Hard Knocks 2012: Why Every Football Fan Should Be Watching

Geoff Ratliff@@geoffratliffContributor IIIAugust 14, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS - AUGUST 10: Head coach Joe Philbin of the Miami Dolphins directs his team against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the NFL Preseason Game at Sun Life Stadium on August 10, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins may not be much to watch on the field in 2012, but they sure will make for good TV.

The HBO reality series Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins—which features an inside look at an NFL team during its preparation for the upcoming season—is in its seventh season, dating back to the 2001 debut, which looked in on the Baltimore Ravens.

The 2012 edition of Hard Knocks, which debuted on Tuesday, August 7 at 10 p.m. ET, will be a little less dramatic following Miami's recent release of wide receiver Chad Johnson after he was arrested on a domestic violence charge. But aside from the off-the-field drama, there are plenty of reasons for true NFL fans to watch the show, which airs every Tuesday night through September 23.

This will be the first season of Hard Knocks to feature a team with a new head coach, let alone one in his first NFL head coaching job with any team.This will give fans a chance to see how former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin goes about preparing his team for the regular season while simultaneously learning what it takes to be a head coach at the NFL level and trying to put his personal imprint on the team.

His quick decision to release Johnson has already been questioned by one Dolphins' veteran, and there are sure to be more unpopular decisions made.

There's also the three-way quarterback battle between last year's starter Matt Moore, NFL veteran David Garrard, and rookie and No. 8 overall draft pick Ryan Tannehill. Although Moore played well for the Dolphins last year, Garrard seemed to have the inside track on the starting job before suffering a knee injury that is expected to keep him out anywhere from 2-4 weeks.

That opens the door for Moore to either prove that he can build on his success from 2011 or for Tannehill to show Miami that he is ready to start right away, like so many other rookie quarterbacks have over the past few seasons.

The 2007 season of Hard Knocks, which featured the Kansas City Chiefs, was the only other season to feature a true preseason quarterback competition. Needless to say, the Damon Huard vs. Brodie Croyle battle was less intriguing than the 2012 showdown in Miami is sure to be.

If the coaching change and quarterback battle aren't enough to draw you in, the Dolphins will also be scrambling to sort out their wide receiving corps following the release of Johnson and the offseason trade of Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears.

There's also the question of whether or not Miami's second-year running back Daniel Thomas can become a bigger factor in the offense and if Reggie Bush can duplicate his 2011 season, when he finally established himself as a legitimate No. 1 back in the NFL.

And if all those football reasons still aren't enough to convince you to watch Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Miami Dolphins, just ask yourself this question: When was the last time you didn't enjoy a TV show based in Miami?