Hard Knocks ‘Training Camp With The Cleveland Browns‘ episode number four aired for the first time Tuesday night. It appears, the HBO and NFL Films crew have hit the dog days of training camp, no pun intended, just like the team. Here’s a summary of what took place.
Episode four was really dull in comparison to the previous three episodes in my opinion. My fellow Full Press Coverage Browns writer Matt Bruening has reviewed the first three episodes. Work commitments prevented him from being able to watch and review episode four. Yours truly gets the honor of sharing his thoughts about episode four. To be honest, I wish I have better things to say about episode four, but I don’t.
#Browns head coach Hue Jackson appreciative of the professionalism of @HBO’s & @NFLFilms #HardKnocks; joked he learned to kill his 🎤 a few times so some things couldn’t be recorded pic.twitter.com/7v0CHv1PMW
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) August 28, 2018
The opening moments take us inside the Browns film study. Head coach Hue Jackson share his criticism of his team’s lack of energy and hustle during practice. Jackson wants his players to have quote a ‘Do It Our Way’ philosophy instead of a quite ‘Do It My Way’ mindset. Jackson then requests the veteran leaders at each position to quote ‘Push The Level All The Time.’ What Jackson means by that is to have the leaders put in maximum effort and hope the other players follow along.
The show intro is well done. Mixing in the Browns players hard at work along with hard working Clevelanders around town exemplifies what Cleveland is, a blue collar bring your hard hat and lunch pail old school town. Showing the Hard Knocks logo on the Sherwin Williams building is the best way to end the show open. It imitates the former LeBron James banner that was there during his two stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
‘Fish in the Building.’ That’s how Jackson and general manager John Dorsey describe the return of Josh Gordon during a meeting in Dorsey’s office. Gordon is shown in the locker room alone right before the conversation between the head coach and general manager. Later on in episode four, Gordon is shown in pregame warm ups before the Philadelphia Eagles game. Gordon receives welcome back cheers from fans including two kids who get a surprise from the wide receiver, his gloves. Let’s hope Gordon continues to show this side of his personality going forward. Gordon is also shown being interview before the Eagles game by Fox Sports sideline reporter Kristina Pink.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 28, 2018
Now back to that conversation between Dorsey and Jackson. The coach and general manager start the difficult task of cutting the roster down to the mandatory 53 players. Final cuts take place this weekend. It will be interesting to see who stays and who goes. That will happen in the season finale next week. There could be a few surprises so stay tuned.
It starts with Jackson answering a question from Daryl Ruiter, the Browns beat reporter for WKRK Sports Radio 92.3 ‘The Fan.’ Ruiter asks Hue if Mayfield will get an reps in practice with the first team offense. Jackson’s answer is direct, no. I just have to ask if he could have said no just a few more times than he did. The Baker segment continues with a sequence of plays in practice and a portion of his media session.
Jarvis Landry takes some time in film study with rookie Antonio Callaway on ways he can improve his chances of making the 53-man roster. Later on in episode four, Landry is seen in perhaps the most noteworthy event on the show. Landry is shown in a shouting match with offensive coordinator Todd Haley during the Eagles game. Later on, both sides apologize to one another. Haley got his point across to Landry to be a leader and play at 100 percent just like Hue said at the start of episode four.
In episode two we saw Myles Garrett writing poetry. In episode four we saw some of his dance moves when some slow music was played followed by a slow motion run of him in practice. Needless to say some players and coaches didn’t care to much for the music. Wylie ask for the music to be shut off. There may have been an f-bomb included in his request, but I just can’t remember. A title for this segment of episode four should be called poetry in motion. Garrett is also featured dominating the Eagles offensive line during the preseason game.
Now we go on to the fan favorite of season 13 of Hard Knocks, tight end Devon Cajuste. We are introduced to him in episode two. His father, who is battling cancer, came up to watch his son practice. We also saw the two of them together enjoying some down time at one of the Cleveland Metroparks. In episode four, hard Knocks features Cajuste’s blocking, or trouble with blocking. He spends time with veteran tight end Darren Fells in practice. The extra time proved beneficial. Cajuste’s blocking improved in the Eagles game. He is still a long shot to make the 53-man roster.
Speaking of the 53-man roster, two guys who could be on the bubble have been feature a lot this season on Hard Knocks. Linebackers Nate Orchard and Carl Nassib are in a battle for a spot on Gregg Williams defense. One of them could be the odd man out. Thursday’s preseason finale against the Detroit Lions will go a long way in answering that question. Orchard is showed both in practice and with his family. Orchard is shown during stretching in what appears to be a praying position. Jackson walks by and tells him he better keep praying. Is that s sign of what’s to come? We also see Orchard’s wife in the stands hoping her husband will get more playing time against the Eagles.
In other highlights of episode four, we hear Tyrod Taylor inside the blue injury tent on the sidelines. He’s screaming in pain following his hand injury. Taylor is also heard inside the x-ray room at FirstEnergy Stadium and then exits and returns to the game.
We also witness portions of the broadcast meeting between Taylor and Mayfield with Troy Aikman of Fox Sports. Aikman and Mayfield meet again in pregame warm ups to discuss the video of Mayfield’s spoof video of Dorsey. More on that in a moment.
— Real Sports Talk Show (@SportsTalkCLE_) August 29, 2018
Fellow rookie quarterback Brogan Roback is caught on camera admitting he had to go up and meet Fox Sports sideline reporter Erin Andrews. He was surprised that she knew who he was. Andrews also takes a moment to wish the best to Cajuste’s family.
Episode four concludes with Cajuste sitting by Lake Erie in meditation. He also shows the cameras some of the rocks that are used in his meditation program. During the closing credits we see Taylor at an autograph and fan meet and greet session on the players off day following the victory over the Eagles. His non-throwing hand is wrapped up but he’s fine.
I’ve decided to end this review of episode four of Hard Knocks with the rookie show. Teams conduct these sort of things as a way to conclude the training camp portion of the schedule. All I have to say is future rookie classes will have a tough task in beating the class of 2018. The highlight is Mayfield’s spoof on Dorsey. It was so well done, it got a laugh out of the general manager, to bad he actually hated it.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 29, 2018
Other portions of the rookie show include wide receiver Blake Jackson doing a voice over of Landry’s speech to the wide receivers room earlier in camp. The voice over includes what Landry meant to say during the speech.
Browns recreated Jarvis Landry's "contagious" speech from training camp 💀
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 29, 2018
Mayfield and Roback do a spoof on Nassib’s financial advice and even included a Taylor Swift reference.
And finally two rookies do a spoof on the argument between Haley and Williams following a hit on the quarterback during practice.
— BBQ Dom (@RealBBQDom) August 29, 2018
Well with four episodes down, there is just one episode remaining for season 13 of Hard Knocks. It will be interesting to see how HBO and NFL Films will wrap up the series in 2018. Expect plenty of clips of roster cuts. Other than that who knows. What we do know is this, the Browns will be glad to see all the cameras go away and focus can be strictly on the season opener against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
Scott Piker is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Browns. So follow him on twitter @ScottPikerSport