NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed
Another week of Hard Knocks, another week that HBO pretends that Pat Devlin doesn’t exist.
It’s sad really. There’s been one instance in the first two episodes that they showed Devlin’s face, and I half expected it to be blurred out. Like they forgot to give him the waiver to sign for his permission to appear on camera.
Inside, I’ll have my full recap of episode two of the newest season of Hard Knocks. There’s a lot to get to in this episode, so lets dive right in.
We got another long hard look at Les Brown in this episode of Hard Knocks, and the first we saw of him, a coach was accusing him of getting to practice early so he could get on the Hard Knocks cameras. Regardless of his reasoning, it’s nice to see Les studying hard. He’s behind the curve after having a limited football background, and the more work he gets done in his playbook the better he can be.
The next they showed of Les was another (slightly shorter) montage of his “developing” blocking skills. Next, his coach says that Les has the body of a wide receiver, which combined with the fact that he’s as fast as a wide receiver and that he can’t block… shouldn’t he just be a wide receiver? Especially with how incredibly shallow that team is at the position. I mean, am I wrong? I know that tight ends are all the rage right now, especially ones that played basketball, but I’m pretty sure basketball players can play wide receiver as well.
Well, maybe they’re keeping Brown at TE because Michael Egnew is so incredibly bad. Mike McCarthy gave him a lashing in a meeting saying he was terrible and also to get his head out of his ass. It would be hard to play football with one’s head up one’s ass. Combine that with his in game action and there were shades of Chase Coffman during the Bengals season of Hard Knocks. All that was missing was a midwestern voice repeating “Michael, Mi-chael, Michael, MICHAEL” a hundred times.
We also got some more “Dolphins giving haircuts” footage which could have probably been an alternate name for this season. Hard Knocks: Dolphins Styling Hair. Poor Josh Samuda got his eyebrows shaved off, had a mohawk shaped like a penis, and then Joe Philbin basically blamed him for all of it. I mean, granted, I would never voluntarily let anyone shave my eyebrows off, but it wasn’t like it was Samuda’s grand idea or anything.
One of the best quotes of the night was GM Jeff Ireland telling Peter King, “We have fours, fives and sixes, we need threes, twos and ones” in reference to his wide receivers. Now that my friends is a vote of confidence. WE DON’T EVEN HAVE A #3 RECEIVER ON THIS TEAM! Antonio Cromartie could come in and be #1! We might as well just sign Ronnie Brown and have him run the damn wildcat!
This really is an absolutely awful corp of wide receivers. Why they didn’t spend a first or second day pick on one this year is completely beyond me. As is the case with every Dolphins coach other than offensive line coach Jim Turner, Roberto Wallace’s WR coach basically danced around calling Roberto Wallace “unnervingly slow” without actually saying those words. “He doesn’t get off the line like other guys do. He doesn’t appear to be moving as well as the rest. His legs don’t move together as well as the rest of the (horrible) wide receivers. His body appears to be made of molasses, and even though it’s 90 degrees outside, the molasses that his body is made out of appears to be moving in frozen temperatures.”
I seriously 100% believe that Chris Hogan is the best wide receiver on this team. And do you know what’s great? NO ONE KNOWS WHO THE HELL HE IS! He played lacrosse for Penn State? And then cornerback for Monmouth? Well, apparently he’s always open and Reggie Bush geniusly dubbed him “7-11” because, well, he’s open from 7-11. So if a Sunday night or Monday night game goes too long, he won’t be open anymore and he’ll just stand at the line of scrimmage mopping the turf and cleaning out the slushie machine. Luckily the Dolphins’ game against the Buccaneers took place from 7-11 and Hogan was open, but Pat Devlin couldn’t find him. When this was discussed on air, Devlin’s back was turned toward the camera. Because HBO hates Pat Devlin’s face.
Chad Johnson was not the best WR on this team. And that’s saying a lot. I loved the Sean Smith-Johnson battles. By the end, you could tell Smith was so bored of Johnson’s crap and just started absolutely punking him. In other news, Sean Smith might be my new favorite player in the league. “He’s running in a walkthrough!”
We got to see the complete downfall of Johnson in this episode, starting with an easy drop in their first preseason game and ending with Joe Philbin awkwardly cutting him. Lets just say, the standard “invite guy in to a room and say pack your stuff, you’re gone” rules don’t apply to Philbin because he has a condition known as “can’t say anything directly” disorder. You could tell as Philbin and the director of security were speaking that Philbin seemed almost downright giddy to be able to cut the artist formerly known as Ocho. I like that Philbin justified his three strikes policy as, “Tweeting stuff he shouldn’t have been, swearing in a press conference, headbutting your wife.” I think it’s fine to cut a player for one really bad strike, which is what Johnson had, but don’t retroactively call it a three strike policy. I mean C’MON MAN!
The actually cutting scene was painful. Philbin knew from the moment Johnson walked into the room that he was cutting him, but somehow he dragged it out without getting his point across for as long as possible. It took him two minutes and 21 seconds from the time Johnson walked into the room to use the words “part ways.” I think Philbin needs to work on his communication skills as a head coach. Or as he would put it, “Joe, you know, the way that you talk to players. I think that sometimes, when you’re talking, I think that sometimes you have a difficult time saying what you want to say, and you seem to take a lot of pauses and then you start sentences over again and it really drags things out, and maybe you should just, you know, be clear.”
The Dolphins cheerleaders did a Call Me Maybe parody video? Where did they come up with that idea? No one has ever had that idea ever. Very original. Groundbreaking even.
Leading up to the Dolphins first preseason game, it appeared that Matt Moore didn’t know he was starting until at least the night before the game, possibly even minutes before the game. He even asked, quite pointedly, “When were you gonna tell me?” This is a well run organization.
As for the actual game, Tannehill looked good, but hates, and I mean HATES sliding. Joe Turner thought he was going to get electrocuted. Roberto Wallace almost got open once. Les Brown almost didn’t get to play. I saw Jeff Fuller and then immediately pictured Tannehill walking into Philbin’s office and just saying, “No. I’m not playing with Jeff Fuller ever again. Just. No.” I also made two notes, one was: TE coach looks like an SNL character. Which still holds true. The other one was: Tannehill’s wife seems like she should be on a reality show… oh wait.
The Dolphins are hoping this was the most drama they’ll see in one week, but us viewers sure don’t! If no one gets arrested until the end of the season, here are some possible story lines I would pitch to HBO: Did everyone in Miami disappear, or do they just really not want to see the Dolphins practice? Does Matt Moore’s dorm TV get whatever channel the Bachelor is on? What do Tannehill and Jake Long’s wives talk about outside of football games? Is Richie Incognito the worst person on earth? How do people deal with him? Jimmy Wilson murdered a guy, that’s a story. Is Vontae Davis still acting like he’s in shape? How mad is Davone Bess that Jeff Ireland implied that he’s not even a #3 receiver?
Those should keep HBO busy for a few weeks. Until next week…