Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hard Knocks: Episode 3 Thoughts & Observations

While the third episode of Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins wasn't quite as dramatic as the previous one thanks to the absence of any arrests and releases, NFL Films and HBO once again delivers a quality program and offers us some additional insights to the Dolphins' roster as we rapidly approach the first wave of cuts next Monday.

Here are my observations from the third episode of Hard Knocks...
  • I found the "leadership council" meeting between Joe Philbin and veterans Reggie Bush, Karlos Dansby and Jake Long to be a little awkward and pointless. What exactly does being a leader have to do with Chad Johnson beating his wife? Why don't the players just lead by example and lead on the field? And what in the hell is Dansby doing in this meeting? Leaders don't spout off stupid opinions to the media about wife-beating ex-teammates. Leaders also don't show up to camp at 270 pounds just because of the lockout.
  • The focus on John Jerry was probably the most intriguing part of the episode from a pure football standpoint. It started out extremely negative when position coach Jim Turner killing him in coaches meetings, but they also admitted they liked him upside a lot. Combine that with his great play against Carolina and his working with the first team this week, and it seems Jerry isn't quite off the roster yet. Jerry might not be an ideal fit for the zone blocking scheme, but if veteran Artis Hicks isn't any good, why not roll with Jerry and see if he can keep improving?
  • On the other side of the coin, Eric Steinbach sure sounded a lot like a guy that is heading toward retirement and that proved to be true Wednesday as he announced just that. Steinbach was working solely as the second-team left guard and didn't seem to be a threat to Hicks on the right side. He'd also missed time with a knee injury and didn't play against Carolina.
  • Undrafted rookie guard Chandler Burden needs to be given a practice squad spot solely based on his impression of Jim Turner during the rookie show. I feel similarly about undrafted defensive end Jarrell Root, who is an absolute riot with his commentary during the game.
  • David Garrard is still on crutches and it's looking more and more like he'll never play for the Dolphins with Ryan Tannehill being named the starter. Even if he's ready by the Sept. 9 season opener or soon after, he appears to be a real injury risk and I'm inclined to believe the Dolphins will keep Matt Moore as Tannehill's backup for 2012.
  • Vontae Davis is looking better in camp, and even though his penalty against Carolina was stupid, I at least admire his fire. As long as he doesn't check out mentally after his demotion and the criticism he's received, he'll be just fine. Davis is far too talented to be a third corner for long.
  • It appears footwork and consistency are some of the issues the team had with Matt Moore in practice. That being said, I find it hard to believe that Tannehill truly outperformed him and camp and I imagine it's frustrating to Moore the team can't even give him a straight answer on why he didn't win the job. The team needs to just say, "Tannehill's the future and he seems good enough to start, so that's what we're doing."
  • It's only been five days since the game, but a few things this show reminded me of are that Jonathan Martin looks like a freaking disaster at right tackle and rookie wideout Rishard Matthews had himself a nice game. Love his effort getting into the end zone late in the game.
  • It's incomprehensible that tight ends coach Dan Campbell has to tell rookie tight end Michael Egnew to block for the ball carrier in the middle of the game. Maybe it's just his face, but Egnew always looks like he has a bad attitude and is one more critical word away from openly weeping.
  • One thing missing from this episode that would have been nice to see was clarity on the 4-5-6 receiver situation. It's impossible to predict right now and this episode unfortunately did not address it.

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