It seems that every year it’s a race to see which NFL teams can run as fast as they can away from Hard Knocks. Teams are so reticent to take part that the NFL instituted a rule that it could force teams to take part if they met certain criteria. This year, it was the New York Jets who were the featured team on Hard Knocks and while Aaron Rodgers was initially against it, he seemed to embrace it as time went on because he’s never met a spotlight he didn’t love.
While there’s months of speculation that builds up over the training camp version of Hard Knocks, that hasn’t been the case with the much newer in-season version of the longtime HBO show. This week the announcement was sprung that one of the early Super Bowl favorites, the Miami Dolphins, would star during the regular season edition of Hard Knocks.
Lest we think that the Dolphins are somehow eager to participate, that is certainly not the case.
Star cornerback Xavien Howard was incredibly blunt when asked about his thoughts on the in-season version of Hard Knocks and replied that it simply was “bullsh*t.”
Via the Palm Beach Post:
“‘Hard Knocks’ is bull—-, especially during the season,” Howard said. “No, I’m serious. I’m not a fan.”
The player who’s most likely to be featured on the Dolphins Hard Knocks series is quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. And even he’s not a fan of welcoming HBO’s cameras and microphones into the team facility, although he was a bit more diplomatic than Howard.
“I’m not going to let any of that affect how I prepare, how I talk in our meetings, with how we want to get things done and what we want to do,” Tagovailoa said. “I’m going to be myself and I think the guys are going to do their best to be themselves as well, although it is different when there is a camera. You’re trying to do something that’s very private.”
Bottom line for Tagovailoa: “I just like to keep things private in how I do things. But this isn’t just about me. This isn’t something that’s for me. This is something for the entire team and the entire team has to figure out how they go about that as well.
“So I know having conversations with some guys in the locker room that for them, it’s going to be tough as well.”
Even though the team and players are less than thrilled, it seems as though they had no choice in the matter this time and will have to make the best of it. The Dolphins are one of the better stories emerging in the 2023 NFL season so far with their incredibly high powered offense and a likable, unique personality as head coach in Mike McDaniel. As we’ve seen with Dan Campbell in Detroit, a personality-driven head coach can make a series like this. So hopefully it delivers some compelling content for viewers.