‘Hard Knocks’ showed possible red flag with Lions RB D’Andre Swift

That’s much better, “Hard Knocks.”

HBO’s NFL training camp reality series decision-makers must have read my constructive, mildly critical column about its weak debut episode about the Lions that felt like infomercial fluff.

Clearly bothered by my scathing, yet entirely fair and pinpoint accurate analysis, the producers and directors surely huddled up in a panic, redoubled their efforts and gave us an excellent second episode Tuesday night.

There were several great, authentic moments Tuesday night that came about because of HBO’s inside access to the team and in meeting rooms. That access is something the series didn’t utilize well in the debut. But this time it paid off.

The show did well to go beyond surface-level hero praise for rookie linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, who is having the training camp of all training camps. In a linebackers meeting, position coach Kelvin Shephard used film of the rookie’s great technique to light a fire under veterans.

SHAWN WINDSOR:‘Hard Knocks’ confirms Dan Campbell’s authenticity. But do Lions players buy it?

Third-string quarterback David Blough fumbled a snap that cost the Lions the game in the preseason loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Blough is as well-liked and respected as any player on the team, so it was heartbreaking to watch him and his wife, who was at the game, deal with the disappointment that could lead to him losing the backup job to Tim Boyle.

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