Final thoughts on Hard Knocks

There's a few final notes left over from Wednesday night's Hard Knocks -- after that, we'll start digging into the Bengals game this Friday (Friday, FRIDAY) against the New Orleans Saints.

+ ESPN.com's James Walker wrote in several posts leading up to Wednesday that after each episode, he'll write a recap of the show on Tuesday morning. To be honest, I was looking forward to his thoughts on the show, thinking when the show ended, what could he possibly say against the show?

In a welcome-to-Bengaldom moment, new safety Roy Williams -- who had spent his entire career in Dallas -- is shocked that players have to pay money to rent televisions for their dorm rooms. "There's no TV?" a startled Williams asked. The prices range from $93 to $266 depending on the size. The Bengals are notorious for their cost-cutting ways and this was yet another example.

Roy Williams signed a $750,000 contract for one season. Paying $266 for a 42 inch screen television is a big deal? Be lucky this isn't Paul Brown's day. Televisions? You'd get traded to a team in Antarctica just by offering the question of where one could be bought. Furthermore, who's charging the players? The Bengals or Georgetown College? Again, does this really matter? A free agent sits at a table and says, "wha wha wha what? I have to pay to rent my own television for a 2-3 week camp? You mean I have to find alternative entertainment like socializing with teammates. Screw that. I'm out of here."

Walker graded the show with a "B" saying:

It focused mostly on the players, where I believe the most-compelling stories and mystery surrounding the Bengals involves ownership and the family-run business. I want to see more of Mike Brown, who is a polarizing figure in Cincinnati and rarely in the public eye.

I disagree. I liked the focus on the players. That's my primary interest. The team, operations, etc., will always be there; think of it this way, what's worse than having fear? Having your fear materialize. I live for my bubble. I've always liked Chad's humor. I like Palmer's quiet leadership qualities, Lewis' anger, or the nice stories like Chris Pressley walking the field with his son. I thought the back-and-forth between Chad and Chris Crocker was killer; you really didn't get a sense of Crocker's presence in the lockerroom until the first episode.

More Brown wouldn't just be infuriating to Bengals fans, it would be boring television. (and I wonder why Cincy Jungle isn't considered credible or credentialed media by the Bengals franchise -- even though we practically sell their product everyday)

+ Willie Anderson tweets:

Yeah Right! Mike Brown won't let them cut Jeremy Johnson. He made the coaches go find him in Kentucky this offseason.

First we saw on Wednesday the surreal scene with coaches sitting behind desks like in a classroom with teacher Mike Brown "suggesting" the team move defensive end Chris Harrington to Tight End. If Anderson is right, then a collection of new questions arrive:

1) Did Brown suggest moving Jason Shirley to guard?
2) Is Runnels cut because Brown wanted to keep Jeremi Johnson?
3) Where does Marvin Lewis' influence start and stop through all of this and why is he just another student at the front of the classroom?

Yikes.

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