HBO's Hard Knocks has been a rousing success thus far. Three episodes into their series following the Miami Dolphins, they have done a great job showcasing the team and the inner workings of an NFL camp.
They have showed the highs, like Ryan Tannehill being named the starting quarterback. They have showed the lows, with Chad Johnson getting cut after being arrested for domestic abuse. There have been great storylines, like Les Brown and Chris Hogan's unlikely paths from the business world to the NFL.
But there has been a glaring omission from Hard Knocks: the defense. Where is the defense?! Other than Vontae Davis' conditioning woes and a brief feature on Kevin Burnett's family, the defense has been noticeably absent from the series.
Les Brown, Chad Johnson, Chris Hogan and the three quarterbacks have garnered a ton of attention, as has new offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. In addition to those individuals, the entire receiving and tight end corps have been under the spotlight for the first three episodes.
But where is new defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle? After serving as the Cincinnati Bengals' defensive backs coach for nine years, Coyle is finally getting his chance as a coordinator. I'd love to see more of how that's going.
I know Les Brown and Chris Hogan have good stories, but safety Jimmy Wilson's is as good, if not better. Wilson shot and killed the boyfriend of his aunt in 2007 and, after years of trial, was acquitted because the jury argued that he acted in self-defense.
Wilson returned to the University of Montana to continue playing football, and was drafted in the seventh round by Miami. Wilson is incredibly talented and should push for playing time this year.
Michael Egnew has been profiled quite a bit for his tendency to get lost in the action, only to return with a great play. But what about fellow third-round pick Olivier Vernon? The defensive end will be a backup, but he played at the University of Miami and would undoubtedly give some good footage.
Until this past episode, where he had a minor role in the post-Chad Johnson release discussions, captain Karlos Dansby was not featured at all. Dansby has a big personality and is the leader of the defense, so it would be nice to see him on screen more.
Lastly, how has Cameron Wake evaded the cameras so long? Miami's best defensive player, and probably second-best player on the entire team, has literally not appeared at all so far. I'd think he has everything HBO would want; he's a star player, incredibly talented, a great person and has an intriguing background.
Wake starred in the CFL after attending Penn State, and Miami signed him in 2009. He quickly became a feared pass-rusher and has emerged as one of the best defensive players in the entire NFL.
I know that the NFL is becoming more and more about high-powered offenses and lethal passing attacks, but Hard Knocks should give a little more attention to the defensive grind.
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