Hard Knocks: Hue Jackson sells Dez Bryant on 'greatest turnaround in sports history'

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Dez Bryant and Browns head coach Hue Jackson appeared to forge a genuine connection in footage aired on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” (AP)
Dez Bryant and Browns head coach Hue Jackson appeared to forge a genuine connection in footage aired on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” (AP)

One of the biggest stories of the NFL offseason has been a reported disinterest from NFL teams in signing former Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant.

This does not appear to be the case with Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson.

Bryant met with the Browns last week, and his visit was documented on Tuesday’s episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” chronicling Cleveland’s training camp and preseason.

Hue Jackson tells Dez Bryant Browns turnaround will be ‘Unbelievable’

HBO filmed the meeting between Jackson and Bryant, and Jackson put the hard sell on the 29-year-old receiver.

“Twenty-one days, baby, Pittsburgh Steelers, right here at home, in front of the Dawg Pound,” Jackson told Bryant in his office. “It’ll be unbelievable. This will be the greatest turnaround in sports history.”

As enthusiastic as Jackson was, Bryant left Cleveland without a deal. But the two sides seemed to be on the same page during their meeting.

“The last two years have been hell,” Jackson said. “I’ll be the first to tell you that. But it’s going to take guys like you who love to compete, who love to go in these big stadiums. It’s like, ‘We’re here, and we’re coming here to kick your ass.'”

Bryant seemed genuinely impressed with Jackson

Bryant expressed a seemingly genuine connection with Jackson in his response.

“I’m just being honest. All this is new,” Bryant said. “Just being honest, the way you’re expressing yourself, the way you’re talking to me, we barely know each other, and I feel comfortable. That’s what these players want. I want to just be honest with you. I just want that realness ’cause I’m going to give you who I am.”

Bryant still has not signed, and there’s no indication that he and the Browns will make a deal. But Tuesday’s “Hard Knocks” episode does imply that the two sides may have not ruled each other out either.

Jackson speaks highly of Baker Mayfield

Tuesday’s show opened with footage of first-round quarterback Baker Mayfield getting praise from his teammates and Jackson.

Mayfield was performing well in practice and received some encouraging words directly from his head coach.

“Proud of you, you’re doing some good things,” Jackson told Mayfield. “We ain’t gonna stop you from growing, brother. We’re going to push you to drive this team.”

Come get some …

In the kind of insider moment that “Hard Knocks” is known for, HBO gave viewers a glimpse of what can aptly be described as a bonding ritual for the Browns.

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was done chewing out his players at halftime after a disappointing second quarter in their preseason loss to the Buffalo Bills before leading them in this break.

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