Fins fans from around the country tonight got their first taste of an unbelievably up-close and intimate look at their team as “Hard Knocks, Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins” premiered and shed immediate light on not only the 2012 Dolphins but on the reality of life in the NFL.
From the moment the show began, with the introduction of wide-eyed undrafted rookie free agent Derek Dennis, who was cut even before the first practice, you could tell that viewers were going to be exposed to things that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to see and experience.
The show, a collaboration between NFL Films and HBO Sports, will run five episodes, with each new show premiering at 10pm on Tuesday.
Here are some notes from episode one:
- Joe Philbin came off as you would expect: classy, professional and in control. Before the season began, he spoke briefly with the assistant coaches and their families at a dinner.
- We gained some insight on why CB Vontae Davis is behind Richard Marshall on the initial depth chart that was released this week: Davis was portrayed as having some conditioning issues and the coaches were clearly not pleased with his effort at all times.
- The show set up the three quarterbacks battling for the starting job: incumbent Matt Moore, veteran free agent David Garrard and rookie Ryan Tannehill. Each was shown with their families.
- We saw part of the workout for free agents Braylon Edwards and Eric Steinbach, who was signed. His arrival signaled the departure for Dennis.
- Great job by the crew capturing Paul Solai dying some of the rookie defensive linemen’s hair.
- We got some nice behind-the-scenes info on Tannehill’s contract situation including the first meeting between he and Philbin once the deal was signed. It appeared he did his conditioning test that night–at about 11:30pm–so that he could practice the next morning.
- Philbin was clearly impressed by Tannehill’s throwing during his first day at camp.
- On an off-day, away from the facility, a massage therapist was making fun of Tim Tebow while working on Mike Pouncey, who defended his college quarterback by calling him a winner.
- After four practices, the coaches held a meeting to discuss personnel and we were privy to some opinions: DB coach Lou Anarumo discussed Sean Smith taking the “next step” in his development and saying that Davis needs to do the same…RB coach Jeff Nixon was very complimentary of Reggie Bush, saying he was having a better camp this year than last year…WR coach Ken O’Keefe was certainly impressed with Johnson on the field…and assistant QB coach Zac Taylor was asked about his guys having the respect of their teammates, saying that Moore has it but that he thinks Garrard and Tannehill can earn it.
- Jake Long is clearly a vocal leader on the offensive line.
- Jared Odrick was telling Cam Wake and Randy Starks about not having worn deodorant for several days.
- During the first padded practice, Odrick accidentally touched Moore, a big no-no in camp. He was clearly frustrated with himself and was later reminded by Pouncey and Richie Incognito to not touch the QBs.
- We got to see Johnson and Bush face off in a game of FIFA…both are accomplished players.
- Philbin spoke with Johnson after his first press conference of camp, which was littered with curse words. Philbin brought up representing the organization well as he tried to get his message across. In an earlier scene, Johnson crashed a coaches’ meeting and after hanging around for a moment, was hinted to by Philbin that he should probably leave.
- At Saturday’s scimmage, Garrard was lightheartedly referring to Tannehill as the “peoples’ choice.”
- Prior to the depth chart being released earlier this week, Philbin came into the QB meeting room to tell the guys the order. He said that “I want you guys to know that in no way is this competition over…our minds are not made up at all.” He finished by making a George Costanza joke about leaving on a high note.
Next week’s episode appears to focus in part on the offensive line, which should lead to some entertaining exchanges involving guys like Pouncey and Incognito.