Hard Knocks: First Episode Both Entertaining And Informative

The first installment of HBO’s Hard Knocks came with mostly solid reviews from an entertainment standpoint (some thought it was a little slow), but from a fan perspective, there was a whole lot to glean from Wednesday’s show.

Here are a few noteworthy observations…

“Can’t you just turn it up mentally and give the body a break here and just… cool it?”

Those were Jon Gruden’s words to Antonio Brown as he continues to battle back from a foot injury. For whatever reason, Brown has been dealing his significant calluses on the bottom of his feet that haven’t been healing – most likely because he doesn’t rest his feet.

Based on Gruden’s comment, the team might be frustrated that there is an issue, but they haven’t been putting pressure on him to rush back.

The narration probably described AB’s situation best… “The good news is Antonio Brown is able to practice. The bad news: he’s not fully healed and he won’t slow down.”

Johnathan Abram is going to be a fan favorite.

Does the rookie ever stop talking?

Hopefully not, because Abram stole the show in the first episode.

Sometimes rookies come into the league and they need to put on a little size and muscle, but that won’t be the case with Abram. Physically, the 22 year-old already looks the part and it’s no secret that Abram is one of the real students of the game.

Antonio Brown has come off a little crazy over the past few months, but Hard Knocks showed a side of AB that was surprisingly regular.

He says some strange things, but more than anything AB comes across a little corny – as in he already has too many old man jokes. He seems likeable and anything but divisive to this point. Oh, and he also seems happy.

Brown had a fine opportunity to bash Ben Roethlisberger with the cameras on him, but didn’t. Trash talk was probably an element of AB that the HBO producers were counting on filming, but it didn’t happen in the first episode.

“You know what, let’s get some of these f—ing guys out of here that don’t want to play. You know if we’re not going to listen to the trainer, who we going to listen to?”

It was a surprise to see Ronald Ollie get cut so soon, but Gruden’s quote (above) showed a side of “Chucky” that Ollie should have already known about. If you don’t practice for Gruden, you don’t make the team – especially when you’re already a fringe player to make the roster.

“We’re big as f— up front.”

Richie Incognito said it on Hard Knocks, but opponents are going to be saying it soon, too. The Raiders offensive line is massive.

Incognito is enormous, but there is only one presumed starter along the Raiders O-line that is lighter than Incognito – and that’s 315-pound Rodney Hudson.

The average weight among the Raiders starting offensive linemen is 336 pounds and both tackles are listed at 6 feet, 8 inches.

On a note unrelated to Hard Knocks, the Raiders apparently confirmed to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Brown did, in fact, burn his feet in a cryogenic chamber.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

From Inside Training Camp: #Raiders WR Antonio Brown is still day-to-day with his troublesome feet after what team sources describe as a cryogenic chamber mishap. https://t.co/4NoT7IS8Yj

twitter: @raidersbeat