Highlighting the Best Moments from HBO's Hard Knocks

Ryan Phillips@@RumorsandRantsContributor IIIAugust 8, 2012

July 27 2012; Davie, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Chad Johnson (85) during practice at the Dolphins training facility. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

HBO's Hard Knocks kicked off Tuesday night and this year, the program is following the Miami Dolphins through training camp. The show is always well-produced and the storylines are usually compelling.

But there were moments in the first episode that stood out above the rest, so here's a recap of the best moments from Tuesday night's opening episode. 


All Chad Johnson, All the Time

The man formerly known as "Ochocinco" made his much-anticipated return to Hard Knocks and wasted no time owning the episode. First, he awkwardly crashed a private coaches meeting and tried to sit in on it for a while before he got the hint and left. Then, we saw him engage in a showdown with Reggie Bush in FIFA Soccer on the PlayStation 3.

Then, in what might have been the sequence of the episode, we were shown Johnson's introductory press conference, where he liberally dropped "F-bombs" left and right. Head coach Joe Philbin was not impressed, and even told Johnson on the sideline later in camp he needed to clean up his language a bit. 

Between that and admitting that he met his wife on Twitter, it was a great showing for Johnson.

Ryan Tannehill's Mini-Holdout

This was kind of hilarious because it's the sort of thing that has to happen with every rookie holdout. Everyone knew Ryan Tannehill was lucky to be drafted with the No. 8 pick by the Dolphins and that he fit in well on the team as a developmental quarterback prospect.

But he held out for two days of training camp to get a contract finalized. It happens.

The most telling part of the sequence as it played out was a phone call between general manager Jeff Ireland and Dawn Aponte, where Aponte tells Ireland that the team is ready to allow Tannehill to wait and go back into the 2013 draft, and that Tannehill is prepared to do just that. 

We all know it's crap and that both sides really wanted to work out a deal, but it shows the ridiculous level of posturing that goes on inside these negotiations. There was no way Tannehill would have ever actually returned to the draft, and the Dolphins couldn't afford to miss out on yet another quarterback. But the interplay between the two sides was interesting.


Vontae Davis Wearing Out His Welcome

The Dolphins used the 25th pick in the 2009 NFL draft on Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis, and they expected him to become a Pro Bowl-type, shutdown defensive back.

That hasn't happened. Pro Football Weekly named him to its All-Rookie team in 2009, but that is about as much success as he has had in the NFL.

On Hard Knocks, Davis was clearly gassed constantly after entering camp out of shape. The coaches all mention that he's not trying hard enough and isn't taking his role seriously. Then, at one point, when the team is getting ready for some one-on-one drills, Davis had to leave the field to go to the bathroom. That is a serious no-no during an NFL practice. 

Davis looked awful, and it was a good look at what can happen to former first-round picks if they don't put in the work to get better. Natural talent will only take you so far in the NFL, and Davis needs to learn that quickly.