Dolphins claim Hard Knocks is a “football decision”

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Plenty of teams said “no” to Hard Knocks, for various reasons.  The Dolphins agreed to do it.

On Tuesday, coach Joe Philbin discussed the situation, calling it a “football decision.”


“We’re excited that NFL Films and HBO has chosen the Miami Dolphins to appear on Hard Knocks,” Philbin said, via the video box on the right rail of the site.  “I want you to know a couple things about the decision.  Number one, it was a football decision.  It was made by the football operations staff.  Our owner, [Stephen Ross], supported our decision but in no way, shape, or form forced us to make this decision.”

Many will believe otherwise, especially since G.M. Jeff Ireland grew up in the Bill Parcells school of ultra-secrecy.

But as the Dolphins struggle to generate interest in the team via conventional means (you know, by winning more games than they lose), the team has to do something to get people sufficiently engaged to buy tickets to the games.  Thus, the Dolphins are now more available to the media — and they’ll be even more available once the NFL Films cameras and microphones show up.

To the extent that the appearance arises from a football decision, Philbin didn’t really articulate a football reason.  He said the that show will “showcase our players” and provide a “great opportunity for us to communicate with our fans.”  While those concerns reflect prudent business reasons, there’s no obvious basis for the move, from a football standpoint.

In contrast, Vince Lombardi liked having NFL Films camera crews around because it made his players work harder.  If that’s the basis for the “football decision,” why not say so?

And so the Dolphins will deny that the move was driven by dollars and cents, and the rest of us won’t believe them.  But at least we finally know who the team will be, even if the end result likely will be far less compelling than if the Jets, Saints, Broncos, Colts, or Redskins had done it.

38 responses to “Dolphins claim Hard Knocks is a “football decision”

  1. It rather funny……Miami for years was a very secretive franchise and they were criticized heavily by local and national media. Now that they have opened the lines of communication nobody believes a word that they say. They might as well go back to leaving everybody in the dark. So Stephen Ross let a few celebrity owners buy a piece of the franchise. Get over it. He is not trying to push his agenda on the football side of the business. He just wants to win.

  2. A “football decision”? Yeah, okay. In the same way that robbing a bank is a monetary decision.

  3. How about the fact that Hard Knocks could help dissolve the notion that “no one wants to play in Miami” and help rid the negative stigma around the league the Dolphins may have with players. This could prove helpful in the long run by providing insight into the franchise to future free agent players and perhaps increase their likelihood to sign with the Dolphins…I can only hope.

  4. Is it just me, or has the historically relevant miami dolphins franchise become the victim of one of the most incompetent front offices this side of San Diego, with little else left to do save for becoming a South Beach serial. Please, sell the team.

  5. Really with the negativity. It’s great the dolphins have opened the team to the national public, more teams should try it. It’s great for football no matter what team it is.

  6. From a marketing standpoint, it makes sense to generate fan interest for your team.
    And boy, do they need fan interest in Miami.

  7. Maybe Hard Knocks can ask GM Jeff Ireland if his Mom ever…

    Maybe not.

  8. The Ravens who are universally regarded as one of the best franchises in the NFL did Hard Knocks and there was no crticism or negativity towards their decision. Miami just has to realize that every decision they make is going to be greeted with a negative spin until they start winning games. There is no other solution other than having a winning season.

  9. I wont be watching the boreing dolphins on hardnocks they dont have any superstars like the JETS with TIMMY TEBOW and stantana holmes Q COPLES

  10. Many will believe otherwise, especially since G.M. Jeff Ireland grew up in the Bill Parcells school of ultra-secrecy.


    Jeff Ireland and Bill Parcells have already been a part of HK with Dallas. Try Again.

  11. “Number one, it was a football decision.”

    If you mean “football decision” to generate interest in an otherwise uninteresting team, thereby generating sales of team logo’d merchandise & apparel in order to make the owner & the NFL more money, then I agree with you Joe.
    But if you mean “football decision” in order to put a better product on the field…well…I don’t know how you said it with a straight face.

  12. Parcells’s departure from Miami seemed abrupt. But now I’m surprised he didn’t take his money and run the day Ross bought the team.

