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Hard Knocks Falcons Episode 2 Recap

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Go behind the scenes with the Atlanta Falcons via the HBO series.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Opener - We see Roosevelt Nix-Jones impressing on the field and then is invited to Smitty's office. "Be downstairs in five minutes." Due to injuries at other positions, Nix-Jones has to be cut. The first cut of camp has come, and other players are feeling the impact. Some are still in shock to see him go.

We then get to see shots of Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff on a mountain bike in the woods. He talks about his history with a dad as a coach and how he started as a grounds keeper. His dad got him into scouting, because he loves the evaluation of players. Just for added measure, we get to see that Dimitroff went mountain biking with Lance Armstrong for 3 days. Yeah.

We are then treated to Mike Tice talking about trying to block guys with your arms out wide to Roddy. Cut to a pic of James Stone - during a scrimmage - with his arms out wide. He's forced to sing "I Believe I Can Fly" in front of the OL room (who joins in). Great comedic moment.

The anticipated interactions between Cox and Hageman are shown. Cox is constantly trying to get Hageman to be more positive, while the rookie is very hard on himself. TD talks about liking that introspective quality. We then see the shot of Hageman swinging at Hawley and hurting his wrist. That shot is followed by Smitty telling the guys to not throw punches at some man's helmet because "...you're not going to win that." Cox gives Hageman grief about getting injured, and calls him the class clown.

Titans are in town for practice and Smitty is warning the guys not to fight with them. He tells them they'll be fined and kicked off the field if they do. "If someone takes a swing, don't retaliate - remember their number. We play them in about two weeks." Of course, the cameras repeatedly cut to Joe Hawley. The shots of practice begin and we're immediately taken to the Hawley "ejection." However, both Smitty and Keith Armstrong appear to be laughing and smiling about the ejection. They don't appear too upset with it. Meanwhile, we get some great shots of the practice, including the moment where Carimi went down. We also see Bernard Reedy torch a Titans DB for a TD during practice.

We then get to the clip of Smitty talking about penalties. Surprisingly, he says Joe did the right thing when he got ejected. Smitty begins talking about going to the defense of your teammate. "I'm tired of hearing about how the Falcons are soft. The falcons aren't tough. Bullshit. We want to be the biggest bunch of pricks as far as making it hard for our opponents all day long."

A familiar face is visiting the branch, as Sean Weatherspoon is shown meeting up with Smitty. Coach wants him to help mentor the young guys. We see Weatherspoon spending time (presumably at his house) with Prince Shembo. We see them examining film together and 'Spoon talking about QBs in the NFL, and how guys like Brees - you can't trust them. They'll pump fake you away from their target. Great moment to see Sean sharing his experience with the rookie.

In a comedic moment, we see Hageman and Spruill talking about going swimming at the GA Aquarium. Spruill saying RaShede is too big - they won't have a wetsuit for him. We get to see the rooks get in the tank and swim with the sharks and whales.

I also realize now that it takes a whale to make Hageman look small. Damn.

As we get back to practice, we unfortunately see the play where Spruill goes down with the ACL tear. It's a sad moment, and a reminder of what these guys are working towards.

In another light hearted moment, we see Roddy run out during a small skirmish and jump on William Moore's back. It's clear these two love messing around. Roddy is also seen telling the defense to lay off #33, because he wants to see what he can do on Friday. The banter from Roddy is priceless.

We then see a very interesting shot where Roddy jokes with Douglas' wife about getting pregnant. As White goes away, the camera catches HD and his wife as she tells him that she's ready. A very intimate moment caught there on camera.

If you're wondering who the CB was with the nickname: Ricardo Allen explains how he took a shot to the family jewels early in camp. Apparently, he had to go to the hospital when one of his testicles swelled up to roughly 4x normal size. This earned Allen the name of "Big Balls." Yup.

Focus shifts to rookies Tyler Starr and Jacques Smith and their efforts to contribute on special teams. We see some intimate shots with Starr seeing his son and Smith seeing his baby daughter via facetime. It makes you want to root hard for these guys.

The coverage finally shifts to the preseason game with the Dolphins. Smitty talks about the importance of first impressions, and setting the tone that this is a physical football team that plays smart.

After the offensive drive, we see Ryan talking to Roddy about his routes in the slot and how he's unstoppable in those routes - the ones that Gonzalez used to run. He blurts out "Still love ya Tony" in a great, quick moment for the cameras.

We also get to see some good angles of our young defensive players. Hageman looked good while Ricardo Allen showed some up and down play. We also see how Freeman is impressing, and the impressive wheel route that went for a big gain. Smitty was looking for that explosive play, and he got it.

Some focus is put on Shembo being the field general for the second unit. We see Worrilow coaching him up on the sidelines, and Shembo looking very comfortable and confident out there. He's been very impressive.

In the closing segment, we see Bryan Cox - along with some of the other assistant coaches - smoking cigars and talking about a variety of subjects. Cox gives us this truth: "If a man doesn't have a habit, he has a lot of skeletons." Also, Cox apparently only drinks Budweiser, so don't try to impress him with your micro-brewery if you run into him. It's a great way to close the episode, as Cox continues to show the fire and personality that make him a welcome addition to the team.