Last night marked the return of Hard Knocks on HBO, which features the Miami Dolphins. We haven’t had the privilege of seeing a team this up close since the HBO highlighted the Jets two years go. Needless to say, it’s good to have Hard Knocks back.
The start of the program shows many things. We see new head coach Joe Philbin, who looks a lot like legendary cab Tom Landry, as he meets with his coaching staff to discuss roster moves and casualties. Next players begin checking into what looks like a 4 star hotel at the beginning of training camp.
Owner Stephen Ross is peppered with questions about why he kept Jeff Ireland as the general manager, even after the bad seasons. Ross tiptoed around the question, only to say that it’s a new season and he expects success. Ireland is a familiar face, but there are few new faces in the bunch. There’s rookie QB Ryan Tannehill, who was an early camp holdout. There’s also veteran signal caller, David Garrard. Tannehill is the future, but Garrard started training camp at the top of the depth chart, with Matt Moore in the second spot behind Tannehill. This may be the most entertaining quarterback controversy. It’s great to be able to see this unfold on tv.
Another thing is the Hard Knocks return of WR Chad Johnson, who was entertaining from the time he appeared on the screen. Chad is a definite showman on and off the field. He is having a great camp and looks back to his old form. But even better is that Johnson is back to his old antics. He joked about going into adult films if he gets cut from the Dolphins. I don’t think we are in danger of seeing that. Johnson made mention of last season with the Patriots as a year he “took off” so that others can catch up. In a press conference, Chad used foul language, which cause concern for his new head coach, who chastised the receiver for misrepresenting the team with such language. Philbin did admit that Johnson was having a great camp and is working very hard, but if he didn’t follow the rules, it could affect his place on the team. Johnson knows that his opportunities are running out, but he also knows he has to be Chad.
A few other items of note: 1. Rookies getting spots bleached in their hair, covering their heads with jheri curl caps. 2. RB Reggie Bush, he’s play with the FIFA video game with Chad Johnson. 3. I didn’t expect to see was CB Vontae Davis grossly out of shape and getting smoked on the field. At one point, Coach Philbin checked Davis about leaving the field to go to the bathroom multiple times. The things you see on HBO.
I think this was a good premiere episode and I look forward to seeing how things unfold. Will Chad return to his Pro Bowl ways without getting on his coaches bad side? Which quarterback will earn the starting spot? Will rookie TE Les Brown, who ran a 4.4 40 time in the combine, make the final cut? Brown hadn’t played football since high school and is a long shot to make the team because of his deficiencies during pass protection and running schemes.
Did you enjoy the return of Hard Knocks? Stay tuned till next week.