Watt says he picked up Dolphins’ snap count from Hard Knocks

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Do not ask for whom the bell tolls.  The bell tolls for Hard Knocks.

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt delivered a potential death blow to the show on Tuesday, explaining on NBC Network’s Pro Football Talk that he picked up the Dolphins’ snap count by watching the show.

He was a little sheepish and guarded when explaining it to co-host Erik Kuselias, saying that the same information can be picked up from the preseason game broadcasts.  But Watt said that it helped.

And that one line could provide future coaches and G.M.’s with the ammunition they need to push back against an owner who decides he wants to be a carnival barker.

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said in June that the choice to do Hard Knocks was a football decision.  Yes, it was.  A bad football decision.

It did nothing to help the team win.  It routinely televised embarrassing and sensitive moments involving players, driving a wedge between the organization and its most important employees and potentially making it harder (and costlier) to attract free agents to South Florida.

Though we love the show, no owner who wants to establish a football program that consistently wins games should ever want to do it.  There’s nothing to gain, and plenty to lose.

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63 responses to “Watt says he picked up Dolphins’ snap count from Hard Knocks

  1. I don’t think the coach ever wants to do HK. It’s the owner’s call and they do it to generate publicity.

    The lone exception, of course, is Rex Ryan. He wanted HK.

  2. It didn’t drive a wedge into the team merely because you said so. Guys didn’t complain about Davis getting traded because of Hard Knocks. They complain because he’s a good player who makes their team better.

  3. Like the Dolphins had a chance regardless. Although I’ll admit that this season was the worst of Hard Knocks, it’s definitely a fun show for the fans. And I seriously doubt, snap count not withstanding, that teams could really pick up that much from watching the show. If they could, no teams would do it, no matter how much they were paid or how many tickets it helped them sell.

  4. Before jumping on Hard Knocks for being a distraction, let’s first blame the Dolphins for not thinking that *maybe* they should change the snap count they’re showing on TV. They’re supposed to be professionals running a football team, not a dad training his kid’s classmates.

  5. That has very little to do with anything, snap counts change game to game and play to play.

    What he picked up from Hard knocks is how void of play makers the Dolphins offence is and how their rookie quaterback has zero help in any facet of the offence.

    He looks like a poised kid but if Sunday was any indication of the type of season they are going to have they are going to need a team of psychiatrists to deal with him soon.

  6. Sorry to argue with you Florio, but the great Vince Lombardi even brought cameras into his training camps. He knew players worked harder when cameras were on them.

  7. In hindsight, I tend to agree that it wasn’t such a good idea. They went out of their way to showcase the negatives. This makes for great TV, but it does nothing for a first year head coach and a fan base clinging to hope that maybe, just maybe our beloved Dolphins are on the right track. I still believe in #17 though.


  8. Good job JJ. Keep up the good work.
    Teams do not need to avoid doing Hard Knocks, they just need to be more involved in the editing process. Voices and signals can be altered during the editing process before the final cut hits the air. It is not that hard.
    GO T-E-X-A-N-S.

  9. Another bonehead move by Steve Ross that hurt this franchise. I wish he would just sell the team.

  10. Who f&$%#@g cares jj. By the looks of the above picture you should cut back on the roids, they will shrink your ball sack. Looks like you will be joining the WWF when your playing days are over by the looks of that picture.

  11. lol… he didn’t get ANYTHING from Hardknocks. I knew this would turn into a big deal.. and another way to bash the Dolphins.. but nothing came from watching Hard Knocks.. they didn’t show their “snap counts”.. only thing that was ever showed was preseason games. Which, were available anyway. Go watch the shows, id like to know who found a “Snap count” that compared in the show to the game on Sunday.

  12. Also teams have full control over what can and cannot be shown on T.V. I don’t think the Dolphins would allow blatant things they will use in a real game to be shown… such as their Snap counts lol

  13. Do not want read into Watts comments too much but I am almost sure he will have another game similar to this type of performance soon and I am almost positive the team it will be against did not do Hard Knocks this past off-season. Knowing the snap-count did not help him time his jump on the deflection and int the ball. If he knew the snap count so well I figured he would of finished with about 8 sacks. At the end of the day he watched Hard Knocks to learn a rookies snap count in order to have a stellar game. Hope he has HK tapes of his other opponents.

  14. The NFL should make it mandatory that every Superbowl Winner has to be on the show. That would be fun, and fair.
    Or just make it a random draw but that every team has to appear on the show eventually.
    Do it.

  15. They should record hard knocks and then wait a season to show it or show it at the end of the football season. People will still watch and coaches will have fewer reasons not to do the show.

  16. bottom line is JJ Watt was smart enough to pick this up by watching the show. JJ Watt is a beast of a player.

  17. These stories on Hard Knocks are getting worse by the minute. Seriously, I am sure he watched the show and found out anything about the snap count from taped practices when he has 4 preseason games worth of footage to watch and figure it out. Florio just likes to bash the Dolphins because they cut his favorite Mountaineer, Pat White.

  18. It’s really more about the team than anything. Look at the past participants and you will see some pretty reputable franchises have participated in Hard Knocks and have followed up with successful seasons. I would say that this show does more to cast Philbin in a bad light. I never saw an instance where his players looked like they reacted well to his coaching. Never really lit a fire under them, and from my spot on the couch, I could see why.

