Hard Knocks with hard rock: McCoy, Beachum and Smith star in episode 2

Nov 17, 2022, 11:51 AM | Updated: 12:08 pm

Arizona Cardinals OL Lecitus Smith (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...

Arizona Cardinals OL Lecitus Smith (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

Week 2 of Hard Knocks In Season following the Cardinals featured not only an Arizona win, but a few background characters on the team stepping into starting roles. And thus, in front of the HBO cameras.

Wolf & Luke discuss their main takeaways from the second episode that dropped on Wednesday after the Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Rams.

Hard Knocks show-stealer

This wasn’t a hard pick for Ron Wolfley, who loved seeing backup quarterback Colt McCoy command the position group meetings around commanding a quick-hit attack for Arizona.

On Luke Lapinski’s end — and semi-relatedly — the injury-struck offensive line led by lone regular Kelvin Beachum and rookie Lecitus Smith showed a lot. Smith’s brutal honesty about his nerves and expectations, plus Beachum’s barking with Rams pass-rusher Leonard Floyd, were good stuff.

Standout sound

It’s hard to beat the narrative of the new family man. J.J. Watt allowing cameras a little insight into his new role as dad to Koa was featured on the second Hard Knocks episode. That was a beautiful bit to Wolf.

Luke loved McCoy reminding Sean McVay about the Cardinals’ imperiled offensive line situation — after the game.

Other notables: Starter Kyler Murray trying to prop up the rookie Smith, and of course, safety Budda Baker’s will to play through a high-ankle sprain popped in the show when he said “all my chips is in.”

Hard truth

We return to the generally calm and collected Beachum here for Wolf’s pick. It’s a truth that the right tackle is not the soft, kind human being he usually is when playing in games, as his demeanor toward Floyd and the Rams showed.

Luke loved the intentionality of the Cardinals wanting McCoy to really get the ball out quickly heading into the Los Angeles matchup against game wrecker Aaron Donald and crew.

And per Next Gen Stats, Arizona’s quick-throw offense was no joke. McCoy’s average time to throw was 2.13 seconds, the second-quickest for any quarterback for a single game so far this NFL season.

McCoy went 26 of 37 for 238 yards and a touchdown.

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