• Dylan Fadden

Hard Knocks Episode 4 Recap

After the season premiere, Hard Knocks is best described as adequate. The initial hype of the show has failed to be captured in the past couple episodes and while it has been entertaining, I cant necessarily say I would recommend it. Maybe its not their fault, but with the Browns I distinctly remember being genuinely excited for the next episode to come out and being able to root for guys like Cajuste and Carl Nassib. I just don't feel like I have that type of connection to any of the players that have taken up a majority of this years Hard Knocks. Nevertheless, lets dive into some of the things that should be highlighted from this past episode.



Pro's:


I cannot stress enough how much I love Jon Gruden. No matter what, he never fails to deliver comical on screen moments. Especially the various facial reactions and comments we saw from him while the rookies sang in front of the entire team. A couple of the better ones were when Fullback Alec Ingold and Cornerback Trayvon Mullen came to the center of the room. Ingold was quickly rooted from the stage by collective boos and Gruden yelling "get him the fuck out of here". As for Mullen, Im not sure exactly what Gruden was thinking but he was wearing a disturbed facial expression and quickly ended the entire thing.



As the team traveled to Canada to play their 3rd preseason game against the Packers, they ran into some issues. Since the Canadian Football league plays on a field with different dimensions, they had to move the field goal posts and try to patch it up and make the field playable. But the Packers trainers deemed it unsafe to play on causing this entire controversy. In an attempt to fix this situation the refs decided to make the field shorter and play without kick offs. Gruden utilized this as a way to motivate the players and concentrate on playing the game. Another thing that happened at this game was a little insight on the beautiful relationship between Carr and AB, as they were dancing around in warm ups AB tells Carr that his "....swag's decent" and that he has "....some moves on the low". Im not sure that the nice guy Derek Carr and goofy Antonio Brown combo is necessarily a match made in heaven but it seems like its going to work for now. I honestly believe that the both of these guys will benefit from each other and will put together a pretty good statistical year come this regular season. Im not sure what they did differently but the camera work for this camera was insanely good. During the 4th quarter as the raiders were down 8, the camera work suddenly got increasingly better. Especially as it followed Peterman into the huddle, it was nothing that I have ever seen before. Hard knocks continues to impress every week in this area.



Oh, and it's official Gruden loves Peterman, and Glennon stands no chance for the backup spot behind Carr.



Cons:


No offense to whoever the coach was at the beginning but having him start the episode was a blatantly bad choice. I will not accept anything except Jon Gruden giving the opening speech to start the episode. While his speech may be truthful and honest, its not the same, its not Jon Gruden. Along with that, I really liked the "Knock on wood if you're with me" phrase that Gruden would constantly use. But when the producers added in an entire montage of it, I pretty much wanted to turn off the TV and go to bed. It was a good idea but quite honestly it was poor execution and came across as annoying.


Another complaint I have is the lack of practice. Throughout the entire season we have seen barely any practice scenes, I would even argue that they have shown more scenes on the film room than the actual practice field. Even when they do show the practices its rarely of actual drills or scrimmages, its just of players talking. After recollecting my thoughts, I also came to the conclusions that they spent way too much time focusing on individual players than the entire team. Before the show started I was worried about it turning into the Antonio Brown reality show and oddly enough it has turned into that in a way. This years Hard Knocks has turned into following a variety of players narratives instead of whats going on with the team as a whole.




Conclusion:


This current season of Hard Knocks has steadily decreased over the past couple of episodes. As I mentioned previously it just doesn't hold the same time of energy that it did at the beginning. In the first couple episodes they showed old clips of John Madden, the grounds crew working, and the various other things that tugged at my love for football. In the past couple episodes, they strayed from the sentiments that made Hard Knocks a must watch for die hard football fans. As I mentioned in my previous recaps, it was the little things they did that continually made me excited for every episode. Now, its just eh. Hopefully the producers end the show on a high note because of the past weeks I feel as if I've been let down a bit.


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