With only one episode of “Hard Knocks” remaining after last night’s episode, the show is getting to the most dramatic portion of any training camp, the roster cuts. The fourth episode focused on the players who were in danger of not making the first cuts for the Houston Texans
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Receivers Travis Labhart and Uzoma Nwachukwu, also know as easy EZ were the first players highlighted. The two former Texas A&M teammates were shown goofing off and fishing together. It was also pretty funny seeing EZ, who can’t swim, be hesitant to jump in the lake despite his life jacket.
Offensive lineman David Quessenberry was also highlighted as a fringe player, as he continues to fight cancer. He is in remission, but has a long way to go to get back into football shape. In this episode it is learned he will not get a shot to make the team again until 2016 as he was placed on the non-football injury list.
Kourtnei Brown has been the star of the preseason, but made a couple mistakes, which could hurt his shot at making the team. Linebacker coach Mike Vrabel had to get onto Brown several times as the young man who was cut from five teams tries to make a roster for perhaps the last time.
Then there was cornerback Charles James II, who you can’t help but root for. He has charisma, he is always talking and of course the socks. Even Erin Andrews came up and was letting James know how much she has enjoyed him on “Hard Knocks.”
Mallett tries to explain himself for missing practice by blaming his phone, then saying he wasn’t blaming his phone. It looked bad that he missed practice right after being informed he did not win the starting job and his excuse seemed a little forced.
Then came the game against the Saints where we saw the team fighting hard on the field. The best highlights of this portion were from the head coach and the general manager separately.
Head coach Bill O’Brien’s reaction to the called no catch by receiver DeAndre Hopkins was great. Sure of it being a catch, OB had his hands high, signaling a touchdown. Then all the excitement leaves his face as he yells “What?? Who is making that call?” I have to say I agree with Bill, the call was awful, but at least Houston punched it in.
General manager Rick Smith’s highlight came when he was hidden it the depths of the stadium because he couldn’t hear his phone in the suite. He was talking to the Denver Broncos and finalizing a trade for tackle Chris Clark in the middle of the game.
And then it came, cut day. I will say this much, O’Brien is as blunt as they come. He informed tackle Aaron Adams that his effort was great, but his play wasn’t. Then receiver Alan Bonner was told that he has the skill, but doesn’t put the effort in to understand how to play the position.
Guard Cody White was let go as well as he has struggled to return from injury. The show ends with one of the more surreal moments, Travis Labhart was cut and had a real talk with the coach about the fact that he may not make a football team and might have to give up his dream.
The season finale of “Hard Knocks” will air Tuesday, September 8th at 9:00 PM central time.