Last night’s episode of Hard Knocks was the second-most watched episode in the shows history, HBO announced Wednesday.
And while the vast majority of the 984,000 viewers (behind only the 2010 Jets finale) tuned in to see Chad Johnson get cut just before the credits rolled, they also saw a few other Dolphins raked across the coals.
No player had a worse night than Johnson, but wide receiver Roberto Wallace might have been close.
Or, as the Dolphins coaches refer to him, Roberto “Ankle Weights” Wallace.
That was the nickname coaches gave him during a meeting to describe his lack of speed in and out of breaks and his inability to get open.
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald wrote that Wallace wasn’t happy about it, but wasn’t going to let it become an issue.
“At the end of the day it’s a show,” Wallace said. “That’s what they’ll do. Obviously they pointed out all of the negatives which is part of the show. People like drama more than anything. They did it to Vontae [Davis] last week. I try to come out here and try to get better.
“Whatever criticism the coaches have, I can’t control that. What I can control is my effort and my attitude. So I come out here with a positive attitude every day and leave it at that.”
Michael Egnew, the rookie tight end who offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said he wanted to cut, was equally embarrassed.
When he was asked if he got calls and texts of support from his friends and family, Egnew replied: “I shut my phone off.”
“I guarantee any player can tell you the experience,” he said. “It’s one of those things that happens a lot because he wants the best out of his players. It just so happens that mine made the episode and it’s OK.”
Coaches bust on players behind closed doors in every camp, and then cut many of them. But they aren’t all under constant surveillance.
Wallace and Egnew’s egos are merely the collateral damage for their bosses’ desire to publicize the team, and any amount of hard feelings is just the cost of doing business for the agenda management’s pushing.