HBO’s Hard Knocks 2018: Episode 4 Review
Episode 4 starts out with a desperate plea from head coach Hue Jackson to wake up, and give 100%. Something I noticed was lacking way back in Episode 1 of this year’s Hard Knocks series.
I feel for coach Jackson and all he’s gone through over the last month or so. And I have a feeling coaching this bunch of guys does not make his life any easier. The common theme has to be breaking the culture of losing. But that’s not easy to do when no one in the organization has experience doing that. Not to mention, dealing with off-the-field issues, the Dez Bryant tryout, and looming cuts.
Probably the most ironic moment in the history of Hard Knocks did happen on this episode. The newly acquired linebacker Mychal Kendricks gave his “inside” scoop on how to beat his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles, who the Browns played in a preseason game last week. He did a great job of breaking down film on the Eagles and appears to be a great brain and asset to the locker room. However, we found out the very next morning after this episode aired that Kendricks has been indicted for insider trading and could face up-to 25 years in prison. He was immediately released by the Browns. How is that for luck Cleveland?
On a bright note, I will say that it appears like Baker Mayfield gets it. Not only is he playing well on the field for a rookie, he is grasping the playbook, and recognizing what he is seeing on the field, and in the film room. Maybe the Browns did make the right selection with the number one overall pick in this years draft.
Speaking of rookies, the rookie show appeared in this episode and finally these guys showed some personality and entertained me. Probably the best rookie show I have seen since I have been watching the Hard Knocks series. Let’s just say they did impressions, and it was hilarious and spot on.
Then we get into the preseason game with the Eagles that was straight up pitiful to watch. The game ended 5-0 in favor of the Browns. This time the defense played well, all though don’t be fooled, the Eagles phoned this one in and had no desire to lose in players in a preseason game against the Browns. It was the offense that sputtered around in this particular game. My concerns for the Browns this year will be more on the defensive side of the ball. After all, most of the shiny new weapons were acquired on the offensive side. But you have to be able to put a complete game together week-in and week-out to be competitive in the National Football League. I’m not sure the Browns will be able to do that too many times this year.
And we saw sideline bickering between Todd Haley and his players. Which is nothing new. It just appears that Haley always rubs these guys the wrong way. And Jarvis Landry did take exception to it. but at least he did apologize and they hugged it out. I hope they continue to be able to do that as the season drags on, and patience wears thin.
Another thing I will continue to harp on until I see it…where the hell are the running backs on this show? They must have zero personality. I cannot remember a solo shot, or one word spoken from Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson, or Nick Chubb, through this whole series. Four hours in total now. I don’t get it. That’s very peculiar that one of the more high profile positions on the team hasn’t had any of the spotlight.
Coming up next week our eyes will be on Nate Orchard and Devon Cajuste. These are two of the players that have been spotlighted this year who are battling for a roster spot. Next week is cut week, one of the more dramatic episodes of the series every year.
Catch the season finale of Hard Knocks on HBO this Tuesday night, September 4th at 10pm ET.
Brandon Reid covers the NFL for MyFantasySportsTalk.com
Follow him on Twitter @New_Breid
He is from Memphis and graduated from Arkansas State University with a degree in broadcast journalism. He loves the Memphis Tigers, Grizzlies, Titans, and Arkansas State Red Wolves.
“I promise to bring information, insight, and strong opinion. Let the debate begin.”
You can follow Brandon on Twitter @New_Breid