This weeks episode of Hard Knocks features the Antonio Brown drama, Frank Caliendo, a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals, and Hunter Renfrow getting made fun of by basically the entire team.
I know I have said this before but Hard Knocks never fails to produce shows that are pleasing to the eye. I love the little things they do that may go right past others. One moment in particular this past episode that stood out was the camerawork on a TD caught by backup TE Derek Carrier. Perfectly positioned, the cameraman was able to capture a slo mo shot of this moment. While this took a mer 10 seconds of the hour long episode, it makes a difference; it's the little things.
Despite what I said previously about Hard Knocks becoming the Antonio Brown reality show, I absolutely loved every excess minute of him on the camera this week. He’s goofy and has the type of energy that brings positivity to a locker room. We are able to see the “Antonio Brown effect” as soon as he returned to camp. His teammates were ecstatic and ran over to greet him, hell, even Jon Gruden was thrilled. Yes, I understand this helmet issue was diva esque but unfortunately things of that nature are apart of having a guy like him, you have to understand that you're not only getting the player but also the mentality and traits that make him the special player that he is.
I'm not sure if I'm the only one but I absolutely love the rookie segments. This week they featured former Raven Darren Waller(I know he's not a rookie but it's close enough). He has a moving story with drug abuse and basically wanting to give up on his NFL dream. After he found himself in rehab, the Raiders called him up and brought him in to potentially be their guy at the tight end position. Gruden has a knack for finding the best in people and that's what makes him such a great coach. It would not shock me if Waller ends up being great for them this season. Another guy that we have already seen is slot wideout Hunter Renfrow. It’s too soon to be able to tell just exactly how much the Raiders will use him on the field this year but he's establishing himself in other ways. Aside from being a likable guy, the Raiders love to pick on him. During this episode, Gruden shows a picture of Renfrow at the combine during a team meeting, and the entire room erupted into laughter. He looks similar to what a 30 year old working a 9 to 5 would look like. Shortly after, they show Derek Carr joking about his apparent receding hairline. Besides his lack of looking the part of a football player, Renfrow is actually a phenomenal player. In the future he could and probably will be a great asset and mismatch for this Raiders offense.
I’ve given up all hope that Josh Jacobs will be featured in this series. I understand that he may not want to be seen but not at all????? Ever since I saw Jacobs play at Alabama I have been so excited for him to be in the NFL, and currently I am being deprived of that. I guess now I’ll have tune into week 1 to see him tear apart the Broncos on Monday night.
Another thing that I couldn’t really understand were the news segments at the beginning of the episode. I’m not entirely sure if they were fake or not but they looked terrible on the screen. I normally love the aesthetics of the show but this was awful. Especially the Kyle Brandt/Good Morning Football one, it was some corny and cheesy segment about Antonio Brown being Willy Wonka sending people to search for a helmet. It didn’t fit the rest of the shows format and looked out of place. Which was why it drove me crazy because they usually do such a great job with the rest of the show, and then they added these news clips that looked as if they were fake.
After this third episode, I can finally say that I have liked most of what I've watched and haven't had many negative things to say. I also haven't been blown away by the past two episodes either. Overall this season has been pretty good but I need some more moments similar to what was in the first episode to get me pumped for football season again.