Dolphins on Hard Knocks

Before Joe Philbin took questions from reporters following the Dolphins' Tuesday OTA practice, he announced that the Dolphins would be the team featured this summer on the HBO series "Hard Knocks." The series, which chronicles the stories of a training camp will debut on Aug. 7 at 10 p.m. and air for five weeks.

There should be no shortage of storylines, primary among them the quarterback battle between returning starter Matt Moore, veteran David Garrard and first-round pick Ryan Tannehill.

"Number one it was a football decision and it was made by the football operations staff," Philbin said. "Our owner, Steve Ross, supported our decision but in no way, shape or form forced us to make this decision. I'm personally very excited about it and I shared my thoughts about it with our football team this morning. It's a football show and it's a show that's going to showcase our players and the great group of men that we have assembled here in Miami as they go through training camp.

"The second thing is I think it's a great opportunity for us to connect with our fans and to the people that aren't going to be able to come out here on a daily basis in 110-degree heat index weather and watch our guys participate in training camp. The third thing is I think it's a chance for us to show the new direction, the identity of this football team, where we're headed and at the same time also connect with our past and the great history, tradition and heritage that we have here in Miami."

"They wanted access and trust. Our guys, we're going to go out there and we're going to coach just like we've been coaching before."

More comments from Philbin on "Hard Knocks."

-- "I don't think it's going to be a big deal."

-- "One thing I guarantee, I told the staff and I told the players, these players will follow the lead of the coaching staff. If we make it a big deal and we think it's, Oh my God, this and this,' it'll be a big deal. I don't think it will."

-- "(Steven Ross) wanted to really stay out of it for the most part, making football decisions. He in no way influenced this decision. He was probably more worried, 'Joe, it's your first time as a head coach, man, there's pressure, there's this, there's that.' Myself, I think it's a better time to do this as opposed to Year 2 or Year 3 or Year 4."

-- "Again, the No. 1 thing, coaching from a philosophical standpoint is you have to be yourself. I'm not concerned about how I'm perceived or looked on. I have to do what I feel I have to do to help these players reach their potential and this football team reach its potential. I have given no thought to that whatsoever and I'm not really concerned about that. You guys have been to practice, you've seen how this staff coaches on a daily basis. We're just going to be ourselves. We're in the business of improving individuals and helping them reach their potential and ultimately helping this team reach its potential and ultimately win games and championships. That's not going to change. That's what we do, that's what we do a daily basis."

-- "Probably 20 years from now, it'll be a lot of fun to watch. I've never seen the watch, that's the truth, that's God's honest truth."

-- "The easy answer is to say no, 'Oh God, it's a huge distraction and have cameras everywhere and we're not going to be able to deal with all that stuff.' That's the easy thing to say, but this program is not based on doing what's easy. We thought it was in the best interest of the organization at this point and time to do it. So that's what we're doing."

Here is a copy of the official announcement press release:


HBO Sports, NFL Films and the Miami Dolphins team up for an all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE MIAMI DOLPHINS debuts in August. The first sports-based reality series – and one of the fastest-turnaround reality series – kicks off its five-episode seventh season, presented in HD, TUESDAY, AUG. 7 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. Other hour-long episodes debut subsequent Tuesdays at the same time, with an encore play every Wednesday in August at 11:00 p.m., culminating in the Sept. 4 season finale.

"We are delighted that HARD KNOCKS will be returning this summer and placing the spotlight on the Miami Dolphins, a venerable franchise that had an exciting off-season activity," says Ken Hershman, president, HBO Sports. "This marks the first time that the series has featured a first-year head coach (Joe Philbin) and we are extremely grateful to both Coach Philbin and the entire organization for agreeing to participate. As always, there will be plenty on the line for veterans, free agents and rookies."

"On the 40th anniversary of the greatest season in NFL history--Don Shula's perfect '72 Dolphins-- it is perfectly fitting that Hard Knocks is heading to Miami to capture the start of a new era for one of the league's proudest teams," says NFL Films president Steve Sabol. "After Hard Knocks' hiatus last summer, I know our team at NFL Films can't wait to get back on the field."

The cinema verité series will focus on the daily lives and routines of players and coaches as the intriguing Miami Dolphins, who compete in the ultra-competitive AFC East, prepare for the 2012 NFL season. HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE MIAMI DOLPHINS will chronicle first year head coach Joe Philbin and an intriguing mix of high-profile veterans, free agents and rookie hopefuls throughout training camp and the preseason. Each week, players will experience drills, meetings and fun, while struggling to prove they have what it takes to make the team and make their mark in the NFL.

"We are excited that the premier company in sports filmmaking history, NFL FILMS, and HBO Sports have chosen the Miami Dolphins to appear on their award-winning series Hard Knocks," said Joe Philbin, head coach of the Miami Dolphins. "We are looking forward to connecting with our many fans across the country as the program chronicles our 2012 training camp. The series will highlight the outstanding men who comprise our team and represent our organization admirably, both on and off the field, as they compete for a coveted position on our roster.

"The Miami Dolphins have long been synonymous with success on the filed as evidenced by our five Super Bowl appearances and the only perfect season in NFL history," added Philbin. "That heritage serves as a constant reminder to our players and staff of the great legacy that has been left for us to uphold. Our team embraces that rich past and looks confidently to the future as we begin this journey back to the top of the NFL.

"All the decisions that have been made this off-season have had one guiding principle -- will it help our players and organization reach its full potential? This one is no different. We are convinced that our affiliation with NFL FILMS and HBO will allow football fans everywhere an opportunity to comprehend the significant sacrifices and demands that our players endure each day along their journey in training camp as a Miami Dolphin. We eagerly await the opening of training camp on July 26 and the 2012 NFL regular season that lies ahead of us."

A 24-person NFL Films crew will live at the Dolphins' training camp in South Florida, shooting more than 1,000 hours of video over the course of the series. Camera and sound crews will be given unencumbered access to the players' and coaches' meeting rooms, training rooms, dormitories and practice fields.

This summer's edition of Hard Knocks marks the first time the series will premiere on Tuesday nights in prime time; previously the series debuted on Wednesdays.

HARD KNOCKS launched with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001, followed by the Dallas Cowboys in 2002. The series resumed in 2007 with the Kansas City Chiefs, winning a Sports Emmy®. In 2008, the series returned to the Dallas Cowboys, receiving a second Sports Emmy® for production excellence. In 2009 HARD KNOCKS spotlighted the Cincinnati Bengals franchise and the show captured two more Sports Emmy® Awards for "Outstanding Edited Series/Anthology" and "Outstanding post-produced Sound/Audio." The most recent season of HARD KNOCKS in 2010 featured the New York Jets and the series captured three Sports Emmys®, including the trophy for "Outstanding Edited Series/Anthology."

Rolling Stone noted that Hard Knocks is, "A smash hit series" while Time Magazine called the program, "riveting."

The New York Post wrote, "Hard Knocks is a hell of a show and it becomes must-see TV for football fans."

Sports said Hard Knocks is the "most entertaining reality show on TV."

The New York Times concluded, "It is a rare glimpse into the psyche of a team," while The Wall St. Journal notes the show is "captivating television."

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