The NFL preseason is a week old, which makes the NFL regular season start to seem strangely…well, real. Just the same, there are still a lot of things for all 32 NFL teams to figure out. Like who to cut, who to keep, and which backup defensive lineman will sing R&B songs at pregame meetings.
Your Footbawl Blog Hard Knocks episode two recap begins…now.
-Previously on Hard Knocks, we all secretly hope Hue Jackson killed himself during the week.
-The ridiculous hammer montage remains in the intro. Is this an actual camp drill? Are linemen just swinging hammers at tires? What purpose does this serve?
-Early drama is an anonymous back-up defensive lineman falling into Andy Dalton’s precious legs. Can you imagine being the guy that ended the starting quarterback’s season in a basic preseason drill? As you might imagine, the coaches are not pleased.
-Meanwhile, in the battle to be back-up quarterback, John Skelton doesn’t have any idea how to call the plays and and Josh Johnson throws a string of incomplete passes that might make the Bengals consider getting Akili Smith on the horn.
-Nice to see all the players standing around talking sentimental about their girlfriends. And by that I mean, I don’t care.
-Next up we have the fullback competition, aka…ratings! Former Hard Knocks celebrity John Connor is back and seems to have the job well in hand. Can I take a moment, as a nerd, to express how annoying it is that John has gotten the “Terminator” nickname? In the movies, the character by the same name is either being hunted or protected by terminators. This would be like if an NFL player was named Danny Glover and his nickname became “Predator 2”. Okay, so not exactly, but you get my point.
-Still hating Hue Jackson.
-I wake up mid episode to see several Bengals doing a rather impressive version of Boyz II Men’s End of the Road. Well done, gents.
-The team heads to Atlanta, and I can’t help but wish there was a spinoff series: “HBO Hard Knocks, Let’s follow Adam Jones to strip clubs in Atlanta.”
-Right before the Falcons/Bengals scrimmage, Mike Smith and Marvin Lewis exchange the classic, “well here’s a white man who doesn’t really know how to hug a black man” hug.
-We get a glimpse into the ESPN production meeting before the Falcons/Bengals game. As you might imagine, this involved John Gruden telling long winded stories about his brother and Mike Tirico asking relevant questions about the game.
-Every year on Hard Knocks there is one player that is featured throughout that all the coaches seem amazingly high on, but always gets cut in the end. This year I predict that player is Magcus Hunt, a giant defensive lineman from Estonia. Yes, I know he was drafted in the second round and has the strength of five bulls. But seriously, I really feel like this show jinxed the shit out of this guy. Also, Estonia was never mentioned more in an hour of television than this episode.
-As always, the HBO production for the pre-season game itself is stellar. There are great camera angles of all the main characters we’ve slowly begun to learn about. And a bunch of random guys saying, “fuck”. I love it!
-Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is filling the mandatory “crazy drill sergeant” role for the season. Man, this guy can cuss!
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments section. And come back next week for more Hard Knocks coverage!