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Tag:Hard Knocks
Posted on: September 2, 2010 2:10 am
 

Hard Knocks review: Episode 4

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After a one-week absence, I’m back with my review of the fourth episode of what has been a very good season of Hard Knocks.

 -The episode begins on a down note. Apparently, nobody has any leadership with this team. It’s a concern for the coaches. This, not surprisingly, will be a theme.

- What a nightmare for Tim Cowlishaw. The Jets front office is talking about his reporting that Darrelle Revis and the Jets would sign a deal. GM Mark Tannenbaum has no idea what anybody is talking about. As a reporter, this is an interesting perspective. Unfortunately for Cowlishaw, we know how this ends.

- It’s hilarious that Mark Sanchez walks into the quarterbacks meeting without a binder to talk about the gameplan for the Redskins games. That’s a rookie mistake for a guy who’s not a rookie any more. Hell, even the guy who’s going to get cut at the end of the show has his binder ready to go. Unless he was set up, and of course, it’s a veteran move by Sanchez to get back at his offensive coordinator by changing his screensaver into something not exactly manly.

- Kellen Clemens’ meeting with Tannenbaum is interesting. Tannenbaum says he wants to cut Clemens’ salary to the minimum but he would guarantee that throughout the year. Also, by the way, Mark Brunell is the No. 2 QB, Tannenbaum says. Responds Clemens, “Here’s a question for you. What if I say I’d rather not?” Tannenbaum without missing a beat: “We’d probably cut you. … Probably sooner than later.”

Ouch.

- Ah, I could tell some stories about Laveranues Coles. Unfortunately, none of them would be all that interesting because he HATED dealing with the media in Cincinnati. As in, he never did it. Interesting to hear how the coaches seem to like to him, especially because Santonio Holmes is suspended for the first four games of the season. But then again, the team just cut Coles. So, that’s kind of weird.

- Wow, FB John Conner just lifted a Panthers special teamer off the ground with a block on kickoff return. As Rex Ryan said, “He knocked the piss out of the guy.” I think if he had the opportunity, Ryan might like to make out with the Terminator.
 
- Jason Taylor seems to have a problem getting to the stadium on time. Not just in the New Meadowlands, but at Hofstra too. The first time, it was a big joke. It wasn’t so funny the second time.

- And what’s up with eating cheeseburgers on the field before practice? The coaching staff is running a real disciplined workout, eh?

- Man, the players just LOVE it when a jackass runs onto the field during practice and the security details rocks the crap out of him. It’s funny, though. Whenever you see somebody disrupt a sporting event, there are always a few level of emotions you feel. No. 1, Hey that’s kind of funny. That guy is just running around out there, isn’t he? No. 2, All right, this guy is kind of getting annoying. When will the game restart? No. 3., He’s not taking off his clothes, is he? No. 4, I wish somebody would hit this guy and get him out of here.”

With the Jets, they fast-forwarded to No. 4 real quickly.

- Uh-oh, so it turns out Rex didn’t like the whole cheeseburger thing at practice. I love after his impassioned speech about being a professional and being a leader, he ends it with, “Now, let’s go eat a g------ snack!”

- Boy, Vladimir Ducasse didn’t look so good in the Redskins game, huh?

- Ugh, it’s brutal to watch these guys’ faces when they realize they’re going to be cut. But that’s cold how Ryan talked to Coles when he was cutting the 32-year-old WR. “We have to have money in place in case (Revis) shows up without a new contract. There’s a great possibility you’ll still be on this football team. But if we have you in the first week, we have to pay the whole season. The way our money is right now, we can’t do that.” Coles takes it well, and I know he’ll be OK. We’ve had chats about finances before, and I know he’s smart with the way he handles his business.

-And that’s the way the show ends. Not my favorite episode of the series, but solid nonetheless. We’ll see what happens in the final cuts next week.

