A wild week for the Oakland Raiders has finally culminated with the release of the second episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks. A week plagued with drama involving new wide receiver Antonio Brown led to much anticipation for the release of this episode. The Raiders also hosted two joint practices and a preseason game with the Los Angeles Rams, who were on the show in 2016.
Last week’s episode saw Brown’s foot injury lead things off. There was also time spent with Quarterback Derek Carr and rookies Johnathan Abram and Clelin Ferrell. Ronald Ollie’s dismissal also took center stage in the episode. This week’s episode switched the focus to some other players, but also addressed the Brown helmet controversy. Below we’re going to go through the biggest takeaways from episode two.
1. Antonio Brown’s Foot Injury Confirmed
Antonio Brown has ruled the Raiders headlines for some time at this point. The recent helmet controversy has been the hottest recent story, but his foot injury has been a longer issue. He has an interesting way of describing what needed to be done to his feet.
“I’m getting circumcised on my feet,” said Brown.
Brown had a chance to finally make clear what exactly happened to his feet.
“I was on a vacation in Paris, I was training,” said Brown. “I was trying cryotherapy to recover my body and I got out and I felt my foot burning. The next 24 hours [my feet] swole up. I couldn’t really walk or put a lot of pressure.”
If you thought the Raiders would keep HBO from talking about the helmet situation, you would be wrong. It didn’t get much screentime, but it was briefly addressed. They didn’t show any player or coach reactions to the controversy. Mike Mayock had a chance to talk to speak to Brent Musburger about the issue but didn’t give any new information. The Hard Knocks crew did get a chance to sneak in some footage of Brown’s Tuesday return to practice.
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2. Keelan Doss gets Spotlight With Brown Absent
Undrafted rookie wide receiver out of UC Davis Keelan Doss got a lot of screen time with Antonio Brown out. As an Alameda local, Doss is quickly becoming a hometown favorite. He is excited to join his local team.
“Coming from the bay area and being able to play for the Raiders, it’s something I always dreamed of,” said Doss.
He also got praise from his quarterback.
“I love Keelan,” said quarterback Derek Carr. “I think we’ve seen him make some spectacular catches.”
Doss caught a touchdown in the first preseason game against the Rams and has been making his case that he deserves a spot on the roster. He’ll have a tough time considering the Raiders are absolutely loaded at wide receiver, but scoring touchdowns will definitely help his case.
3. Clelin Ferrell Gets Chewed Out
Rookie fourth overall pick Clelin Ferrell got a nice chewing out courtesy of defensive line coach Brenston Buckner. He was not happy about Ferrell using excuses.
“Until you get the balls to do what we do every day, we ain’t gonna be nothin’ but average a** players,” said Buckner to his unit. “You play for the Raiders, as of now, but if you keep that s*** up, you won’t play for the Raiders.”
Ferrell played well in his first preseason action, but the rookie still has a lot to prove to his coach. He was considered a reach when the Raiders drafted him because Kentucky’s Josh Allen was still on the board. Ferrell was very productive in college, but he’s going to have a chip on his shoulder. Buckner seems like he’s a very no-nonsense coach. Him yelling at Ferrell shouldn’t get fans too worried about the rookie just yet.
4. Hunter Renfrow & Maxx Crosby Disappoint At… Singing
In a display that was more horrifying than Antonio Brown’s grotesque feet, rookies Maxx Crosby and Hunter Renfrow were forced to sing in front of the whole team in a meeting. Luckily, both players have played well in camp and won’t be judged too hard on their singing skills.
Crosby’s recent wrist injury was addressed. While it doesn’t look like he’s going to miss any regular-season time, it could keep him out for a few weeks. He showed off his toughness by putting on a cast and going back into the game. It’s just a preseason game, but the rookie has got to prove himself. He’s been impressing coaches left and right, so this injury shouldn’t be the kiss of death for him. It could affect his playing time early on, but he’ll get his chances.
5. Los Angeles Rams Come to Town
2016 Hard Knocks alumni, the Los Angeles Rams, came to Napa to share the practice field with the Raiders. Based on the footage Hard Knocks released from the practice, Oakland has a lot of work to do if they’re going to compete with teams like the Rams. They showed up well against the backups, but couldn’t handle the starters.
A montage of dropped passes, missed blocks and overall bad plays can’t make the Raiders feel great, but they still have time to improve.
Also, the montage of the Raiders playing the Rams in drills and the subsequent brawl set to Metallica’s Blackened was the best possible song they could’ve used. It’s worth several viewings.
There also some notable highlights from Saturday’s game that saw the Raiders win 14-3. Johnathan Abram, who was the breakout star from last week’s episode, got a chance to show off his hitting ability in a short montage. Nathan Peterman’s 50-yard run also got some much-deserved screentime.