Hard Knocks addressed Antonio Brown‘s feet last week. It ended the second episode with a “to be continued” tease to Brown’s helmet issue.
Hard Knocks wasted little time in getting to Brown on Tuesday, setting up the helmet issue only three minutes into the hour-long reality series before cutting to coach Jon Gruden talking privately about his star receiver.
“We’ve known the whole time,” Gruden said. “He had frostbite. He took four or five days to get checked out, and we knew about the [helmet] grievance since the first day of OTAs, which we did. I don’t know what the story — what the f— the story is around here.
“He’s tried everything, really. I give the guy credit for standing up for what he believes in. Everybody else does it in this country.”
Much of the rest of the episode centered around Brown’s feet and his helmet issue. The trailer for the show, released Tuesday morning, provided most of of the best stuff from Brown.
Gruden’s public support of Brown was backed by his private support of Brown on Hard Knocks.
More than once he questioned why it was “such a big story.”
At one point, Gruden even joked with Brown, telling him, “You can use my helmet, man.”
Wearing a new helmet, Brown complained to teammates about his “new lid being ugly as f—” as he continually adjusted it.
Through everything, Gruden has showed unwavering support of Brown, which Brown acknowledged late in the episode.
“Thanks for supporting me, coach,” Brown said. “My f—ing head, my feet. People after me. You’ve been a constant supporter.”
Gruden told Brown he was behind him, and that Brown could talk to him about any problem.
“I know you’ve got a lot of people in your ear, because you’re like a corporation that’s kind of gone global,” Gruden told Brown. “At the end of the day, let’s keep this s— simple. Football comes first. Everybody else is f—ing way behind. You know what I’m saying? You’ve handled all that seamlessly, beautifully.”
“Seamlessly. I think that word,” he said. “That’s a great word. Seamlessly. I’ll look that up.”
Gruden replies, “Three syllables. They don’t have those at Dayton [where Gruden went to school] or Central Michigan [where Brown went to school].”
In something of a good-cop, bad-cop routine, General Manager Mike Mayock was shown speaking to reporters Sunday, telling them that it was time for Brown to be “all in or all out” after Brown left camp again.
The episode ends with Brown returning to work Monday. Whether he stays or not is to be continued as Brown has filed another grievance.