There is just one choice for Onerous Knocks this 12 months: the Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders have added huge personalities to their to crew that match the bravado of head coach Jon Gruden. Their new common supervisor spent the previous twenty years as a profitable analyst on tv. They’ve a ton of room to enhance coming off a 4-12 season. That is additionally their final coaching camp in Oakland earlier than they head to Las Vegas in 2020.
Onerous Knocks hasn’t introduced but which crew shall be featured this season, however the Raiders are one among 5 groups that isn’t allowed to say no if chosen. Even Washington head coach Jay Gruden, Jon Gruden’s brother, thinks that the Raiders ought to be the Onerous Knocks crew (in all probability so Washington doesn’t should do it).
Gruden stated he doesn’t thoughts if the Redskins do Onerous Knocks however thinks HBO ought to go along with the Raiders and do the Skins in 2020. I requested what occurs if Skins make playoffs – Gruden: “If we miss the playoffs I won’t be here next year”
— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) May 29, 2019
Oakland has the right combination of drama and roster-building questions for Onerous Knocks. Listed below are eight explanation why the Raiders ought to be clear favourite for HBO’s hit present.
1. The place can we signal for an unfiltered Antonio Brown?
The Raiders’ largest transfer of the offseason was to accumulate Antonio Brown in a commerce with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brown has had a memorable (if chaotic) offseason, to say the least.
He’s publicly mentioned his turbulent relationship with Ben Roethlisberger, tweeted shade at former teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster, and sported a blond mustache till he was traded to Oakland.
It’s clear that Brown isn’t afraid of claiming what’s on his thoughts, which is ideal for an unfiltered present like Onerous Knocks. Brown shall be enjoying for a brand new beginning quarterback and head coach for the primary time in his nine-year profession. If Brown struggles to mesh with Derek Carr and Jon Gruden, we should always hear loads of it from the long run Corridor of Famer.
Brown might need hinted on a Raiders’ Onerous Knocks look on his Instagram. He lately uploaded an outdated image of him standing with HBO Sports activities government Peter Nelson.
If the Raiders get chosen, we’d get a firsthand take a look at his annual outlandish coaching camp entrance. Final 12 months, Brown confirmed as much as Steelers camp in a helicopter — he may be trying to prime that in his first 12 months with the Raiders.
Even higher, we’d get to see how Brown handles a longtime rival becoming a member of the Raiders.
2. Vontaze Burfict and Antonio Brown are reunited (TBD if it feels so good)
Vontaze Burfict is one other acquainted face that the Raiders signed this offseason. At first look, the match right here makes lots of sense. Burfict had his greatest years in Cincinnati underneath defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, who holds the identical title with the Raiders. Whereas Burfict isn’t as dominant as he was, he ought to nonetheless be an improve for a protection that gave up essentially the most factors within the NFL final 12 months.
Nonetheless, Burfict and Brown have some disagreeable recollections collectively. Burfict was suspended three video games after he put a vicious hit on Brown that left him concussed through the 2015 playoffs. In 2017, Burfict claimed that Brown faked the concussion from that sport. Final season, Burfict was fined $112,000 for pointless roughness after he threw his elbow into Brown’s helmet whereas Brown was being deal with by one other Bengals defender.
Up to now, the connection between Brown and Burfict hasn’t been an issue for the Raiders. Gruden stated that they had been on the identical crew when the Raiders had been enjoying their very own model of Household Feud (please allow us to watch Brown and Burfict play Household Feud collectively).
That relationship may change when the pads go on for coaching camp, although. Coaching camp fights occur yearly on Onerous Knocks, and the historical past between these two has explosive potential. It could possibly be the drama HBO has been searching for since Season 6 of Recreation of Thrones.
3. Oh yeah, Richie Incognito is in Oakland now too
Oakland lately signed guard Richie Incognito, who final performed for the Payments in 2017, to a one-year deal. To place it mildly, Incognito has a checkered previous with the NFL.
