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Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Can he pull a Revis out of a hat?

By Rich Cimini

As previously reported, Darrelle Revis doesn't have any camera time in Episode 3 of "Hard Knocks," which aired Wednesday night on HBO. There are a couple of passing references to the holdout cornerback, but the latest show provides no insight into the state of the Revis negotiations.

But there is humor, courtesy of quick-witted Bart Scott. On the team's final night in Cortland, N.Y., the annual rookie show is staged. This year, it includes a professional magician, who starts his act by using Mark Sanchez in a card trick. Sitting in the back of the auditorium, Scott says to no one in particular, "Make Revis show up. That would be a hell of a trick."

Other notable moments in the show:

• It's a rough show for WR David Clowney, whose roster spot appears in serious jeopardy. In a staff meeting, O.C. Brian Schottenheimer is critical of Clowney. Special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff, too, rips Clowney on the practice field. Westhoff seems to be pushing smurf WR/PR Larry Taylor for a roster spot.

• Funny scene in the coaches' office, when Rex Ryan's assistant negotiates a $2,500 fee for the magician -- about half his usual price for a show.

"Anything else you want me to negotiate?" she asks.

"Call Revis," Ryan replies.

• The show highlights the plight of DE Ropati Pitoitua, who impresses the coaches with his athletic ability and raw power. D.C. Mike Pettine: "He's fast becoming a varsity player." Later, the cameras show a devastated Pitoitua in the locker room after the Carolina game, being told that his Achilles' tendon is torn.

• Weird scene. Ryan, GM Mike Tannenbaum, owner Woody Johnson, WR Braylon Edwards and RT Damien Woody working out on treadmills in a Cortland gymnasium.

• Speaking of Edwards, he was supposed to be featured in this show. In fact, he tweeted earlier Wednesday about how much he was looking forward to his "Hard Knocks" debut, but he apparently ended up on the cutting-room floor. Wonder if he got bounced for C Nick Mangold, whose contract extension (Tuesday) makes the show as an 11th-hour add.

• Classic stuff from Westhoff, who gives a bleeping performance that probably won't make him too popular in the Tony Dungy household. Best line from Westhoff, on injury-plagued LB Brashton Satele: "Let him open up his freakin' pizza shop in the Bronx and leave me alone."

• We get an up-close view of the rookie-hazing scene in which rookie CB Brian Jackson is tied to a goal post and doused with Gatorade, baby powder (Johnson & Johnson, no doubt) and Icy Hot. You almost feel bad for him. Later, Jackson is voted "King Ugly" by his teammates.

• Ryan and Tannenbaum, looking at the depth chart, seem certain about 51 or 52 roster spots. Who will get the last spot? They mention Clowney, Taylor, RB Danny Woodhead, TE Matt Mulligan, FB Jason Davis and LB Lancy Laury as candidates.

• We see genuine anger from Ryan and Schottenheimer during the Carolina game. At halftime, Schottenheimer tears into his misfiring offense, saying they will run every time until they get a first down. "That's bull ----," he says of the first-half performance. Ryan, disgusted with the performance of his third-string defense later in the game, is positively livid and re-inserts some second teamers just so they can win the game. Great line from Ryan on his third stringers: "Some of those guys can't play dead in a B Western."

• Ryan gushes about RB Chauncey Washington, who runs hard and delivers a crushing blow that forces a fumble on a Carolina punt return. Ryan exclaims, "Holy ----, was that a hit! Holy ----, was that a hit!" He says it so often that he sound like Russ Hodges: "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!" Afterward, he announces that Washington wins a game ball. They don't show Washington's late-game fumble. Why spoil a good storyline with a fact?

• After Joe McKnight's 67-yard punt return, the coaching staff has the same reaction: "Is he gonna puke?" That, of course, is a reference to McKnight's vomiting episode during a minicamp practice.

Overall, a solid show, better than the second, not quite as good as the first. And Revis still isn't in camp.