The first episode of Jets on Hard Knocks aired tonight on HBO and it lived up to the hype. Jets fans were excited to see what HBO would do and they did an excellent job of introducing story lines (Rex Ryan’s personality, Darrelle Revis holdout) and they jumped right into the human interest side of football. Aaron Kia and Kevin Basped were both released, the Basped move was tough because he was highly regarded but has an injured knee that is holding him back.
The episode started with OTAs in the new stadium. They showed the pile of rubble that Jets fans affectionately call Giants stadium and they quickly cut to Cortland NY and the beginning of training camp. The first item on the table was new contracts for Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum.
Darrelle Revis may not be in camp but he dominated the first episode. They showed Tannenbaum watching the Revis Island Commercial, Rex Ryan telling the team that Revis is pretty #$%^ good but they will have to play without him. Any Jet fan watching this episode has to remind themselves that this is TV. Otherwise the Revis situation would leave you in tears. It just didn’t look like a deal was happening anytime soon. Some quotes from Tannenbaum were of concern.
He wants to be the highest paid player, it is really really important to this player. But he is under contract for three years.
After a 3 hour meeting with Camp Revis:
They haven’t said one thing that I agree with at all. You know whats so funny we are so friggin far apart
I feel like a failure it is six months later, we haven’t moved the needle. I’ve tried everything. God I just wish I had another card to play here. A one year deal, a four year deal a ten year deal. In good conscience we can move on. Maybe we are going to go trade for a corner. In good conscience why don’t we just move on and we will try again next year.
The way Rex Ryan leads the Jets is no surprise at this point. What you get is confidence, cursing and a lot of bravado. He told the team they they had one goal as an organization. Led the league in wins. Offense, Defense and Special Teams should all be concerned with “Leading the league in wins”.
HBO spent some time introducing the “new guys in green”:
- Ladainian Tomlinson – “What I have done in the past is in the past. I am here to do all I can for this team”.
- Jason Taylor – “I am not here to change anything. I’m just here to win a championship”.
- Antonio Cromartie – They showed a few clips of Antonio and one thing is clear, Rex Ryan has a man-crush.
- Santonio Holmes – After a nice grab in practice, “I had to make it look easy”. Tannenbaum patting himself on the back on the Holmes move. “Who traded for him?”.
They went for the soft target (fat joke) with Rex and talked about fines, specifically a snack fine.
Mark Sanchez talked to Schotty about goals and leadership and that talk brought in Joe Namath. Namath came to camp with his daughter Jessica. Joe should have adopted a son because Jessica doesn’t seem that interested in football. It rained during practice and Jessica must be made of sugar, her fear of melting was evident. She wasn’t paying attention to Joe’s insight. We did get a look at some behind the scenes film room clips with Schott, the QBs and Namath. Joe has a pet peeve about QBs dropping their lower hand which he says causes fumbles.
Football wise the best clips were from the goal line in the rain. The 1st team defense stopped the 1st team offense and Kris Jenkins was fired up. He lost his voice and with his raspy tone he sounded a lot like Tracy Morgan. There were also some excellent footage from the Green and White scrimmage, the 70 yard pass from Sanchez to L.T. to start the scrimmage was enough to get any Jets fan ready for the season.
The other angle that HBO played was the full back competition. Tony Richardson, John Conner and Jason Davis are all competing for one, possibly two spots. The Jets spoke highly of Jason Davis, but this competition comes down to Tony Richardson and John Conner. Rex Ryan went out of his way to say that he drafted Conner and they are impressed with him. Do the Jets keep two fullbacks? That depends on how much the age-defying Tony Richardson has left.
Next week on Hard Knocks: Westhoff, Mark Brunell, Jets\Giants preseason game on Monday Night football. Vernon Gholston.
What did you think Jets fans? Did the show live up to the hype? Here is the discussion thread, you can see what other NY Jets fans are saying.