Here’s a closer look by the numbers at Tuesday’s second episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks: Training camp with the Oakland Raiders”:
0 — Approximate amount of discussion about Las Vegas.
Producers of the show made it clear before cameras even started rolling up in Napa that the show would document training camp for the final season in Oakland and not spend a whole lot of time talking about the franchise’s future home.
It’s still been quite stunning to see just how little discussion there has been about the team moving aside from the quick Derek Carr answer about living next to Jon Gruden when they eventually move or occasional passing reference to Las Vegas.
2 — Number of seasons Gruden says it took Sean McVay’s Rams to go from a bad team to playing in the Super Bowl.
Gruden is using them as a template for the progress he wants to see out of his team after a disastrous 4-12 season in his first year back on the sidelines.
The portrayal of the relationship between Gruden and McVay was one of the highlights of the second episode.
A very young McVay was seen in archival footage as a member of Gruden’s staff in Tampa Bay back in 2008 looking like he was about 16 years old. Gruden’s voiceover made clear the similarities he saw between himself and McVay as young offensive gurus trying to break into the coaching ranks.
It made for intriguing television for all the hardcore coaching nerds out there.
3 — Number of swear words uttered by Gruden in a span of 14 words after a Mike Glennon interception before he had a moment of introspection on the sideline.
“I gotta quit cursing,” Gruden said to nobody in particular.
It’s unclear whether he meant it in general or just because the cameras are around throughout this training camp.
Raw language, however, has been a trademark of the series throughout its run on HBO.
Gruden certainly doesn’t have the dirtiest mouth in the history of the show and it’s not likely he’s going to stop working blue for the sake of the cameras.
24 — An iconic number in Raiders history, currently worn by rookie safety Johnathan Abram.
A memorable moment of episode two featured former Raiders star Charles Woodson, who also wore the number for the silver and black, passing on some words of wisdom to the newest member of Oakland’s 24 club.
“Rock that 2-4,” Woodson told Abram after practice. “Make us proud.”
Woodson told Abram to continue to be himself and he can become the kind of leader that can help the Raiders be successful for years to come.
“Once you start slacking off and doing something different, now you’re not true to who you are,” Woodson told Abram. “You’ve got to be you and that’s what brings the best out of everyone else. You keep doing that and you’ll become a leader of the team very quickly and that’s how you guys are going to win.
“Every day you come out here, get better.”
99 – Uniform number of Rams star defensive lineman Aaron Donald.
Gruden showed film of Donald and warned his players they would need to be ready to rise to his level during the two days of practice against the defending NFC champions.
He also told them to try to get in as much work as possible against him during the drills.
“Ask for him,” Gruden said. “He’ll get you better. Watch how he plays and if he’s going to play with this kind of effort, I’ve got to get it from our guys.”
The players certainly got the message, starting with a quick scene of veteran guard Richie Incognito describing how easily Donald got around him during a drill.
Several other teammates were heard discussing how Donald is even faster up close than on film.
“99 ain’t no joke,” one says. “That’s a different type of human.”
106 – Rookie defensive lineman Maxx Crosby got the number tattooed on his arm to remind himself of where he was selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Crosby told the story of how he used a fake ID at age 17 to get his first ink and plans to start filling up his whole arm now that he has some money.
The 106 tattoo was made in the fashion of the “100” emoji.
1988 – The last time R&B legend Bootsy Collins hit the U.S. charts with a single, a full nine years before Crosby was born in 1997.
Should Crosby know who Collins is? Absolutely.
His influence on music is astronomical and Crosby, who was part of a hip-hop group in high school and clearly has an appreciation for the art, should of course know about his work.
But Mike Mayock was showing his age a bit in crushing the rookie defensive lineman for not being able to name a single Bootsy Collins song.
You know what, on second thought after reading this back, it’s pretty bad of Crosby to not know about Collins. But it could have been worse.
Crosby could have identified Collins as the guy from the Old Navy commercial, or worse yet, as the guy who was in that Yo Gabba Gabba! episode on Nickelodeon.