Tag:Hard Knocks
Posted on: August 19, 2010 9:48 am

Review of Hard Knocks episode 2

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Here were the three things I was looking forward to watching in the second episode of Hard Knocks:

1) How many F-bombs does Rex Ryan drop? How many does he drop in regards to Tony Dungy?

2) I’m interested to see after the Jets secondary’s pitiful performance vs. the Giants, how much Darrelle Revis will factor into the episode?

3) Where FB John Conner, the Terminator, stands in his competition with Tony Richardson.

-The episode opens with audio from the Bruce Springsteen concert before the Meadowlands was demolished. I don’t know, I just don’t get the whole Springsteen thing. I have tons of friends who love him to death. He just doesn’t do it for me. But I admire the passion. Especially because at least three of those fans probably will never talk to me again for having written that.

-Uh-oh, I smell a preview of what’s to come. The Jets are talking about how bad the secondary – and the defense overall – has been during practice. I just wonder if that storyline will continue for the Giants game? Great line by defensive coordinator Mike Pettine: “If we were grading some guys just based on this practice, there’s a bunch of you who’d be (cut). I don’t know if we’d even spend the money on a plane ticket. We’d probably send you home on a bus.”

-RB Joe McKnight sweats a little bit when he’s running his sprints, eh? He’ll be sweating more if he doesn’t start performing better soon. Coaches yell at him, and he acts like a teenager who’s being lectured by his parents. Like he doesn’t give a crap.

-Mark Sanchez is complaining about having to pay 59 cents for extra Ranch dressing for breadsticks from Pizza Hut. “It’s like asking for ketchup at McDonald’s and them making you pay.” This, from a guy who gets $28 million guaranteed on his five-year contract. But then, they cut to Mark Brunell, he of the recent bankruptcy, and you say, “Well hell, maybe being cheap is the way to go.”

-FYI, how cool does Mark Brunell seem? I want him to be MY quarterback mentor.

-Never heard this saying before, but I guess it makes sense on some level. From Marty Schottenheimer, father of Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer: “The one thing I always said about the quarterback. The guy who has a rookie performance at a certain level, if the next year you can get him to play at the same level, you’ve made progress.”

-You didn’t hear much about rookie CB Kyle Wilson, Revis’ replacement, during the Jets-Giants game. I’m interested to hear what the coaches thought of his performance. After all, Rex said Wilson had impressed him the most during practice.

-Holy crap, how many children does Antonio Cromartie have who are between the ages of 2 and 3? I think that’s, like, five of them. I think that’s eight children overall by, what, five different women? And it’s nothing to Cromartie. No shame. Which you kind of have to respect, I guess.

-Wow, Rex doesn’t drop an F-bomb until 26 minutes into the hour. That’s something, all right.

-Shake Weights > Snuggies. I think the Jets are mocking the Shake Weights, but hey, somebody must be buying those things.

-Nick Mangold showing us why Andy and I are so brilliant. We both had him No. 1 in our top-five positional rankings at the center position. I think Kris Jenkins would agree with Andy and me, as well.

-John Conner is supposedly a young Tony Richardson. The old Tony Richardson can’t like hearing that.

-Before the Giants game, Pettine is challenging his defense to play well without Revis. The first-team defense looked good in the first half, though they seemed to have some sympathy after Giants QB Eli Manning had his forehead sliced open.

-It’s crazy the Jets coaches had no idea who Giants WR Victor Cruz was before he killed them with three touchdowns. The sad thing, the coaches say, is that they’re going to have to play with some of those cornerbacks who got burned.

So, the answers to my previewing questions.

1) Only two. Which, frankly, is disappointing and unacceptable.

2) Revis’s name didn’t come up much, but it’s pretty clear the impact his absence had during the preseason game. And how much it could have during the season.

3) It sounds like the coaches are really high on Conner. As in, he might take Richardson’s job.

Overall, a good episode. So far, this is the best season of Hard Knocks we’ve seen in quite a while. Points off for the lack of F-bombs, but still, a strong episode.

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Posted on: August 16, 2010 4:00 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2010 4:29 pm

Dungy on Rex Ryan: Disappoined with profanity

Tony Dungy, the former Indianapolis Colts' coach, is well known for being fairly, um, conservative. (That's not any sort of indictment, just an attempt at using the proper adjectives.)

It stands to reason then, that he wouldn't be a huge fan of Rex Ryan's F-bomb-laden tirades during HBO's "Hard Knocks." Guess what: he's not! Dungy appeared on The Dan Patrick Show and, via Michael David Smith at Pro Football Talk , had the following to say about Rex's profanity.

