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Published: July 11, 2018 at 10:37 a.m.
Updated: July 11, 2018 at 12:05 p.m.

Hard Knocks fan favorites: Where are they now?

Check out your favorite players from episodes of Hard Knocks. Where is the colorful Rex Ryan star of the "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets"? Or the undrafted free agent Danny Amendola in 2008 "Hard Knocks with the Cowboys"? Find out what these players and coaches are doing now!

13 Photos Total

  • Then: An undrafted free agent in 2008 with the Cowboys, Amendola failed to make the team as a loveable underdog despite an endorsement from star receiver Terrell Owens.
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Now: After stints on the Cowboys and Eagles practice squads, Amendola has played nine NFL seasons with the Rams and Patriots. After winning a pair of Super Bowl rings in New England, Amendola signed with the Dolphins in 2018. 13

    Associated Press

    Danny Amendola, Wide Receiver

    Then: An undrafted free agent in 2008 with the Cowboys, Amendola failed to make the team as a loveable underdog despite an endorsement from star receiver Terrell Owens.

    Now: After stints on the Cowboys and Eagles practice squads, Amendola has played nine NFL seasons with the Rams and Patriots. After winning a pair of Super Bowl rings in New England, Amendola signed with the Dolphins in 2018.

  • Then: A rare two-time "Hard Knocks" star, the fullback dubbed "The Terminator" by Rex Ryan made appearances on "Hard Knocks" with the Jets in 2010 and the Bengals in 2013.
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Now: Conner played five NFL seasons, most recently in 2014. According to his Twitter page, he has helped train athletes in his hometown of Cincinnati. 12

    Mel Evans/Associated Press

    John Conner, Fullback

    Then: A rare two-time "Hard Knocks" star, the fullback dubbed "The Terminator" by Rex Ryan made appearances on "Hard Knocks" with the Jets in 2010 and the Bengals in 2013.

    Now: Conner played five NFL seasons, most recently in 2014. According to his Twitter page, he has helped train athletes in his hometown of Cincinnati.

  • Then: Made waves for his beliefs that dinosaurs never existed but mermaids are real on "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Los Angeles Rams" in 2016.
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Now: Entering his 11th NFL season in 2018, Hayes had 5.0 sacks with the Rams in 2016 before being traded to the Dolphins in 2017. He had 1.0 sack with the Dolphins in 2017 and re-signed with Miami in 2018. 11

    Associated Press

    William Hayes, Defensive End

    Then: Made waves for his beliefs that dinosaurs never existed but mermaids are real on "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Los Angeles Rams" in 2016.

    Now: Entering his 11th NFL season in 2018, Hayes had 5.0 sacks with the Rams in 2016 before being traded to the Dolphins in 2017. He had 1.0 sack with the Dolphins in 2017 and re-signed with Miami in 2018.

  • Then: The unquestioned star of "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets" in 2010, Ryan won viewers over with his infectious personality and colorful language.
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Now: After an eight-year run as a head coach with the Jets and Bills, Ryan is a TV analyst for ESPN. 10

    Associated Press

    Rex Ryan, Head Coach

    Then: The unquestioned star of "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets" in 2010, Ryan won viewers over with his infectious personality and colorful language.

    Now: After an eight-year run as a head coach with the Jets and Bills, Ryan is a TV analyst for ESPN.

  • Then: Lost a preseason kicking battle to Nick Folk and was released from the Buccaneers in 2017.
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Now: After failing to win the Bears' kicking job and spending time on the Panthers practice squad, Aguayo signed with the Chargers in 2018. 9

    Associated Press

    Roberto Aguayo, Kicker

    Then: Lost a preseason kicking battle to Nick Folk and was released from the Buccaneers in 2017.

    Now: After failing to win the Bears' kicking job and spending time on the Panthers practice squad, Aguayo signed with the Chargers in 2018.

  • Then: Nicknamed "Joe Dirt" on "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers" in 2017.
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Now: After being cut from the team in "Hard Knocks," Bullough was signed to the Buccaneers practice squad. He was signed to the active roster for the final three games of the 2017 season and is still with the Buccaneers entering 2018. 8

    Al Messerschmidt/Associated Press

    Riley Bullough, Linebacker

    Then: Nicknamed "Joe Dirt" on "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers" in 2017.

    Now: After being cut from the team in "Hard Knocks," Bullough was signed to the Buccaneers practice squad. He was signed to the active roster for the final three games of the 2017 season and is still with the Buccaneers entering 2018.

  • Then: Named Dan Hanzus' 2016 Hard Knocks MVP for his impressive tanktop collection, Kush was one of the final cuts for the Rams.
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Now: Kush landed on his feet with the Bears in 2016 and earned a 2-year contract with Chicago in 2017. He missed the entire 2017 season with a hamstring injury. 7

    Associated Press

    Eric Kush, Center

    Then: Named Dan Hanzus' 2016 Hard Knocks MVP for his impressive tanktop collection, Kush was one of the final cuts for the Rams.