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Posted on: August 26, 2010 12:51 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2010 1:10 pm
 

Hard Knocks episode 3 review

Posted by Andy Benoit

Episode 3 of Hard Knocks embodied everything we love about the HBO/NFL Films hit drama. First off, the box score: 24 S-bombs (including a few with the word “bull” before it, which is always funny) and 26 F-bombs. The first F-bomb came from special teams coach Paul Westhoff six minutes in. Best of all, that particular F-bomb was part of a package of vitriolic sarcasm. (When interior linemen were slow off the snap in rushing the punter, Westhoff told them “Take your time – f*** around a little bit more.”). P. Westhoff (US Presswire)

Westhoff wound up being the star of the show – and not just because he finished first in the final F-bomb count. He was brutally honest about wide receiver/special teams gunner David Clowney, essentially saying the fourth-year pro can be a star but that he hasn’t shown anything yet. Of backup punter Timothy Conley, an undrafted second-year player from Idaho who is just trying to make the NFL, Westhoff said, “This time last year, I would have traded him for a night off.” Coaches were impressed with Conley’s improvement this season, but before the episode ended, the young punter joined the list of guys who are now famous for having been cut on Hard Knocks.
A few more highlights from Wednesday night’s show…

---Kris Jenkins gave a speech in the locker room prior to the Panthers game in which he pointed out that the Panthers were his former team and told the second unit players “Don’t embarrass us”. Is that motivating?

---It’s surprising how willing the coaches are to differentiate between the first-string and second-string players. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine didn’t make the first unit watch film of the second half of the Giants game because he didn’t want what they saw to “rub off”. Pettine ripped the second unit throughout the first 10 minutes of the show; Rex Ryan joined in and also ripped the third unit late in the show.

---After a quiet Episode 2, we finally got more Revis jokes. Rex Ryan had his assistant negotiate a fee paid to a magician who was brought in to entertain the players. The magician wanted $3,500. Ryan told his assistant to negotiate down to $2,500. When the assistant reported back that the magician had agreed to $2,500, Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum told her to call Revis.

---We hear that rookie hazing in the NFL is all in good fun. But what was that powder that the veterans were dumping in the face of Brian Jackson?

---Ropati Pitoitua ruptured his Achilles, giving us a fantastic glimpse of the emotional roller coaster that injuries lead to. When Ryan found out about the injury, he dejectedly informed the other coaches and snapped at players. Minutes later, he was jubilant again after Chauncey Washington lit it up on special teams.

---Finally, the treadmill scene: nothing shocking happened, but it was odd to see, from left to right, Mike Tannenbaum, Braylon Edwards, Rex Ryan and Woody Johnson working out on a treadmill. All four were walking. This makes sense with Tannenbaum, Ryan and Johnson…but Braylon Edwards?

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Posted on: August 26, 2010 11:48 am
Edited on: August 26, 2010 12:07 pm
 

Cowlishaw fully backs off Revis report

Posted by Will Brinson

As we noted yesterday , Tim Cowlishaw was doing his best Darrelle Revis impersonation (quickly backpeddling to get into coverage, natch) on his Darrelle Revis report.

Today, Cowlishaw penned a mea culpa at the Dallas Morning-News indicating that at this point, he "can't say for sure where [the deal] stands for this weekend."D. Revis (US Presswire)

Don't be fooled into thinking anything too mean about Cowlishaw on this one: he admitted that it was him -- and, importantly, not his source -- that was wrong in this instance. There's still a possibility, though, that the deal could go down sometime this weekend, which Cowlishaw hinted at when he wrote that he wished he "could take those 15 words I sent out on Twitter ... Sunday afternoon" and change them to this:

"I think Revis and Jets get contract done sooner rather than later -- probably this week, maybe even Wednesday."

That is, of course, a VASTLY different statement from the scoop-ish manner in which Cowlishaw dropped the original news on Sunday.

Not all of Cowlishaw's post is completely apologetic, though: he spends the last few paragraphs pointing out that he wasn't the "worst kind of wrong" -- as someone who has "missed" a scoop before because something that was supposed to happen didn't happen, I get where he's going there.

