On Tuesday night, HBO premiered the latest season of their popular football series Hard Knocks. The focus this time around is Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders as they prepare for the 2019 NFL season.
It’s an inside look at training camp featuring Antonio Brown’s injury struggles, Derek Carr’s family life, Richie Incognito’s return from retirement, and new rookies like Jonathan Abram.
Now, the Hard Knocks 2019 episode 1 is available to watch online for free so viewers can see all of the behind the scenes drama.
What is HBO’s Hard Knocks?
Consider it sort of like a reality television-style documentary based on football training camp. Each season focuses on a different team. In 2019, Hard Knocks focuses on the Oakland Raiders, refocused after a failed first season under returning head coach Jon Gruden. They’re back with a mission to exceed expectations in the 2019 NFL season after trading for one of the league’s top receivers in Antonio Brown.
He’s featured in the first episode, as he’s having issues with his feet. Those have become a prominent headline lately in terms of Antonio Brown injury updates. Brown is also seen practicing some, to the delight of coach Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr.
Additionally, one of the joke highlights in Episode 1 comes as AB’s kids are at training camp with him and ask their dad, “Where’s Roethlisberger?”
Antonio Brown's kid: "Where's Roethlisberger?"
Hard Knocks with the Oakland #Raiders premieres tonight at 10 pm EST on HBO.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) August 6, 2019
The show also puts a spotlight on the rookies fighting for spots on the roster. The Raiders drafted several young talents this past NFL Draft including No. 4 pick Clelin Ferrell out of Clemson and Mississippi State’s Jonathan Abram. The show also features Last Chance U star Ronald Ollie, who is trying to make it on the roster.
Watch Hard Knocks episode 1 online for free
The first episode of the new HBO show checked in at around 55 minutes. It features footage from on the practice field, as well as some activities away from the field. There’s also team meetings, an alumni event, and family footage.
Reportedly, the premiere episode brought in plenty of viewers too. It was the second-best debut in the past nine seasons, trailing only the 2010 NY Jets premiere.
Per HBO, the "Hard Knocks" season premiere with the Raiders drew 879,000 viewers via their television and digital platforms. It was the second-highest premiere in the show's past nine seasons.
— Scott Bair (@BairNBCS) August 7, 2019
Several official YouTube channels provide the first episode of Hard Knocks 2019 online for free. They include the Oakland Raiders and NFL Films. Watch the Hard Knocks episode 1 in its entirety below for free via YouTube.
Hard Knocks is presented every Tuesday night throughout the next two months on HBO and their streaming platforms. That will take Oakland Raiders and football fans through training camp to see how AB, Carr, Gruden, and the rest of the gang got ready.
It also coincides with the NFL preseason and first several weeks of the regular season.
It’s unknown if the Raiders and NFL will provide more free episodes on YouTube. Getting to see the first one is a great tease of what could be one of the series’ best seasons yet.