    Now: Kush landed on his feet with the Bears in 2016 and earned a 2-year contract with Chicago in 2017. He missed the entire 2017 season with a hamstring injury.

  • Then: The grizzled veteran shined as the locker room tough guy on "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cincinnati Bengals," with highlights including an arm wrestling victory, a middle finger salute to the cameras, and a fearless rebuttal to offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's demands that star receiver A.J. Green not be hit hard during practice.
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Now: Harrison just finished a 15-season career, making stops in Pittsburgh and New England after leaving Cincinnati. Even in retirement, he still works out like a crazy person. 6

    Associated Press

    James Harrison, Linebacker

    Then: The grizzled veteran shined as the locker room tough guy on "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cincinnati Bengals," with highlights including an arm wrestling victory, a middle finger salute to the cameras, and a fearless rebuttal to offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's demands that star receiver A.J. Green not be hit hard during practice.

    Now: Harrison just finished a 15-season career, making stops in Pittsburgh and New England after leaving Cincinnati. Even in retirement, he still works out like a crazy person.

  • Then: A fan-favorite underdog on "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Houston Texans" in 2015, James was one of the final cuts for the Texans.
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Now: James is currently a free agent after spending the last three seasons bouncing from the Ravens to the Texans to the Colts to the Bills to the Jaguars. James plays for the "Godspeed" team in the American Flag Football League. 5

    Associated Press

    Charles James II, Cornerback

    Then: A fan-favorite underdog on "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Houston Texans" in 2015, James was one of the final cuts for the Texans.

    Now: James is currently a free agent after spending the last three seasons bouncing from the Ravens to the Texans to the Colts to the Bills to the Jaguars. James plays for the "Godspeed" team in the American Flag Football League.

  • Then: A rookie seventh-round underdog, Starr made the Falcons' final roster in 2014 as a longshot. Starr heard the news directly from head coach Mike Smith in an emotional on-camera phone call.
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Now: After two seasons bouncing back and forth between the active roster and the practice squad in Atlanta, Starr was waived in 2016 and has not played in the NFL since. Starr did play in the 2017 Spring League. 4

    Al Messerschmidt/Associated Press

    Tyler Starr, Linebacker

    Then: A rookie seventh-round underdog, Starr made the Falcons' final roster in 2014 as a longshot. Starr heard the news directly from head coach Mike Smith in an emotional on-camera phone call.

    Now: After two seasons bouncing back and forth between the active roster and the practice squad in Atlanta, Starr was waived in 2016 and has not played in the NFL since. Starr did play in the 2017 Spring League.

  • Then: A rookie with the 2013 Bengals, the 6-foot-8 Hunt drew Ivan Drago comparisons from his teammates due to his freakish size and foreign roots (Hunt is from Estonia).
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Now: After playing four seasons with the Bengals, Hunt signed a two-year deal with the Colts in 2017 and is projected to start in 2018. 3

    Associated Press

    Margus Hunt, Defensive End

    Then: A rookie with the 2013 Bengals, the 6-foot-8 Hunt drew Ivan Drago comparisons from his teammates due to his freakish size and foreign roots (Hunt is from Estonia).

    Now: After playing four seasons with the Bengals, Hunt signed a two-year deal with the Colts in 2017 and is projected to start in 2018.

  • Then: Dubbed "7 Eleven" by Dolphins running back Reggie Bush on "Hard Knocks" because "he's always open." Hogan did not make the final roster but was signed to the Dolphins practice squad.
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Now: Hogan played four seasons with the Bills after being signed off the Dolphins practice squad in 2012. He signed with the Patriots in 2016 and has played in each of the last two Super Bowls. 2

    Associated Press

    Chris Hogan, Wide Receiver

    Then: Dubbed "7 Eleven" by Dolphins running back Reggie Bush on "Hard Knocks" because "he's always open." Hogan did not make the final roster but was signed to the Dolphins practice squad.

    Now: Hogan played four seasons with the Bills after being signed off the Dolphins practice squad in 2012. He signed with the Patriots in 2016 and has played in each of the last two Super Bowls.

  • Then: Johnson made the wrong kind of headlines on "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins" in 2012, clashing with coaches and then being released from the team after he was arrested on a domestic violence charge.
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Now: Johnson never played in the NFL again. He is playing for team "Ocho" in the American Flag Football League. 1

    Associated Press

    Chad Johnson, Wide Receiver

    Then: Johnson made the wrong kind of headlines on "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins" in 2012, clashing with coaches and then being released from the team after he was arrested on a domestic violence charge.

    Now: Johnson never played in the NFL again. He is playing for team "Ocho" in the American Flag Football League.