"I'm disappointed with all the profanity," Dungy said. "I think Rex can make his points without all that."

Dungy has a point -- Rex doesn't require ALL the profanity to get the point across, but that's his personality. If he swears like a sailor and that works for him and no one is too offended and his bosses don't mind, that's his prerogative. However, Dungy also said he wouldn't be interested in hiring Rex.

"I would not. I personally don't want my players to be around that. I don't want to be around that. . . . It's hard for me to be around that, and if I were in charge, no, I wouldn't hire someone like that. Now, I've been around 'F' bombs, so it's not like it's new. I just don't think that has to be part of your every-minute, everyday vocabulary to get your point across."

Again, that's someone's individual prerogative -- if Dungy doesn't want to hire someone because he finds their vocabulary to be too crude, that's his own thing. (In Ryan's case, it probably warrants mentioning that he would lose out on a pretty talented defensive coach.) Of course, Dungy may have taken things a little too far when he suggested that Roger Goodell should intervene with Ryan's mouth on HBO.

"I would hope that he does," Dungy said. "I don't know that he will or not but I hope that he does because I just don't think the league needs that. I don't think our young people need to hear that that's what's done to be successful. Because it doesn't have to be that way."

Perhaps Goodell COULD say something to Ryan, but intervening in a public manner would seem a little odd in this situation, even if Rex's mouth doesn't portray a positive image for the NFL as a whole.

A certain question of censorship on the field might arise then, no? If Ryan can't swear while being filmed on an HBO television show that depicts the realities of how he acts within the confines of camp, should the NFL start censoring all of the NFL Films material produced?

Should Goodell start fining people if swear words are accidentally picked up by microphones on the sidelines of football games? And should he begin to demand that people with often controversial political beliefs (like Dungy himself) make sure to keep those 100 percent hidden from the limelight?

It's a fine line to walk, for certain, and not a public battle that Goodell would likely want to fight.

Additionally, Dungy could have simply tuned into/recorded the daytime version of "Hard Knocks" -- an HBO spokesman told CBSSports.com that a swear-word-free version of the program (which we accidentally DVR'd and watched, to our own dismay) is produced to run during the daytime. Then he wouldn't have had to worry about being offended by Ryan's language.

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Posted on: August 14, 2010 9:16 am

Hot Routes 8.14.10: Roster Bubbles and Mannings

Got links for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter or send an email to andy[dot]benoit[at]cbs[dot].com.

Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill is out a few weeks with a knee injury. Considering he could face further suspension from the NFL for violating the personal conduct policy, and considering he hasn't lived up to his big contract as of late, this injury basically solidifies his backup status.

Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley could be on the roster bubble in Denver. It's okay, though, whether he's on a team or not, we can still describe him as "scrappy" (i.e. "white").

Hard Knocks viewership is up 37 percent this year. Nearly ¼ homes with HBO in the New York area tuned in to Wednesday’s premier.

Dolphins cornerback Will Allen will miss the rest of the preseason after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. Allen has been having problems with the knee he blew out last October.

Mike Klis of the Denver Post says, based on what he’s heard, Elvis Dumervil is expected to return from his torn pec sometime during the regular season.

Colts offensive coordinator Jim Christensen will be on the sideline during games, not up in the booth. Indy’s previous playcaller, Tom Moore, preferred the sideline as well.

Will Brinson apparently already posted this in yesterday's Hot Routes, but since port-a-potty is a super-hyphenated term we rarely get to use on this blog, I'm going with it again. So...Chiefs assistant coach Maurice Carthon used a port-a-potty for one of the running back drills. It was meant to develop hand-eye coordination. Click here if you can’t resist an explanation.

Colts say there’s no timetable for Manning’s contract talks.

Speaking of Mannings…if you’re interested in reading about what it’s like to be married to Eli, click here.

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Posted on: August 13, 2010 11:00 am

Jets' DBs doing pre-practice rain dance for Revis

Posted by Will Brinson

There's no question that the Jets defense will miss (or does miss, as it were) Darrelle Revis. Even with Rex Ryan's schemes helping to mask certain flaws, no one wants Antonio Cromartie playing the role of No. 1 cornerback on a team that already won the 2010 Super Bowl*.

Which may explain why the members of the secondary are doing a rain dance (for lack of a better phrase) around Revis' jersey on the practice field.

"We just have to keep his memory alive while he's not here," safety Jim Leonhard said of the dance. "The DBs always dance before games. We wanted to let him know that we're still thinking about him and he's still one of us."

Cromartie didn't even think the dance was enough from his end, either, running over to the right side of the field right before the snap as a tribute to the missing DB.

