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Hard Knocks sets the scene -- which is bad for Vontae Davis

The first episode of HBO's Hard Knock spent an hour establishing character lines.

We meet Derek Dennis first, which was somewhat curious as he was the first player cut even before he ever put on his pads for the team because the club signed Eric Steinbach.

We meet David Garrard while he and his family are at their lake house. We see Matt Moore offering to change his baby's "diappy," but also being described as a great leader by coaches.

Ryan Tannehill and his wife Lauren talk of the start of their marriage. (Tannehill broke his foot three days before the wedding.) "We started it in sickness and health but that's OK," Lauren Tannehill said.

Tame stuff.

The most inspiring moment is when left tackle Jake Long gathers the offensive line and demands they play better because as he says, they've just been playing like (bleep) and need to get the (bleep) on course. Long is clearly a leader on that unit.

The most interesting character is, no surprise, Chad Johnson. We first see him when he barges into a coaches' meeting and sits for two minutes before being  kicked out. The whole time Johnson is there coaches are looking around, seemingly wondering what is up with Johnson, who announces he cannot go home because his wife doesn't want him there until after camp is over.

"Is that true?" Philbin asks Johnson.

True or not, Johnson eventually gets the drift he's not wanted and leaves.

You read and heard here that Johnson had a bizarre press conference in which he used curse words as if they were punctuations. He also spoke of going into porn and showed off his painted black nails.

Philbin was asked about that and played coy, saying Johnson is expected to be responsible for what he says but that stuff such as black fingernail polish doesn't bother him.

"We want these guys to ultimately, I told Mr. (Stephen) Ross, I told the players, we want these guys to represent the franchise the right way on and off the field," Philbin told the media. "It’s not a complicated formula and the game of football itself isn’t complicated. Now, we want guys to act well, behave well, be good people. It’s not that hard. Use common sense. I don’t know if, black was probably a bad color for today. He probably should have used a light blue or something (laughing).”

Yeah, hilarious. Except that Philbin didn't think Johnson's use of the F-bombs was appropriate, a fact he wasn't eager to share with the media, but showed behind the scenes.

"You represent the organization, you represent everybody. That's not the way we're going to do it," he tells an assistant.

Philbin talks with the Johnson and the player doesn't seem to agree that the F-bombs are problematic. "You're different," he tells Philbin.

"I'd say I'm different than you," Philbin answers.

Philbin is asked by HBO about Johnson. "Either he falls in line or he doesn't," he says.

And if he doesn't, could it put him in jeopardy?

"It could, yeah, absolutely." Philbin said.

An aside here: Johnson is not in jeopardy of losing his roster spot. He's starting. He's the most dynamic receiver on the team right now.

Despite the snag, Johnson comes off as funny and something of a team clown. Cornerback Vontae Davis, on the other hand, comes off as the goat of the premier episode.

Davis, a former first-round pick and starter for three years but runnning second-team now, is obviously out of shape. "Man, I'm tired right now, but I'm not going to let coach know," Davis tells teammate Reshad Jones. "I'm going to go and what you call it? I'm a act."

Davis walks up and down the sideline and tells teammates he's taking acting classes. "I'm acting not to look tired."

"You can be as good as you want to be, but you got to change your attitude, change your ways," defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo tells Davis. "You need to give better effort. When you don't want to, that's the time to press on. Get yourself in better shape and I'm going to keep on staying on you to make sure you do it."

Davis also caught Philbin's eye when he left a walk-thru practice so he could go to the bathroom. "I'm 51 and I have to go every hour but I never go," Philbin says.

At another practice, Philbin asks Davis if he's taken care of his bladder that day. One miss by HBO is that it never makes the point that Davis has fallen to second team -- a huge detail.

Bottom line is Davis comes off looking unprofessional and immature.

The Dolphins are doing this five-week documentary to improve their brand. And generally, I think this first episode does that. It shows the quarterbacks in a good light. It shows the coaches seem to know what they're talking about. It gives the players some depth. Jeff Ireland comes off looking smart.

Even rookie free agent Les Bown got a lot of camera time when, frankly, his skill level is not to the point where he probably deserves it. He is, however, interesting because Brown thinks he can go from basketball to a career in finance to the NFL.

He has great speed and decent hands and general manager Jeff Ireland talks him up in a meeting. But his pass protection and run block is a "liability," according to tight end coach Dan Campbell.

Brown blocks like a basketball player. We'll see if the coming episodes show progress.

I was surprised Reggie Bush wasn't featured in the opening episode. Next one. The offensive line -- Jake Long, Richie Incognito and Pouncey -- also are expected to get more attention next episode.

Should be entertaining.

Comments

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NH,

We all know the answer to that. Marshall may have dropped balls but so does Welker, T.O. in his prime, DeSean Jackson, Greg Jenninngs etc. But even with those drops Brandon was a better player and team mate. Marshall's problem was his off field behavior which honestly doesn't usually bother me but hitting women or whatever his deal is was a huge problem and I for one was fine with getting rid of him even for the the 2 measily 3rd rounders because with his baggage resurfacing once again that was as good as you can get IMO.

