Pinkies, sports cars, space shuttles and the powers of kyanite.
We're recapping Episode 4, the second-to-last installment of "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cleveland Browns," and by doing so, we'll be providing plenty of spoilers.
Peter and Paul, please see yourselves out.
-- Perhaps for the first time thus far, this week's episode provides some of its most compelling content near the end, as NFL Films takes us where only they can go behind the scenes during some of the more gripping moments from Cleveland's dress rehearsal game against the Eagles. No moment provided more drama than when quarterback Tyrod Taylor fell awkwardly on his left hand in the first quarter while attempting a fourth-down pass. "It's my hand!" Taylor screamed as he was first whisked into the sideline medical tent and then escorted to the locker room for X-Rays. Upon learning nothing in his hand was broken, Taylor immediately shifts his focus. "Tape me up, I want to go. Get me back on this field," he said. He catches a short pass to prove his hand is stable and abruptly turns and runs toward the tunnel.
-- In the heat of the moment, there's little time for motivational speeches or elaborate pep talks. When coach Hue Jackson realizes Taylor won't be available for the upcoming series, he approaches Baker Mayfield on the bench and simply says, "Six, you loose? Ready to go?"
-- Though the offense struggled from start to finish, Mayfield received the ultimate compliment from Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwarz, who shook the rookie quarterback's hand after the game and said, "I never played, but if I did, I hope I played like you. I like your style."
-- Offensive coordinator Todd Haley didn't like much of what he saw throughout the game, though he did find some time to praise kicker Zane Gonzalez in trademark Haley fashion after he connected on a 54-yarder. Haley was particularly tough on Jarvis Landry, who didn't finish a route on a failed deep ball attempt from Taylor. Later in the game after Haley delivers some blunt criticism to rookie Derrick Willies, Haley approaches Landry and once again implores him to lead the team's otherwise young receivers room. "I'm not waiting for a knight in shining armor," Haley said. "You've got to push these guys."
-- Earlier in the episode, the "Hard Knocks" cameras capture Landry doing just that, as he breaks down film of a practice play with rookie Antonio Callaway. In a different moment, Haley compares Callaway to an expensive, imported sports car. "A headlight goes out and it's in the shop for months," Haley said. The vehicle you REALLY don't want to be compared to is a "space shuttle," which shuts down for months if it's missing a tile, Haley said. Callaway missed the Eagles game with a groin injury.
-- The episode opens with cameras inside a team meeting, and Jackson isn't happy. "Quit talking about this is what we want to be. I'm showing you the tape. This is you. … Don't compromise anything. Anything. You leaders in here, you veterans in here. You guys have got to see it and say 'nuh uh, can't do it.' That's what gets you beat. That's what gets you disappointed on game day. … Effort and knowing what to do, that's non-negotiable with me."
-- Inside the Browns locker room, Josh Gordon, who returned to the team a little more than a week ago, is shown looking at his playbook with confidence. There seems to be a lot of carryover from when he was on the field at OTAs and minicamp. "They might as well let me practice today," said Gordon, who has since been sidelined by a minor hamstring injury. Before the Eagles game, Gordon makes a memory for two young Browns fans when he gives them his receiving gloves.
-- In one of the more light-hearted moments of the episode, Jackson rewards Myles Garrett with some pre-practice music that matches what he likes to blast in his headphones. "Ninety-five don't want to listen to all that rap all the time," Jackson said. The only problem is the rest of the team didn't exactly feel the "juice" from Al Green. "I already got two kids," defensive lineman Chris Smith said.
-- We saw even more of Nate Orchard, Carl Nassib and Devon Cajuste, all of whom are fighting for spots on the 53-man roster. Nassib, who laments the presence of two pimples on his face whom he names Peter and Paul, is shown making a handful of plays in the Eagles game. Cajuste, who worked earlier in the week on his blocking with veteran Darren Fells, also looks more comfortable. We later learn he uses rocks and crystals to help reduce stress and tap into energy.
-- And whatever you do, don't besmirch Kobe Bryant's name in front of rookie defensive lineman Chad Thomas. Christian Kirksey learned the hard way.