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Hard Knocks: Atlanta Falcons Episode 3 Recap

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Come, let's get together and relive the week that resulted in that thrilling Texans game!

Thomas B. Shea

The show opens in a new, and very interesting way: showing the ACL reconstructive surgery for Marquis Spruill. It's clear the episode has a certain tone for the week, and this start is quite fitting.

In a rather telling scene, we see Kroy Biermann with Outside Linebackers coach Mark Collins. In speaking about his performance, Kroy admits to feeling tentative on his foot, and he's not happy with his performance so far. While he may be healthy, it's clear he needs to learn to ret-rust his body.

Along those lines, we see a quick interview with Julio and how this has been the longest stretch he's had without football in his life. We're treated to a series of clips where Julio just looks like a man-child amongst the others in camp, catching everything in sight.

We finally get some focus on one of the intriguing receivers on the roster: "Amsterdam" Geraldo Boldewijn. TD says he is raw and that Geraldo knows he's raw, but they really like his potential.

In another great moment from Coach Cox, we see the DL meeting room with Cox showing pictures of his son and daughter. He then tells Theo Agnew to "keep the f*&^ away from my daughter." Apparently, Agnew friended Cox's daughter on instagram and Cox is making it clear that "Hell no, you aren't dating my daughter." Funny set of exchanges take place between Cox and the guys.

We have confirmation: Matt Ryan has a sense of humor. We get a short segment with him telling a joke to the guys in the QB room.

Coach Smith is seen congratulating the young guys on their first game. He talks about first impressions and how the team could have had 579 yards of offense, but lost 240 net yards due to penalties.

In a short bit that emphasizes the fact that Georgia can get really hot, we see players like Jacques Smith getting overheated, but we learn that Devonta Freeman got overheated and did not eat the morning that he was pulled off the field. He's given advice about taking better care of his body in this critical time.

Next, the focus shifts to Jake Matthews, with father Bruce being interview on 92.9 radio. We also see Sam Baker saying "he's a freak, a freak athletically" and also saying that the other linemen say he's perfect. He says they found it he couldn't play piano, but now Jake is apparently going to learn that too.

We soon get to see Willy Mo dropping an impromptu rap while in the trainers room, while Harry Douglas pounded out a beat on the table. If you get the chance to look it up, it's worth finding a video of.

We get to see the competition between Roddy, Julio and Douglas as it shows them bowling together. Harry is actually pretty good, but a bit of a dork striking poses as he throws a strike. He proceeds to go off the rails, tossing the bowling ball pretty high in the air, but still managing to get a spare and knock pins over.

For QB fans, we get a quick segment where we see the QBs turn and throw at a slowly moving net target with pockets. What stands out is that Ryan, Matthews and Renfree looked very good, but Yates seemed to struggle (foreshadowing a bit?) Along those lines, we see TJ Yates along in a room practicing the calls from the playbook. It's clear he's struggling to catch up with Ryan and Renfree.

Finally, we get to the Houston road trip. In a funny moment, we see the Texans bull ask for a fist bump from Bernard Reedy, who coldly walks by. We also see a large contingent of fans that still love TJ Yates. We see him meeting with former teammates on the Texans and it's clear he was a very respected player on the team.

Footage of the practices is shown, starting with Julio dominating the Houston secondary pretty handily. We also see Ryan coaching up Boldewijn on the field as the raw rookie made a mental error. Ryan helps him figure out an easy way to remember his reads.

Next, we see great footage of Matthews vs. Watts. It shows Jake getting beat, but also giving it back and getting better. It's a good sign for what we can hope for from the first round rookie.

We get clips of the various coaches coming down on young guys. Terry Robiskie is giving grief to Boldewijn (who was featured heavily in this episode). Cox coming down hard on Nosa Eguae for doing his own thing. Armstrong making fun of the arm moves and "karate stuff" of guys like Starr. Gerald Brown telling Devonta Freeman that they need to be masters of fundamentals.

Speaking of Boldewijn, we see him speaking in Dutch to a friend or family member, telling them about how much stronger the QB arms are in America and how big JJ Watt really is. He also mentions getting reps as a gunner on punt coverage.

If you didn't already love Matt Ryan, this scene will do it. We see Ryan talking with the Texans Tight End coach and meeting his son. Ryan is great with the kid and throws a pass to the kid (who makes a great over the shoulder catch). Just a reminder that our QB is a great leader for this franchise. And if you disagree, you're a soul-less monster.

In a swoon moment for the ladies, we're treated to the ukelele version of "You got what I need", pool side, performed by Levine Toilolo.

In the "begin drinking" moment of the night, we get to the preseason game. We're forced to relive the hits by Clowney. We also see that Roddy and DJ Swearinger have words, while it is Swearinger who laid the hard hit on Julio on the crossing route.

Finally, we see Sam Baker go down. He mentions trying to plant the foot and how it wouldn't plant. In a rather surprising moment, we see Coach Tice tell Jake Matthews - on the sidelines - "When you wake up in the morning, you'll be our left tackle." Tice also tells Ryan that "we'll move Jake to the left and go from there." It was clear Tice knew that Baker was done, and that moving Jake was the definite move. The look on Sam Baker's face is grueling, though, and it really makes you feel for the guy.

In other game action, we see more of "Amsterdam" as he impresses with a nice catch and a very good block that setup Devin Hester's TD in the game. We also see Freeman getting blown up in punt blocking, but looking very good as a runner. Finally, we're forced to relive the rough night TJ Yates had, and how everything that could have gone wrong for him actually did. It got so bad that even Konz had to try and provide him some comfort.

To close out the episode, we see Matt Ryan addressing the team in the locker room, dropping some F-bombs (more naturally than Smitty, mind you) and telling the team that they'll use the next day to get their heads on straight and that they will turn things around on Monday. The episode closes with a somber tone, as we watch the players board the plane back to Atlanta.