In the second edition of our takeaways from HBO’s special Hard Knocks featuring the Cleveland Browns, there were seven major takeaways from the second episode. The second episode was filled with many new storylines that were both interesting and dynamic for every viewer.
1. The Corey Coleman trade debacle was much more anticlimactic than anyone was expecting. In the previous article on episode one, this was one of the much-anticipated events for the second episode. The trade was briefly touched on, showing a conversation between the receiver and head coach Hue Jackson where Coleman explains he wants out of Cleveland.
Before this scene where Coleman angrily talks to Jackson, we see a “highlight” film of the former Baylor Bear dropping consecutive balls and running bad routes to offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s disgust. It is easy to see why Coleman was traded with just these few glimpses of practice footage. Here is a video of Corey Coleman’s drop that solidified the defeated season for Cleveland last year.
2. In Pittsburgh, Todd Haley was the punchline of jokes for most of the Steelers woes. Haley is not afraid to get into disagreements as he did several times with Antonio Brown and even Anquan Boldin while Haley was at Arizona. Haley, however, seems like he truly could be the head coach of the Browns.
He is constantly on his players for lack of hustle and he is both engaging and caring about them. It is visually evident that the offensive players are enjoying this behavior from Haley. His talks with both Antonio Callaway and Jarvis Landry showed the true character that Haley possesses.
3. If Antonio Callaway did not get into so much trouble off the field, he might have been a top-10 pick. However, the 21-year-old rookie has had a tough time avoiding the law. In this episode, we got an in-depth look at Callaway’s incident and how the Browns treated the situation.
The idea of playing Callaway for the entire first preseason game was a clever decision by the Browns’ coaching staff. The team now knows that there will be punishment for misbehavior and Callaway has also gained a stronger relationship with Haley and Jackson. Let’s hope the rookie can figure things out because he has the talent to be a dynamic player in the league.
4. Tyrod Taylor was the perfect fit for a Browns team on the rise. Taylor showed how truly positive he can be for a locker room in episode two. With his tips on how Jackson can improve players practice habits, and introducing his father to Baker Mayfield, Taylor showed what being a good teammate is like.
Taylor is one of those players that can really grab control of the locker room without having the most outgoing personality. Taylor is quiet for the most part, but has quickly gained the respect of his coaches and teammates. Baker and Tyrod have also seemed to develop a relationship, which should have Browns fans extremely excited.
5. Hard Knocks has found their journeyman NFL player with an amazing story in tight end Devon Cajuste. Cajuste currently sits at roughly fifth on the tight end depth chart and has an extremely slim chance of making the Browns roster.
So why was Cajuste mentioned in Hard Knocks, you ask? His amazingly tough attitude and relationship with his father are large reasons why. The story of how his father told Cajuste he only had five years to live while the tight end was only 13 is truly frightening. Cajuste’s father, however has lived seven years passed that point even after suffering three heart attacks.
Tears will surely trickle down my eyes when Cajuste is eventually cut.
6. Carl Nassib’s run-on joke throughout the first two episodes about putting a part of your money in the bank is hilarious. Nassib is encouraging teammates to not hang onto their money, but instead put it into the bank and let interest do the rest of the work.
Nassib has been in a lot of early scenes for the show and has provided comic relief in every single showing. From Todd Haley making fun of his first name Carl, to Nassib asking coaches if ‘stupider’ was a word, Nassib is just another football player enjoying every day. It would not have been a surprise to see Nassib’s economic lecture make it into the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
7. Gregg Williams is one frightening individual. His constant screaming and anger make it understandable that he was the one behind the bountygate scandal surrounding the New Orleans Saints. It is amazing to even think about the fact that in this day and age, a coordinator who was intentionally telling his players to go out and injure people still has a job in today’s NFL.
On the other hand, the ending of the show where Williams talks about the throat lozenges package is one of his funniest moments in the league. Don’t believe the bountygate scandal was that bad? Have a listen for yourself.