Hard Knocks,’ Episode 1: The Ryan and Revis Show,hard knocks jets, hard knocks jets torrent, hard knocks, rex ryan, revis
Editor’s note: For those who don’t have HBO, and for those who do and would like to discuss the “Hard Knocks” series, we will review every episode. In a somewhat twisted decision, a Patriots fan, the longtime reader/commenter Jess Faneuf of Manhattan, has been selected to do the honors. We welcome your thoughts on the show. Toni Monkovic
Hard Knocks: New York Jets
Rex Ryan eats, and Darrelle Revis haunts us all
Some people may not be familiar with “Hard Knocks,” HBO’s inside look at one N.F.L. team’s training camp (if you like football, go watch it; past seasons are on Hulu.com). The show has followed the Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Dallas Cowboys twice (oh, Jerry Jones, you adorably creepy, plastic media hound).
This year, HBO went to Cortland, N.Y., entering the world of Rex Ryan, Fireman Ed and the New York Jets. Dare I say: best season ever? Before I watched the first episode, I wrote down the topics I was most interested in seeing. The list went like this:
LaDainian Tomlinson/Shonn Greene
Now, on to Episode 1 of Hard Knocks: New York Jets.
As a Patriots fan, it shames me that the opening, with its N.F.L. soundtrack and dramatic slow-motion football action shots, made me think to myself, ‘J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS!’ Please, someone show me the “Tuck Rule” tape again to snap me out of this.
Enter Rex Ryan, the star of the show. Ryan is part idiot savant, part class clown, and part potty-mouthed sailor. He is bluster, moxie and confidence with a dash of George W. Bush, packaged in a body seemingly six weeks away from a double bypass.
He is the anti-Belichick. Ryan opens training camp with a “speech” on how the Jets have one goal: win the Super Bowl. How do you reach that goal? Win the most games! Win the most games? As a Patriots fan, I can attest that winning the most games does not equate to a Super Bowl. Trust me. This is not the motivational speech I expected from this man, or any coach. Instead of being pumped up, I was wondering how many times Ryan could cuss. Go Jets?
Throughout the show, Ryan is (and should be) the focus. For all the swearing, all the carny-like personality traits, he is clearly a likeable guy. He’s funny, does not take himself seriously, definitely enjoys his job. And even in the first episode, his skill in evaluating talent is evident.
Ryan is everyone’s best friend when things are all joyous and light in Cortland, N.Y, but how does he handle a three-game losing streak? And how does the team react? Failing to meet expectations — plus the New York news media — equals a tough place to coach.
When the HBO cameras are not documenting Ryan’s eating habits (which include M&M’s, crackers and cheese, and what I believe was Ryan deep-frying a “Tur-Cake-Pud,” a turkey stuffed with cake stuffed with pudding,) the Darrelle Revis lockout looms over the Jets.
Ryan is constantly discussing Revis’s absence to whomever will listen. Cameras catch Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum before, during and after various dealings with Revis’s agents. The last we see of Tannenbaum shows him going to meet with Revis’s agents at the now infamous Roscoe Diner. On the way, Tannenbaum is nothing but positive. Three hours later, Tannenbaum seems to be a broken man. His voice is the sound of defeat. Tannenbaum says that the Jets and Revis disagree on everything. The ghost of Darrelle Revis will continue to haunt the Jets for another episode.
Other things of note, in no particular order:
• Joe Namath has turned into the crotchety old man who tells all the young guys (in this case, the coaches) how things are done. Namath looked less like a Hall of Fame quarterback and more like a failed Martin Short character. The coaches seemed to give him that nod you give your grandfather when he is complaining how the Internet isn’t going to catch on. Sure, grandpa, sure.
• Mark Sanchez is still dreamy.
• The position battle du jour looks to be a three-way fight at fullback between the veteran Tony Richardson, Rex Ryan’s own draft pick John Conner (yes, Terminator jokes were rampant) and the journeyman Jason Davis. My crystal ball says Jason Davis is cut.
• There was a whole lot of LaDainian Tomlinson and barely a glimpse of Shonn Greene. The only takeaway I have: I may consider dropping Greene in fantasy drafts a few spots because it looks like a near split right now at RB.
• Everyone is really excited about Santonio Holmes. He will be awesome those first four games.
• Finally, after the first episode, the Braylon Edwards “passes not dropped” meter is at 3.
That’s about it for Week 1. Next week’s episode teases a Vernon Gholston sighting. Looks like even the scrubs get playing time at training camp.