"That's his side," Cromartie said of why he vacated the left side. "I went over to the right side for that one play. That was my tribute."

Clearly, they like him. And miss him -- although it's unlikely that any sort of dance, short of one that can produce $15.2 million a year, will bring Revis back. His relationship with his teammates isn't the issue -- it's the relationship with the team that's the problem.

*only in Rex Ryan's mind

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Posted on: August 12, 2010 12:00 am

Hard Knocks, episode 1 review

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

I talked about this in my preview , but I didn’t love last year’s version of Hard Knocks, featuring the Bengals. So, I was interested tonight to see if I could resume my love affair with the show if I wasn’t intimately involved with covering the team. And the end result: Yeah, it was pretty good. Had to set up some storylines, but there were some laughs and some good in-practice footage. I’ll keep watching.

-The first voice we hear is coach Rex Ryan, and he’s already very salty. While talking to his team before he releases the players for the summer, he says, “We’re right where we want to be, no question about it. Enjoy this time. Get away from it. No matter what you’re doing, it’s better than my (bleeping) vacation. I’m cruising the Baltic’s with my in-laws and (bleep).” Great, great stuff already from Rex.

-I probably shoulld have counted his F-bombs, but I never did. If I had to guess? Maybe 30.

-It’s not often you get to see players training in the offseason. Dragging a tire behind you as you run hills doesn’t look fun.

-Like usual: a great intro. I love watching the mundane stuff you see every day but would never stop to focus on. Stuff like the FieldTurf spraying when a guy runs his sneaker along it in slow motion. I remember one day before practice last year when a Hard Knocks camera crew spent 30 minutes filming a worker painting one of the lines on the field before Bengals practice in Georgetown, Ky. Of course, the next week on TV, it looked like the most interesting thing in the world. Sure enough, just after I wrote that, the crew filmed somebody spray-painting a line in Cortland.

-Somehow I expected Rex Ryan to look thinner. But yeah, he looks better than before. Just not as much as I thought after his surgery.

-I was wondering how much they would focus on Darrelle Revis. I was wondering if they’d have filmed him. The answers: a pretty fair amount and no.

-Rex knows how to draw laughs from his squad. “Revis isn’t in this building right now. Does it matter that Revis isn’t here? Goddamn, he’s pretty (bleeping) good.” Big laugh.

-Ah, a Laveranues Coles sighting. This is his second Hard Knocks in a row. He must be loving it. That’s a joke, of course. Coles does not like dealing media. And when I say does not like, I mean he hates it. I interviewed him just once last year – which was more than just about anybody else - and he got pissed at me and abruptly ended it after a couple questions.

-How about Buddy Ryan in a tie on the sidelines in that archived film? I think Rex should bring back that look.

-Yep, we’ve got our long-shots to make the squad. Brashton Satele, a rookie LB, and Aaron Kia, a rookie OL from Hawaii. OL coach Bill Callahan is talking about out how Kia played in a spread offense in college and how he doesn’t know much the techniques around the NFL. Not surprisingly, he’s getting coached up quite a bit. Rex Ryan then calls him awful. Ugh. Satele, meanwhile, is impressing some people. Then, he sprains his ankle – which drastically decreases his chances of making the team.

-Lots of people being fined. Apparently, it costs you $5 if you’re caught running shirtless. Even Rex isn’t immune. He’s fined $1 per snacking offense.

-How about the hair-pulling by GM Mark Tannenbaum when dealing with the Revis stuff> I thought he was going to pull it out of his head.

-It’s a half-hour into the show before we’re introduced to Mark Sanchez. And he’s telling LB Bart Scott to shut up.

-Good lord, Joe Namath looks like my grandfather getting out of the front seat of that SUV. High belt line and a bit stooped. He does make a good point about how people shouldn’t fumble.

-I love the skills competition between Rex and Tannenbaum.

-Could there be a better name for a bone-crushing fullback than John Conner, who’s obviously nicknamed the Terminator? He should make the team just on his name alone.

-Well, they didn’t paint the Revis picture in very positive terms after the diner meeting, did they?

-We have our first casualties. Rookie LB Kevin Basped and his bad knees are let go, and Kia is laid off as well. Poor dudes. They don’t even make the second episode. Kia is told, though, that he could play in the UFL. So, he’s got that going for him. But man, he looks pretty pissed. Kia hands in his playbook, slams the door in the cameraman’s face and the episode ends.

