A pretty uninspiring, unremarkable and somewhat uneventful Hard Knocks tonight, folks.
Last week was stunning and brilliant for capturing the Chad Johnson meeting with Joe Philbin, for the insight of the David Garrard injury, for the drama of Mike Sherman practically going postal on underperforming players in that now memorable team meeting.
This week? Eh.
Joe Philbin opens the show channeling his inner public relations maven. He tells the players in a meeting that they don't have to agree with decisions he or his coaches or general manager Jeff Ireland make. But by all means don't actually complain about those decisions publicly.
"You're not going to agree with every decision that Jeff (Ireland) makes or the input I have in it, but ultimately, you have to be supportive," he says.
We find out this week that Reggie Bush is a hard worker and works hard after practice. We find out that rookie RT Jonathan Martin had a tough game against Carolina. We find out that John Jerry has been overweight since the first day of training camp and has struggled in practice.
"A player descending fast and I was a fan of his in minicamp," Sherman says.
"You watch the tape on Jerry, he's a catastrophe on tape today," adds offensive line coach JimTurner.
The truth is Jerry played relatively well against Carolina. He was probably the best lineman in his group. We got about 40 seconds of that upside part of the story.
It is interesting that left guard Eric Steinbach, who missed all of last season with a back injury, visits with Philbin and the player admits "the product I thought I had and you were bringing me in for is not exactly showing out there."
Steinbach says he doesn't want to bring up the word "retire," but in so doing, of course, he's bringing it up. Look, Eric Steinbach is going to be hard-pressed to make the club. He's struggling. He's great to have in the locker room. He's experienced. But can he get his body to do what it once did?
Not so far.
By the way, I love Sherman. He's the only coach that apparently recognizes the obvious struggles of the wide receiver corps. He talks about someone stepping forward. He talks about someone making plays against Carolina to unbunch what is obviously a struggling group.
Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle is similarly honest as he's calling the game from the Carolina pressbox. As the Panthers are shredding his unit, he pounds the desk in front of him and yells, "What the hell are we doing?"
Later he says, "We're going to find out about these guys tonight because the way this group is playing, there's going to be spots to be won."
The episode wastes our time trying to convince us that the Plantation hotel where the team is staying during camp is somewhere near Miami Beach. In truth, it's about 40 miles away. We seeJake Long at home eating a meal with his wife. We see tight end Les Brown, who will be cut in the coming weeks, and his girlfriend at an airboat ride facility somewhere in the Everglades.
We see quarterback coach Zac Taylor on Sunday tell Matt Moore that Ryan Tannehill has won the starting quarterback job. We see Tannehll in the same meeting have pretty much the same reaction in learning hes got the job as Moore had in learning he doesn't have the job.
When Philbin meets with Moore the coach says he can't "put my finger" on the reason Tannehill is the pick. Moore, showing tons of grace, says, "I gotcha."