8 takeaways from episode three of ‘Hard Knocks’ with the Los Angeles Rams

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Episode three of HBO's “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Los Angeles Rams” is in the books, and it seems we're approaching a noticeable lack of new or interesting storylines. While this week's episode could be classified as entertaining — as a football fan, most of them are — it didn't cover much ground that wasn't already passed over on the first few episodes. Case Keenum and Jared Goff are still battling it out at the quarterback position, Todd Gurley is still untouchable, and Jeff Fisher still has no interest in going 7-9.

With the show basically at the midway point of its preseason run, we haven't seen a lot of the “behind closed doors” stuff — such as player cuts, front office dealings and injury rehab — that gives “Hard Knocks” the true all-access feel that made it great in years past. As we inch closer to the regular season, rosters start to get trimmed and competition gets more intense, so we'll likely get more of that stuff in the coming weeks. But, for now, here are some of this week's takeaways.

Family is everything

A huge theme of episode three was family. The episode started off with a gut-wrenching conversation between Rams coach Jeff Fisher and rookie wide receiver Paul McRoberts, who had just found out (on Facebook, of all places) that his step-brother was murdered. McRoberts was understandably shaken by the loss of a family member he’d grown up with, but received overwhelming support from his Rams family at camp.

“My teammates and my coaches let me know it’s OK to cry,” McRoberts said afterwards.

Several other families were highlighted throughout the episode as well. Austin Hill’s adorable daughter got some significant screen time as she watched her dad try to make a name for himself at camp, Fisher talked about his experiences coaching alongside his son, Alec Ogletree had to settle for FaceTiming with his newborn, and we found out that Eric Kush’s kids love tank tops just as much as their dad. Okay, maybe not, but the apples clearly don’t fall far from the tree.

Eugene Sims has incredible hands

Several players got some work in catching balls from the JUGS machine, but nobody impressed as much as veteran defensive end Eugene Sims, who apparently has incredible hands. Or at least one incredible hand. Sims did his best Odell Beckham Jr. impression and used just one hand to catch a bunch balls launched at him from the machine on full-speed just mere yards away. It was so impressive that one of the coaches had to ask if Sims could play tight end.

More tank tops

Through three episodes, we haven’t seen too much regarding what center Eric Kush can do on the field, but his passionate love affair with tank tops has been covered in-depth. This week, we got a look at Kush designing and producing some custom tank tops for Rams players. Maybe the most surprising moment of the episode came when teammate Greg Robinson said he was “allergic to tank tops” and Kush didn’t punch him in the face.

Far out, man

One of the sneakily great moments of this week’s episode came when Alec Ogletree, new dad, was speaking to an unidentified guy wearing a bucket hat on the sidelines, who dropped this quote on the linebacker:

“You’re like the dad of the defense, you know what I mean? But you’re also, like, the dad of the real world.”

If this dude is a team employee, I hope he’s not subjected to random drug tests.

A terrifying trip to Disneyland

One of the advantages of the Los Angeles relocation is that guys have the ability to go to Disneyland on their days off. Akeem Ayers and William Hayes took advantage during Tuesday's episode, and we got to experience Hayes’ fear of rollercoasters up close and personal. It wasn’t quite as hilarious as DMX riding the Slingshot, but then again, what is?

This shirt.

I need it.

Mrs. Keenum

One of the stars of this week’s episode was Kimberly Keenum, wife of quarterback Case Keenum. She’s been the most involved wife or girlfriend so far, and for good reason – she's awesome and she knows her stuff when it comes to football. There’s a scene of her helping Case study the playbook while cooking breakfast (which has to be “goals” for any NFL quarterback), as well as a shot of her handing out free lessons in the stands during the second preseason game. She's clearly heavily involved in the football aspect of her husband's life, which is pretty cool to see.

Mike Singletary

After all these years, Mike Singletary is still terrifying a whole lot of people, and rightfully so. That was made clear on Tuesday night when Singletary, now a defensive assistant with the Rams, responded to a light-hearted joke by staring a player down with enough fury to make anyone watching at home quiver. He also did pushups by himself on sidelines, because of course he did.

 

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