You won’t find many more confident and jovial players than Lamarcus Joyner. He is always smiling, he has complete faith in his abilities as a defensive back, whether it’s at safety or corner and he proves it every day. But it wasn’t always that way.
Tonight is the premiere of Hard Knocks. This is the second time Joyner has been on a team that was on the show. The last time wasn’t a great experience for him.
“Aw, man, I was in a funk, man, I was in a fog and didn’t really want to watch Hard Knocks,” said Joyner.
The ‘funk’ he was in was, of course, caught on camera by the Hard Knocks crew. Joyner was feeling pretty lost as to his role with the team under then coach Jeff Fisher. And it caused him to lose his passion for the game — something that seems unfathomable when you spend any time around Joyner now.
In a teaser for the show, Joyner went to Fisher’s office and pours his heart out to Fisher.
“I don’t know coach, I don’t know where my passion’s gone,” Joyner tells Fisher. “I work hard. I do want to be a starter for this team. What’s going on? If y’all don’t need me, let me know. And just release me and y’all can have y’all’s money back. That’s what I told them. I said I don’t play football for money. I said all these guys they be in the locker room, it’s about money, it’s about girls, it’s about cars. Coach, I love this game.”
With that kind of role for Joyner, it’s understandable he didn’t make the show appointment viewing.
That was Jeff Fisher’s last year as head coach of the Rams. Not coincidentally it was also Joyner’s last season as a part time starter. Since then he has been a full time starting defensive back — the past two seasons as a starting free safety under new coach Sean McVay and now as a starting nickel corner for the Raiders. He’s just little bit more excited to watch the show this time around.
“Oh for sure. This time around,” Joyner said of whether he’s watching the premiere tonight.
“This time it’s been truly a blessing to be part of this organization. It’s all been smiles and happiness.”
Head coach Jon Gruden put a wet blanket on the party, making sure it was clear his players won’t be watching the show live though.
“Maybe some guys will put it on, I don’t even know what it’s called where you can record it and watch it whenever you can, but we are not going to be eating crackerjacks and peanuts and watching it,” said Gruden. “We got meetings, we got the Rams coming in here and I know players I’m sure are excited to see the show and they’ve done a good job, the Hard Knocks people, putting together. I’m not going to say anything further because I’ll be in a meeting.”
As for the rest of you, the show will come on HBO at 10pm ET/PST. But if you are on the West Coast and have HBO GO or HBO NOW you can catch it when it airs on the East Coast which is 7pm Pacific.