There was no fabrication of a story, no lying, and no, Cowlishaw didn't report something insane like "Darrelle Revis traded to the Patriots for Logan Mankins" and completely whiff on the story.

But he's still wrong ; there's no two ways about it. The good thing is that he was willing to admit it, which means we can all go back to putting our full attention behind more deserving preseason divas like Brett Favre and Albert Haynesworth.

At least until someone else "scoops" the Revis signing anyway.

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Posted on: August 25, 2010 7:57 pm
 

Cowlishaw backtracking on Revis report

Posted by Will Brinson

Sunday, Tim Cowlishaw, a respected Dallas Morning-News reporter, dropped a tweet-bomb by announcing that a very trusted source told him Darrelle Revis and the Jets would "announce [a] new deal" on Wednesday. He actually said "probably Wednesday" but that's not the important point here, because it is Wednesday and there's no new deal.

Cowlishaw also reported that the Jets and the Revis would meet on Tuesday night; that didn't happen either, provided you believe Woody Johnson, who owns the Jets and stated that things remain "status quo" right now . (Read: no deal.)

Cowlishaw took to Twitter on Wednesday night -- as pointed out by Michael David Smith at Pro Football Talk -- to revise his original statement . Kind of.
Have I said lately I was originally told "wednesday or saturday" on Revis but I shortened it for twitter? Now seems like good time. Now, without saying that Cowlishaw -- or any of the other reports discussing Revis' eventually signing a deal -- are wrong, that's a backtrack.

We tweeted at Cowlishaw to inquire as to the joking nature of the Saturday portion of his statement, but have yet to get a response. After all, he stated on Monday that he was told "Wednesday or Saturday," which, yes, is weird.

In hindsight, Cowlishaw should have originally said "Wednesday or Saturday" in his original tweet; just because it's Twitter doesn't mean that clarity should be sacrificed for brevity.

If Revis and the Jets do announce a deal on Saturday, there'll be a small measure of redemption for Cowlishaw, but the basic fact right now is that the information he originally provided on Sunday was incorrect.

Since, you know, it's Wednesday. The good news is that at least we can stop thinking about the Jets for the next two hours until "Hard Knocks" comes on again.

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Posted on: August 22, 2010 10:12 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2010 11:36 pm
 

Tony Dungy discusses his talk with Rex Ryan

Posted by Will Brinson

As everyone knows, Tony Dungy did not like Rex Ryan's pottymouthing-off on HBO's "Hard Knocks" (again, I'd point out that he should really just watch the censored version and then we could avoid this whole business).

When Ryan found out Dungy wasn't happy -- or that Dungy wouldn't hire him -- he said he'd call Dungy and talk with him. Dungy confirmed and discussed that call during and interview with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. (And yes: I'm sorry that everything in the world revolves around the Jets and the Vikings too. Nothing I can do to change that though.)

"We talked on the telephone and it was a good conversation," Dungy said. "I told him it wasn't anything personal on him -- they asked me my feelings on profanity and I'm not a big fan of it whether it comes from Rex Ryan or somebody else."

Michaels wanted to make sure that Dungy and Ryan were all good, and it turns out they most certainly are.

"Oh man, we were always okay," Dungy said, eliciting a snicker from Michaels and Collinsworth. "I'm just not okay with the profanity, especially as a leader -- leading a football team or anything, I just don't think it's necessary."

Collinsworth then got on board with Dungy, pointing out that the league kind of "put it on."

"It really was," Dungy replied. "We talked a lot about our image and our players and personal conduct and then to have something like that -- and I had a lot of Jets fans who love Rex Ryan said it was hard to watch, especially with their kids."

Collinsworth's follow-up involved him pointing out that he, many a time, had said something "insane" on the field that he's glad people never heard.

"Oh, we all have said things out there that we wish we could take back," Dungy replied. "That's one of the reasons I never allowed myself to be miked up."

