The Dolphins are set to the face of the NFL (in a sense) for the next few Mondays thanks to being the stars of the popular Hard Knocks show on HBO.
Many of claimed this season of Hard Knocks will lack star power, Super Bowl level talent, and worthwhile storylines. While many have claimed that it could be a “lesser” season of the popular show, there are no shortage of storylines to follow as we follow this young team still full of unique schematic changes, unique characters, and rare, heartwretching stories.
MDD Lead Editor: Eric Galko
Joe Philbin’s Family Tragedy
It was supposed to be a time of preparation, excitement, and nervousness for Joe Philbin. The Packers were poised to make a deep playoff run after a fantastic season Aaron Rodgers put together. However, Philbin’s emotions quickly changed from the future to the present. Joe Philbin lost his son to drowning in early January of last season while he was still the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers.
Philbin left the team while he greived and attempted to learn more details on what happened to his son. The Packers were perfect in their handling of this sensative matter, allowing Philbin not only plenty of time away from his job, but also resounding support and always keeping Joe’s son in their minds, even through the playoffs.
Philbin’s character and resolve as a leader and coach was likely a big reason for the Dolphins bringing in the never-before head coach to be the leader of a (hopeful) new era for Miami.
Ryan Tannehill in the Spotlight (and his Girlfriend in the Camera-light)
From some, Ryan Tannehill is already getting what I call the “Jamarcus Russell” treatment. He’s a “bust” before ever getting a chance to prove himself by far too many of the major media. While Tannehill certainly doesn’t remind me (or anyone) of Jamarcus Russell as a player, it’s important for media as well as the team to rally behind their “quarterback of the future”.
Tannehill likely won’t be able to compete for the starting quarterback job in training camp (which isn’t a bad thing), but Dolphins fans and management will be excited/nervous to see how he develops this off-season. With Jeff Ireland likely on a make-or-break season and Joe Philbin tied to him, the team not only needs to exceed expectations, but also show life for the future. Tannehill is a big part of that.
Along with “Ryan” Tannehill, look for Hard Knocks to attempt to feature another Tannehill during practices. Lauren Tannehill, model and likely feature on more than one camera shots during Hard Knocks filming, is defintely someone that will drive ratings while also keeping the non-Dolphins fan viewers with their eyes glued to the TV.
Jimmy Wilson Overcoming Murder Trial
Along with the hardship that Joe Philbin suffered, Jimmy Wilson can certainly related. After being charged with murder in 2010 and sitting in prison for over 6 months as he awaited his trial, Wilson was found not guilty on his second trial (first was a mistrial after 11 “not guilty” votes and 1 “guilty”).
After missing a full season of football, Wilson returned for his senior season at Montana and played well enough, and in spite of his not-guilty criminal history, to get drafted by the Dolphins in the 7th round.
After a full year of development with the Dolphins, Wilson is set to not only make the roster, but likely will be asked to have a fairly major roll in the defense. He’ll likely be the dime cornerback as well as the 3rd safety along with being a featured special teammer. After all he’s overcome and gone through, he could be the feel good story the cameras will love to dive into more.