Hard Knocks Jets Episode 3: Highlights From The Entire Season
When Rex Ryan is involved you are certain a few things are bound to happen; there will be soundbites a plenty, a bold prediction or two will be made, and someone is going to get verbally thrashed.
All of the above can be seen in the first three episodes of HBO's Hard Knocks.
If you haven't watched this year's version, you need to and here are 10 reasons why.
Bart Scott's Play, Bart Scott's Mouth
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"Every once in a while you have to say, Bart, shut up." - Mike Pettine (Defensive Coordinator)
Bart Scott's resume speaks for itself, as an All-Pro in 2006, Ray Lewis's running mate in the middle for the better part of seven seasons in Baltimore and now as the linchpin in the middle for Rex Ryan's defense, the vet is very good at what he does.
But Scott doesn't need his resume to speak because he does enough of it on his own. Calling him a vocal leader is putting it lightly.
Scott is his own stand-up routine in Hard Knocks and just as he brings it once the ball his snapped, he provides commentary before and after as well. Here are a few snippets from Scott.
* "He's just mad because he's taking a pay cut." Commenting on Joe McKnight's position at USC, compared to his position with the Jets.
* "You drink that Metamucil today? I know you ain't regular." Shouting at the offense from the sideline.
* "Mark Brunell look like the first Stetson Man commercial." On Mark Brunell's appearance.
* "Nacho!" Teasing Mark Sanchez. Sanchez's retort? "Nachos aren't even real Mexican food, I'm going to tell Bart that, that'll get him."
* "Make Revis show up, that'd be a helluva trick." During magic act at the Rookie Show.
It doesn't matter if he's on or off the field, Scott is the heart and the mouth of this New York Jets defense.
Santonio Holmes Flashes Leadership Role
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Santonio Holmes has found himself in a heap of trouble recently and will not appear in the first four games of 2010 after receiving a suspension after violating the league's substance abuse policy.
It looks like Holmes is turning a new leaf with the Jets, displaying his ability to act as a mentor for young Jets like rookie halfback Joe McKnight. McKnight has shown flashes of brilliance but oftentimes displays a lack of focus and determination.
He failed an offseason conditioning test, threw up during practice and looked confused quite a bit during training camp.
After once again looking confused and putting forth lackluster hustle, Holmes pulled him aside and explained that after and before every play he needed to ask his fellow running backs or his position coach what his responsibilities were.
He went on to explain that if he ever wants to learn, McKnight must ask questions and pick the brains of both veterans and coaches alike.
Brunell Shows Sanchez The Ropes
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Mark Brunell is the the definition of a journeyman quarterback, entering his 18th year in the league he has played for five different NFL teams. But staying in the league for 18 years is a testament to both his physical ability and his mental prowess.
That mental prowess looks to be paying dividends in the development of second-year starter Mark Sanchez.
Brunell's age is the butt end of many jokes but when Sanchez botches a play or needs encouragement, Brunell is there to offer advice, support, and direction.
During a portion of the second episode Sanchez goes through a rough patch and plays poorly in practice. Sanchez's confidence is rattled and Brunell is there to help pick up some of the pieces.
After Sanchez throws an interception on his first pass attempt of the preseason, Sanchez heads over to the sideline. Sanchez turns to Brunell.
"Hell of a way to start the year," Sanchez said.
"That's not the year," Brunell replied. "It's the preseason."
The Terminator: John Conner
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You've seen it before, the perfect name for a player at a specific position that tells you he was born to play there. Take linebacker Pat Angerer of the Colts or Cedric Killings former Houston Texans' defensive tackle.
Well, Jets' rookie fullback out of Kentucky, John Conner, has that name. Who better to slay giant linebackers and unsuspecting corners then The Terminator (slayer)?
Although I think that Rex Ryan, Bart Scott, and company forget that it was John Conner's job to kill The Terminator(s) but who am I to ruin their fun?
Either way, this kid is good and despite the presence of wily vet Tony Richardson, he might just come away with the starting job.
"By the time we go through this camp, I think he's going to be the guy," running backs coach Anthony Lynn said.
Mike Westhoff: Inspiring and Funny As Hell
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Rex Ryan is packed full of soundbites and is the fearless leader of the New York Jets but if there is anyone who could match that intensity and compete with those soundbites, that man is special teams coach Mike Westhoff.
