NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed
A storm was a brewin this week on Hard Knocks, but it wasn’t just any kind of storm.
Well, I guess there was one normal kind of storm. Or maybe two of them if you count the one that Jeff Ireland referenced when Vontae Davis was traded… But I digress.
The original storm I was referencing was a storm filled with trades, roster cuts, tears and overall ineptitude. All of that and more after the jump in my episode four recap.
The episode started the foreshadowing early with former Patriots TE turned Dolphins OL Will Yeatman talking about how shocking the cuts came when he was on the Patriots. His roommate “Mike” was there one day, and just gone the next. The NFL is a tough business, especially when you have to go from the Patriots to the Dolphins.
Next, we saw the inevitable Eric Steinbach retirement, which we could see coming from a mile away because, well, we knew about it. Because all of this stuff actually happened and was reported on. Steinbach just didn’t have anything left, and now he can go back to his cold tubs and cigarettes in peace.
Perhaps the most painful moment for me came when Joe Philbin had to talk for more than twenty seconds, when he kind of scolded Daniel Thomas about being late to his work out. As I’ve said about twenty times now in these recaps, Philbin is more boss than head coach. I feel like 31 out of 32 NFL coaches would have at least raised their voice to Thomas in that meeting, but Philbin is just so damn passive aggressive and vague. At least there were no micro managing montages in this episode.
Philbin wasn’t happy with how the team was performing in practice and threatened to start dropping some “f bombs.” I can’t wait for the meeting he holds with himself next week about not swearing so much.
There’s really only been two players that have looked impressive during this Hard Knocks season, and that’s Reggie Bush and 7-11 “Hulkster” Chris Hogan. So if Reggie Bush doesn’t run for 3,000 yards this season, the Phins might be in trouble.
HBO seemed to intentionally highlight teammate interaction contrasts next. First we saw Richie Incognito pulling pranks in the “mean spirited and not funny and insulting Michael Egnew’s fiance’s looks” sort of way rather than the “hey, this is all good fun, we’re just jokin’ around” sort of way. Then we saw the developing bromance between rookie free agent defensive linemen Chas Alexcih and Jarrell Root. Alexcih had an incredible story about how he got stranded in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico after he took his jet ski out too far, and then proceeded to jump off of it to pee and lose it. He got saved by police helicopters eight hours later floating in the middle of the gulf. But there were no police helicopters to save him later in the episode (foreshadowing)…
Speaking of developing bromances, I think Jake Long and Ryan Tannehill better start getting nervous that their wives will leave them for each other (insert pervy joke). I wonder if Les Brown’s “Miss Utah” girlfriend is jealous about their “hot girl” friendship.
Speaking of Ryan Tannehill and “things to be worried about,” Ryan Tannehill has absolutely no idea who is in any of the divisions or conferences in the NFL. I always worry a little bit about players that weren’t fans of the sport growing up. Tannehill guessed that the Giants were in the NFC North and then that the Chiefs were in the NFC East. He does supposedly know who’s in the AFC East though. I wish Matt Moore had actually quizzed him on it. “Uhh, the Patriots, the Jets, the Devil Rays and… I know there’s one more. The Chiefs?”
The Dolphins lost their third preseason game and Philbin’s post game speech had the passion level of, “C’mon guys, we really have to do a better job of keeping those sale tomatoes stocked. I went out there and the display was only a third full.”
Next came the cuts that we’ve all been waiting for and dreading. We saw a cornerback wanting to kill Jeff Ireland (who might just be a Tim Heidecker character the more I watch this show), a running back complaining that he didn’t get a fair shake and then the inevitable. We saw players we’ve come to know and love potentially losing their dream of playing in the NFL.
Alecxih was first, and he took it surprisingly well. Ireland seemed to genuinely like him and brought up the potential of the practice squad for him. Chas was a great friend for not saying, “Wait, you know that Jarrell Root is still on this team right? You know you cut me before him? You know how terrible he is, right? There’s no way I’m worse than him. There’s no friggin way!”
Next up came NEPD and Hard Knocs favorite, basketball player turned businessman turned tight end Les Brown. Brown had a monumental episode beginning with the introduction of his awful wispy mustache that didn’t go away for the rest of the episode. His demise was foreshadowed early talking about how few reps he was getting, a “Les Brown blocking montage” and then showing him walking off the field talking to himself saying, “Cmon Lester, you’re better than that!”
After he barely played in the Dolphins third preseason game, the writing was on the wall. But he did manage to get one more, “You look hot,” out before the end of his Hard Knocks career. It’s remarkable that Brown managed two catch phrases out of his short Dolphins run: “You look hot” and “as uge.”
The Brown cut was the most emotional of the season. Ireland hinted at the practice squad as an option for Les after possibly bulking up a little more to improve his blocking. TE coach Dan Campbell had a nice heart to heart with Les as well. The team really seemed to take to Les’ story, hopefully we see him back with the Dolphins. I’ve always wondered why they didn’t just make him a wide receiver though.
To end the episode, we saw the Vontae Davis trade go through. It started early in the episode with a text from the Colts. I guess trade talks moved from 5th and 6th round picks, to a third, then to a second. Ireland wouldn’t part with Davis for just a 2nd, so he managed to get a conditional pick in there as well. Davis looked shell shocked at the news and immediately wanted to call his grandmother. Vontae dejectedly asked who he was traded for and looked a little more deflated when told it was for a couple of picks. Maybe Vontae was just “acting not to act happy.”
As I watched the, “next week on,” only one thought ran through my mind. How the hell did Jarrell Root make it through the first round of cuts?