Hard Knocks, the HBO program that pulls back the curtain on what it’s like to be a part of NFL team preparing for the regular season, began anew this week, this time with its lenses focused on the Los Angeles Rams.
Fresh off a move from St. Louis back to the West Coast, the place where the franchise was born, there are storylines aplenty: How will 2016 first overall pick Jared Goff develop? How will the team adjust to their new digs? How many f-bombs can head coach Jeff Fisher drop by the time the show ends? (Early indications are: Many.)
Here’s what we learned from a jam-packed opening episode.
Jared Goff Didn’t Know Where the Sun Rises
I don’t think a big enough deal is being made of this. When Rams quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke asked Goff where the sun rises and sets, the former Cal quarterback had no idea.
For more than two decades, Goff went about his days paying no attention to how the sun moved in the sky, never noticing that it rises and sets in literally the same places every single day. Too busy tossing the ol’ pigskin around to notice the biggest star in the universe, I suppose.
Fortunately, pleading ignorance is better than what his teammate Pharoh Cooper did. When asked the same question, the rookie wide receiver responded, “the air?” The Rams are going 0-16.
Tavon Austin is Terrible at Catching Pokemon
Rams wide receiver/fastest human alive Tavon Austin had a tough first episode. First, he cramped up during practice, later admitting to Coach Fisher that he’d eaten only two bananas for lunch and that was it. One night later, he set out to catch some critters using the ever-popular Pokémon Go app on his phone. Fast forward to Austin zooming around in a golf cart and yelling at teammates while some poor coach’s son does all the work for him. I don’t think he tossed a single Pokeball.
The Rams Defensive Line Coach is Terrifying
Mike Waufle is a former Marine who now coaches the Rams defensive line. He is also objectively the scariest person in the universe. He yells things like “do not f**k with me!” and “we will f**k them up!” and “drop down and give me Push-Ups for eternity!” Fortunately, his techniques have created one of the best defensive lines in football, led by Aaron Donald, so the team shouldn’t have to face his wrath too often. Still, there’s something about a bald former Marine screaming that incites terror in me, even from thousands of miles away.
Getting Cut From the Team Sucks
There is no good way to tell a player he’s been released. Coach Fisher dropped two people in the first episode of Hard Knocks: quarterback Nick Foles, whom Fisher dropped the bomb on after engaging in awkward small talk about how Foles’s summer had gone; and wide receiver Deon Long.
Long was released for violating Fisher’s cardinal rule against having women in his room during training camp. It was tough to watch, because he was canned after apologizing to his coach and admitting his mistake. Life in the NFL is no joke.
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