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': Watt And Baker Are The Examples

Baker hurts shoulder with more than 10 minutes left and stays in game

AZC_22_HardKnocks_5KeyTakeaways_Stadium_Eps7

Episode 7 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 AND BUDDA BAKER AREN'T JUST EXAMPLES PUBLICALLY

It's been brought up many times of the way Budda Baker and J.J. Watt have worked so hard and been good examples when the media asks about them. But defensive coordinator Vance Joseph made clear in an early scene at a meeting before the Buccaneers game by pointing out the two of them. "The example is here," Joseph emphasizes to the entire defense, noting that for all their skills, "their best trait is effort." Joseph shows a play by Baker in Denver, chasing down a run play from behind and diving to make a tackle despite the Cardinals down nine with three minutes left.

BAKER HURT HIS SHOULDER ON THE LEONARD FOURNETTE 44-YARD CATCH

Baker has been one of the standouts of the "Hard Knocks" season, and it's fitting the chronicled the end too. Baker hurts his left shoulder in a collision with Zaven Collins on Fournette's 44-yard catch-and-run when the Cardinals were up 16-6 with 10:41 left. But Baker never comes out of the game and the cameras show Baker making a handful more plays clearly hurting with what turned out to be a shoulder fracture. Baker went on IR Wednesday.

WATT'S PLAY AGAINST THE BUCS LOOKS DIFFERENT KNOWING HE'LL SOON RETIRE

Because the episode goes through the week of the previous game with the storyline ending with game's end, Watt's retirement announcement isn't a storyline -- except for a line during a Watt highlight where narrator Liev Schreiber makes the point that Watt will soon say this is his last season but "retirement will have to keep -- right now he's manhandling the Bucs." (The cameras didn't catch, or at least didn't show, Watt's last 360 as he left the field, now as we all realize he was taking in his final home game.)

EVERYONE THAT WAS WAITING FOR DEANDRE HOPKINS TO GET THE BALL? TRACE MCSORLEY WAS TOO

Hop only getting one catch was notable on game night. But it wasn't for lack of trying or effort. The entire week prior, McSorley is shown in practice working with Hop to make sure he can get him the ball. Before the game, McSorley tells Hopkins he's going to lean on him. And at halftime, with Hopkins shut out at that point, McSorley laments it all, saying "I gotta get the ball to '10' somehow." Hopkins was targeted 10 times, but of the nine incompletions, none were really catchable, both with some McSorley mistakes and because of the Bucs' defense.

THE BUCS KNEW IT WAS A NEAR-MISS AND SO DID KLIFF KINGSBURY

In overtime, even before the final field goal was made, Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans and cornerback Antonio Hamilton shared pleasantries on Christmas, with Evans noting almost apologetically "Y'all had this one. Y'all had it." Then postgame, Kingsbury is shown trying to gather his thoughts for a looong time before addressing the team, the wear of a hard game -- and hard season -- on his face.

Advertising