The brawls that broke out between the Redskins and the Texans in Richmond over the weekend were a bit startling and pretty surprising to the fans who saw them live and the audiences who saw them on their TVs. And while they probably caught Washington coach Jay Gruden and Houston coach Bill O'Brien a bit off guard, too, a conversation they had together before the practices will probably make some wonder if the two bosses can tell the future.
"We're kicking a guy out of practice if there's a fight," O'Brien told Gruden on the debut of HBO's 'Hard Knocks' ahead of the team's first joint practice, which took place last Thursday.
"When I was in Denver, if it was like, an all out brawl, the guy was gone," he continued. "You agree with that?"
"Yeah," Gruden responded.
Little did they know how prescient that brief exchange would prove to be.
While the majority of the episode was (obviously) centered around the AFC South squad, the Redskins did get some decent camera time near the end of the show's premiere thanks to the two teams agreeing to practice each other for three straight days in Virginia. And aside from the two coaches talking, there were many, many other highlights -- and lowlights -- from that stretch related to the Burgundy and Gold. Here is a rundown of the rest of the action that concerned the Redskins:
- A poorly constructed line on one of the Redskins' practice fields drew the ire of Texans star JJ Watt: "I think the guy was hammered when he painted this line," Watt said, in reference to its squiggly nature. "This line's not even remotely close to straight." It was just one of many parts that featured #99.
- The Texans equipment managers forgot to pack the jerseys that their quarterbacks wear ahead of the trip, so Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallet took the field wearing Redskins uniforms instead.
- A Brandon Scherff vs. JJ Watt one-on-one drill was highlighted, and in it, Scherff was driven back quite easily by the standout defender. "He's a rookie," Watt said to a teammate while laughing. "He doesn't count."
- We got our first look of the Matt Jones hit that reportedly sparked the massive fights between the two franchises. Afterward, a few Texans defenders were heard complaining about the Redskins being too physical the day before.
- There was a segment of trash talk between Redskins corner DeAngelo Hall and Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins that may have set the record for expletives said in a 30-second window. Hopkins took issue with Hall touching him after a play, and for the next few moments, the two players sparred verbally before finally being separated. Transcribing what they said would be a fireable offense though, so unfortunately, you'll have to find those quotes on your own.
- Finally, as expected, there were plenty of fight scenes. There was Pierre Garçon yelling in the face of a few Texans during one stoppage. There was Niles Paul delivering a nasty blow to a Houston player. And there was a lot of slow motion shots of full on scrums featuring a handful of players. The final line of the episode? It was a memorable one, courtesy of Texans corner Jonathan Joseph: "Let's get the (expletive) out of Richmond."
For diehard Redskins fans, seeing their team make a short appearance on the incredibly well-done show was pretty exciting, and that excitement was evident on Twitter as the premiere was going on. Should Washington ever become the focus of an entire season of 'Hard Knocks,' Twitter may need to make sure they can handle all of that traffic before the debut.