Dontari Poe was mostly anonymous during his rookie year in Kansas City last season. This year, he wants to be a better football player, and that means making sacrifices. Big sacrifices. Like giving up barbecue.
The Chiefs defensive tackle dished to the Kansas City Star about life without delicious smoked meats:
"It might be the hardest thing I've had to do since I've been here.
"I eat a lot of eggs in the morning, eat a lot of protein, grilled chicken, grilled fish, stuff like that. I'm trying to cut out the beef and the pork and stay away from the fried foods. And stay away from the barbecue."
Poe was born in Memphis, and played his college football there, before the Chiefs drafted him with the 11th overall pick in 2012. For a guy tied to Memphis and Kansas City, this is like the culinary equivalent of Abraham-Isaac. (Though it's not clear if sheep meat is on the menu, and we're definitely not prepared to equate Andy Reid to Jehovah).
Still, Poe's giving up BBQ and fried foods while playing for Andy Reid, the man responsible for making Taco Tuesday and Fast Food Friday a regular feature during his stint with the Eagles. At least he's probably had his fair share of the stuff over the years.
It at least seems to be working for Poe so far. He estimates that he's dropped between 15-20 pounds, bringing his weight to a svelte 335 pounds. Scouting reports praised Poe's athleticism as a college player, and by all accounts he's showing well in training camp this season.