Late last month, HBO and NFL Films announced that the Miami Dolphins would be featured on this year’s Hard Knocks: In Season. They’ve now released a premiere date (Nov. 21) and a trailer for that:
Follow the Fins as far as they go.
— Sports on Max (@SportsonMax) November 13, 2023
That trailer’s notable for the amount of focus it puts on Dolphins’ head coach Mike McDaniel. The 40-year-old McDaniel has drawn a lot of attention over his time in the NFL so far, including his 2017-21 run with the San Francisco 49ers (first as run game coordinator, then as offensive coordinator for his final season there) and his time as head coach in Miami (he was hired there last February). He led the Dolphins to a 9-8 record and a playoff appearance (they lost to the Buffalo Bills in the wild-card round) last year, and has them sitting at 6-3 so far this year.
Beyond the on-field success he’s found, McDaniel has won praise for both his offensive schemes and his sometimes-unusual approach to interviews. That’s included nailing Rich Eisen’s cliche challenge at the NFL Combine in March 2022 and taking on “system” critics of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. As that latter clip shows, McDaniel’s certainly willing to stick up for his players, but he also often brings quite an upbeat personality to the interview room. And this trailer shows he’s like that around his players, too, with comments like the opening “I’m very proud of the collective effort. And I saw no panic, no blink. People were confident as hell” in this clip.
While McDaniel certainly is used to the media spotlight by now, though, that doesn’t mean he or the Dolphins are fully on board with it. As with the New York Jets and their offseason carping about being selected for the training camp version of Hard Knocks (which wound up working out fine, although with less access than ideal for viewers thanks to the Jets’ reluctance to fully participate), some members of the Miami team have already complained about being chosen here. That list includes star defensive back Xavien Howard, who recently told Hal Habib of The Palm Beach Post “It’s bull—-, especially during the season,” and Tagovailoa, who told Habib “I just like to keep things private in how I do things.”
But there will be plenty of viewers eager to see some more access to the Dolphins and their explosive offense, as discussed since this year’s announcement Miami would be the featured team (following the Indianapolis Colts in 2021 and the Arizona Cardinals last year). The Dolphins have a league-high 285 points scored to date, and they’re atop the AFC East with that 6-3 mark. Here’s more on what to expect from this year’s Hard Knocks In-Season from a NFL Films/HBO release:
The 18-time Emmy-winning series will deliver its signature all-access coverage, documenting the current AFC East first-place Miami Dolphins, led by second-year Head Coach Mike McDaniel, as they navigate the final eight games of the regular season and battle to return to the NFL playoffs. Camera crews will begin to chronicle the team in real time ahead of their Nov. 19 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders, giving viewers an intimate look at their exciting brand of offense featuring quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and running back Raheem Mostert, as well as their talented defense anchored by the likes of Christian Wilkins, Bradley Chubb, Jaelan Phillips, Xavien Howard, Jalen Ramsey and Jevon Holland.
“We can’t wait to show the world the incredible personalities on the Miami Dolphins and the unbelievable preparation they put into each game,” said Emily Leitner Cameron, NFL Films senior producer. “All that hard work, seven days a week, promises to deliver an exciting new chapter in this series that means so much to the NFL, HBO and football fans everywhere.”
“It is thrilling for ‘Hard Knocks’ to be back in season with the extraordinary team at NFL Films and the Miami Dolphins,” said Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller, co-executive vice presidents, HBO Documentary & Family Programming. “There is no better way to give HBO and Max viewers an exclusive inside window into what it really takes for a coach and a team to fight to get back to the NFL playoffs.”
Hard Knocks: In Season with the Miami Dolphins will premiere Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and will be available to stream on Max. New episodes will follow each Tuesday through Jan. 9, and will continue Tuesdays after that as long as the Dolphins are in the playoffs.