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Five Things We Learned On Hard Knocks: Ep. 1


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1. What I Did On My Summer Vacation...: Bear Pascoe doing some calf-roping. Steven Jackson unveiling his new photography collection. Tyler Starricon-article-link.gif returning to South Dakota to spend time with his fiance and son.Harry Douglas cleaning. Hard Knocks showed a wide range of different activities from the time the team wrapped up veteran minicamp in June until camp kicked off just a week-and-a-half ago. There are some great personalities being highlighted so far.

2. Light on Jerry's Retirement: Defensive tackle Peria Jerry's retirement was featured on the premiere episode as he spoke with Smith about his decision. Smith seemed taken aback by it and impressed upon Jerry that he had to be sure about the decision because there's no going back. Jerry told Smith that his body wasn't responding the way he'd like it to in camp, and that he'd have to "figure out" what his next step is.

3. Before and Afters: We learned that the Falcons coaching staff asked players to take full-body photos at the end of last season and then again at the start of training camp. During a team meeting in camp, Smith showed the team some impressive side-by-sides. The most stark differences were in the photos of Peter Konz, ,Joplowho all put on some major muscle in the offseason.

4. Line Coaches Take the Spotlight: If you saw Tuesday's episode, you fell in love with offensive line coach Mike Tice and defensive line coach Bryan Cox. The two had some moments dedicated to the toughness aspect with some sound bytes I can't repeat here. The toughness and physicality mantras are being preached over and over by these two and it's clear that it's being taken seriously by the players under them. "They're gonna be tough, I can tell you that much," Tice is shown saying to Falcons owner & chairman Arthur Blank.

5. Facts and Tidbits: Defensive tackle Donte Rumphhttp://www.atlantafalcons.com/assets/nflimg/icon-article-link.gif has earned the nickname "Cupcake" from Cox for what Cox thought was overreacting to a banged up elbow in OTAs. ... Steven Jackson in talking to Devonta Freemanhttp://www.atlantafalcons.com/assets/nflimg/icon-article-link.gif before Friday Night Lights revealed that his first ever high school carry was a fumble. ... Matt Ryanhttp://www.atlantafalcons.com/assets/nflimg/icon-article-link.gif and Steven Jackson are dormmates in Flowery Branch for camp. Ryan used to shack up with Tony Gonzalez.

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Review: Falcons Hard Knocks Episode 1

August, 5, 2014

AUG 5

11:32

PM ET

By Vaughn McClure | ESPN.com




The Atlanta Falcons made their acting debuts with the first episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Falcons" airing Tuesday.

http://a.espncdn.com...sparent=trueOne of the funnier moments was when coach Mike Smith asked the players to show before and after shots from the end of last season to now. He commended guys like linebackers Joplo Bartu and Paul Worrilow and offensive linemen Peter Konz and Ryan Schraeder for improving their physiques. Then Smith jokingly showed a picture of center Joe Hawley with a fake big butt.

"Center, big ***," Smith said. "We had to get him down. Look at what he did when he came back in."

Smith then showed a picture of Hawley's bare butt, and the players exploded in laughter while Hawley did a strip-club-like dance from his seat.

"Only Joe Hawley," Smith said with a laugh.

Hard Knocks probably should have put a disclaimer for parental discretion advised before that hideous image appeared.

Here are some other highlights from the show:

  • Schraeder put one heck of a punch combination on rookie linebacker Jacques Smithmoments after Smith and Hawley got into it in practice. Smith fired back at Schraeder with words, "You don't want this. I promise you you don't want this s---." But Desmond Trufantmade sure to let Smith know not to ever let anyone swing freely at him, even if Smith thought Schraeder's punches were soft.
  • Neat freak Harry Douglas admitted he uses woman's deodorant because men's smells bad.
  • Former first-round pick Peria Jerry didn't really give coach Mike Smith a reason for his retirement, at least not on camera. Jerry said he's just going to be around his family and work.
  • Rookie defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman really can't sing, no matter if he did please his teammate with the subject of his song. Hageman was singing the blues after a poor showing during "Friday Night Lights."
  • Kroy Biermann's wife, reality star Kim Zolciak, thinks her husbands talks too much s---.
  • Steven Jackson has embraced his leadership role among the running backs and seems to have the ear of the younger guys. And by the way, Jackson was expected to be sidelined two weeks from when he tweaked his left hamstring in camp (July 28).
  • Jackson and quarterback Matt Ryan are training camp roommates.
  • Safety William Moore has a palm tree in his home and what looks like every Air Jordan shoe ever made.
  • Rookie defensive tackle Donte Rumph earned the nickname "cupcake" from defensive line coach Bryan Cox because Cox thought he was soft in handling a hyperextended elbow during organized team activities. Cox called Rumph "Donte" only after he makes a play.
  • Rookie running back Devonta Freeman appreciates the little things in life, like a big bathtub, after growing up in the Miami projects.
  • Rookie Dez Southward did a good job impersonating special teams coach Keith Armstrong.
  • Roddy White is jealous of Osi Umenyiora's two Super Bowl rings.
  • Coach Smith looks much better without a mustache.
  • Injured linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who has spoken since suffering an Achilles injury, will be on next weeks's episode of "Hard Knocks."

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2. Light on Jerry's Retirement: Defensive tackle Peria Jerry's retirement was featured on the premiere episode as he spoke with Smith about his decision. Smith seemed taken aback by it and impressed upon Jerry that he had to be sure about the decision because there's no going back. Jerry told Smith that his body wasn't responding the way he'd like it to in camp, and that he'd have to "figure out" what his next step is.

Unfortunately he's probably going to figure out very quickly he's broke or will be broke soon and have to play in the CFL or Arena league.

I don't think a job as a college football analyst is in his future.

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