Dolphins coach Joe Philbin knows that many — probably most — NFL coaches would refuse to allow the Hard Knocks cameras into their meeting rooms. But with the final episode of the HBO reality show that focused on his team airing tonight, Philbin said he doesn’t see any negative consequences of having gone through the experience.
“I don’t have any regrets,” Philbin told Albert Breer of NFL Network. “I’m not sitting in my office and saying, ‘Geez, why did we do that?’ And if we win 15 games, it’s not gonna be because they were here, just like if we lose 13 games, it won’t be because they were here. It was a good experience, we met a lot of good people. That’s really it.”
Philbin also said he doesn’t think the cameras were a distraction, because the cameramen just became a few more people going about their jobs at the team’s facilities.
“They become part of the fabric of the team,” he said. “You know their names, they know you. You see them earlier in the day than you do a lot of other people, and later too. You get used to them being here, and so you go about your business. It doesn’t change the way we do anything.”
Although the teams that do Hard Knocks have the authority to tell the producers of the show not to air certain footage from practices and meetings, Philbin said he tried to be open. He noted, for instance, that he allowed his meeting with Chad Johnson to be shown, even though Johnson probably would have preferred not to be fired on TV.
“I felt bad for him,” Philbin said. “He didn’t want that out there necessarily. But, for example, we’d released Derek Dennis from Temple earlier, and that was in front of the cameras. I just didn’t feel like it was right to treat Chad any different than someone like Derek Dennis. If you’re going to do it in front of the cameras with other guys, you gotta do it with him. I just felt like it was the right thing to do, but it wasn’t easy.”
But while granting access to a reality TV show wasn’t easy, Philbin doesn’t believe it was detrimental to the team, either.