In the fourth edition of our takeaways from HBO’s special Hard Knocks featuring the Cleveland Browns, the fourth episode was highly awkward and strange compared to the previous three. The fourth episode led up to the Browns’ preseason game against the Eagles, a game in which they won 5-0. Here are the moments we felt were most important to remember.
1) Last week, Mychal Kendricks tried encouraging the Browns’ linebacker room by stating that they were better than the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles’, a team that Kendricks played for just last season. The former 2nd-round draft pick even declined to comment on the preview at the Eagles preseason game when asked by reporters.
In the episode, Kendricks doubled down on the preview from last week, giving scouting reports on three of his teammates (Zach Ertz, Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Nick Foles) by pointing out the flaws in each of them. The linebacker called out his former teammates showing his harsh feelings towards Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and his decision to cut Kendricks.
2) The recreations that Hue Jackson showed in front of the entire team were both hilarious and clever. Rookies Baker Mayfield and Blake Jackson stole the show with their impersonations of Jarvis Landry, Carl Nassib and John Dorsey.
There have been a lot of funny moments and ideas that have come through this season of the sports-drama show, but this one was clearly a favorite. Watching the players react to the events from the past episode shows how that these players are having fun with what they do. It is important to note that Baker Mayfield may have the most outgoing personality of any quarterback in the NFL.
3) The world simply needs more Bob Wylie. This is the second straight week one of our seven observations involved the newly famous offensive line coach, and for good reason. Wylie’s constant one-liners and humor make him a coach that any player would want to play for.
This week, Wylie complained about the music playing during practice, how long football sleds have been in the NFL and about how he could not understand the words to a rap song playing in the stadium. Wylie has clearly been a highlight to the show’s season. Here is a video of Wylie’s stomach moving when he says “Hut.”
4) Myles Garrett dominated in practice all episode and dominated Eagles offensive tackles during the preseason game Thursday night. Garrett is entering his second year with the Browns after being drafted with the No. 1 pick, and he is starting off on the right foot.
The star defensive end has a huge chance to win defensive player of the year this season if he continues to dominate like he has this preseason. While there may have not been too many draft picks remaining on the Browns’ roster the last couple years, Garrett was surely a draft gem.
5) How many teams in the NFL have a nap area? Seriously, is this a thing that happens at any of the other 31 teams in the NFL? In one of the strangest scenes of the week, many players were shown taking naps after practice in the team’s nap area to regain their strength.
This is a very good idea as it regains a player’s stamina if they have a walkthrough or meetings later in the day, but it was still weird to see for the first time. If it’s not a common practice, it’s just another reason for the Browns’ recent failures.
6) Troy Aikman made an appearance on the show as the broadcaster interviewed both Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield before the game on Thursday. This is standard protocol for broadcasters as they need quotes that they can read out during the game about an individual player.
Joe Buck, however, was not at this meeting with the players. This was something that immediately jumped into our minds because he is just as important to the broadcast as Aikman, maybe even more so. We unfortunately did not get to see Joe Buck’s football knowledge up close and personal, but at least we will still get to see him Sundays on FOX.
7) Here at What the Sports, we like to save the best for last, and the most important takeaway from the week was the fact that Hue Jackson put Tyrod Taylor back into the game after injuring his wrist. After a scary fall on his left wrist earlier in the game, Jackson put Taylor back into a meaningless preseason game with tape on his left wrist.
This is one of those decisions that really makes you question if a change should have been made at head coach for the Browns. Taylor, a 29-year-old veteran with tons of experience in the NFL, should not have been inserted back into the game even if it was simply a bruise on his wrist. Jackson should have known to be more careful and he is lucky he did not lose his quarterback because of an unnecessary injury.