We're back for a third edition of the Annotated Hard Knocks, trying each week to freeze frames and find the tiny nuances of Bucs training camp you might have missed out on. If you see something we missed, hit us up at [email protected]
1. SUPER GROVER
The intro for the third episode saw QB Jameis Winston hard at work, going through a battery of rigorous workouts with his offseason trainer, Tim Grover. We've written about Grover a few times -- that opening video with Winston alternating forward and backward grips between pullups was posted by Grover in early July, and he was on hand in February when Winston spoke at Melrose Elementary in St. Petersburg.
2. WHAT MARPET'S READING
That Picnic Beach shot of Bucs center Ali Marpet playing ukulele also has a split-second shot of the pensive lineman reading a book -- I tracked it down, and it's called "Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World." It's written by Matthieu Ricard, a French writer who is also a Buddhist monk. He's hardly the only deep thinker in the family -- Rick Stroud wrote about the Marpet family this week two years ago and mentioned his brother Blaze, who went to Eckerd College and is now getting his doctorate in philosophy at Northwestern.
3. SPLITTING HAIRS
As the show runs through quick shots of the Bucs getting on the bus to the airport to go to Jacksonville, you get a shot from behind of a player who has the left half of his hair dyed blonde. It's rookie receiver Shaq Hill, from Eastern Washington, who joined the team in the first week of camp. You can see the unique look on his Texans bio page from this summer, and by this story, it's a superstitious thing he's been doing since his EWU college days. When the Bucs made their final kick in the Jaguars game with 30 seconds left, it was Hill who made the tackle to stop a potential big return.
4. TOO COOL FOR GLUTEN
There are far too many cool T-shirts worn by players on the show -- receiver Mike Evans is sporting a "TOO COOL FOR GLUTEN" shirt in the scene where he meets with Jon Gruden and Rex Ryan in the ESPN production meeting before the game. "Why can't I be there with Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, T.O. (Terrell Owens) ... Marvin Harrison?" Evans asks about his all-time favorites. He puts himself in the league's top tier now, naming Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham and A.J. Green and saying "we're all like in the top six guys."
5. YES, GOAT RESCUE
Easily the most random and perhaps memorable conversation from the episode had rookie QB Sefo Liufau explaining the concept of a "goat rescue" to his fellow quarterbacks, including Jameis Winston, who can't stop laughing. "They're really rich if they're rescuing goats like dogs," he says. The story was that Liufau's girlfriend's family has four goats from the rescue -- he's from Washington, and the first goat rescue that shows up on Google, sure enough, is the Puget Sound Goat Rescue. Founder Barbara Jamison says her organization rescues and relocates about 200 goats a year -- generally the cost to adopt is $130-140 from their two farms. Their goal is to save pet-friendly animals from slaughterhouses. Check them out online at pugetsoundgoatrescue.org.
6. LUNCH IS ON GERALD
So Gerald McCoy rented three food trucks -- one for wings, one barbecue, one shaved ice sno-cones -- for his teammates in Jacksonville. It's a very generous thing to do, even if you're the highest paid player on the team. How much does something like that cost? We called the Wingin' It Food Truck, based in St. Augustine, and they told us the total cost to feed wings to an entire football team for two hours was ... about $1,800. Sno-cones? The good folks that run the downtown Jacksonville Kona Ice truck said they made 170 sno-cones for the Bucs ("those guys ate every bit") at a cost of $500 for two hours. Speaking of McCoy, his episode one credits scene, sharing how "Chick-fil-A got the nicest people ever" got a Twitter shoutout from the restaurant's CEO and chairman, Dan Cathy, on Wednesday. "So glad you love @chickfila customer service!" he wrote. "Love your superhero cleats!"
7. PIANO MAN
Marpet's ukulele wasn't the only unknown musical talent in Tuesday's episode -- when the team went through an impromptu walkthrough in the ballroom of the team hotel, that was the team's director of security, Andres Trescastro, playing the piano in the background. Trescastro is now in his 20th season with the team -- he ran the team's security back in the Super Bowl season and got a big hug from Jon Gruden on the sidelines in Jacksonville last week.
8. JAMEIS SEES THE FUTURE
You have to listen closely to hear it, but as Jameis Winston talks in the offensive huddle before the first drive in the Jaguars game, he reminds them of the importance of finishing drives with touchdowns and not field goals. "Let's end it with 7," he says. "We control 6, and I know Folk's good for taking care of 7." Of course, Nick Folk's extra point was low and blocked by the Jaguars. That and Roberto Aguayo's miss off the uprights in the first game mean the Bucs are 0-for-2 on extra points in preseason. The rest of the NFL -- all 31 teams -- were a combined 112-for-114 in the first two weeks of preseason.
9. JAGUARS' QUARTERBACK WOES
The Bucs defense held the Jaguars offense scoreless in the first half -- Tampa Bay outgained them 240-59, and held starter Blake Bortles in check enough that Jacksonville re-opened its QB competition after the game, though backup Chad Henne wasn't much better. To best appreciate the desperation of Jaguars fans, check out the stands behind the uprights on Nick Folk's missed 47-yard field goal, and you'll see a single fan holding up a cardboard sign: "SIGN KAEP" it reads, a plea to bring in former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
10. LI-TI-RILLA LIVES ON
We mentioned last week that Bucs LB Kwon Alexander had scored some prime product placement with teammates wearing his red "LI-TI-RILLA" T-shirts -- that's a reference to him being part lion, part tiger and part gorilla, of course. Look close and you'll see at least six teammates wearing the shirts just in this episode -- Mike Evans and Cameron Lynch in the off-day opening montage, Jameis Winston during the ballroom walkthrough, Donovan Smith as he pretends to play piano, injured rookie tackle Cole Gardner as he lays in the trainer's room and then Joe Hawley laughing in the auditorium during the rookie show in the "scenes from next week" part at the end. That's a lot of lions and tigers and gorillas ...