Posts Tagged ‘Hard Knocks’

By: Eran Fabian

Since 2001 when the Baltimore Ravens were featured in the first ever season of HBO’s Hard Knocks, NFL fans across the country have been tuning in to watch some of the best personalities in the game light up the screen. The show has allowed us into the locker room and has let us get a better look at who these guys truly are. We don’t have to wade through their politically correct answers to the media, we get to watch them struggle and fight and say things that could make Howard Stern blush.

Antonio Cromartie struggles to remember the names of his 7 kids.

That is what makes this next season so exciting on Hard Knocks. I am not, nor will I ever allow myself to be, a Miami Dolphins fan BUT there are very few teams that would have me this excited to watch. Sure, the Jets’ Antonio Cromartie won’t be there to tell me about his seven children (four of which are all four years old) and the man formerly known as Chad Johnson won’t be running around throwing out catch phrases like ‘Child Please!’ and ‘Kiss Da Baby!’ but the Dolphins do have a lot to keep viewers tied in from start to finish.

Rookie Quarterback and 1st round draft pick, Ryan Tannehill will battle Matt Moore and David Garrard for the starting gig (I don’t care too much about Tannehill but if it will keep his fiancée on screen, I’m all for it). Daniel Thomas will try to hold off Lex Hilliard and the once great Steve Slayton to keep his job at tailback. Brandon Marshall has moved on to greener pastures, which will leave the door open at receiver for guys like Davone Bess, Bryan Hartline, and, rookie wideout, B.J. Cunningham. Not to mention the rumors that Plaxico “Sharpshooter” Burress is seeking a tryout with the team.

The defensive side of the ball lacks the star power of Hard Knocks’ teams from previous seasons but the Dolphins are deceptively good. Ranking 3rd against the run last year (and 15th in total defense), the Miami Dolphins are good enough to force teams to be one-dimensional. Unfortunately, that dimension happens to be their biggest weakness as the finished 25th against the pass last year. If the Dolphins’ secondary can come together, the Dolphins may be able to provide the rookie QB some room for a learning curve.

Let’s also not forget that the conductor of this circus will be rookie head coach Joe Philbin. The former QB coach out of Green Bay(where he worked with 2 future HOFers) will look to groom Tannehill and help him break the mold of the perennial loser that is a Miami Dolphin QB. Sure Joe might not discuss his odd foot fetish, like that of Jets’ coach Rex Ryan, or have an extremely short fuse, like former Ravens’ head coach Brian Billick, but his energy and experience with a high-powered offense, like Green Bay, may be just what the doctor ordered.

New head coach Joe Philbin must get his young team ready for a tough season.

HBO may have struck it rich this year with the underperforming and extremely young locker room in Miami. It has been 40 years since the ’72 Dolphins tore through the NFL en route to the only undefeated season in NFL history (No Patriots fans, second place doesn’t count). Maybe it is time for the Dolphins to give the city of Miami something to cheer about.  Now, ‘Let’s go get a God damn snack!’

Hard Knocks will premiere on HBO Tuesday, August 7th at 10pm.