Before delving into the wonders created from this epic season of HBO’s Hard Knocks, I wanted to personally confirm so media stories that we’ve all been reading and hearing about J.J. Watt.
I was in attendance for last week’s final preseason contest between the Cowboys and Texans. I arrived early just so I could hopefully see Watt and watch the team warmups. After going through numerous drills, Watt actually went around the entire front row in AT&T Stadium and tossed the ball with essentially every Texan’s fan in the crowd, and I was one of the lucky few who actually caught a pass.
So, can confirm: J.J. Watt is a true one-of-a-kind generational talent with an amazing heart and appreciation for the adoring fan base he’s built.
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This exhilarating season of Hard Knocks was an amazing tool to get insight into just how much work goes into getting prepared for one game in the NFL.
Fan favorites such as Kourtnei Brown, EZ Nwachukwu, and of course Charles James II were released in the final installment of the series. Luckily for all of them, they found new NFL homes across the league, and I’m willing to bet at least one of them has a significant career ahead.
One day you have a job, the next day you could be unemployed, even if you display an amazing work ethic and do all of the little things right. Thus is the hard knock life of an NFL athlete. This was displayed in how Texan’s Head Coach Bill O’Brien and GM Rick Smith discussed who would be the final cut. It came down to Jumal Rolle and Charles James II.
Charles James was then released due to being 5’9” instead of 6’0”. Even though he consistently made plays, Houston’s staff just did not have enough faith that his “lack of length” could be hidden by his drive and willingness to do anything to help the team. The only “legitimate” reason that Charles James was released was simply because he was too short for their liking.
Personally, I’d take the versatility and drive over size any day. I may be biased though, as I saw way too many great athletes will talent washed over by big-name programs at the D1 level simply due to their height. It’s a travesty, but these players keep fighting and eventually they’ll crack a 53 man roster.
The NFL life to an outsider may seem like a cake walk, but the unlimited amounts of effort poured into preparation only to get cut can be devastating.
I wish all of the athletes fighting for their respective careers luck, patience and understanding.
Now let’s go Texans! The 2015 regular season starts this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs at home!