When Incognito was a member of the Miami Dolphins, he performed a task in a harassment scandal that discovered him utilizing racist and homophobic remarks towards a teammate and a trainer. After he initially retired from the NFL following the 2017 season, Incognito determined that he was going to unretire and are available to Buffalo’s offseason exercises — besides he by no means confirmed up and the Payments stored him on their reserve/retire checklist.
His transient retirement from the NFL was crammed with different incidents. In Could 2018, Incognito was involuntarily held for a psychiatric analysis after an altercation at a health club in Florida. In August 2018, he was arrested for making threats towards a funeral home in Arizona. It’s doable Incognito faces suspension from the NFL for these occasions.
However the Raiders signed him anyway, after Mike Mayock stated the crew had “done a lot of homework” on him.
A possible Onerous Knocks look would give Incognito the possibility to talk on his journey again into the league.
4. We’d get an inside look on the working relationship between Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden
Onerous Knocks would give viewers a entrance row seat to the Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden present. Mayock was employed as the overall supervisor in December after spending the higher of 20 years on TV. He’s most well-known for being NFL Community’s lead draft analyst.
Mayock didn’t have any expertise working for an NFL entrance workplace previous to being employed by the Raiders. Watching Mayock go from TV to overseeing the Raiders would convey followers perception on a facet of the enterprise they hardly ever get to see. Extra importantly, it might present precisely how a lot energy Mayock has.
Gruden’s 10-year, $100 million deal clearly provides him a ton of sway inside the group, however Mayock and Gruden seemed to be on the identical web page throughout their first draft collectively.
Onerous Knocks would give us a fair higher concept of how Mayock and Gruden are operating the crew. They’ve been two giants of soccer media through the years — now there’s an opportunity to really watch them piece collectively a 53-man roster.
5. Oh yeah there’s soccer too, just like the Jonathan Abram vs. Karl Joseph place battle
Abram was one among three first-round picks by the Raiders within the 2019 draft. He’s a basic field security with a bodily fashion of play. Coincidentally, that additionally occurs to be the perfect spot for former first-round decide Karl Joseph ,who’s in a contract 12 months. With Lamarcus Joyner locking down one of many security spots, Joseph and Abram shall be a chief coaching camp battle.
Joseph was on the buying and selling block through the season, however it looks as if Gruden is keen to offer Joseph an opportunity to show his price this 12 months.
6. Paul Guenther is attempting to rebuild the Raiders’ protection
Oakland had a brutal protection final 12 months. The Raiders gave up 29.2 factors within the league, had simply 13 sacks, allowed 36 passing touchdowns, and surrendered 6.Three yards per play; all 4 of these numbers had been final within the NFL. Oakland added a number of gamers this offseason together with Clelin Ferrell, Brandon Marshall, and Maxx Crosby to associate with Burfict, Joyner, and Abram.
These items ought to assist a bit, however Guenther nonetheless has his work reduce out for him in his second 12 months with the crew.
7. Kolton Miller staying at left deal with over Trent Brown
The Raiders opened the league 12 months by signing former Patriots left deal with Trent Brown to a four-year, $66 million deal. Nonetheless, Brown shall be transferring again to proper deal with for the 2019 season. Kolton Miller shall be manning the left deal with spot for the Raiders after a disastrous rookie 12 months. Inconsistent play and a lingering knee damage left Miller because the lowest-rated deal with within the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.
Brown has performed nicely at proper deal with prior to now, however he’s coming off a profession 12 months at left deal with. Miller wants to enhance by leaps and bounds to justify him defending Derek Carr’s blindside as an alternative of Brown.
8. Possibly we’d get a Marshawn Lynch look?
There’s an opportunity we’d get to a fan favourite if Onerous Knocks goes to Oakland. Marshawn Lynch is reportedly retired once more, however he stated he can be open to returning to the Raiders in the event that they wanted him.
The final time we noticed Lynch, he used the Al Davis torch to gentle a blunt previous to the Raiders’ home finale in opposition to the Denver Broncos.
Please HBO, convey Beast Mode again into our lives.