Hard Knocks Episode 1 Recap

This is going to be a very entertaining series. I never had HBO before this year so this is the first time I've seen the show. Below are some scattered thoughts. From what I read, many of you do not have HBO so I'll try and include some of the highlights.

  • We'll start with the story that has dominated Jets news. Anybody hoping for Darrelle Revis to be a Jet this year has to be bitterly disappointed after seeing that episode. There is clearly a lot of bad blood between Mike Tannenbaum and the agent. After a call, Tannenbaum remarks on how the agent talked about his wife, and it was a reminder that the guy is in fact human, which doesn't paint the image of a cozy working relationship. We don't hear the other end of the call, but the agent comes off like a real used car salesman claiming Darrelle cares about being a Jet for life. Tannenbaum is clearly at his wit's end on the drive home from the meeting at the diner last week, remarking maybe they should try again next year, and the team may trade for a corner. He repeatedly mentions how important it is for the player to be the highest paid.
  • You can see why the players love Rex. Early in the episode, he outlines his goals for the offense, defense, and special teams. He goes over each individually. They are all the same, though, to lead the league in wins. He then tells the guys if they play at their best, no team can beat them, and it's much better to have high expectations than to fly under the radar like last year. It goes back to something I've said for a while. Rex gets a lot of heat from rival fans for saying stuff like that to the media, but it's what the team hears in the locker room. Any successful team has this extreme belief.
  • The brutal nature of the league is shown by the story of Kevin Basped. He was doing great in camp. The coaches loved him, but the team cut him because the doctors didn't think his knees could hold up over the long haul. Tannenbaum was very up front with him.
  • Tony Richardson is portrayed as a real leader in the locker room. Mark Sanchez in particular talks about the way Tony has helped him.  I like seeing him get some publicity. We all thought he was a leader so it's good to see stuff like this confirmed.
  • Joe Namath shows up in practice and does a lot to impress from picking up a subtle flaw in Sanchez's technique taking the snap to the way receivers go a gear slower in practice than in the game.
  • The team loves John Conner. Rex says whichever of the three fullbacks the team cuts among the Richarson, Conner, Jason Davis group will have a home in the league.
  • Sanchez comes off like a real gym rat. He genuinely seems to look up to Brian Schottenheimer.
  • Tannenbaum is very impressed with himself. He compliments himself repeatedly when Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, and Conner stand out.
  • Rex has everybody cracking up by wearing a pair of black old school Converse hightops to practice. It's a superstition he does every year. He says the one year he missed in Arizona, the team was horrible. The team really views him as one of the guys. Bart Scott says he would take Rex in a dark alley over NFL tough guys.
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