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The soul of HBO’s “Arduous Knocks” is the up-close-and-personal seems on the myriad of fringe avid gamers – most commonly third-day draft alternatives, undrafted beginners, former observe squad avid gamers and XFL refugees – that are living at the roster bubble.

Los Angeles Rams rookie linebacker Clay Johnston was once a third-day draft pick out, decided on at No. 234 total within the 7th spherical out of Baylor, and is an extended shot to make the general 53-man roster.

“I am freaking stoked. That is unreal. I’m going to play my freaking nuts off. I am freaking in a position to head,” Johnston says to an unidentified trainer at the telephone on draft day.

Johnston is not the primary in his circle of relatives to have a connection to the NFL. His father, Kent Johnston, was once a energy trainer within the NFL for greater than 20 years, together with a stint with the Inexperienced Bay Packers all through trainer Mike Holmgren’s tenure with the staff from 1992-98. Kent and Professional Soccer Corridor of Repute quarterback Brett Favre struck up a friendship all through their time in combination in Inexperienced Bay. Such a lot in order that Kent was once the most productive guy in Favre’s wedding ceremony in 1996.

(Favre calls him “Bubba” in a clip that NFL Motion pictures connoisseurs may acknowledge – “The ones are some tight pants you were given on, Bubba.”)

Clay Johnston speaks to the media all through the 2020 NFL Mix. (Picture: Trevor Ruszkowski, USA TODAY Sports activities)

Clay and Kent have a video chat, and Favre joins in.

“Papa Favre, what’s happening?” Clay asks.

After some small communicate, Favre delivers a pep communicate to the NFL hopeful.

“You are going to be nice. I performed with a ton of men, however no longer many guys such as you, who love (soccer),” Favre says. “I at all times favored the blokes, like your self, who’d are available in and be stuffed with power and adore it … that is the type of guys you win with.”

Johnston is an vigorous, football-loving linebacker desperate to get at the box and get started tackling other people. However, within the strangest summer time in NFL historical past amid the coronavirus pandemic, collisions on the practice field have been in short supply.  

“I’m so pumped for the scrimmage. Coach, the scrimmage Saturday, will it be live?” Johnston asks during practice.

In Saturday’s scrimmage held at the new SoFi Stadium, the action was live and Johnston got onto the field – “I’m running down there like my life depends on it,” Johnston says as he lines up for kickoff coverage. Rams head coach Sean McVay calls on the “developmental group,” and Johnston takes his spot at linebacker. NFL Films gets footage from multiple angles of Johnston making a tackle. It was a good time for the rookie.

“Hey, that was so fun,” Johnston tells a coach.

HARD KNOCKS EPISODE 2 RECAP: Chargers’ first-round QB still learning ropes in NFL

HARD KNOCKS EPISODE 1 RECAP: Chargers head coach reveals he had COVID-19

BEST HARD KNOCKS MOMENTS: From J.J. Watt workouts to rants from Rex Ryan and Bob Wylie

Here are other notable moments from the third episode of “‘Hard Knocks” with the Chargers and Rams:

House that Aaron Donald built

Three weeks away from hosting the Dallas Cowboys in the 2020 season opener on “Sunday Night Football,” the Rams got their first look at new SoFi Stadium, the new home of the Rams and Chargers in Inglewood, California.

“This is a lot different than the Coliseum,” Aaron Donald says.

Later a teammate comes up to Donald during warm-ups, “This is it. You know you built this thing, right?”

Absent preseason game highlights, the Rams’ scrimmage is as good as we’re going to get as far as real pro football action goes until Sept. 10, when the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans kick off the season for real.

In the Rams’ scrimmage, Donald, the greatest defensive player in the game, dominates. Donald is unblockable. Unable to actually tackle the quarterback, McVay simply yells out “sack” each time Donald gets to Jared Goff. It happens a lot.

Phil McGeoghan delivers the fiery opener

As a result of that is HBO and we adore a pump-up speech with swears, this pep communicate comes courtesy of Chargers large receivers trainer Phil McGeoghan.

“That is customary, starting of coaching camp soccer. However I am not going to mention, ‘we were given time, we were given time,’ as a result of can we in point of fact have time this 12 months?” McGeoghan says. “We do not need time. I am simply seeking to be fair with you.

“If you were given a Professional Bowl (expletive) protection and an undrafted free-agent nook, I need the (expletive) Professional Bowl protection blocked. And I need him blocked (expletive) now. If you do not contact a soul with pads on, you will not play right here. I do not give a (expletive) the place you got here from, what highschool you went to, what faculty you went to, you will not play right here. No longer for trainer (Anthony) Lynn. You might be no longer going to play for a operating backs/particular groups trainer and a receivers trainer who was once a slap (expletive) undrafted unfastened agent should you ain’t going to dam. I do not give a (expletive) how briskly you’re. I do not give a (expletive) the way you ran on the mix in lingerie. If you do not block, you will not play right here in any respect. 

“If in case you have delusions of grandeur of operating available in the market on Sept. 13 as that 1/3 receiver, get your (expletive) thoughts proper.”

And … cue the “Arduous Knocks” theme.

The ones NFL Motion pictures cameras are in all places

That is Rams offensive lineman David Edwards figuring out he is were given stuck on digital camera.

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