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‘Hard Knocks: The Detroit Lions’ Episode 1 Superlatives

Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Detroit Lions began with a strong premiere last night, and episode superlatives are back for another season.


Best moment: Jamaal Williams makes a speech

There were a bunch of choices here, including Duce Staley and Aaron Glenn going at each other during practice (which felt like it could have been a Key & Peele skit). But Williams’ passion undoubtedly takes the top spot, and his emotional speech is reason enough to believe the Lions can turn things around in 2022:



Worst moment: Post-episode scenes

I don’t think there is really a good choice for “worst moment” from the season debut, but the scenes during the credits seemed to fall a bit flat—perhaps because the intensity was high during much of the episode. Starting with Episode 3, I’ll be interested to see if we’ll get a House of the Dragon viewing scene like for the Buccaneers during Season 7 of Game of Thrones.


Funniest moment: Aidan Hutchinson sings “Billie Jean”

The rookie performances are sometimes very good, and sometimes very cringy—and Hutchinson started off poorly by signing the wrong words to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”, but quickly found his footing on the restart. It was the entire team getting in on the action by signing along that created a moment that some are calling one of the best in Hard Knocks history.


Underrated moment: Jared Goff’s focus

The opening scene featured head coach Dan Campbell making a tone-setting speech in front of the team, and quarterback Jared Goff—sitting front row with a notepad—was 100% locked in based on how his head/eyes tracked Campbell pacing back and forth. The former No. 1 overall pick should be featured more as the season progresses.


Best quote: Dan Campbell

“Because we’ll tread water as long as it takes to bury you.”


MVP: Dan Campbell

Campbell and his assistant coaches—many of them former players—are set to be highlighted by the HBO crew, and you can tell they are all authentically themselves (as stated by linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard). The opening speech, relationship with coaches/players, and of course getting in on the action with up-downs (despite an injured wrist) has Detroit believing they have their man.