Episode 5 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.)
KLIFF KINGSBURY IS SELF-AWARE WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A PLAYERS COACH
The frustration of the Patriots loss and its aftermath (like Kyler Murray's season-ending injury) was apparent -- you could see it on a shot of Kliff Kingsbury in the dying seconds of the game, before he gave encouragement to quarterback Colt McCoy.
But it was his speech in the locker room after, noting the dumb penalties and mistakes that undercut the team Monday, that showed both Kingsbury's anger and self-awareness.
"The basic (expletive) that we know how to do, it means a lot in these games," Kingsbury told the team. "It's hard to overcome and it continues to happen. It's getting it right in practice and holding each other accountable. I treat you like men. That's how it's going to be. That may be a fault of mine, but I'm going to treat you like (expletive) men. So we have to hold each other accountable somehow the last month, because we're better than that (expletive)."
Safety Chris Banjo then followed up to his teammates. "I've played ball for a long time. We've got some good coaches, and like he said he treats us like men. Be a (expletive) man and respect the (expletive) game, bro."
DEANDRE HOPKINS' MOM FUELS HIM
The story of DeAndre Hopkins' mom has been told before, but this episode had Sabrina Greenlaw telling her tale herself, the when she was once splashed with an acid-like concoction by a woman angry with who Greenlaw was dating. It blinded Greenlaw, and a teenage Hopkins worked even harder on the football field. "I'm trying to make every catch so my Momma can hear my name as much as possible." The scenes from the Patriots game showed Hopkins' sister giving Greenlaw play-by-play in a suite, especially when Hopkins was making a play (or fumbling the ball.)
KINGSBURY IS DRIVEN IN PART BECAUSE OF HIS FAILED NFL PLAYING CAREER
Cameras followed Kingsbury on a drive into the office one morning, noting it was 3:12 a.m. when he was awake and just before 4 when he was getting to the Dignity Health Training Center, ready to get in his morning workout before the rest of the day started. The coach mentions on his ride in that after not doing everything he could to be successful as an NFL quarterback -- he doesn't get into details, just that he regretted it in hindsight -- he promised himself he wouldn't make the same mistake in the second part of his football career. That includes early rising and cramming in as much as he could, and being the first-in-last-out-type.
J.J. WATT UNDERSTANDS HIS CREEPING ATHLETIC MORTALITY
J.J. Watt is shown tutoring rookie linebacker (and eventual defensive lineman) Cameron Thomas on some of the final points of prep. (Quick sidenote: It's like Watt was attempted to be cloned in Zach Allen and then Thomas, especially when you see all three together on the field.) But that elder statesman role also leads Watt to be reflective, especially in light of a (now) 4-9 season and his career closer to the end than the beginning.
"The closer I get to the end the more difficult it becomes to wrestle with the reality of how hard it is to win in this league, Watt says. "You are much more understanding of how finite your opportunities are."
HOPKINS BLAMED HIMSELF FOR THE PATRIOTS LOSS
Hopkins' sister is shown telling their mother (a few times) how Hopkins shouldn't have been holding the ball with one hand on the play Hopkins fumbled into a Patriots defensive touchdown. But Hopkins -- as he did after the game to reporters -- quickly took responsibility.
"I lost us the game," Hopkins said on the sideline to tight ends Stephen Anderson and Trey McBride. "I let them get the momentum. That's on me. I'm going to take that one."