By Chris Robblee – www.Krush.com
HBO and the Miami Dolphins brought it hard last night in the premiere of “Hard Knocks.” The show started by showing the complete re-haul that the Dolphins did to their locker rooms, going from comfortable to luxurious. This was supposed to signify the transformation that the team hopes to undergo, which is tough for a team with three potential starting quarterbacks.
The first person HBO introduced us to was Matt Moore, Miami’s 2011 starting QB, who just exudes a sense of relaxed leadership. Moore is comfortable with whatever happens at the QB position, I would be too if I knew I was getting paid millions to live in Miami, practice a little here and there and then just hold a clipboard for 3 hours a week.
Next up, David Garrard, a nice-guy with a nerdy streak that was out of football for the whole 2011 season. He started off very rusty but wound up as the starting QB on the first depth chart.
For a team that has a Kardashian ex (Reggie Bush), Chad JohnsonCino, and an offensive line that picks fights and backs them up on the reg, rookie QB Ryan Tannehill is at the center of the Dolphins drama, at least for the first episode. His holdout only lasted three days and was nowhere near the amount of stress that Revis put on the jets when they were the “Hard Knocks” team. Nonetheless, Tannehill held out and got his money.
Not to say that the receiver formerly known as Ochocinco didn’t have any drama on the episode, but he was calm compared to the days of the Bengals and the institution of “Child Please.” He dropped a few “F-bombs” in an interview and first-year head coach Joe Philbin had to speak with him and ask him to calm down the language a little. He told him how a well placed swear can add emphasis to a statement, but too many weakens the effect.
The football itself was shot in typical HBO fashion, slow and defined with epic music, even though the fatigue and dropped passes throughout the episode were anything but epic. Johnson looks like he’s back to his pre-New England form, however, he only dropped one pass in the first scrimmage. He looks fast, he’s in shape, and he’s sure to come up with some sound bites for the radio talk shows across the country.
The big story of the episode is whether or not undrafted rookie Tight End Les Brown, who hasn’t played football since high school, can make the team. Brown played college basketball and the coaches are all very impressed with his athletic talents, but fear he is a liability at blocking. To me, it’s a simple solution, move him to wide receiver and minimize his blocking because the kid is as fast as Davone Bess or Johnson.
All in all, the first episode was an introduction to a team that we really know nothing about, outside of Reggie and Chad’s reality TV endeavors. I’m interested to see where they go as a team, where the story lines go and who makes the final roster.