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Ryan Mallett explains himself on 'Hard Knocks'

In this week's episode of "Hard Knocks," we get to see a little more about Ryan Mallett's unexcused absence from the Houston Texans. Bob Levey/Getty Images

In the days following Ryan Mallett's unexcused absence from practice, Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien declined to say anything except that the incident was a personal issue between him and Mallett.

The main beneficiary of that tactic? HBO's "Hard Knocks."

In this week's episode of "Hard Knocks," we saw the Texans' head of security telling O'Brien that they sent someone to Mallett's house to check on him. O'Brien says, "F--- that," noting Mallett is a grown man who should be able to get to practice on his own.

Mallett is later shown talking to general manager Rick Smith about the incident.

"My phone turned off," Mallett said. "I'm not mad about [the quarterback decision]. I made a mistake. It's on me. It's not like I'm -- I'm not mad and reacting. Not at all. ... I feel really sh--- I let you guys down."

Mallett added that he's already bought a battery-powered alarm clock and told Smith it will never happen again.

"That's a strong statement," Smith said. "That's what I need. That's what we need. We need that consistency. You've got to show that every day."

Here's what else was on the episode:

  • This is one of the toughest episodes for the "Hard Knocks" group because the show airs on Tuesday, the same day as the deadline for cuts. Most of them were made on Monday, in time for the show's crew to scramble to get them into the episode.

  • The most poignant scene of the episode was when O'Brien told offensive lineman David Quessenberry he was being placed on the non-football illness list. Quessenberry's disappointment was evident. He tried to tell O'Brien that he felt he was progressing faster than he expected. O'Brien reiterated that he doesn't think 2015 is feasible for Quessenberry, but he told him not to be disappointed. He said he can see Quessenberry back in 2016. "I'll be counting on you to come back here," O'Brien said. "We're hurting on the depth. You're going to help us."

  • Travis Labhart's release gets chronicled. Labhart is shown fishing with his wife, then fellow receiver EZ Nwachukwu, who played with Labhart at Texas A&M, joined them. When O'Brien finally released Labhart, the player told his coach that he's considering a move to the next phase of his life, away from playing football. O'Brien told Labhart he'd make one "hell of a coach."

  • "Hard Knocks" showed the Texans' trade for tackle Chris Clark from start to finish. They showed Texans general manager Rick Smith speaking with Broncos general manager John Elway on the phone. He was trying to see if Elway needed any linebackers, because he'd really rather not give up a draft pick for a player entering the last year of his contract. Alas, a draft pick it was. The story thread concluded with Smith signing a document to make the trade official in the bowels of the Superdome.

  • Charles James scored a touchdown. The touchdown was called back. James kept the football anyway. He waved it at O'Brien. O'Brien gave him the finger.

  • Vince Wilfork in overalls and cowboy boots. And that's it. I have nothing to add.

  • J.J. Watt noted the word "spaghetti" won his fifth grade spelling bee (no, he didn't win it). He revealed this in the middle of a spelling competition happening on the practice field. Brian Cushing had trouble spelling opportunity. Ben Jones noted that it's a big word. Wilfork said he spells it how he spells it.