Hard Knocks 2018 Browns; Episode 4

In this episode we some great coaching by Tight Ends coach Greg Seamon. Seamon is teaching Devon Cajuste proper blocking technique. It is important to note that Cajuste played for four years at Stanford and that this is his third NFL training camp – yet he does not execute proper blocking technique. Not only does he not execute proper blocking technique – he does not even know how to do – what he should be doing. Here is the common mistake in all levels of sport – there is little, if any, proper instruction. Players are expected to know or just perform. Many athletes get by because they are bigger, stronger or faster than their opponents. When these athletes move up to a higher level they often struggle. They don’t develop their skill set. We often hear coaches in the Hard Knocks episodes threaten a player that they will be cut. There is often little teaching and instruction.

Seamon shows Cajuste that he has been trying to block with his arms and emphasizes that he needs to use his whole body in the blocking process. He points out to Cajuste that he needs to get into the proper position and engage his hips, legs, core and lower back into the movement of the block.

Seamon’s then has tight end Darren Fells demonstrate the proper technique to Cajuste. Fells does and outstanding job by showing Cajuste how to take the first two steps to “set your base.” He then shows Cajuste how to execute the block. Next, Fells has Cajuste demonstrate the technique. Fells then shows Cajuste what he did wrong – and what he needs to do to get into position to be able to “get locked and then explode.” Notice that when Fells demonstrates this to Cajuste – Cajuste seems shocked by the power that Fells is able to exert by using the proper technique.

Then in the preseason game we see Cajuste apply these lessons in the game. He clearly was working with Fells, others, or alone to improve his technique.

This whole demonstration is one of the best examples in any Hard Knocks episode on coaching/teaching. Fells could easily have a future as a coach.

Compare this work with Cajuste to the other comments we hear in this episode. From Bob Wylie: “Don’t cut yourself, you only get so many chances, take advantage of every chance.” From Josh Gibbs: “Action without results is nothing.” These statements are true. However, in Cajuste’s case he did not know what to do – so it’s not about being tough, or trying harder- it’s about learning what to do and how to do it. In order to learn, players need to be shown and taught exactly what is expected of them.

Even if Cajuste gets cut, he has improved as a player.

In the preseason game against the Eagles, the Browns force four turnovers. However, they only score three offensive points in the game. Not signing Dez Bryant, or another quality receiver, will be a huge problem for this team. Both GM John Dorsey and Head Coach Hue Jackson seem to think that Josh Gordon will be back to help the team. They seem blinded by Antoino Callaway’s talent while choosing to ignore his off the field issues. Not only is it unrealistic to expect Gordon and Callaway to contribute for a full season – it is dangerous. This allows the opposing team to only focus on Jarvis Landry.

Todd Haley is very passionate in the preseason game. It is impressive that he apologized to Jarvis Landry for yelling at him. It is obvious Haley is feeling the stress and pressure from not having the offensive weapons he needs to succeed.

The morning after this episode was aired it was announced that outside linebacker Mychal Kendricks is facing criminal charges and his career may be over. He was then cut by the Browns. Should the Browns have taken a better look at Kendricks’ off the field behavior? John Dorsey released a statement saying the Browns did “due diligence.” Perhaps they did – in the case with Antoino Callaway they did not appear to do any diligence. The police officer said he smelled marijuana when he pulled Callaway over at 3:00 am. The Browns seemed to blindly believe Callaway when he said he did not smoke.

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