Westhoff has beaten cancer several times in his life and nearly lost one of his legs. I'm not sure how he was before or during those times of adversity but the man he is today sure is entertaining.
Not only is the man a damn good coach, he is as funny as they come. Here is a sampling of his lines from the third episode of Hard Knocks.
* "Quit getting f---ing exasperated, you didn't play that many plays and you look like you're dead," Westhoff said. "I don't give a sh-- if you have the triple f---ing Asian flu." Speaking to Matt Mulligan who looked fatigued.
* "We've been talking about David's ability, for crying out loud, since Bush was president," Westhoff said. Referring to Jets' wide receiver David Clowney and how HBO described him as not being a big part of the Jets' offense.
Rookie Hazing: Brian Jackson
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You knew it would happen eventually, it happened to Tim Tebow, the Cowboys tried it with Dez Bryant and now the Jets have hazed and broken in rookie corner Brian Jackson.
Jackson was tied, taped and dragged to the field goal post in just a matter of seconds. The culprits were Kris Jenkins, Bart Scott, Antonio Cromartie and Jason Taylor.
After tying the young man to the base of the field goal post the vets then doused Jackson with Gatorade and talcum powder, interchanging the ingredients to make an interesting mixture.
Jackson took it well, which just goes to show you that not all rookies would mind carrying some shoulder pads.
Rex Ryan: Profane and Never Mundane
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If you want profanity laced tirades, bold predictions and quarterback to coach controversy, Rex Ryan is your man.
The always entertaining head coach of the New York Jets provided some nice one-liners, a few F-Bombs and even had a word or two for Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady.
* “Last year, hey we were under the radar that’s a good place to be. F**k that the best place to be is when expectations are high.”
* “Revis? Where are you?” (knocks on door) “I wish. Come home, Revis. Come home.” While doing room checks the first week of camp.
* “Hey, guys, we don’t have Revis in this building right now. Does it matter that Revis is not here? Goddamn, he’s pretty f**king good. He’s pretty good, OK? But you know what guys? It isn’t about one guy, its about leading the league in f**ing wins.”
* “This will be some light reading for you. It’s every negative article they wrote about us. Just a little poop material.” After handing LaDainian Tomlinson a stack of papers.
Kris Jenkins: Leader and Apparently a Stretcher
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In a bittersweet moment during the Panthers/Jets game, Kris Jenkins displayed compassion and leadership when he carried Ropati Pitoitua off the field on his back.
It was later revealed that an achilles injury would spell the end for Pitoitua as he was headed for the IR. Jenkins act is the type of thing you hope to see from a veteran like himself.
This game is brutal and one of the only aspects that keep a player going during the grind of the season is the comrade between teammates.
Jenkins has always been regarded as a good teammate and this will only further that reputation.
Cameos: Joe Namath and Marty Schottenheimer
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In a reality show such as this you are bound to see a few former players and/or coaches. This time around both former Jets' quarterback and Hall of Fame inductee Joe Namath and former NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer and father of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, made appearances.
Namath gave Sanchez advice on how to take a proper snap after Sanchez struggled in practice taking snaps.
He told Sanchez that if he changed the way he receieved the snap he would cut down on fumbles and that if the change worked for him when he played, it would work for Sanchez as well.
Marty also chimed in about Sanchez's struggles in practice.
"You know the one thing I always said about the quarterback, right? The guy who as a rookie performs at a certain level, it's the next year that you get to him to play at the same level, you've made progress."
Revis Island: Cold, Lonely, and Apparently Underpaid
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If you want to see "Darrelle Revis" talk on Hard Knocks, have a healthy helping. If you want to see Darrelle Revis, that's another story entirely.
Revis's contract negotiations seem to be the topic of conversation every five minutes on the show and yet no changes seem to occur on the status of those talks.
General Manager Mike Tannenbaum and owner Woody Johnson look defeated throughout the first three episodes and it seems the stalemate is affecting Tannenbaum a great deal.
A man who is used to getting deals done and making the right moves, does not have that many cards to play despite having the leverage of three years of Revis's rookie contract remaining. He wants to make a deal, he wants to make Revis "a Jet for life."
Despite these desires there is a "fundmental difference" between the Jets' brass and Revis's reps. Keep watching for any new developments because so far, we've only seen more of the same.