HBO's annual behind the scenes look at NFL training camp kicked off Tuesday with a glimpse into the 2017 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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The franchise, fashion statements and a celebrity cameo
Quarterback Jameis Winston, the team's franchise player, was one of the central figures in the season premiere, and he's expected to continue getting air time on the show.
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy arrived at the player check in for camp wearing Japanese garb, and the fashion statement definitely produced the flashy moment for the first episode.
Rookie Jeremy McNichols gave us the wow moment when Snoop Dogg chimed in via video chat. Listed under McNichols' phone contact as "Coach Snoop," we were treated to some advice from the rapper to the rookie running back.
Quote of the episode
There are so many gems to choose from and they all belong to Winston. Showing off his humble beginnings in Alabama, Winston spotted a cockroach on one of the steps to the home he grew up in.
I feel like the Crocodile Hunter with roaches.
Tampa Bay Bucs QB Jameis Winston
First he said: "This cockroach (is) having a baby."
Then he said: "This is Mother Nature at its best."
And he wrapped up his cockroach inspection with: "I feel like the Crocodile Hunter with roaches."
Wide receiver Mike Evans came as a distant runner-up when talking about free agent signee DeSean Jackson.
"I used to play with him on Madden," Evans said.
Most adorable moment
Gerald McCoy with his son and daughter. His daughter sang a song, "Eggs and Bacon." His son got into some playful fighting. The emotional touch was classy, nice and shows the gentle giant at his best.
Head coach Dirk Koetter talking to Winston about staying patient. Koetter explained to Winston that the team is good enough now that they can't afford risky play. In the past, Winston's career and modus operandi was to take risks to win games. If it didn't work out at first, he was good enough to charge back on his own or have a team good enough to recover.
Now? Winston has that team, and Koetter let his star quarterback know he's the only one that can lose games because he touches the ball so much.
That should remain a plot point to pay attention to throughout the season, even after “Hard Knocks” concludes in September.
Who we are supposed to care about?
Riley Bullough was positioned as the undrafted rookie that the audience should rally behind to make the team. Koetter sang his praises as a team leader, despite his place on the depth chart as a third-string middle linebacker.
And as a rookie, Bullough was part of the Bucs' singing competition.
Bullough, Chris Godwin and Sefo Liufau performed the best, while Antony Auclair got everyone on their feet with his "Oh, Canada" rendition.
But don’t worry, they’re sticking with football. And pretty much everyone is a “Game of Throne”s fan, discussing HBO’s blockbuster show at the end of this week’s episode.