  19. All HK did was reinforce the idea that Jeff Ireland, is out of touch. Players talk, and also love HK just as much as us. Nobody wants to work for a guy, that tells you youre traded and then is trying to coach you up, and say if you were more consistent, we wouldn’t have traded you.

  20. Never let the truth get in the way of a story….

    The snap count is different on every play, unless the Dolphins used the exact same snap count on every single play of the game (they didn’t) he couldn’t have picked that up from Hard Knocks.

  21. They should give the team editing power to make sure things like that are not disclosed.

    Aside from that, Hard Knocks could be an important tool to help pull a team together.

  22. This is hilarious because back on December 10th 2006, the Dolphins upset the Patriots 21-0, and reportedly credited the idea that they used TV broadcast tapes to figure out the snap count. They sacked Brady 4x that night. What goes around comes around.

  23. JJ Watt, early favorite for Defensive Player of the Year. 1.5 Sacks, 3 passes defensed. Right now, he is the most disruptive interior lineman in the NFL. Everyone should watch him play…

  24. Yeah, because picking up the snap count can only happen when watching Hard Knocks.


  25. Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said in June that the choice to do Hard Knocks was a football decision. Yes, it was. A bad football decision.


    Yes, it was. A bad football decision… made by the dumb shirts up stairs not Joe!!!!

  26. Hard Knocks aside, the Miami Dolphins made the move a couple of months ago to put their PLAYBOOKS on an IPAD. Maybe Watt was blowing smoke about finding out information from Hard Knocks (ask yourself: have any other teams previously featured on the show had their snap counts decoded by other teams?)

    I’ll bet that some moron might have downloaded malware that allowed people outside of the organization to easily get some level of inside knowledge by stealing information electronically. I can only imagine … the iBelichick app?

  27. The JESTS will always want to do Hard Knocks, always! They love the sideshow, they love the circus. And their ringmaster head coach loves publicity more than he loves winning. How do I know? Because he never shuts the F up! He is always yapping, always boasting, always proclaiming, always commenting on anything and everything to the closest microphone or TV camera. They should just annually put the JESTS on, and be done with searching for a team every season.

  28. If they are really worried about the snap count or any secret information, then the team can view and edit out that sensitive stuff. If they are too stupid and lazy to do that then they shouldn’t expect to be able to keep lasting secrets.

    Also, the embarrassment is only because this is an embarrassing franchise and you have a nutjob like Jeff Ireland on the team who has very little value as a football manager and all he seems to provide to this team are those embarrassing moments. He’s making the team worse with personnel decisions and I would be terrified to join that team because of his presence.

    That’s the issue, is the employees that you hire for your organization and how they perform and make you look, not because you invite the public to learn more about your organization.

  29. I don’t think HCs don’t have a choice becoz if the owner sees it a money making way, he will do it.The HC in the end has to go and tell the fans that we as an org think that it will be good to have the fans go behind the scenes and see what goes on. HC is not lying coz he is part of that org. Yes it makes money for the owners but it makes the HCs job tougher

  30. Don’t let the truth get in the way of a story…

    The snap count is different for every play, so unless the Dolphins used the same snap count for every play in the game (they did not) there’s no way this clown picked it up on Hard Knocks.

  31. Are you people that stupid that you will buy into this idiodic article? The dolphins preseason games were all available for public viewing and all showed their snap counts in a much more accessible manner than hard knocks. The show had nothing to do with tannehill getting his passes deflected. Its been an issue of his since college. If you are gonna bash the team or the player at least have some itelligable insight behind where your hate comes from.

  32. If the snap count was the same for each play the qb would have been sacked 40 times. Dumb thing to say and nobody is that stupid. Not even a high school team uses the same snap count.

  33. Why is this guy all over the place??? He had a decent rookie year nothing spectacular and they beat up the worst team in the league. This dude needs to shut up. Let’s see how long it takes to get his 2nd sack.

  34. Watts just told us all he had an advantage from watching Hard Knocks. Who the hell are the fans to say no he didnt? lol. The man just told you he did!

  35. Why don’t they have a show about NFL cheerleaders? They could focus on the photo shoots for the cheerleader calendars, the cat fights, they could call it Hard Knockers, everyone would love it!

  36. “He was a little sheepish and guarded when explaining it to co-host Erik Kuselias”

    Because he pulled it straight out of his butt

  37. So why did it take Houston nearly the whole first half to stop Miami running all over them, too much made from hard knocks broadcasts i enjoyed watching, to many people always looking for negative things i suppose its more fun to ridicule, i think it brings football closer to the fans a human side rather than money, bling and fast cars. I will never forget the look on Vonte Davis`s face when told he was off to the Colts, he was one of my favourites on the team so i was pissed as well but lets move on its football.

  38. daggolden says: Sep 12, 2012 6:16 AM

    Watts just told us all he had an advantage from watching Hard Knocks. Who the hell are the fans to say no he didnt? lol. The man just told you he did!


    Sounds like a man with a publicist to me.

    “Just mention Hard Knocks JJ… all the papers and web-site’s will pimp your name!”

  39. JJ Watt might’ve used footage from Hard Knocks to crack Miami’s snap count (is that really that different from watching game film?) and somehow it’s turned into another reason why free agents won’t want to sign with Miami? Anything to bash the Dolphins these days it seems. Aren’t their fans miserable enough already?

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