The Cleveland Browns lost to the Buffalo Bills in their second preseason game and had a lot of work to do this week.
Here is a look at the fourth episode of Hard Knocks as it looks at the Cleveland Browns 2018 preseason as they prepared to face the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles right before the first cuts are made.
The episode starts off with Hue Jackson ripping the players while showing them the tape of them walking and not hustling and telling them that this is not how they can win. No compromise.
He also calls out the veterans for not calling out the younger players. He says players will make mistakes and that is ok if they don’t keep making the same mistakes. However, lack of effort is non-negotiable.
Josh Gordon is back with the Browns
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For the first time since June, Josh Gordon is back with the team. He is looking at the tablet and studying the playbook. He said there are almost no new plays, so he is ready to practice.
He won’t be allowed to practice until he proves his body is ready to practice.
Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield are at media days, which includes Troy Aikman. When Aikman asks if Mayfield finds it hard to not get to compete for the starting job, but Mayfield said it isn’t hard since he is there to help the team win. Aikman also told Baker later on that he loves his spirit.
Aikman asks about Josh Gordon and Taylor said that he knows that Gordon wants to be back, but he doesn’t know any more than the press.
Josh Gordon is told that he won’t be starting, and he said that makes sense because no one should be entitled to anything.
Fighting to make the team
Offensive coordinator Bob Wylie said they need to put their best work on tape on Thursday or they could cut themselves.
Special teams intern Josh Cribbs said there are no participation awards for effort like they give the suburb kids. A guy can do everything right and make every hit and still not make the team.
Devin Cajuste – possibly the most popular focus on Hard Knocks that has the most likely chance of getting cut – is up next. He knows that it is survival of the fittest. He is shown in team meetings learning what he needs to work on. He is also on the field getting help from the other tight ends on blocking.
They also show Carl Nassib and Nate Orchard – two important veterans – and say there might only be room for one of them on the Cleveland Browns team. They showed last week’s game where Orchard messed up a few quarterback rushes that allowed Buffalo to move the ball.
The Browns trying to get better
The narrator mentions that two years ago, the Philadelphia Eagles had a losing record and then won a Super Bowl last year. In August, anything is possible.
Hue Jackson said that he will never let Baker Mayfield take any first-team reps in training camp because Tyrod Taylor needs all the first team reps he can get since it is a new system for him.
They then show Baker Mayfield at practice, asking questions on the sidelines and answering questions in the quarterbacks’ room. They then show Baker in an interview saying that the game is slowing down for him “exponentially.” He also talked about leading the team.
Antonio Callaway is working hard to get up to pace. He is studying in the film room with Jarvis Landry and examining where he needs to improve. However, Callaway has groin problems and won’t play against the Eagles this week.
There is also a small look at players getting banged up when practicing. Todd Haley compares the players to a sports car that a person finally gets but then a headlight goes out and it is in the shop for a month. Space shuttles are worse because if they are missing one tile, they are grounded for three months.
Jarvis Landry tells reporters that you can’t help a team from the sidelines and you must keep pushing and fighting.
Preparing for the Philadelphia Eagles
Linebacker Mychal Kendricks is studying the team’s inner workings. Last year he won a Super Bowl while playing with the Philadelphia Eagles, but they cut him and now he is with the Cleveland Browns. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams asks Kendricks to tell the team about the Eagles – from his perspective.
He breaks down Nick Foles and says his passes have a teardrop effect and falls slow. Tight end Zach Ertz is the best receiver on the team, but he is easy to get past as a blocker if you keep hitting him. O-lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai is big and strong, but he is not quick or slow and does not trust his feet and has confidence problems.
Stuffing the episode
This week there is a lot of fluff added in. The team makes fun of Baker Mayfield for an underwear ad he did. They bring up the time where Jarvis Landry ripped his teammates for not practicing while they were banged up and played a video of the talk but had someone dub his lines and had him tell players to practice no matter what, showing someone with a broken arm, broken leg, two broken legs, and finally someone who needed to be driven on a cart, still out there catching passes.
Up next, they make fun of Carl Nassib and him teaching finances, with Baker Mayfield pretending to be him. They even make fun of Nassib’s photo with Taylor Swift again.
They then showed the two defensive coordinators yelling at each other in practice. The players than pretend to be them, jumping up and down and yelling.
Up next is John Dorsey calling Baker Mayfield and drafting him. Baker then dressed up and pretended to be Dorsey, chewing a bunch of gum and saying “buddy boy” a lot.
Later in the episode, they showed the team’s Napping Trailer.
Cleveland Browns vs. Philadelphia Eagles
After 33 minutes, it is time for the Cleveland Browns third preseason game.
The Browns looked good but then first-round draft pick D.J. Ward fell to injury. Gregg Williams just said, “next man up.”
Then, a few plays later, Tyron Taylor fell and grasped his left wrist, which he landed on. That was a huge scare, and in the tent, he screamed in pain. He then went in for x-rays and the announcers wondered if this meant it was Baker’s time.
Myles Garrett then ran all over Halapoulivaati Vaitai, which is based on the scouting report from Mychal Kendricks. He then sacked Nick Foles for a safety to make the score 2-0. There were also four turnovers (fumbles and interceptions) before halftime, showing the Browns’ defense was ready to play.
The x-rays were negative for Tyrod Taylor and nothing was broken, and he returned to the game, which makes no sense because why risk further injury? The fans were yelling to get him out of the game as the Eagles started to hit him.
Todd Haley and Jarvis Landry started to get heated because the coordinator kept accusing him of stopping on plays when he got frustrated.
Devin Cajuste went to Baker Mayfield and told him to bring it because he is a leader. Caju8ste did his part, blocking great – what he was working on in practice all week – and that might save his roster spot.
Nate Orchard is also playing for his job, and Gregg Williams is not impressed. Carl Nassib is playing for his job and is hustling, pressuring the quarterback and impressing Williams.
Baker Mayfield enters in the second half. He starts to take some serious hits when the Browns’ offensive line can’t protect him. Todd Haley is also getting frustrated with the ball coming out too slow and not being accurate enough. He also threw an interception in the game. Baker also took a hard hit in the game and was slow to get back up.
Hue Jackson promised that he wouldn’t get Baker hit some more.
Gregg Williams rips a younger player for slowing down and he seeks out Jarvis Landry and tells him that he has to lead by example. He says that when the younger guys see Jarvis stop on a play, they will do the same thing and then apologizes for yelling at him but wanted to explain why he did.
Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz shook hands with Baker Mayfield after the Browns won 5-0 and said that he never played, but if he did he would hope to play like Baker because he likes his style.
Hue Jackson said that he loved the defense and that is how they should always play but the offense needs work. In the press conference, Baker Mayfield said he was disappointed with himself in his play and he has work to do (he was wearing a Brian Bosworth “Boz” shirt).
There is now one week left for the Cleveland Browns and Hard Knocks. Who will “earn their stripes.”