Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information

Takeaways From 'Hard Knocks In Season': J.J. Watt Retires, Apologizes

Blough gets more time in the Hard Knocks spotlight

AZC_22_HardKnocks_5KeyTakeaways_Stadium_Eps8

Episode 8 of "Hard Knocks In Season" featuring the Cardinals debuted on Wednesday night, and -- as we will do after every episode this season -- here are the top five takeaways from the show for your reading pleasure. Warning: Spoilers ahead.

"Hard Knocks In Season" can be seen every Wednesday at 8 p.m. Arizona time until the season ends, and is streaming on HBO Max.

(To purchase merchandise seen during Hard Knocks, go to azcardinals.com/shophardknocks.)

J.J. WATT RETIREMENT IS THE MAIN THEME -- BUT AT THE END OF THE GAME HIS APOLOGY LINGERS

Not surprisingly after a week dominated by the news of J.J. Watt's retirement announcement, the episode focused on Watt, both during the week and during the game. The actual retirement talk to the cameras was the same thing he brought up in his press conference, although he did say he had known "for a few months" this would be his last season.

There was a lot of interaction with coaches and teammates in practice that was entertaining. In particular his relationship with linebacker Zaven Collins, which has been close since Collins showed up after he was drafted about two months after Watt became a Cardinal. But as the Falcons drove for their game-winning field goal, the cameras caught Watt upset with himself, apologizing to anyone who would listen. In the locker room, post-Kingsbury speech, Watt apologized to the team again for getting out of his gap on a long Cordarrelle Patterson run and then immediately jumping offside for another five yards. It's no wonder he later said he played "like sh*t."

DAVID BLOUGH IS APPRECIATIVE OF HIS CHANCE TO PLAY, AND HAS THE COACHES' ATTENTION

The quarterback, who will start again in the finale, already knew what it was like to be on "Hard Knocks," after he spent training camp with the Detroit Lions this season while they were doing the preseason version of the show. He admitted in a perfect world he would have made that team as Jared Goff's backup. But the Cardinals plucked him off the Vikings' practice squad, and now he's trying to make an impression here, which he seems to be doing -- getting compliments from Kliff Kingsbury and QB coach Cam Turner.

COLLINS CONTINUE TO MAKE STEPS BUT HE'S GOT TO TURN HIS BRAIN OFF SOMETIMES

Zaven Collins has had a pretty good second season after a rough rookie season. But he acknowledges he overthinks things, and you can see a scene when Budda Baker chastises him for doing just that in a game. You also see linebackers coach Bill Davis getting into Collins a bit for a false step against the Bucs that cost Collins an interception and instead was just a nice pass breakup. At one point, we see Davis and Collins talking in a meeting room.

"We have to unlock The Beast instead of fear of being wrong," Davis tells him. "I promise you your mistakes will be less -- not more -- if you go on your first gut instinct."

A.J. GREEN GOT CAUGHT IN THE HUDDLE/HUDL CONUNDRUM

Veteran wide receiver A.J. Green is talking during a practice with young teammates like Hollywood Brown and Isaiah Simmons when he is asked when he was in high school if he had Hudl -- which is pronounced "huddle." Which was exactly what the 34-year-old thought, so he was saying that he of course had huddles in high school. Brown and Simmons laugh. Hudl is the current rage of young high school athletes in which it is easy to upload and create highlight videos of a player trying to show himself off. Alas, Green tells them, his high school highlights came only from the VCR tapes his mom created from her own camera. And no, he wasn't circled or spot-shadowed in the tapes when you watched.

THE NOISE THAT MEANS WATT IS COMING

Earlier Wednesday, tackle Kelvin Beachum was asked about what it was like to practice against Watt, and Beachum made a "cha-cha-cha" sound, drawing laughs, as he imitated what Watt sounds like when he comes off the ball making a particular noise. Sure enough, at about the 10-minute mark of the "Hard Knocks" episode, there is old footage of Watt working out by himself -- making that noise Beachum had talked about.

Advertising