NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed
NFL Films music! Liev Schreiber narration! QB controversy! Chad 85 trying to be funny! Les Brown blocking montage!
What does that all add up to? A new season of Hard Knocks!
Inside I’ll have my full recap of the first episode of Hard Knocks: Miami Dolphins, where I’ll dissect, mock and enjoy every minute of the action that I just saw.
It’s likely that Dolphins fans started the episode a bit wary with Joe Philbin giving his, “Well, I’ve never done this before so, uhh, let’s just see how it works out!” speech. Very uplifting, motivating stuff. Nothing like hearing indecision from your coach.
Philbin runs a tough training camp on his players, with more plays per practice than any other team. This didn’t make Vontae Davis a happy camper, stammering while trying to breathe, “I’m acting not to look tired.” Needless to say, Davis isn’t on the top of the Dolphins depth chart at cornerback.
Philbin, who’s a dead ringer for Dale Doback’s father in Step Brothers, didn’t have the best overall showing in episode one. He wasn’t happy with Chad Johnson’s first press conference as a Miami Dolphin because of how many “f bombs” he dropped, so he gave Chad a talking to that more resembled “2nd grade music teacher scolding Jimmy for putting the xlyophone mallet in his mouth” than “NFL Head Coach.” If I were the artist formally known as Ocho, I probably would have walked away having no clue what to do in my next press conference.
“So wait coach, I’m just supposed to drop one “f-bomb?”
Chad told reporters recently that he wasn’t paying the HBO cameras any attention. He told the Palm Beach Post in a press conference, “I’m really not paying the cameras any attention. I’m just going. I don’t care to indulge with them, I don’t pay attention, but whatever they catch, they catch.”
So imagine how surprised I was when he had a full on, one on one sit down Real World “confessional” style interview with the cameras in the Dolphins locker room. Do you suppose Chad just happened to be sitting there on a folding chair talking to himself and a camera just happened to walk in and catch it? Don’t answer that, it’s actually very plausible.
Chad’s intro to the show came in the first 19 minutes in what seemed like a highly scripted encounter interrupting a coach’s meeting because his wife wouldn’t let him come home? Or something? Chad’s excuse for his poor play in New England was “I took a year off to give everyone else a chance to catch up.” Sure Chad. Child please.
The Ocho stuff lasted longer than it needed to when Chad’s reality star wife was shown talking about their first date (McDonalds) and how Chad put his Xbox controller down for her. Compelling stuff. Just what we needed, a Basketball Wives cameo.
For Patriots-diehards, the highlight might have been the first segment of the episode showing current Patriot Derek Dennis, who was cut before he even put pads on for Eric Steinbach (who after he worked out “needed a cigarette”). Hey, the last Patriots player to get featured on Hard Knocks was Danny Woodhead, so maybe this was a good thing.
The quarterback controversy will likely last all “season” on Hard Knocks, featuring Matt Moore, David Garrard and Ryan Tannehill. Luckily, the “will he or won’t he” Ryan Tannehill-signing storyline only lasted 30 minute or so, and won’t be a four episode arc like Darrelle Revis needed on Hard Knocks: New York Jets. Dolphins coaches seem infatuated with Tannehill early, and for good reason, he’s the best hope for the future. One Dolphins fan even told cameras that Tannehill would lead them to the Super Bowl in “the next year or two.” Sure.
Matt Moore’s piece had him sitting with his wife and daughter admitting he watches The Bachelorette (do you think he’s a Grantland fan?), David Garrard was wakeboarding while talking about his back surgery (smart) and Ryan Tannehill was walking through a park with his dogs while his hot wife was talking about sweating or something(?). Cut to Pat Devlin sitting at home watching Hard Knocks and saying, “Ahhh man! They must have forgot to come to my house so I could admit I watch Project Runway.”
My personal highlight was seeing Dolphins basketball player turned businessman turned tight end Les Brown featured. Some Les Brown highlights: Les walking up to his girlfriend saying, “You look hot. As uge,” Brown’s coach saying he’s a complete liability in “pass pro and run blocking,” the “Les Brown blocking montage,” which consisted of a lot of falling, tons of f-bombs, and to end on a high note, his tight end coach praising his work ethic, his ability to play through injuries and his off the charts athleticism. I’m hoping the Les Brown storyline ends on a positive note, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make fun of his blocking.
The show ended with Philbin interrupting a QB meeting (Chad Johnson style) and announcing that David Garrard would be on top of the depth chart. Philbin delivered the line with as little confidence as humanly possible, as is customary when naming David Garrard your starter quarterback. Philbin made a Seinfeld reference and exited the room but I kept waiting for Pat Devlin to get off his chair, turn around, wave to the camera and say, “AM I F***ING INVISIBLE?!” right before the fade out of episode one.
So did you guys catch the episode? How are you feeling about the Dolphins chances this year? What was your favorite moment? Let us know in the comments section.