The premiere of "Hard Knocks In Season" featuring the Cardinals was 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.)
KYLER MURRAY HURTS HIS HAMSTRING ON A 17-YARD RUN
The news that Kyler Murray came up on Wednesday's injury report as DNP with a bad hamstring has its origin story during the first episode. After his 17-yard scramble for a first down on the late first-half drive against the Seahawks, Murray notes to director of rehabilitation/physical therapist Derek Garris that he has tweaked his hamstring. This becomes a bigger issue a few plays later on Murray's ill-fated final scramble of the half when he fumbles the ball when Seahawks defender Ryan Neal pokes it from behind. Murray says on the sidelines that while he wasn't jogging on the play he couldn't "fully open up" on the run -- the implication that he would have run away from Neal's hand if his hamstring was bothering him.
Murray played the rest of the game, but now that he's hurting, we will see what that means this week against the Rams and if he can "fully open up" in L.A. It certainly will be a storyline for next week's episode.
WE KNOW BUDDA BAKER IS IMPORTANT BUT IT'S CLEAR HE IS THE HEART OF THE TEAM
The safety is featured, with his sister Mary, in a good chunk of the episode. We all saw Baker's emotional speech after the Eagles game in the "Hard Knocks" trailer on social media, but watching how he plays and how he interacts with people, the fact he hurts his ankle right before the Seahawks scored their final touchdown and now is going to miss some time hurts. In the week of prep before the game, multiple coaches are seen in meetings at various positions praising Baker and pleading for their players to match Budda's energy. Linebackers coach Bill Davis challenges his guys to try and play harder than Baker. If people nationwide don't know about Budda, they will now. It's hard not to root for him. He's one of those players.
WE HEAR THE VERBAL CONFRONTATION BETWEEN HOP AND KYLER
TV cameras in game had caught Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins getting into it at one point; the NFL Films cameras got it too -- with audio. Hopkins was upset Murray didn't see him wide open on one play. "That (expletive) wide open," Hopkins says matter-of-factly, before going to Kyler in a not-thrilled kind of way, "What you see?" Murray responded that he was "trying to (expletive) win" and "calm the (expletive) down."
THE SEAHAWKS BOOTLEG PASSES WERE A COACHING POINT
In the prep before the game, we see defensive line coach Matt Burke telling players Geno Smith had thrown 14 passes off bootleg plays the previous three games. Then, as everyone remembered, the Seahawks ran the play-action bootleg passes multiple times to success against the Cardinals, including the final backbreaking 51-yard play to Noah Fant to set up Seattle's final TD. After that, DC Vance Joseph is seen on the sideline saying over and over, "We talked about the boot."
HOPKINS ASKING ABOUT THE HALL OF FAME
While DeAndre Hopkins is talking to receivers coach Shawn Jefferson during practice, the wideout asks earnestly, "Can I still get in the Hall of Fame?" It sounds a little odd coming from the always confident Hop, but after he was suspended for six games for PEDs, it clearly is a concern for him. Add in the restaurant conversation between he and Isaiah Simmons where Hopkins again laments that he let the team down when he was suspended, and Hopkins still is thinking about his missed time.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: FOOTBALL + HARD RAIN + SLO-MO CAMERAS = COOL
The Cardinals' Thursday practice last week was partially held during heavy rain in Tempe and the NFL Films grabbed some cool footage. Plus it was funny listening to Wisconsin guy J.J. Watt giving some of the other guys complaining about the cold. (To be fair, I'm one of those Arizona guys who complain about that kind of cold.)