It seems like this season of “Hard Knocks” has been more strictly about football than years past. I mean, it’s a show about an NFL team at training camp, so any season is football heavy, but it strikes me that this one is more skewed toward onfield action than other season. Not sure if that is simply because the Bengals are boring or if NFL Films is perhaps less willing to focus on the extraneous locker room stuff that is at the root of teams’ anxiety about participating for the series. Not necessarily a complaint. I’m gonna like any season of “Hard Knocks” and in this regard this one is no different. Just an observation.
On to the highlights.
This episode spent a lot of time dwelling on the artistic bent of Aaron Maybin, who proceeded to get cut at the end of the episode. Look at “Hard Knocks” taking a page out of the “Game of Thrones” playbook. Get us emotionally invested in a character only to quickly and mercilessly kill him off. Anyway, Maybin was the Bills’ first-round pick in 2009 and here it is four years later and he isn’t even getting to the last round of cuts with the Bengals. Good luck with the art career, dude.
If nothing else, I like this season of “Hard Knocks” as a useful examination into the insanity of James Harrison. Harrison hates the camera crews and says they haven’t earned the right to be in the locker room. He tells this to a reporter, who I imagine hasn’t done anything to earn being in the locker room that NFL Films hasn’t, without a shred of self-awareness. Also, James Harrison gets 300 needles stuck in him. Other Bengals players saw this and some attempted it, before quickly realizing how crazy it is.
Marvin Lewis hassled BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the film room for getting a ride to practice from Mike Brown. And what’s this? Law Firm getting himself a handful of old crusty white man knee? Considering many assume Giovani Bernard is going to take Green-Ellis’ job at some point this season, might not be the worst idea to suck up to Mike Brown to make sure he lets you stick around. Good luck getting sympathy out of Mike Brown, because you’re not getting any money.
Gonna be honest, don’t really know what was going on in the rookie show. Were they making fun of A.J. Green for getting hurt? Or just thinking he got hurt? Either way, it seemed like a bunch of five-year-olds being like, “DURR HURR THIS WAS YOU FALLING DOWN! A-HURR HURR.”
Taylor Mays is rather flamboyant, it seems. Kerry Rhodes knows what I’m talking about.