The fireworks weren’t as extreme this week on Hard Knocks, but the HBO show continued to pull back the curtain on the Jets training camp in Cortland.
The show starts with Giants Stadium being demolished to the tune of Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball. There was plenty of profanity, and Jets coach Rex Ryan wasn’t the only offender. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, RB Joe McKnight, RB coach Anthony Lynn and QB coach Matt Cavanaugh were all in on the act.
McKnight hasn’t been an impressive running back in camp, and HBO showed that the coaches don’t have a high opinion of him yet. It detailed the USC pick throwing up during the rookie minicamp and later failing a conditioning test. At time he flashes form. Lynn said McKnight is too distracted. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said he’s inconsistent. WR Santonio Holmes tries to give him a pep talk.
“I’m not tired,” McKnight said as Lynn tries to figure out what’s wrong.
“The (bleeping) details are slipping,” Lynn said.
Bart Scott pokes fun at McKnight, taking a shot at USC, “He’s just mad he’s taking a pay cut.”
Ryan and Tannenbaum’s obsession with snacks is also fodder for the Hard Knocks cameras, and they ask each other why all the M&Ms have been eaten.
“History speaks for itself, you are a blatant liar” Ryan said to Tannenbaum, riffing off the low point in the negotiations with Darrelle Revis’ agents.
Mark Sanchez may be a multi-millionaire, but the Jets QB is seen on the phone ordering pizza and complaining about a $.59 charge for bread sticks.
It gets into the relationship between the young QB and backup Mark Brunell, brought in to play behind Sanchez. Brunell notes that his daughter is just five years younger than Sanchez.
“He’s not meeting my daughter, she already thinks he’s cute,” Brunell said. “...I like the kid but I don’t like him that much.”
Speaking of children, an unintentionally funny moment was when Antonio Cromartie lists the names of his eight children. It takes him a moment, and when he lists their ages, it’s hard not to see how close they all are in age.
Mike Westhoff tells the moving story of his leg surgeries.
The story of Vernon Gholston starts with the narration, “Some things never seem to change.” D Line coach Mike Carrier lamented his reaction time, but Ryan seems encouraged by his progress, “I’m telling you this kid is coming.” Ryan said, adding that Gholston volunteered to take a paycut to try and get other Jets signed.
Ryan said if Gholston could get into a fight on the field, maybe he would turn into a real football player. “Maybe we can arrange it wouldn’t be the first time,” said Pettine. The coaches set up Rob Turner to pick a fight with Gholston, and Gholston throws Turner to the ground.
In the fullback competition, Lynn said in a meeting a lead guy is rookie John Conner, aka the Terminator. “He’s a younger T Rich, he’s our best lead blocker” said Lynn. “By the time we get through this camp I think he’s going to be the guy.”
The episode ends with the Monday night football game. RB Shonn Greene runs well, Conner knocks a Giant down. McKnight is tentative, “Damn Joe quit tiptoeing,” Ryan said.
The last scene is Ryan dressing down the second string players, who gave up the lead in a loss to the Giants.
“Make your damn mind up do you want to be a Jet or not?” Ryan said.