As you would expect, tonight’s episode of “Hard Knocks” focused a good amount on former Dolphins WR Chad Johnson.
After a Friday night dropped pass and a Saturday night arrest, Johnson’s contract was terminated by the team on Sunday and the show was there to capture much of what was a very intense weekend in South Florida.
Things, began, though, on an even more serious note, as the show opened with the death of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid’s son. Joe Philbin, who lost a son in January, discusses the grief and the decision to make a run at the Dolphins job in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Other notes from episode two:
- Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was clearly unhappy with the play of some of the tight ends. In a meeting, he took aim at Les Brown, Michael Egnew and Charles Clay, going so far as telling Egnew that if he were the general manager, he would cut him. TE coach Dan Campbell meets with the group afterwards and tells them they must have thick skin and that they need to respond well.
- We saw rookie QB Ryan Tannehill go through what I hope was some hazing, singing Bill Withers’ classic “Lean on Me” in front of the team. Had trouble with the high notes.
- Other examples of rookie hazing were some absurd (and at times inappropriate) haircuts and removal of eyebrows.
- We got to see a couple of snippets of Hall of Famer Bob Griese watching film of the quarterbacks with Philbin.
- There was a neat interaction between Assistant GM Brian Gaine and WR Roberto Wallace, who was struggling at practice. Gaine tells him that he has all of the physical tools and just needs to figure out what’s missing.
- Rookie WR Chris Hogan, who played lacrosse at Penn State and then one year of football at Monmouth, seems to always be getting open in practice. Because of this, Reggie Bush has taken to calling him “7-11.”
- Offensive line coach Jim Turner throws on the video of the Dolphins Cheerleaders lip syncing the hit song “Call Me Maybe” to lighten the mood in the room.
- We saw footage of head athletic trainer Kevin O’Neill giving Joe Philbin the news about David Garrard’s knee injury.
- Next, it was onto the preseason opener on Friday night…Sherman was very unhappy with Johnson’s third down drop and later, when Tannehill throws his first touchdown pass, Sherman reminds assistant QB coach Zac Taylor to save the ball for the rookie.
- After the game, Philbin tells the team the game was a “starting point in a long season” and that it gives them an idea of where they’re at, with room for improvement.
- About 48 minutes into the episode, we get to Johnson’s Saturday night arrest. There was footage of him in handcuffs that night but the most interesting stuff was from the next day. Philbin addresses the team in the morning and is later shown speaking with security head Stu Weinstein, who had spoken with Johnson. The conversation makes it pretty clear that Johnson knows he’s very likely to be cut.
- In the meeting between Philbin and Johnson, Chad says “I let you down a little bit, a lot.” “I understand what you’re doing, you got the message across the day we met.” I apologize for embarrassing you, the organization and my teammates.” After Philbin tells Johnson that he thinks it best that they part ways, Johnson concludes with “Thank you for the opportunity, I enjoyed myself…I appreciate it, thank you for the chance.”