There were two over-arching storylines in the second episode of "Hard Knocks In Season: The Indianapolis Colts."
Frank Reich's return to Buffalo was instructive on giving viewers an idea of just how much his time with the Bills meant to him, and still means to him.
And Hard Knocks did a tremendous job portraying Jonathan Taylor as a humble superstar – which is exactly how all of his teammates have described him as he's ascended to the top of the NFL in rushing yards.
But before we get into all that, we need to talk about Grover Stewart's wings. As in: How can I get some?
Hard Knocks took us to Stewart's kitchen, where he made wings for the Colts' defensive line last Thursday. The process starts with Stewart seasoning his wings in...his sink?
"A lot of people don't season their meat in the sink though," Stewart says. "But I do."
Hey, makes for easier cleanup.
And Stewart's sauce for the wings – which looked like Sweet Baby Ray's, butter and Coca-Cola – was a huge hit. So much so that word got back to Reich, who told Stewart at a practice that he's gotta try it, since he heard "that sauce was unreal."
Reich, of course, knows a little about good wings after playing for the Bills from 1985-1994.
There's a lot of interesting perspective Reich has on his time in Buffalo, which culminates with Reich, Hall of Famer Bruce Smith and seven-time Pro Bowler Steve Tasker sharing a meal from Chef's Restaurant in the Colts' team hotel. Colts director of sports performance Rusty Jones – who was with the Bills from 1985-2004 – stops by, and it's a cool look at a bunch of football lifers just sitting around and telling stories.
"The players took it over," Jones says of those great Bills teams, "and I'm starting to feel that here a little bit."
Reich, in talking with Tasker and Smith, is reminded of a game in which the Bills erased a 21-0 point deficit on the road against the Miami Dolphins and won – and how that game sparked what wound up as a golden era of Bills football. He tells his former teammates he's going to use that in his team talk at the hotel Saturday night.
"Tomorrow is the opportunity for our team to have a moment, to come in here to Orchard Park, to play one of the better AFC teams," Reich says. "We've crawled our way back up to 5-5 and now this is an opportunity to create a moment."
There's another cool shot during that dinner when DeForest Buckner comes over to say hi to the group, which includes one of the best defensive linemen to ever play in the NFL.
"He's a good one," Smith says.
"That guy right there, he's the real deal," Reich says. "In every way."
Speaking of the real deal, Hard Knocks' presentation of the Colts' 41-15 win over the Bills gives us an instructive look into exactly what all of Taylor's teammates are talking about when they laud him as a teammate. It starts with when Taylor spots Marshawn Lynch in the tunnel pregame and excitedly says he's going to go over and say something to the legendary Bills and Seahawks running back.
Taylor: "Much respect, man."
Lynch: "Go do your s*."
As Taylor's touchdowns pile up, we get a few clips of Taylor's teammates celebrating – Kenny Moore II sings "I Got Five On It" and Darius Leonard offers this up: "You different. Damn I'm glad I don't have to play against your a** boy."
After Taylor scores his fifth touchdown, he goes and shakes the hand of every one of his offensive linemen and tight ends. As you'd expect from him.
And after the game, as Taylor is greeted by Jim Irsay – who tells him he was texting with Hall of Famer Edgerrin James during the game – and his daughters, Kalen Jackson and Carlie Irsay-Gordon. Jackson and Irsay-Gordon congratulate Taylor on his record-setting performance, to which he gestures toward the Colts' offensive line: "These the dudes doing all the work right here."
- Quote of the episode: Nyheim Hines wondering why Colts fans don't wear regional-based food items to games, like Packers fans do with cheese: "Why don't we got people with corn on their heads here?"
- Offensive coordinator Marcus Brady tells the offense: "We gotta run the damn ball and get back on this show right here," while showing Kyle Brandt losing his mind on a "Good Morning Football" Angry Runs segment with Taylor.
- Shoutout to Eric Fisher for knowing what a copper grounding wire looks like.
- Bubba Ventrone called a special teams takeaway for the second straight week – he showed clips of Bills returner Isaiah McKenzie giving the ball away a few times and told his kickoff coverage unit to be aware and ready to pounce on a ball.
- After McKenzie fumbles, Mo Alie-Cox marvels at how Ventrone saw this coming, but adds: "I didn't think it was gonna be like that."
- Matt Eberflus' belief that the Colts would have five to seven opportunities to take the ball away sure came true.
- Kwity Paye had the other best quote of the episode, when talking to his teammates about Taylor: "I used to hate playing Wisconsin," the ex-Michigan Wolverine said. "Man oh man."