‘Hard Knocks’ Episode 2 recap: Making your mark

The first episode of Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Detroit Lions welcomed us to head coach Dan Campbell and his staff of passionate personalities.

In the second episode, the spotlight shined on some of the younger players trying to make a name for themselves.

Linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez is quickly turning heads in training camp. He’s already been given the nickname “Rodrigo” by defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and it’s been sticking ever since the first day of rookie minicamp. The Lions took Rodriguez in the sixth round of this year’s draft, but linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard sees past his draft value. “I got a f—–‘ rookie that knows how to get the s— done,” Sheppard shouts aloud after seeing Rodriguez make play after play during team drills.

Rodriguez has the personality and energy as many roster hopefuls do and is willing to do whatever it takes to make himself known. Campbell asked his fellow coaches if they’re “buying stock in Rodrigo,” so by all means he’s off to a good start. Rodriguez knows he’s got a long way to go, but he’s making the most out of every opportunity.

D’Andre Swift is looking to take his skill to the next level. Running backs coach Duce Staley believes Swift, in his third year, has all the makings of a top back in the NFL.

“You can be the best in this league. You really can,” Staley says as he directly looks at Swift with five other running backs in the same room. “You gotta have that dog mentality. You gotta bring that s— outta you.”

Swift is in one of the best spots possible — being coached up by a former NFL running back. He just has to put it all together when game time comes.

The Lions’ preseason opener versus the Falcons ends up being a close one. The team is looking to close things out late in the fourth quarter. We see quarterback David Blough fumble a snap that leads to a turnover right after hearing Campbell say he wants to close things out. Pain.

The defense almost comes up with an interception from cornerback Chase Lucas, but it slips through his hands. Another opportunity missed. The Falcons eventually score and the game ends in a cloud of frustration.

Campbell consoles the team at the end of the episode, reminding his players that the team is taking a step in the right direction but that it just needs to work out the little things and get a little better each day.