Review: Falcons 'Hard Knocks' Episode 1

August, 5, 2014
Aug 5
11:32
PM ET

The Atlanta Falcons made their HBO debuts with the first episode of "Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Falcons" airing Tuesday.

One of the funnier moments was when coach Mike Smith asked the players to show before and after shots from the end of last season to now. He commended guys like linebackers Joplo Bartu and Paul Worrilow and offensive linemen Peter Konz and Ryan Schraeder for improving their physiques. Then Smith jokingly showed a picture of center Joe Hawley with a fake big butt.

"Center, big ass," Smith said. "We had to get him down. Look at what he did when he came back in."

Smith then showed a picture of Hawley's bare butt, and the players exploded in laughter while Hawley did a strip-club-like dance from his seat.

"Only Joe Hawley," Smith said with a laugh.

"Hard Knocks" probably should have put a disclaimer for parental discretion advised before that hideous image appeared.

Here are some other highlights from the show:
  • Schraeder put one heck of a punch combination on rookie linebacker Jacques Smith moments after Smith and Hawley got into it in practice. Smith fired back at Schraeder with words, "You don't want this. I promise you you don't want this s---." But Desmond Trufant made sure to let Smith know not to ever let anyone swing freely at him, even if Smith thought Schraeder's punches were soft.
  • Neat freak Harry Douglas admitted he uses woman's deodorant because men's smells bad.
  • Former first-round pick Peria Jerry didn't really give coach Mike Smith a reason for his retirement, at least not on camera. Jerry said he's just going to be around his family and work.
  • Rookie defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman really can't sing, no matter if he did please his teammate with the subject of his song. Hageman was singing the blues after a poor showing during "Friday Night Lights."
  • Kroy Biermann's wife, reality star Kim Zolciak, thinks her husbands talks too much s---.
  • Steven Jackson has embraced his leadership role among the running backs and seems to have the ear of the younger guys. And by the way, Jackson was expected to be sidelined two weeks from when he tweaked his left hamstring in camp (July 28).
  • Jackson and quarterback Matt Ryan are training camp roommates.
  • Safety William Moore has a palm tree in his home and what looks like every Air Jordan shoe ever made.
  • Rookie defensive tackle Donte Rumph earned the nickname "cupcake" from defensive line coach Bryan Cox because Cox thought he was soft in handling a hyperextended elbow during organized team activities. Cox called Rumph "Donte" only after he makes a play.
  • Rookie running back Devonta Freeman appreciates the little things in life, like a big bathtub, after growing up in the Miami projects.
  • Rookie Dez Southward did a good job impersonating special teams coach Keith Armstrong.
  • Roddy White is jealous of Osi Umenyiora's two Super Bowl rings.
  • Coach Smith looks much better without a mustache.
  • Injured linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who hasn't spoken publicly since suffering an Achilles injury, will be on next weeks's episode of "Hard Knocks."

Vaughn McClure

ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter

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