Tuesday was the NFL’s deadline for teams to trim rosters down to 53 players.
More than 1,000 NFL hopefuls were the recipients of bad news as many had their pro football dreams dashed on this cruel day.
On “Hard Knocks” with the New York Jets, a handful of roster bubble players stood out on the show over the past month. For some, NFL aspirations were dealt a significant setback on cutdown day. For others, the NFL journey might just be beginning.
- Jerome Kapp went undrafted out of Division II Kutztown and was signed by the Jets after a minicamp tryout. He was the longest of long shots to make the team’s 53-player roster (he was a wide receiver wearing No. 31 for goodness’ sake!). Kapp’s Slim Shady performance in last week’s episode was so stirring that Eminem himself was impressed. Kapp’s fate was learned so soon after the Jets’ preseason finale against the New York Giants — in which he played but did not have a reception — that it made Tuesday night’s episode.
- Tanzel Smart, of “car-coochie board” fame, brought some defensive line experience to the fold, having played in 37 games (four starts) over five NFL seasons. However, it wasn’t meant to be, as Smart suffered a shoulder injury in Saturday’s preseason finale, had X-rays taken yet returned to the field. Smart was released Tuesday, when the world also learned that “I want to eat a car-coochie board” T-shirts — which Smart proudly wore while hosting fellow defensive players for dinner on “Hard Knocks” — are for sale. Perhaps people sending him “car-coochie” boards on Instagram will help brighten his day.
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- Wide receivers Jason Brownlee and Xavier Gipson met and became friends at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. By coincidence, Brownlee — who played at Southern Mississippi — and Gipson — who played at Stephen F. Austin — were both signed by the Jets as undrafted free agents when each was not selected in the 2023 NFL draft. Both had impressive camps — Brownlee had a highlight-reel catch, Gipson was described as having “quiet feet” — and both put forth a showcase to stick with the team in the preseason finale (Gipson had seven catches for 79 yards, Brownlee had two for 25 yards). In a receiver room crowded with Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay pals, it’s amazing that Brownlee and Gipson each made the 53-player roster.
HARD KNOCKS EPISODE 1: ‘The Aaron Rodgers Show’ and a fourth wall break
HARD KNOCKS EPISODE 2: Offense has issues, Quinnen Williams wreaks havoc
HARD KNOCKS EPISODE 3: Aaron Rodgers has high praise for new teammate
‘LET’S GO EAT A SNACK!’ 18 most memorable ‘Hard Knocks’ moments
Here is more of what we learned during the fourth episode of “‘Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets”:
Randall Cobb, Aaron Rodgers joke about brutal blindside hit
Cobb is entering his 13th NFL season — 11th with Rodgers as his quarterback — and saw his first preseason action Saturday.
Like a lot of regulars who’ve sat out previous exhibition games, there was enthusiasm to be back on the field in a competitive environment. In Cobb’s case, too much enthusiasm.
On a Rodgers pass to tight end Tyler Conklin, Cobb delivered a diabolical blindside block on Giants safety Bobby McCain. It rendered a 15-yard personal foul penalty. Cobb then heard it from Rodgers in the huddle.
“Cobb … he lost all his training camp money,” Rodgers said in the huddle. “What are you doing, bro? This ain’t 2014.”
“I forgot. I blacked out. I blacked out, all right?” Cobb said. “I ain’t been able to hit nobody in awhile.”
Nathaniel Hackett admits to owning a Flowbee
When the topic of male grooming came up during a quarterbacks meeting, Hackett volunteered some information.
He owns a Flowbee.
“One of the greatest inventions ever,” said Hackett, the Jets offensive coordinator. “Is there anything better than a Flowbee?”
Let’s just say that there’s been a lot of filler on this season of “Hard Knocks.”
Giants and Jets will play again … will it be saucy?
The Jets defeated the Giants, 32-24, in the preseason finale Saturday. There was some feistiness.
Giants linebacker Jihad Ward gave Rodgers a late shove and the two exchange unpleasant words.
“Don’t poke the bear,” Rodgers told Ward after a touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson.
The Giants dared to throw deep twice against Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner, who did not appreciate the perceived disrespect, yelling, “What are you doing?”
Late in the game, and again after the game while in the tunnel on the way to the locker room, Rodgers called MetLife Stadium, “JetLife Stadium.”
The Jets and Giants will play for real on Oct. 29 during Week 7.
Jets rave about ‘Back to the Future’ musical
Being in New York, Jets players have access to all that Broadway has to offer — “Shucked,” “Hamilton,” “The Book of Mormon,” “& Juliet” “The Lion King,” “Back to the Future.”
The reviews are in, and players rate “Back to the Future” a must-see:
Defensive end Solomon Thomas opines that “‘Back to the Future’ was really good … I highly recommend ‘Back to the Future.’ I was surprised. I want to see it again.”
Rodgers called it “a must-watch.”
Tight end C.J. Uzomah raves “that (expletive) was incredible. OK, that was unbelievable.”