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Miami Dolphins: 6 Players Who Could Replace Chad Johnson as Star of Hard Knocks

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IJune 3, 2016

Miami Dolphins: 6 Players Who Could Replace Chad Johnson as Star of Hard Knocks

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    After Chad Johnson was released by the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, I discussed which receivers would step up and take advantage of the open starting receiver spot. Now, it's time to look at which player will step up and take advantage of a different spot Johnson leaves vacant: the star of Hard Knocks

    In the first episode, Johnson had multiple scenes focused solely on him and his antics. They showed clips of him running routes and making impressive catches, but also followed the wideout off the field. He got plenty of solo interview time (bad language) with the camera, but was also followed around his actual life. 

    One scene showed a discussion between him and his wife whom he allegedly head butted. Part of this uncensored interview (more bad language) was also included in the show, followed by a scene where Philbin approached Johnson and ask him to tone it down.

    Johnson will be in some of tonight's second episode, but there are still three more to follow. Here are the top candidates to receive more airtime and steal the show.  

Mike Pouncey

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    Maybe I'm the only one who didn't know this, but Pouncey has a much bigger personality than I was aware of. In the first episode, Pouncey was introduced while sitting in a barber chair, getting spiffed up for the start of training camp.

    Pouncey made sure he got his hairline shaped up and nose cleaned, because as Pouncey told the camera, "You never know". 

    The second-year center also happens to be the team's best offensive lineman not named Jake Long, and could vault himself into being one of the best centers in the entire NFL this year. Look for Pouncey to get more attention as the series goes on. 

Reggie Bush

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    Noticeably absent from the first episode of Hard Knocks was Reggie Bush. His only real screen time occurred with Chad Johnson, when the two were playing a game of FIFA. It was one of the episode's best scenes, but Bush disappeared afterwards.

    After winning the Heisman Trophy at USC, going second overall in the NFL draft, and dating Kim Kardashian, Bush is used to the limelight. But because of all those things, I think Bush is vastly misunderstood by the public.

    Bush is arguably the hardest worker on the team, and is always praised by teammates. He emerged as one of the team's leaders in his first season with Miami, and seems like a hardworking, team-oriented guy with good character. I hope he gets more airtime to show people how he really is. 

The Tannehills

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    Ryan and Lauren Tannehill should, without a doubt, get the most airtime of anyone on Hard Knocks. No matter what they're doing, people of any age, gender, or fandom can find something of interest concerning the newlywed couple. 

    Lauren Tannehill needs to get more attention on her own. Her unbelievably good looks are obvious, but people want to find out what she is like, and more specifically, what her and Ryan's relationship is like. 

    Ryan himself has a big few weeks on his hands. With David Garrard's surgery, the starting job is there for the taking. Tannehill has been extremely impressive thus far, and his quest to start should be a major focus for the rest of the episodes. 

Matt Moore

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    Ryan Tannehill's competition for the starting quarterback spot, Matt Moore, is another good candidate to steal the remainder of the show. Quarterback battles are always entertaining, and Moore will get his fair share of attention as the duel rages on.

    The five-year veteran was Miami's team MVP last season, and clearly has the respect of his teammates. He is liked by coaches and fans alike, and deserves to be put in the spotlight for at least a little while.   

    The first episode of Hard Knocks profiled some of Moore's life at home. Moore and his wife had their first child last year, and so his home life is definitely interesting on its own. The quarterback also talked about The Bachelorette and mentioned that he doesn't care what people think, so he could prove to be goofier than expected.

Vontae Davis

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    Vontae is a character. Even though his work ethic is questionable and he is frustrating at times, there's no denying that he is entertaining.

    He showed up out of shape yet again for training camp, so count on HBO following him around as he tries to get back into shape. Richard Marshall started over him in the Dolphins' first preseason game, so Davis will have to play a lot of catch up.

    Between his quest to regain his starting spot and his comical nature, Davis should be a major part of the next few episodes. 

Cameron Wake

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    I literally don't think Wake's face was shown once during the first episode of Hard Knocks. The former CFL star has turned into one of the best defensive players in the entire NFL over the past few seasons. 

    Even though his stats last season aren't as impressive as they were in 2010, Wake still had a phenomenal year and is the most talented player on Miami's defense. 

    But for as good as Wake is, he doesn't get much attention around the league. He was signed in 2009 by Miami as an undrafted free agent. The 30-year-old was not drafted out of Penn State in 2005, and bounced around for years before landing in Miami, so nobody knew who he was until he started racking up sacks for the Dolphins. 

    Wake deserves some more face time. For all his recent success he seems like a really down to earth guy and I think his humble personality would shine through on Hard Knocks.

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