Ronald Ollie is used to the cameras thanks to his “Last Chance U” days at EMCC, but his “Hard Knocks” debut was less than flattering. Ollie is shown having a one-on-one meeting with defensive line coach Brenston Buckner who emphasized it was up to him to make good on his opportunity. After the Raiders coach noted he watched some of “Last Chance U,” Ollie called his appearance on the show “embarrassing.”
Later in the “Hard Knocks” debut episode, Ollie is not performing up to Buckner’s standards as the coach continues to critique his technique after each rep. Ollie finds a trainer and asks him to tell Buckner he cannot practice anymore. The defensive lineman mentioned his Achilles as the reason for being held out of practice, but the Raiders appeared to have some doubt over the severity of Ollie’s injury.
The cameras later show Raiders head coach Jon Gruden telling a staff member to cut Ollie from the team. After news broke of Ollie’s release, Gruden explained why the team made the decision to go in a different direction.
“I hadn’t seen Ollie do anything,” Gruden noted at the media session. “You know, we need to get something done here. We’re in the business of getting better and Ollie didn’t participate much. Unfortunately, we chose to go in a different direction.”
Gruden was clearly trying to send a message to the team with the release of Ollie. Given his undrafted status, Ollie did not appear to do himself any favors with his performance in training camp practices.
Ollie Was One of Several “Last Chance U” Players Fighting for an NFL Spot
Ollie was one of several former “Last Chance U” stars looking to make an NFL roster. Dakota Allen was drafted in the seventh round by the Rams but is fighting to make the 53-man roster as the majority of his contract is non-guaranteed. John Franklin III is with the Bears for the second straight training camp trying to make the team as part of the secondary. C.J. Reavis is playing for the Jaguars.
It remains to be seen if another team takes a chance on Ollie. The Raiders brought him in as an undrafted free agent on a non-guaranteed contract. His portrayal on “Hard Knocks” during his brief stint with the Raiders is unlikely to help him in gaining interest from other NFL teams.
Ollie’s Appearance on “Hard Knocks” Had Twitter’s Approval
Ollie was one of the featured players on the first episode of “Hard Knocks.” There are plenty of football fans that watch both “Last Chance U” and “Hard Knocks” as social media showed during the season premiere.
Sports Illustrated tweeted out a meme wondering if it was a crossover episode. The Ringer noted that Ollie’s “IMDB credits are on the rise!” Fans will be watching anxiously to see if Ollie gets another chance in the NFL.