In the fifth and final edition of our takeaways from HBO’s special Hard Knocks featuring the Cleveland Browns, the final episode of the season showed who made the team, and who was sent looking for work. The episode ended with several of the recurring character’s fates ultimately decided by general management and the coaching staff.
1) Devon Cajuste was unfortunately cut by the Cleveland Browns, unable to even make it on the team’s practice squad. Cajuste was in a battle with tight end Orson Charles for the last tight end spot on the roster.
Cajuste had his highs and his lows with the Browns, catching several passes but struggling in his blocking technique. The relationship he has with his father, Gregory Cajuste, was quite moving as well.
It was truly upsetting to see the former Stanford tight end cut, especially after working extremely hard and being a great team player.
2) Carl Nassib is another player that was cut during Saturday’s waiving period, and this one was rather shocking. Throughout the tidbits of practice that viewers would see, it seemed that Nassib had been making quite an impression on the Browns’ coaching staff.
Nassib seemed like a dominant force in practice, but he also was one of the reasons that this could possibly be the best season of Hard Knocks to date. Nassib’s insider trading lectures to his ongoing jokes towards offensive coordinator Todd Haley, the former Nittany Lion was a true fan favorite.
3) Let’s take a break from the cuts to talk about the funniest moment from the episode. An early scene shows the beginning of a Sunday practice in Cleveland with rap music blasting through the team’s speakers. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley, then watches Christian Kirksey dance to the music.
Kirksey’s dancing and the hilarious face that Haley makes while watching the defensive leader proved to be a great combination. Todd Haley was simply one of the best parts of the season as he provided a real easygoing attitude. It will be interesting to see if Haley can give this Browns’ offense a playoff appearance.
4) Brogan Roback finally got his chance to showcase his talents by taking the field against the Detroit Lions in the fourth game of the preseason. Roback struggled early but finished fairly strong throwing a nice touchdown pass over-the-middle of the field.
Roback’s impressive performance, however, was not enough to keep him on the team as the 24-year-old did not even make the practice squad. The undrafted quarterback showed nothing but class to Hue Jackson when told of the decision, but come on Hue, not even the practice squad?
5) Mychal Kendricks was touched on very briefly early in the episode for his release due to an incident involving insider trading problems. Wait a second, there was a player on the Browns named Carl Nassib that may have been able to help Kendricks.
The former Browns linebacker was released just a couple days after appearing on the show and bad-mouthing his former Eagles teammates Zach Ertz, Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Nick Foles. Maybe one of these three players was the culprit for the linebacker’s eventual release. We will be keeping an eye on you Nick Foles.
6) Hue Jackson has been criticized a ton in past articles for his inability to behave like a normal head coach. Jackson redeemed himself in the last episode in the series by notifying his players that they were cut in a very professional matter.
Jackson’s decisions on who to cut may have been somewhat surprising, but he handled it in a good matter. It does seem that he is a coach that his players love playing for with how they were talking to their former head coach.
7) The person that we will miss most is obviously Bob Wylie. The offensive line coach went from a nobody to America’s favorite offensive line coach in the league.
Wylie had some of the greatest lines in the show’s season and capped it off perfectly with his discussion of how all the girls at his school wanted to date him when he was younger. When you are that size with all that confidence, it is tough to disagree with him.
While everyone is aware of the stomach video from Wylie, we are just going to put it here just to give you one last laugh on an outstanding season of Hard Knocks.