Hard Knocks 2012: Latest Episode Paints Anemic Picture of Dolphins Offense

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - AUGUST 10:  Quarterback Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins throws a pass 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 are going to be a dreadful offensive team in 2012.

Well, that’s the feeling you get after watching episode two of HBO’s hit series Hard Knocks which aired on Tuesday night.

The show focused primarily around offensive players, and the results weren’t pretty.

In the first half of the show it was mostly about some of the young receivers trying to make their mark in practice. They showed Roberto Wallace struggle to get open despite having all of the physical tools to be a starter in the league. The HBO boom mic’s were able to capture the frustration some of the coaches had with the 2010 undrafted wide out.

He clearly looked over-matched, then went out and caught four receptions for 71 yards in the Dolphins 20-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So maybe he is beginning to show improvements, even if it’s against the backups for the Bucs. Then again, he did drop a TD catch.

Then there was Charles Clay, one of the few bright spots of the episode. The second-year pro caught three balls for 49 yards and the only TD of the game, and now seems to have a roster spot locked up.

But he’s a fullback who plays a lot of tight end in this offense, so it’s not like Clay will be fixing the issues by himself.

The QB battle was looking rather competitive until David Garrard hurt his knee off the field. It will keep him out of action for a month, which led to a bizarre exchange when the Dolphins’ coaches forgot to tell Matt Moore he was now the starter—and he was shocked.

Moore only completed 7-of-12 passes for 79 yards and an interception in the preseason game. Ryan Tannehill looked mediocre against backups. The coaches were excited, but he certainly had his share of mental mistakes, something you would expect from a rookie, I suppose.  

The running game registered just 43 yards as the ‘Fins couldn’t muster more than a single TD. The O-Line was poor and the blocking by the skill positions was awful, an issue addressed in the episode with the struggles of tight end Les Brown.

Then the highly dramatic scene where Chad Johnson was cut closed the episode. He looked pretty good in practice from the clips Hard Knocks provided, and seemed to be a lock to make the team.

But in wake of his arrest for head-butting his wife, coach Joe Philbin decided to cut him loose in an incredibly awkward exchange.

That was the abrupt end to the episode, and it was a fitting way to do so.

The Dolphins offense has no identity, little talent and few rookies who can make an impact. This team is destined to rank in the last third of the league in every offensive category as Tannehill learns on the fly with little help, and it would be a real shock if they were to muster seven wins this season.

It’s painful to watch, but as always the HBO crew does a great job of making the viewer feel like they are in the middle of the action.

The take away is simple: The Miami offense is in deep trouble.