“Hard Knocks” is back! Episode 2 did not disappoint at all. We got some big quotes, some funny jokes, and some really great sideline access. This episode had me wishing that the Detroit Lions could be on TV like this every single week for the rest of time.
As always, I have thoughts on this episode. These are those thoughts:
The goosebumps came early in this week's episode when the opening of the show featured a group of old clips that highlight Detroit and its sports teams, including a great bluesy song about the city. Just a great way to start the episode.
Frank’s Boat and Hocks shorts
You knew we had to get on Frank Ragnow’s boat at some point and we learned that Ragnow would love to pancake Aaron Donald. Perhaps that’s something we’ll see in the NFC Championship game this year.
Then we got the question of “Who wears short shorts?” answered. It’s T.J. Hockenson and, apparently, Dan Campbell’s wife. By the way, my mission this winter is to try to get my thighs to look like Hockenson’s.
Malcolm Rodriguez is a star in the making, and “Hard Knocks” can see that. We got a nice segment of the show that highlighted Rodriguez working his ass off in training camp and Kelvin Sheppard falling in love with him—while also being upset that a rookie is outplaying his vets. It’s hard not to fall in love with him. I was taken aback when Sheppard said a Lions coach of the past five years said Rodriguez’s play is better than any he’s seen in Detroit.
Later, Rodriguez got more time to shine when the episode focused in on his good showing against the Falcons. The kid is going to be a big deal someday. And that someday may be here sooner than later.
Swift can be one of the best backs in the league
Seeing Duce Staley talk to D’Andre Swift while watching clips of the fan fest was really something. Swift’s play against the Falcons on Friday showed that he was listening. It’s all about finishing plays and fighting for every yard you can get. While he really showed that with his touchdown Friday, it was interesting to see both Swift and Staley more interested in the mistake he had made previously in the drive.
Swift better keep improving, because Barry Sanders says he’s tempted to get back out there. What a crappy practice field the Lions used to have, by the way.
Amon-Ra St. Brown remembers
St. Brown going through every receiver taken before him shows you exactly the type of guy he is. He’s the guy that wants to make teams pay for not taking him, and he’s well on his way to doing that. The guy already broke rookie records, and he looked good on Friday too. St. Brown may be one of the pillars of this team.
We finally got to see St. Brown and his jugs machine. John Brown (Amon-Ra’s father) needs to come to the Lions to be a strength and conditioning coach. He at least needs to get a job with the team to get on the players about how to properly lift and not drink water. He’ll make sure you do your damn calf raises. Maybe the Brooklyn Nets should hire him to work with Kevin Durant.
Aaron Glenn is a leader
What a speech by Lions’ defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. He gave a stirring speech about feeling like a winner and changing the way you feel each week. He touched on the college years of Michael Brockers and Jonah Jackson and how it felt like to be part of a winning program—knowing that they were going to win every gameday. Glenn said it’s time to feel that way here.
David Blough and Melissa Gonzalez
What a cool thing to see. Last year, we got to see Blough watch his wife qualify for the Olympics. This year we got to see a little more about that relationship and see Gonzalez putting in work to qualify for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
Of course, their storyline took a turn after David Blough’s critical fumble against the Falcons. You so rarely get to see the sideline after a moment like that. It was interesting to see Blough head to the sideline and Jared Goff being there to encourage him.
I would have liked to see more from the coaching staff, but just because we didn’t see it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Goff made a good point at the end of the game when he told Blough “you don’t know what would have happened.” Players need to hear something like that after those moments.
This is the stuff I wanted to see the most. Duce Staley on the sideline yelling at Swift was a lot of fun. Again, you can see that Swift is listening.
Getting to see John Brown watch his son getting some big plays in was cool, too. It was nice to see him get mic’d up. It was hilarious to hear him talk about Aidan Hutchinson sitting in the luxury box. The Hutchinson family got to see their boy go out and make some big plays from that luxury box. Hutchinson’s mom crying was special.
Fuckin Funchess Bunches Of Oats
That’s it. I just felt that needed to be highlighted.
Campbell’s post-game speech
Campbell’s post-game speech wasn’t what some may have expected. I say that in a good way. You always expect coaches to light up their team after losses. Maybe the Matt Patricia era just has me feeling that way still. Campbell talked about how the team needs to just work on the little things and make sure their trajectory keeps going up. Hopefully, we’ll get more in Episode 3.
That James Bond taking a bath joke had my wife and I holding our ribs from laughter. I guess that’s just our kind of humor.