Seeing is typically believing, although we've all been around long enough to know that this doesn't apply to NFL training camp.
Hyperbole doesn't even begin to define the relentless optimism coming from coaches and players alike, but then again, that is why we all love the league.
In so many ways, training camp is the rebirth of the fan lifecycle. All is well, everyone is growing and no one has lost a game yet. All of the undrafted free agents have unique skill sets and will somehow squeeze onto the roster. All of the draft picks will pan out.
Sometimes, though, these statements get out of control and sound absolutely ridiculous in hindsight.
So in the spirit of the upcoming season of Hard Knocks featuring the Houston Texans, we've combed through all of the previous seasons to find the comments and statements that sound the most ridiculous as time has passed.
While the 2010 Jets could very well have populated the list on their own we're going to try and spread it around as much as possible.
1. "Brodie Croyle is obviously the future of this football team," -- Herm Edwards, Chiefs head coach (2007)
Back in 2007, Hard Knocks featured an epic training camp battle between Damon Huard and Brodie Croyle, the 6-foot-2 third-round pick from 2006 out of Alabama. While Croyle ended up starting six games that season, he never quite materialized into the passer the Chiefs hoped he would. Miraculously, he finished out his four-year rookie deal and latched on with the Cardinals for another two seasons. He finished his NFL career with an 0-10 record as a starter, and never had more than those six starts in a season.
Edwards, though, seemed high on the Alabama star and it legitimately pained him to make this decision. The Hard Knocks footage makes it easy to understand why. Croyle was clearly the more handsome option. He got into his muddy pickup truck to drive to training camp like he was starring in a Wrangler commercial. Unfortunately, the torch was passed to Tyler Thigpen the following year. Plot twist! No one ever saw Thigpen coming!
2. "He's going to come in and help from Day One. He's not a guy that takes three or four years to develop" --Byron Leftwich, Jaguars quarterback (2004) on the team's first-round draft pick, Reggie Williams.
The funny thing about this one is that it took Williams almost exactly four years to develop. Williams caught 27 balls for 268 yards and a touchdown in that rookie season, and never made a true impact until 2007, when he had 10 touchdown receptions off 38 catches.
Williams was a minor star in that 2004 rendition of Hard Knocks, mostly due to his major-league size. An official during the preseason asked Del Rio if Williams was a tight end, which seemed to make Del Rio excited about the giant receiver he'd drafted. MEGATRON PART ONE!
3. "Trey Junkin, he's a great longsnapper," --A personnel assistant to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (2002)
The dreary Trey Junkin subplot of 2002 couldn't have been more accurately foreshadowed than in Hard Knocks with the Cowboys in 2002. Junkin was retired but signed late in the 2002 preseason, making a joke about his age immediately upon entering the building (He was over 40 then). He was released a short time later for an inability to consistently get the ball back to the holder.
Obviously, Junkin is most remembered for the only game he played in later that season. The Giants signed him for the playoffs where Junkin botched a crucial snap. Although time has revealed plenty of other reasons why New York lost that particular game, he bravely took all the heat for it. In hindsight, he was a great longsnapper, just not in 2002.
4. "I've never been a distraction on Twitter," --Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson (then Ochocinco) in 2009.
Johnson was upset about Marvin Lewis' social media policy, which prompted the mercurial wide receiver to speak out about his then-frequent usage of Twitter. Less than a year later, he was fined $25,000 for Tweeting during a preseason game. We're guessing Lewis considered this a distraction.
Johnson was like your favorite recurring Simpsons character throughout Hard Knocks, whether he was doing some bizarre training in the ocean, or he was telling the good American people about the value of eating at McDonald's every day. We're all hoping Hard Knocks heads to Montreal in 2016.
5. "No. 10? No. 10? Man, who traded for him? How smart that guy was" --then-Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum on an electric Santonio Holmes during practice.
In fairness to Mike Tannenbaum, the Holmes trade looked good for a little while, though major issues with the wide receiver were always lurking beneath the surface. Holmes was trying to be an assistant coach from the moment he walked in the door. His faux-leadership was like nails on a chalkboard to watch in retrospect. Oh, and he was also the focal point of a gigantic meltdown at the end of the 2011 season. It was the beginning of the end of the Rex Ryan era.
Watching this portion of the season, though, is like seeing those clips of the beginning of Woodstock '99. Everyone is just excited and there's no gigantic mess to clean up.
Oye. Richie. This comment came at the end of a particularly eerie segment where Incognito and the rest of Miami's offensive line shaved a bunch of awkward strips into Jonathan Martin's hair. While the rest of the coaching staff was talking about how "he doesn't say much," Martin was silently brooding over his treatment there. Obviously, things would never be the same in Miami again.
Remember this? Chad Hutchinson, a TWO SPORT STAR! Quincy Carter...the next RANDALL CUNNINGHAM! Though we're not sure how Jones envisioned both of them waltzing into the Pro Bowl, it became immediately clear that the 2002 Cowboys weren't setting any offensive records. Hutchinson ended up starting nine games and Carter took the other seven. Goodness, every time I read one of these names I'm more and more amazed that the Patriots have had just one actual starter since 2000.
Watching two seasons worth of Cowboys Hard Knocks, though, did make me appreciate Jerry Jones on a new level. The guy is an eternal optimist, which gives him that corporate glaze despite the fact that he's spent his entire life around football.
Not mentioned here is the swanky party at Dave Campo's house that Jones shows up to before making a beeline for the margarita machine. Man, I miss Dave Campo.
8. "I'm telling you, this kid is coming. He's coming!" -- Rex Ryan in 2010 on Vernon Gholston.
Ryan and his 2010 Jets will round out this list, though he was capable of so much more. Watching the Jets' 2010 Hard Knocks was like watching a war movie that followed the losing -- but plucky and emotionally earnest -- side. You got attached to the characters, you believed. Then, five years later, everyone is wearing different uniforms and pretending this whole thing never happened. As for Gholston, he has yet to register a sack in the NFL.
9. "You know what? I love (the talking). Whatever you're doing, do it again,"-- Jets owner Woody Johnson to Rex Ryan before a preseason game in 2010.
This one is funny specifically because, five years later, the team had a marketing meeting that asked the team and coach to stop talking. At the moment, Johnson was reveling in all the positive attention and reactions from fans. After a few losing seasons though, he literally had marketing people come in and shut it down. BOLD NOT BRASH!
Yeah, that was Victor Cruz. Of course, he wasn't Victor Cruz back then, but it's funny to think that he was so incredibly obscure that Pettine was worried there was a quarterback he didn't prepare for. This preseason game clip from Hard Knocks is beautiful for so many reasons, I had to watch it twice. There's Rhett Bomar and Jim Sorgi absolutely slinging the football, and of course a meeting with Rex Ryan and Tom Coughlin on the field afterward where Coughlin totally pretends to know who Cruz was before the game started.