When pressed about whether he "slipped up" out there, Dungy caved and admitted he said something dirty (I'm thinking "dagnabbut"?) once while coaching.

"I did a couple of times, and it's not something you're proud of."

See? You can throw stones in glass houses, kids.
Posted on: August 22, 2010 6:08 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2010 9:34 pm
 

Twitter War! (Or: Revis deal coming?)

Posted by Will Brinson

The Darrelle Revis saga has been going on just long enough for HBO and the Jets to milk it for all it's worth on "Hard Knocks" dragging.

Lest the world turn complacent and worry about important things like Brett Favre and Albert Haynesworth, Tim Cowlishaw showed up on Twitter Sunday afternoon to drop this bomb:
Revis and Jets announce new deal, probably Wednesday. You heard it here first. "Inside information!" Cowlishaw also added that "This [source] has never been wrong."

As you may or may not realize, Wednesday is "Hard Knocks" day -- which means, although Cowlishaw didn't say so specifically as far as I can tell, there's always the possibility of them announcing the contract mid-show. Which would be both awesome and embarrassing. Awesome in the sense that it would be groundbreaking television and it would absolutely encapsulate the PR-dream/nightmare combo that the Jets have become under Rex Ryan.

It would be embarrassing in the sense that Revis' contract and holdout status would be incredibly undermined -- not to diss HBO here, but if the public and/or the press get even remotely a whiff of the possibility that this was all a stunt to boost

Of course, that's completely null and void if Manish Mehta is correct :
Contrary 2 internet rumor, #Jets & Revis have no plans 2have contract announcement on HBO this wk. Communication lines remain open tho (Aside: I swear I'd read that "internet rumor" was just reserved for disputing the bloggers' claims.)

There are some folks out there that believe Cowlishaw's Twitter account got hacked and -- for whatever reason, I have NO earthly idea -- the hacker decided to report about the Jets and Revis. After all, hackers steal bank account numbers, spam people and probably blog for a living ... not out-scoop New York-area reporters from Dallas.

Fortunately, Bob Glauber of Newsday reports that it's not a hack : Cowlishaw replied to him and called him "Cubby" which, as you can read here, proves that the Top Cat ain't lying.

At any rate, he might be right or he might be wrong, but as the Jets and HBO would prefer, you'll probably have to tune into "Hard Knocks" to find out!

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Posted on: August 21, 2010 1:31 pm
 

Preseason games tonight: why to watch

Posted by Andy Benoit

There is a hefty slate of preseason games for Saturday night. It’s only the second exhibition contest for most of these teams, so don’t expect the starters to play past the first half. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to watch. We’ll take a stab at selling each game on tonight’s schedule. Here we go…

Ravens @ Redskins
Redskins rookie left tackle Trent Williams flashed remarkable athleticism early on against the Bills last week. He’s going up against considerably tougher competition in the blitzing, physical Ravens front seven. How will he perform?

Steelers @ Giants
Ben Roethlisberger makes his preseason debut. It’s surprising that Mike Tomlin chose to debut his controversial star quarterback on the road. After all, this only maximizes the Big Ben distraction. Then again, it’s just preseason, so perhaps Tomlin views the distraction as a valuable learning opportunity for his club. That’s something the young Super Bowl-winning head coach would think about.

Chiefs @ Bucs
Um…hmm…this would be a tough game to sell even during the regular season.

How about this: Chiefs second-round rookie wideout/running back Dexter McCluster has turned some heads in camp. So has Bucs fourth-round rookie wideout Mike Williams. Both should see plenty of action in this game.

Dolphins @ Jaguars
The Jags insist there isn’t a quarterback controversy. But if David Garrard goes out tonight and stinks up the joint, and Luke McCown comes in and has another three-touchdown performance, that tune will be harder to sing.

Rams @ Browns
Everybody loved watching Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy square off in college. Well, here’s your chance to see it on the pro level.

