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Hard Knocks Recap: Episode Four

We get a look inside what happened with the Bengals in the week leading up to the Dallas game.

Kevin C. Cox

"Dad, are you going to beat the Steelers this year" Was the line of the night. It was delivered by a junior Domata Peko. He followed with asking if the Bengals were going to win the Super Bowl. To which, Peko answered yes. Of course.

The episode opened with the cutting of Otis Hudson. I still cringe when I know the Bengals are going to cut players and have flashbacks to Jim Lippencot waking a guy at 5:00 am. However, it seems the Bengals and the players being cut, both have a mutual respect for each other and the cuts are understood and clean. I imagine it will get harder in the cut to 53.

We got to see the video of Brandon Joiner injuring his knee. It goes to show you how fleeting and quick this job can be. The cut and knee buckle did not look too bad, but it turned out to be fairly major. This is one thing I will not have to worry about in my IT management job tomorrow. The stakes are high for these players and we have a front row seat to what they are facing.

The more I see of Margus Hunt the more I like. He seems like the kind of guy who has his head on straight and genuinely wants to improve his game. He really listens to instruction and has all the physical tools you want from a defensive end. I am excited to watch him grow with this team.

It is interesting the Bengals were called out for having their worst practice this season in the week leading up to the Dallas Cowboys game. It was their worst on field performance and lends credence to the story that they may have started to become a little over confident with all they hype they are receiving.

The speech the offense got after the terrible practice from Jay Gruden was awesome. It is rare when fans get that kind of view into the raw emotion a coach has when addressing their players. Those are the kinds of speeches that give you chills and make you want to perform better.

Was it me or was the conversation Mike Zimmer had with Devon Still very awkward? The guy is a huge talent that is stuck behind the best at the position. But, his nonchalant attitude was really off-putting. Is this the intensity the guy brings to the role? If so, I have zero confidence if Geno Atkins can not play for any reason. You want a guy that is hungry to not only want to play, but to push Atkins at the same time.

Speaking of Geno Atkins, it was nice to see the respect he has inside the locker room. There is no questioning the respect he has from the rest of the world, it was just cool to see his peers really understanding what kind of player he is and wanting to learn from him.

If this episode did one thing it made me want to root for DeQuin Evans. I always had a soft spot in my heart for the players that made the decision to pursue positive things rather than follow what their friends and neighborhoods may push them towards. Evans has a long way to go, but whatever happens, I will always root for him.

Another guy I rooted for in this episode was Jheranie Boyd. I knew the outcome when watching, but he never got a chance to show anything for the Bengals. One fly pattern would have been his Moonlight Graham moment in stripes. I wish we could have seen it.

The Dallas game was shown more favorably in this episode of Hard Knocks then it played out in reality. I like the Marvin post game quote that equated to the Bengals coming back to reality. With all the hype surrounding this team it was a good message. One the fans also probably need to digest a little as well.

There is one more episode left. I am sure it is going to show plenty of players sent packing. Tune in next week and then jump on CincyJungle to share your thoughts.