  13. Jeff Ireland and Bill Parcells have already been a part of HK with Dallas. Try Again.

    ————————————————–Only Jeff Ireland not Bill.

  14. It’s too bad that Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are no longer together. If the Fins could’ve had J-Lo, Venus and Serena Williams, and Fergie in the hottie suite (also known as the luxury box of Sun Life Stadium) that would make Hard Knocks an even better viewing experience!!!

    However, on the football side I hope Ryan Tannehill’s doesn’t face any career jeopardy or hurdle due to this!

  15. As a Dolphin fan, there was one thing I was sure of when all the banter about some possibilities for Hard Knocks: the Miami Dolphins surely wouldn’t do it.

    Now I’m just hoping they don’t come off as as much of a mess behind the scenes as they are typically portrayed in the media.

    At least now I’ll know more about my favorite squad going into 2012…

  16. This screams of, “Hey, everybody is paying attention to the Heat. What can we do to drum up some media attention…”

  17. Eventually ALL teams will be recorded ala Hard Knocks style for the NFL channel so the fins are just getting in the good graces of their bosses.

  18. It is a football decision, this might be the move that finally allows them to have more Dolphins fans cheering for them at home games than fans of the opposing team.

  19. The “football decision” aspect of this is obvious: an attempt at adding a sense of energy and urgency to the summer camp.

    Honestly, I think Miami is the one team that might benefit from doing this in Philban Year One.

    And a gutsy decision by Ireland.

    Screw the haters…I’m looking forward to it.

  20. How is it the Dolphins are “less compelling”. The Dolphins top 10 QB pick (who has been cast as a reach by the experts) is actually competing to be the starter, rather than having it handed to him. They have a new head coach (as opposed to a suspended one) who displays integrity and professionalism, while also coping with personal tragedy. Of course the Jets have Tebow, but the media is already gone overkill on that story (and will continue), but otherwise, it would be no better than a repeat.

    But this is why the Dolphins need to do it.

    To overcome this constant media driven refrain of the Dolphins as dysfunctional and irrelevant by allowing the NFL fans in. If they succeed (as I believe they will), they will gain respect as a team moving in the right direction and relevant. Yes. it will have a positive impact for the fans, while also having a positive impact on the team and it’s players. So it is in this way that it should be considered a football decision, and a very good one for this team.

  21. lookingforanewteam says: May 29, 2012 7:51 PM

    I’m done. 40 years and I’m looking for a new team.


    Great news for the rest of us. May I suggest Jacksonville. Oh wait, being a front runner (i.e. fair weather fan), you will need a team with a winning record won’t you. After all, that’s much easier.

    44 years… and I’m looking for resurgence!

  22. Hey lookilooking4anewteam….See ya and make sure to take all of the otber negative and whiny fans with you. Don’t you dare jump back on the bandwagon when miami starts winning again which will happen sooner than most think

  23. What a joke. All the fin fans that say this is a good move are dumb. Nothing exciting about this team. What a joke. Hard to root for this pathetic team

  24. Sad indeed that even the casual Dolphins fan can’t get excited about this move. The 1:30 second clips on the internet are much better right? Week 6 and the Fins look poised don’t come crying back. GO DOLPHINS.

  25. I am disappointed in the Dolphins. Oh, I understand why they agreed – they are desperate to drum up some interest in the team and their games. But really, no one has ever come out looking good doing the show. Win a few games and the fans will take notice.

  26. Why wouldn’t Miami do it?

    It is a smart decision.

    Everyone already thinks they are a dysfunctional group…

    Worse case scenario; you prove it and clean house.

    Best case, you get your training camp chronicled every week on an Emmy winning, critically acclaimed program by the same channel that made The Sopranos.

    As a Dolphins fan, I’m excited for extra coverage!

    Either way, not much to lose.

  27. By the end of the Hard Knocks season there will be at least 2-5 Fins players who gain national attention for their personality and/or hard work which could lead to jersey sales among other things. That cant be bad for the Fins….their only real perennial star right now is Jake Long. Reggie has to have a few more seasons of production…..on field not off-field. I would like to see some off the after practice work-outs that Reggie does….when practice is over his practice is just beginning.

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