Texans @ Saints
If a photographer can get a good shot of Mario Williams tackling Reggie Bush, we’ll have an excellent excuse for a look-back story on the 2006 NFL Draft. We can even call CBS analyst Charley Casserly and listen to the former Texans G.M. pass up another chance to gloat about proving millions of armchair G.M.’s wrong.

If the Williams-Bush angle doesn’t do it for you, this game features two of the most explosive offenses in football. (New Orleans ranked first in total yards and fourth in passing last season; Houston ranked fourth in total yards and first in passing.) The unofficial over/under for total first half points is 50.

Jets @ Panthers
Watch the game and try to predict which plays will make it on Hard Knocks. (Really clever fans could probably turn this into some form of a drinking or gambling game – or both.)

Raiders @ Bears
Jay Cutler is still getting acquainted with Mike Martz’s offense. If Cutler throws too many picks in this contest, Al Davis might try to sign him to a record-breaking contract.

More seriously, the Bears receivers will have a good opportunity to showcase their progress in the new system. The Raiders run a traditional man-to-man scheme, which helps reveal a receiver’s true raw talent. The Raiders are planning on moving Nnamdi Asomugha around this year; it will be interesting to see which wideout he lines up across from most often, Devin Hester or Johnny Knox.

Cowboys @ Chargers
Is there anything more annoying than a preseason matchup being touted as a possible “Super Bowl preview”?
If the Chargers struggle to move the ball through the air, will that impact the Vincent Jackson trade developments? (Probably not, but the idea is worth floating.)

Lions @ Broncos
Tony Scheffler makes his epic return to Denver…?

Okay, how about Tim Tebow possibly making his first appearance at home? You know if Tebow plays after missing some practice time this week (sore ribs), at least one idiot columnist or radio host will take the opportunity to praise the Florida star’s legendary toughness.


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Posted on: August 20, 2010 8:21 am
 

Cromartie defends himself

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Since his interview on HBO’s Hard Knocks aired – an interview in which Antonio Cromartie struggled to remember his kids’ name (though he’s got, like, five of them who are between the ages of 2 and 3, so who could blame him?) – the Jets CB has become a bit of a laughingstock.

Need a good chuckle this morning? Check out the video below.



Well, Cromartie decided to fire back Thursday. He told the New York Post that HBO restaged the interview and the show’s director told him to pause longer between his kids’ name on the second take. So, does that the mean he doesn’t have a problem remembering his children’s names?

“Nah, I didn’t have trouble,” he told the paper. “I mean, they asked me to pause. I had nailed it the one time before, but they had to redo it and they just told me to pause between each one of [the names].”

I guess Cromartie didn’t realize that this was a TV SHOW where, even if it’s billed as so-called reality, the director and producers try to create the most-amount of drama by using this thing they call “editing.” I also love the fact that he seemed pretty proud that he “nailed it” on the first shoot (that's an unfortunate choice of words)for .

Yet, HBO insists the interview was done in one take and nothing on the show is manufactured.

From the story:Cromartie) also has been hit with five paternity suits in the past two years, and the Jets reportedly fronted him $500,000 of this season’s salary to deal with those legal issues.

Cromartie grew testy at the perception — now fuel-injected by “Hard Knocks” — that he can’t keep track of all his kids.

“So it’s not a point of me not knowing my kids’ [names],” he told The Post. “I know every single one of my kids. I know the age of every single one of my kids.”

Cromartie also said he isn’t bothered by the online mocking that resulted from what he describes as a re-shot scene.

“I can’t worry about what somebody else thinks,” Cromartie told The Post. “That’s not my responsibility. People got their own opinions. My thing is to be a father to my kids and be there for my kids as much as I can. I can’t worry about what somebody else [has] to say.”


All I know is this: the interview was the highlight of the second episode – especially because coach Rex Ryan let loose only two F-bombs – and when my wife walked by during that particular scene, she stopped in her tracks and said, “Wait, how many kids does that guy have?” We had to rewind it to count.

And it made for great TV.

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