The third episode of the HBO series Hard Knocks, which follows the Los Angeles Rams as they prepare for their first season in L.A. in almost two decades, aired last night, and, as always, there were many lessons to be learned. Specifically, don't ever mess with Mike Singletary and why tackling Todd Gurley is a fireable offense.
Read on, and you too can become a smarter football player than you were five minutes ago.
Don't Ever Get a Face Tat. Just Don't Do It.
To celebrate the end of his days working at Toys "R" Us and the beginning of his professional football career, Rams defensive end Ethan Westbrooks did something you should never do, under any circumstances: He got a face tattoo.
Making it to the NFL, no matter if you're a practice squad player or a full blown starter, is an incredible accomplishment and should be celebrated. But getting a tattoo beneath your left eye that says "laugh now cry later," in a league where the average time spent on a team is less than three seasons, is literally the only thing you shouldn't do to celebrate, other than maybe jetting off to Las Vegas for an all-night party fest.
"I'm either going to make it in the league with football or I'm going to regret it for the rest of my life," Westbrooks said.
That about sums it up.
Mike Singletary Does Push-Ups for No Reason
Mike Singletary is known as one of the greatest linebackers to ever play the game, which by default makes him one of the scariest human beings on Earth. It's a subtle scary, though. He may scream occasionally, or mean-mug you from the corner of a room; but, at least in the few clips we see of the Rams defensive assistant this week, he seems like a fairly nice dude. That is, until you look across the practice field and see the 57-year-old doing 30 Push-Ups on the sidelines for absolutely no reason at all . . . and you feel a chill go directly up your spine.
Todd Gurley Shall Be Treated Like a Fine Piece of Art
Rams coach Jeff Fisher looked legit stressed out talking about protecting Todd Gurley — "We need to treat him like a friggin quarterback."
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 24, 2016
"30 doesn't go to the ground." —Jeff Fisher
Much of the training camp hype involves Jared Goff, and rightfully so, since the Rams gave up a bounty to secure the No. 1 pick in the Draft and select their next franchise quarterback (hopefully); but head coach Jeff Fisher has an even bigger prize he wants to protect—his running back.
In his rookie season last year, Todd Gurley rushed for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns, becoming the key to making the Rams offense go. Fisher knows this, and so in a meeting with the entire coaching staff, he voiced his concerns over a previous practice in which a member of the defense brought Gurley to the ground.
"We need to treat him like a friggin quarterback," Fisher said.
You've got to protect your investments, and for the Rams, Gurley is like the Mona Lisa.
Learning an NFL Playbook Seems Like the Hardest Thing Ever
Here's a sample playcall for quarterback Case Keenum from the Rams playbook:
"Jack Right Z End Jiggy Pass Right Z Comeback X Go Y Ghost Kill Scat Right Z Curl."
I mean, come on guys. Can't it just be something simple like "Kangaroo 16 Jet Right?" Why do we need 17 words? When did an NFL playcall become more difficult than spelling a word in the final round of the National Spelling Bee? I don't think the human brain has enough space to remember one of these calls, much less 20 to 30 of them.
Look at Keenum's face (above) as his wife reads him this play. Look at it. That's the face of a defeated man realizing there's no way he's ever going to get this play called right in the huddle, and he'll have to waste all three of the Rams' timeouts in the span of 30 seconds. Pray for his soul.
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