Chad in his prime or the older, slower version now vs any level of B. Marshall isn't even a contest IMO. Marshall does things Chad can't such as block, be physical, beat a jam vs elite CBs.

With all that said I was shanking my head in almost anger watching Chad Johnson. He is so ignorant to having class. I renounced him on twitter lol.

Guys, I was someone who wanted Fisher as HC. I was on the Fisher bandwagon LONG before he was even being discussed as a candidate. I've always admired the guy from afar. I think he's got a lot of the qualities you'd want in a HC, namely smart, emotional and hard-working.

I'll say this, while I was disappoined that Fisher wasn't the choice, I've been VERY impressed with what I've seen from Philbin so far. Very articulate, very well organized and very clear on what he wants. I'm very optimistic that the team got it right with this guy and better days are ahead.

OLYMPICS! We don't need no stinking Olympics when you got Football.

It is common knowledge that the great Abraham Lincoln had to make some compromises to Foreign interests in order to preserve this Nation. Up until this Moment. And He knew about It.

didnt watch, and I see this is boring sh**.

show was great, tannehill looks confident

home, next time ya'll go to camp davie,pix up a porto- jon at a construction site on u'r way there and spray paint the #-21 on it and leave it next to the fence by the field.
lol

What, you going to keep "privy" information, Armando?heheh

just becuz big vd finaly got it* doesn't mean lil' vd will ever get it. got it*...???

Of course no one in the closet likes Internet.

Publish them, Son, publish them.

bill connors,

Yeah I know we are supposed to hope and wish Tannehill success and its drinking the kool aid so to speak but I like the kid a lot. He's mature, smart, athletic, strong arm, knows the scheme on O. I expect Tannehill to be a very good in the league. I don't expect Rodgers and thats unfair but I expect a guy at least on the level of a Romo type which IMO is somewheres in the top 10 and capable of putting up very good numbers and expected to be a playoff contender for years to come.

i agree andy. hope garrard starts this year and tanny takes over in 2013

Philbin = Cameron 2.0

dg=6-10. ain't it wise to go 6-10 w. rt.?

Cant wait for basketbal season.

You, young'un, calm me down please.

It's Chieftain.

Excuse me. When do they play real football???????

u mean soccer?.lol

I think Hard Knocks is getting their own hard knocks. heehee

The Dolphins are a disaster. Crap owner, GM, HC, and players.

I got a Hard Knock in my pants when they showed the Dolphins cheerleaders at the end of the show.


OFFENSE LINE COACH ON TANNEHILL "HERE COME THE PEOPLE CHOICE" HBO COMENTATOR "IT SHOULD BE THE COACH CHOICE"

Yeah, Clue, that's a part of It too.

- Listen, this is something that we didn't bargain for. - Yeah, well, you still have 3 weeks remaining on your contract.

Vontae = Hanley

What a pathetic group this team is. They get worse every friggin year. Incompetents throughout the ftanchise. It would take a miracle to get the Dolphins out of the cellar. Anything more then 3 wins would be amazing. Just wants to make me puke how Ross and Ireland have buried this once proud franchise. Its no wonder the fans have left in droves. Goimg into every season with no chance is getting old.

..Hard Knocks was really cool lsat night. My observations..

Philbin comes off as really likeable...Kind of like the stern golly gee Mayberry guy..But likeable none the less. My favorite scene was when he put Chad in his place after that press conference.

Vontae Davis...Say no more. As good as Philbin came off. Davis is probably a bit emmbarassed today.

Ireland..He was great in this episode. The scene with Braylon(Don't tell me every single one of you were hoping he would ask the big question about Braylons mom) was great. The scene where he is alone at his desk frustrated about the holdout was good too.

Les Brown???? Come on. Cut this guy already. He is fast...Wooppie!

The pace of practices..Pretty cool. I would hope this would eventually slow the game down for the players once they are familiar with the system. I don't know if this translates into wins this year..But it I certainly got the feeling(I'm sure because I drank the TV cool aid)..That things are going to be diffrent here. I'm not sure why 1 TV show would make me feel this way, but it did.

Finally..Chad Johnson. The star of the show. I hope the guy has a good year.I really do. To me, he is a freekin clown. Yeah he made some nice acrobatic catches, yeah he says he is motivated..Blah blah blah. To me he came off as the village idiot. Perhaps harmless, but also kind of pointless.

I don't love Philbins's coaching style, but if he wins then I suppose I can't complain.

If Ireland looks smart in the show means that something really really bad going on with this Hard Knocks thing. They're are making up the reality. They will try to make look good the staff, for sure. Crackpots !

He looked heavier than he usually does. And please going the bathroom during drills. That is the oldest trick in the book. I love the Dolphins but how many of these yahoo's have we had lately? Typical athlete nowadays. All talent limited passion.

My carpet matched my drapes....that is until I man-scaped!

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