By Teverly Lazenby // @TeverlyL
With the Oakland Raiders on HBO’s Hard Knocks this season, any and everything associated with the team and its players generates buzz amongst sports media. The mishaps reported between episode 1 and 2 have Raiders Fans excited for more.
This season Hard Knocks is the perfect hype leading up to the season opener on Monday, Sept. 9th against the Denver Broncos at the Black Hole in Oakland.
This week’s episode began with a team meeting, in which head coach Jon Gruden immediately captured the attention of his players (and the audience) by dropping a couple of F-bombs. He also exclaimed that he wants ‘better execution and etiquette in practice’. He then hypes up the players by telling them to “Pick it up!” and stick their foot up somebodies [expletive].
In Gruden’s words “It’s time for us to wake up!”
He challenges his players to raise the bar, because he’s tired of reading about people’s lowered expectations of this talented team.
Speaking of talent… ANTONIO, ANTONIO, ANTONIO!
Every time you turn around, wide receiver Antonio Brown is being mentioned. In addition to the recovery of his feet (he says his feet are being “circumcised”) for a condition described as similar to frostbite, Brown had filed a grievance against the NFL. It was for not being able to wear the style of helmet that he has worn his entire career. The helmet he prefers to wear doesn’t meet current league standards.
As a result, some media have referred to Brown as a Diva, saying he’s embarrassing himself by claiming he won’t play if he doesn’t get his way. Let’s not forget that Brown does seem to seek excessive attention. It’s how he hypes himself up. In an interview prior to his trade to the Raiders, Brown said, “I answer criticism with achievement”. Which is what leads me to believe all the drama will be worth it in the end.
“The moment he [Antonio] makes a spectacular or a game-changing catch this will be forgotten by many.” – Former Raiders CEO Amy Trask
Brown returned to training camp on Tuesday. The Raiders Organization has stood behind him through his personal issues and welcomed him back with open arms. In a press conference, Brown said, “I’m excited to be back and see my teammates and get in the groove of things here shortly”. He agrees to wear the equipment in compliance with league standards and is working towards getting back to 100%.
— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) August 16, 2019
Then, there’s the hype for quarterback Derek Carr. So far, whenever we see Carr on camera or in a press conference, he’s all love and hugs. But you know what? I don’t believe for one second that he hasn’t been paying attention to what’s been going on with Antonio Brown. He couldn’t wait for his return. We see Carr just being the positive cheerleader to everyone.
But EVERYONE is waiting for HIM to “Bring it”.
Now, let me tell you who I’m hyped up to see in preseason! Back up QB’s Nathan Peterman and Mike Glennon battling for the position; wide receiver Keelan Doss from Alameda, CA; EDGE Maxx Cosby, who is playing through a broken hand; WR Hunter Renfrow, safety Johnathan Abram, and defensive end Clelin Ferrell.
Talk Raiders with Teverly on Twitter // @TeverlyL