-Once again, solid work from HBO. Looking forward to next week

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Posted on: August 11, 2010 6:33 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 7:12 pm

Top moments of Hard Knocks

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Hard Knocks premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET on HBO, and it’s tough not to be a little excited. I’ve watched every season of the show, even when I was a casual NFL fan. Even when while watching teams I didn’t care much about, the drama, the film-making, the voice-overs and the interviews make for a beautiful viewing experience.

Last year, while covering the Bengals for CBSSports.com, I was a part of it. Early in training camp – actually, I believe it was in Episode 1 – TE Ben Utecht went down with a scary-looking neck injury, and it’s likely the last time Utecht will step on a field. After the ambulance took him away, Bengals PR extraordinaire Jack Brennan got all the reporters together on the side of the field to give us an update.

The Hard Knocks cameras were there, and they got each of our faces as we listened hard for the news. The next day, a buddy said to me, “Hey man, you look like crap in HD.” And that was the extent of my starring role on Hard Knocks.

I didn’t love the show last year, probably because I already knew what had happened by the time each episode aired – one of the best parts of the show is the drama that’s built by the fringe guys trying to make the 53-man roster – and because I learned a few of the tricks that go into making a TV show like that.

But aside from that, it’s just a cool behind-the-scenes experience (and frankly, most everything that HBO shoots is gorgeous), and this year, it should be extra fun because the ever-loquacious Rex Ryan will be one of the stars. I’ll watch the show tonight and get my review of it up on the blog about midnight or so. Until then, here are the top three moments (as picked by me) in Hard Knocks history.

3. Dallas’ Marion Barber playing the piano (I’m a huge fan of somebody who’s not a pianist that can actually play the piano. That’s one reason I love Chico and Harpo Marx, and why Zach Galifianakis has become such a big star).

2. Kansas City’s Bernard Pollard can dance! In his underwear! Like a stripper! With his teammates going wild around him!

1. Marvin Lewis, in a phrase the Bengals beat writers imitated all season long: “Be a pro!” Warning: this video has some naughty language.

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Posted on: August 9, 2010 4:23 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2010 6:24 pm

Revis' agents met with GM Tannenbaum, sans HBO

Posted by Will Brinson

Some interesting developments in the Darrelle Revis holdout situation have emerged over the past few hours.

First, though, it's important to remember that August 10th at midnight is the deadline for Revis to report to camp and still receive an accrued year towards free agent eligibility -- that's Tuesday (aka tomorrow ). But while that deadline is pressing, if the sides can reach a long-term deal, it's meaningless.

Anyway, Revis' agents and Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum met at a diner recently to talk turkey. (And, presumably, contract too.) Revis had no knowledge, but HBO certainly did, because they actually asked to film the meeting, which is beyond awesome.

“We met with Mike this past Friday in Roscoe, NY at the Roscoe Diner,” Revis’ agent Jonathan Feinsod told The Daily News . “HBO wanted to be there, but we declined. At that meeting, we presented Mike with a proposal to show Mr. Johnson. We are waiting for a response.”

But would you expect Tannenbaum or Feinsod to let HBO sit with them? Hell no. Not to mention it defeats the purpose of conducting your business in a place that sounds as shadily fantastic as Roscoe's Diner.

Apparently, things went as well as can be expected: SNY's Chris Carlin is reporting that he spoke to "someone close to Revis" and that the DB doesn't plan on showing up tomorrow without a new contract.

That shouldn't be too surprising. And neither should the Jets waiting on their response. Given the importance of the midnight deadline on Tuesday for negotiating purposes, 12:01 AM Wednesday is the earliest anyone should plan on expecting a response from their camp.

UPDATE: Reports are saying the Jets have rejected Revis's offer. GM Mike Tannenbaum said "fundamentally, there wasn't a change." No progress still.

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Posted on: August 1, 2010 6:05 pm

Darrelle Revis "officially" begins holding out

It was assumedd that Darrelle Revis was going to hold out of Jets trainign camp. Now, it's official.

Revis' agent Neil Schwartz released a statement to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta this afternoon, stating that, "We waited until the last possible minute with hope of getting something done. Darrelle won't be there."

Scwartz added that Revis was "extremely disappointed" and that he was "very deliberate with his family weighing everything in his decision."

Finally, the agent called Revis "frustrated" and "hurt."

That's par for the course in terms of setting up your client to look favorable in the public's eye and making sure to play the PR game. But no one's shocked by the fact that Revis isn't in camp right now -- anyone who thought he was bluffing, that was probably a foolish assumption.

The reality here is that something will get done before the season starts. There's simply no way the Jets won't cough up some money to get their (arguably) best player on the field in time.

-- Will Brinson

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com