’ 1-yard line — it actually ricocheted off his facemask and was intercepted — that the Packers finally went to the relatively unknown 6-foot-5 receiver.

And not until Rodgers asked for him.

“I may have put in a good word there in the fourth quarter to get him some opportunities,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers said he went to receivers coach Alvis Whitted and asked “if [No. 13] could come in for a little bit.”

Four catches, 65 yards and a touchdown later, the Packers had a new hero. Yes, Mason Crosby officially finished off the 23-22 victory with a 23-yard last-second field goal — with his wife, Molly, in the stands a mere six weeks after she underwent surgery to remove a cancerous spot in her lung.

But if not for Lazard, who before Monday night had never caught a pass in a regular-season game from Rodgers, the Packers might not be 5-1 and atop the NFC North.

Down 22-13, Rodgers first went to Lazard on deep ball that fell incomplete. One play later, Rodgers went back to him, and it turned into a 35-yard touchdown.

It was Lazard’s first catch of the season and just the second of his career.

Last season, the former undrafted free agent from Iowa State who originally signed the Jaguars and then was signed by the Packers off Jacksonville’s practice on Dec. 18 played one snap and caught one pass for 7 yards. It came in the regular-season finale against the Lions after Rodgers had left the game because of a concussion.

Before Sunday, Lazard had played just 21 snaps and his only target wasn’t even an official target because pass interference was called in the Week 4 loss to the Eagles.

Yet there was Lazard after Monday night’s game oozing confidence.

“I’m made for this s—,” Lazard said.

Lazard’s other three catches all came on the game-winning drive. Two went for first downs.

“I actually sit next to him in the team meetings, and we’ve struck up a pretty good friendship,” Rodgers said. “The thing that got me was, which you love as a quarterback, and that’s receivers coming back and telling you he wants the ball and what routes he wants to run. The big first down we had to him on the out route, that was him coming back to the huddle and telling me what play he wanted. For a young guy to do that, how can you not have confidence in that.”

Rodgers said coach Matt LaFleur had two play calls in mind.

“I said go with the first one because I’m going to throw it to Allen and we’re going to move the sticks,” Rodgers said. “And we did.”

All this for a player the Packers cut at the end of training camp in favor of Shepherd.

“I was definitely worried he was going to get picked up because the production was there in preseason,” Rodgers said.

After no one claimed Lazard off waivers, the Packers re-signed him to their practice squad immediately and then promoted him to the active roster the day before the season opener at Chicago.

“I honestly just believed in myself,” Lazard said. “I knew what my capabilities were. I know the talent that I have, I know the production that I produced before. It’s a different stage, but it’s the same to me.”

It’s unclear when Adams will return; he said last week that his toe “doesn’t feel how I want it to feel at the moment.” And Allison’s injury could potentially be serious. But it’s clear Rodgers thinks he has a new reliable weapon in Lazard.

“I think sometimes you have an injury or whatnot or for whatever reason and that’s how some guys become who they are,” LaFleur said. “He was given his opportunity and to his credit, he was ready for that opportunity.”

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Tracy Walker of Detroit Lions goes off on referees after loss

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Awful. It was the first word out of Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker’s mouth late Monday night when he was asked about the unnecessary roughness call against him when he collided with Packers receiver Geronimo Allison on the first play of the third quarter.

Walker was flagged for 15 yards on the incomplete pass — and after said he was just going for the ball, criticizing the officiating while explaining it.

“Awful. It was an awful call,” Walker said. “I felt like I went for the ball and just so happened we collided, but I was looking for the ball. It was an awful call by them. It is what it is, though.”

Walker said he wasn’t even trying to make contact with Allison and was going for a potential interception of an Aaron Rodgers pass. They collided, he said, but he was “attacking the ball.” When asked if the defensive back has the right to go for the ball in that case, referee Clete Blakeman explained what he saw in a postgame pool report.

“That’s a good question, but the reality is, it is strict liability for a defensive player,” Blakeman said. “In this case, he may be going for the ball and not intending to hit the helmet, but when there’s helmet contact, it is a foul in that situation.”

Blakeman said even if Walker had intercepted the pass, he still would have been flagged.

Walker used the word “awful” five times to describe some of the penalty calls against the Lions in a 23-22 loss to Green Bay on Monday night.

“Extremely pissed off right now,” Walker said. “It is what it is. Disappointed. Hurt. We had that game. I’m going to say the same s—. We should have won it. It is what it is, though. Got to bounce back.”

When asked who he was pissed at, Walker blamed, well, everything.

“Honestly, just the whole game in itself, the end result,” Walker said. “I felt like we could have had a better game and we were supposed to come out victorious with that game, you know, but Green Bay came to play.

“There were some awful, awful calls. But we got to play through them and overcome those.”

When told he might get fined for his comments, Walker said “whatever. It don’t even matter. It is what it is.”

Walker wasn’t the only Lions player unhappy with officiating Monday night. Lions defensive end Romeo Okwara tweeted and later deleted about Green Bay offensive lineman David Bakhtiari appearing to put hands in a Lions’ defender’s face. The tweet featured a photo that appeared to show Bakhtiari with hands to the face of a Lions defender and included illustrative arrows.

And defensive end Trey Flowers was flagged twice for illegal use of the hands on third downs in the fourth quarter that would have ended drives but instead granted the Packers 5 yards and automatic first downs. He explained multiple times what he was actually doing after the game.

“I actually changed the position of my hand because it was to the chest initially,” said Flowers, his pads still on after the game. “Which is right here. I was doing it all game. I didn’t know that was a flag to the chest so I could change it to [motioning somewhere else on his chest]. They called it again.”

When asked if he thought it was a penalty, Flowers said “nah, I didn’t think hands to the chest was a penalty. I thought hands to the face. But I had them right here on the chest. Second time I changed it to right here.

“That’s part of a move that I do and yeah. I don’t think it’s a penalty.”

Flowers again reiterated that it’s part of a move he does and that if he slipped, he would have agreed it would be a flag, but he didn’t slip.

Blakeman then explained what the umpire who threw the flag, Jeff Rice, saw on the fouls.

“The umpire threw both of them. The last one was really the only one I’ve discussed with him,” Blakeman said. “Basically, it’s for illegal use of the hands, hands-to-the-face foul. To be a foul, we basically need some forceful contact that’s prolonged to the head and neck area of the defender.

“So, in his mind he had pinned him back, it was prolonged, and that’s what created the foul.”

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Lions safety Quandre Diggs sits vs. Packers with hamstring injury

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Lions safety Quandre Diggs sat out Detroit’s 23-22 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.

Diggs, 26, has been a key part of Detroit’s defense and was a Pro Bowl alternate last year. He injured his hamstring against Kansas City in Week 4 and was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday. He did a little more work Saturday but still not a complete set of work.

Diggs has 13 tackles on the year.

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