Showing 1 - 5 of 5 posts found matching keyword: hard knocks

Last night was the fifth and final episode of Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins. I was surprised to discover that I'm going to miss that show, but I can't say why.

The series chronicled the dysfunction of training camp and proved that there is no hope for the 2012 season exactly at that time of year where unfounded hope should be flourishing for fans of all 32 teams. Maybe that's what I liked about it: it demonstrated that I was right to be down on the 2012 season.

Although I can't say that I feel quite as hopeless as all that. The Dolphins released David Garrard yesterday, so I don't have to deal with that should-we or shouldn't-we quarterback quandary anymore this season. Joe Philbin looks a few fathoms out of his depth, but at least Fins fans don't have to be frustrated waiting through losing games for that to become apparent. And I got to see Jeff Ireland in action, so I know that I'm justified in complaining about his inability to recognize talent.

Could it be worse? Sure. But at least knowing how bad it is keeps me from worrying. Now I can embrace our upcoming 5 win season with schadenfreude. At least that's something to look forward to.

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A full month of Hard Knocks, and they've finally openly admitted what most Dolphins fans have already noticed: this team really isn't very good, especially on offense.

The episode spent a lot of time on Jeff Ireland, as though spotlighting what a happy family man he is will make long-suffering fans hate him any less. Lucky him, growing up with the 1980's Chicago Bears. Too bad spending time with Jim McMahon and Refrigerator Perry didn't teach him what talent looked like.

To stay positive, Dolphins fans can focus on the fact that we are in a division with a couple of teams that might be worse off than we are. The AFC East is also home to the Jets, a team whose pre-season offense actually looks worse than ours, and the Bills, a team that hasn't seen the post-season in 12 years. With such a lackluster division lineup, it's going to be awfully hard for the final team in our division, the Super Bowl runner-up New England Patriots, to win fewer than 12 games this season.

I'm not the only one to notice. NFL.com is running the headline "Camp Buzz: Could Dolphins be worst team in NFL?" today. Thus the Dolphins' motto remains, "there's always next year!"

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Hard Knocks week 3, and I think I've decided that Dolphins assistant quarterbacks Coach Zac Taylor is probably a better leader than Head Coach Joe Philbin. Taylor doesn't hem and haw about communications and relationships. He simply tells last year's starter Matt Moore the truth once the decision has been made that rookie Ryan Tannehill will be the starting quarterback when the season starts.

That's the best thing about this series so far: seeing the professional athletes act like professionals. Moore takes the news of his benching as well as Chad Johnson took the news of his firing last week and Derek Dennis took his cut in week 1. These players know their business and act like men when their time comes. That's one of the only things I've seen to admire about the 2012 Dolphins so far. Certainly far more admirable than the news that the Dolphins will start the 2012 season with their 17th starting quarterback since the 2000 season. Ouch.

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The more I see of Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins on HBO, the more I'm left wondering, "why would any team voluntarily participate in that?" Athletes are humiliated, and coaches are exposed as clueless. Where's the up side?

The big moment in the second episode was the firing of Chad Johnson. Johnson was arrested last weekend on a charge of domestic battery against his wife of just over a month. The footage on last week's Hard Knocks hardly portrayed the pair as a loving couple. They barely looked at each other and came across as as two individual desperate for more time in front of the cameras. I guess this is another lesson in being careful what you wish for.

My problem with the situation wasn't that the Dolphins released Johnson, but how they did it. Johnson entered Head Coach Joe Philbin's office well aware of what he had done. Rather than let Johnson know that he was being cut, Philbin let the poor, desperate man dangle for a few minutes before weakly dismissing him with more of his milquetoast "I'm not trying to be a dictator" bullshit. I suspect that Philbin was trying to come across as sympathetic or considerate, but managed only to act uncomfortably embarrassed as he fidgeted in his overstuffed seat. Way to lead, Joe. I'm sure both men were glad there were cameras present to capture the moment for posterity.

In all fairness, I have to say that my growing distaste for Philbin has not been helped any by the series editors. In both of the episodes so far, the lead-in has edited a series of events to put Philbin's actions and comments out of context. Last week, we opened with Philbin failing to give a player a chance, unaware that uniquely incompetent General Manager Jeff Ireland had already rigged the game behind the scenes. This week, we heard Philbin's side of a telephone conversation that sounded like it was belittling his wife's relationship with Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid's wife, instead of commiserating about both Philbin and Reid having recently lost children. Maybe the man puts his foot in his mouth naturally, but NFL Films isn't doing him any favors.

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I watched the debut of HBO's Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins last night. You know there's something wrong with your team when watching training camp is more entertaining than watching actual games.

What did we learn about our new coach in the first episode? Not a whole heck of a lot. Head Coach Joe Philbin comes across like a competent middle manager, which is a considerable change of pace from his macho (and oft mustachioed) predecessors. I'm not nuts about his "we're a family" speech to the player's families or his "this isn't a dictatorship/I'm open to discussion" approach to laying down the law, which I typically perceive as a dictator masquerading as a man of the people. It's even worse when Philbin invokes the name of perennial loser George Costanza when naming his starting quarterback for the first preseason game. Not good signs.

Naturally the program focused heavily on the three quarterbacks fighting for a starting position and camera-hog Chad Johnson. Very rarely did we get any glimpse of returning Dolphins stars Jake Long, Cameron Wake, Davone Bess, or even Reggie Bush. I guess that there is less drama watching returning established players, but I'd certainly feel better about the team if I could see some of the players that have proven themselves worth rooting for.

All in all, there's no point in getting bent out of shape yet. There's still plenty of time (and episodes) for that.

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To be continued...

 

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