Things finally started to slow down for the Oakland Raiders this last week with the Antonio Brown helmet drama finally reaching its conclusion. The team was finally able to focus on football a little bit more and Brown was back on the practice field. While Brown was still a focal point of the episode, the end of training camp and the preseason game versus the Green Bay Packers were also featured prominently. Below we’re going to go through the biggest takeaways from episode three.
1. Darren Waller’s Sobriety Takes Center Stage
Darren Waller’s previous drug problems aren’t much of a secret anymore. He’s been suspended on a number of occasions because of drug use and his consistent drug use was highlighted in the previous episode. In Waller’s efforts to stay sober, he tries to find a 12-step program in whatever city he stays in. He’s expected to play a big role for the Raiders in 2019, so if he can stay sober, he’ll finally have a chance to show what he can do in the regular season.
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2. Raiders Head to Canada to Face-off With Packers
In a bizarre, but kind of fun decision, the Hard Knocks crew decided to take Jon Gruden’s “knock on wood if you’re with me” saying and turn it into a musical remix. While that was fascinating, it didn’t get as much focus as the Raiders’ trip to Winnipeg, Canada. One of the biggest storylines from that game was that the teams had to play on a shortened field because of safety concerns. Both Gruden and Matt Lafleur balked at the decision, but it wasn’t up to them.
The Hard Knocks crew did Luke Wilson dirty once again and showed a montage of some of his bad plays. The show did the opposite for Keelan Doss as they showed him making more plays for a third consecutive episode. They even caught a closeup of Gruden saying “I like this Doss.” Based on the hype he’s getting, Doss is almost a lock to make the roster at this point.
Peterman also showed well as he lit up the Packers in route to a comeback victory. Peterman and Doss are two players that have helped their prospects the most during the preseason.
3. No Quit in Jason Cabinda
Linebacker Jason Cabinda has been on and off the Raiders over the last year or so. He got the chance to get the spotlight as his mother accompanied him to Canada for the game against the Packers. The former undrafted free agent spent some time on the active roster during 2018 but didn’t make it to the end. The show featured him make a bad play and then helped redeem himself. He showed strong will in a montage at practice.
Unfortunately, that didn’t translate to the field in the first half versus the Green Bay Packers. Just like in practice, Cabinda wouldn’t show quit and improved his play greatly in the second half. He’s going to have a hard time making the roster, but he could get a spot on the practice squad.
4. Johnathan Abram, Alec Ingold, Trayvon Mullen & Keelan Doss Sing
Keelan Doss might just be an even worse signer than Hunter Renfrow. For some reason, the Raiders coaching staff have taken up the tradition of making rookies sing at team meetings. Hard Knocks decided that it’s of the utmost importance to feature this tradition in multiple episodes. While Renfrow’s singing was horrifying, Doss may be the worst of the bunch. Alec Ingold, Trayvon Mullen and Johnathan Abram weren’t much better. It would probably be preferred if HBO didn’t subject us to the team’s vocal talents anymore…
5. The End of Training Camp
After a few weeks in Napa, training camp finally came to an end for the Oakland Raiders. Gruden noted how successful the camp was.
“It’s been the best camp that we’ve had,” said Gruden.
Even though the team had some drama because of Antonio Brown, the team has come on strong and some young players showed good development. With the end of training camp, the team is closer to the regular season and we can finally see how all these new players fit in Oakland.