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'Hard Knocks' recap: Never arm wrestle James Harrison

Never challenge James Harrison to an arm-wrestling match.

You wouldn't think this is something that needs to be said. But there was Cincinnati Bengals rookie Jordan Campbell turning to the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year at a linebackers meeting and asking, "You want some, too, James?"

Hard truth: James Harrison is not a man to be trifled with. And he's certainly not a man you should challenge to a feat of strength that doubles as a test of masculinity. Especially if it's in front of "Hard Knocks" cameras.

The result was obvious. I clocked Harrison crashing Campbell's hand to the table in 1.7 seconds.

It's hard to make out exactly what Harrison screams after he is victorious. There seems to be an "I'm the g-- damn man now!" There's almost definitely a "You will learn to respect me!" Everyone in the room is laughing ... save for James Harrison. This was serious business.

Harrison stalked back to his solitary area in the meeting room, a character in "Over The Top" come to life, his extreme alpha male status secure for another day.

Never challenge James Harrison to an arm wrestling match. But you already knew that.

Here's what else stood out in Episode 4 ...

Roster cutdowns still are no fun

When "Hard Knocks" introduced us to unknowns like Jheranie Boyd, Richard Quinn and, yes, ill-conceived arm wrestler Jordan Campbell, we knew they had no chance.

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It's like when a character is randomly introduced in the middle of a slasher horror movie. It doesn't take a genius to figure out the person's only use to the plot is to die.

By the end of the episode, all three players were gone, released as the Bengals cut their roster to 75 ahead of Tuesday's deadline.

It's not always about glamour in the NFL. Here's the proof.

Margus Hunt is a comedic genius

The giant rookie from Estonia had me at hello when he did his stellar Ivan Drago impression in Episode 2 (that's two Stallone movie references in 300 words!). He all but locked up the "Hard Knocks" Most Valuable Player award with this sublime exchange with running back Dan Herron.

Herron: What kind of food do you all eat where you're from?
Hunt: Plutonium.
Herron: (either having misheard Hunt or totally unaware plutonium is a transuranic radioactive chemical element) I mean, what is it, though?
Hunt: (now rolling) Just straight up growth hormone. (walks away)

Hunt should be Lorne Michaels' replacement for Bill Hader on "SNL."

Jay Gruden delivers the coaching rant of the summer

The Bengals' offensive coordinator was not happy after his team bumbled its way through a practice at a local high school. He let them know in rant that might be the show's best since Rex Ryan was hunting for G-D snacks in Season 6.

"Concentration, poise. You gotta have it on every snap in this game. Otherwise, you're going to get your ass beat time and time again. You're going to be 18th-ranked in offense. You're going to be 9-7 or 8-8, and you're going to be f-----' watching the playoffs at home every year. Yesterday, we took a major step backwards, and now today, we gotta take two steps forward.

"You gotta have great attention to detail, not just on Sundays, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. If you want to mull around at .500, f-----' then come out here and f--- around and f--- up. But if you want to be great, then you have to set your standards high and come out and go after it every f-----' day."

That's a good job by you, Jay.

And now, a tweet we can safely publish concerning Jordan Dalton

Ladies, the line forms to the right!

Your Obligatory Jerry Jones Cameo

Once we saw the Dallas Cowboys on the Bengals' preseason schedule, we knew Jerrah would find his way into Episode 4. Sure enough, he did, joking with Bengals coach Marvin Lewis that he has some shenanigans planned with the 175-foot video board that hangs 90 feet above the field at AT&T Stadium.

"Right when you punt," Jones said with a smile, "I'm droppin' it to 45 feet."

In classic LOLCowboys fashion, Cowboys punter Chris Jones banged one off the video board during the game. Jones was forced to re-kick, which Brandon Tate fielded and (of course) returned 75 yards for a touchdown.

We're guessing there were no jokes in Jones' suite at that moment.

Hey, what was that song during the practice montage?

You're welcome.

There you are, A.J. Green!

A.J. Green resurfaced Tuesday night, which was good news if you want to learn more about (arguably) the Bengals' best player.

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Green remains something of a premium cable wallflower, though we did enjoy one exchange (or at least half an exchange) with Dalton on the sidelines in Arlington.

Dalton: "Get a good play out there ... because I'm comin' right to ya."

Green: (silence)

We haven't seen chemistry like this since Montana-to-Rice, people!

Stray thoughts


» Seriously, though, the WNBA All-Star Game could get better ratings than Super Bowl XLVIII, and I still wouldn't be as surprised as if James Harrison lost an arm-wrestling match to an undrafted rookie.

» I shot a bird with my grandfather's BB gun once and had nightmares for a week. Mike Zimmer probably slept pretty well after gunning down that giant deer whose head now hangs above his desk. Still, shouldn't he take his rifle over to India and bag himself a bengal?

» Speaking of animals, we adore watching Geno Atkins' duck walk in HD slow motion.

» It's a two-way tie between the plaintive wail "Get us out of here!" and the matter-of-fact dryness of "Yo, straight up, I don't play the lightning stuff" as the best reactions to the storm that sent players and coaches running for cover.

» Special shout-out to reader John Oliver, who was the first on Twitter to name the song Andy Dalton was listening to on his iPod during last week's episode. It was "A Beautiful Exchange," a popular slow-burner by worship band Hillsong United.

» Jheranie Boyd said he is the only person on Earth with that first name. He knows this because of Google. This further emboldens me to name my first son Jheranie Marvin Hanzus. Gotta get the wife on board, though.

» Actually Zimm, don't bag a bengal in India. They're totally endangered.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus. Read his first three "Hard Knocks" recaps here, here and here.

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