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‘Hard Knocks’: 5 takeaways from Raiders’ second episode

Updated August 13, 2019 - 11:13 pm

Cameras have been documenting every minute of the Raiders’ time at their training camp facility for the last couple of weeks.

More footage hit the airwaves on Tuesday night as HBO rolled out the second episode of the “Hard Knocks” documentary, which featured a pair of joint practices with the Rams before Saturday night’s preseason game between the teams.

Here are five takeaways from the episode:

1. So much Antonio Brown

If anybody was upset about the lack of discussion focused on Antonio Brown’s feet last week, the producers remedied it in the second episode.

First, Brown took his socks off to show the wounds.

Then there were montages of Jon Gruden being asked about the feet, general manager Mike Mayock offering his opinion, television talking heads weighing in and even opposing players mocking the situation.

Rams defensive back Eric Weddle certainly had a good laugh about it.

There was even a cliffhanger at the end with Brown walking back into the facility and on to the practice field.

So get ready, there’s more foot talk to come.

2. Hunter Renfrow can’t sing, while Maxx Crosby exits his comfort zone

The wide receiver from Clemson was called upon to sing in front of his teammates at a team meeting, a longstanding rookie tradition in the NFL.

It didn’t go so well.

Renfrow gave a half-hearted attempt at belting out “Lean On Me,” drawing the ire of his disappointed teammates.

Nobody needs to see that again, but Crosby’s musical skills may be revisited at some point.

The rookie defensive end was up next and didn’t have a difficult act to follow after Renfrow bombed.

His teammates and anyone who closely follows the Raiders had to expect he would get up in front of his teammates and rap.

After all, he was part of a hip-hop group in high school and his flows inside the locker room have already gone viral this offseason.

Instead, he busted out more of a slow jam with T-Pain’s “Buy U A Drank.”

While it may not have been his specialty, Crosby performed the song admirably and had the room rocking.

He also appeared to be impressing with his play on the field before breaking his hand in the first exhibition game against the Rams.

Crosby wasn’t going to let that stop him, though. He was fitted with a cast and returned to the field for the Raiders.

3. We all need more Brentson Buckner

The Raiders defensive line coach steals every scene he appears in on the show.

He provides the mix of passion and humor that seems to make one assistant coach stand out every year on “Hard Knocks.”

Buckner is the guy this season.

Between his lecture of first-round pick Clelin Ferrell in this episode and the one he gave Ronald Ollie in the premiere, Buckner has shown his chops as a coach.

His humor was also on display this week after he told Crosby he needed to drink more milk after he broke his hand during the game.

This guy might need a spinoff.

4. Jon Gruden may have blown up Keelan Doss’ spot

The rookie wide receiver was prominently featured in the episode and with good reason.

Doss grew up minutes from the team facility and scored a touchdown in his first preseason game just down the street at RingCentral Coliseum.

His popularity will no doubt surge after such positive air time, but he may have some explaining to do.

When his coach was asking how many friends and family would be in attendance for the game, he followed up with a question about whether Doss was inviting any girls to watch him play.

Doss brushed off the query by implying he’s got a couple lined up, which seemed to delight Gruden.

“Yeah, I’ve heard about you,” the coach said.

On television.

Doss may have a few texts to answer now that the episode has aired.

5. Richie Incognito, peacemaker

It was inevitable the producers were going to choose to use footage of the training camp fight between the Raiders and Rams in Napa last week.

That’s a staple of the show. It’s almost possible to see the camera people drool when a skirmish breaks out on the field as they know they are capturing gold.

What was a bit surprising is the lengths noted bad boy Richie Incognito went to in order to stay above the fray.

Incognito, who will be suspended for the first two regular-season games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, played peacemaker during the fight and then offered encouraging words to those around him when things had settled down.

The scene was capped by Incognito referencing what he had learned in counseling.

It actually seemed to put those around him at ease by breaking the ice about his well-documented history of mental health issues.

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Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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