The second episode of HBO's Hard Knocks series ended with the release of veteran wide receiver Chad Johnson, following charges of domestic violence against the wide receiver. The third episode opened up with some of the veteran leaders on the team approaching the coaching staff about Johnson's release.
Running back Reggie Bush requested a sit-down meeting with head coach Joe Philbin. Linebacker Karlos Dansby and offensive lineman Jake Long also joined the meeting to discuss Johnson's release. When Philbin was approached, he seemed rather hesitant to accept a meeting on the subject, but he placated his players.
"This is not necessarily an attempt to get Chad back," Bush said as they sat down for the meeting. "It's just more so for the guys in leadership positions to have a system that we can kind of go by. Here's a guy who's in trouble and if we feel like we can do something for him, we can help him out or set some parameters or guidelines for him before you guys make a decision.
"Obviously since he [Chad Johnson] got here it was a bit of a media mess," Bush continued. "We feel like if we could have stepped in as a group, from a leadership standpoint, maybe we might have been able to save him."
"Alert guys that they're pushing it to the limit, let us know," Dansby told Philbin.
After the meeting, it was decided that the team needed to have a leadership council that will meet with the coaching staff once a week informally until the team cuts down to the 53-man roster, then make it an official meeting.
After the meeting, the episode turns its focus to Bush, as Philbin praises how he's handled himself. It features Bush working after practice on conditioning and working with rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Bush notes his goals for his season, including averaging 4 yards per carry and leading the NFL in rushing. Bush also hits on being a leader on the team, noting that if you treat your teammates like brothers, criticism will resonate more than if you just keep getting on their case.
"He's a catastrophe on tape today," Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner said about watching right guard John Jerry on film as the show turned it's sights on the offensive line. The show focuses on the struggles of Jerry, who's the only player left on the roster overweight. Tipping the scales at 360 pounds, Jerry has great physical ability but he's not nearly as good as he could be if he was playing about 30 pounds lighter, the coaching staff notes. Turner continues in on Jerry as the coaches watch film, noting all of the errors by the right guard. Turner decides that instead of lightening Jerry's load, he's going to go full force and make Jerry prove that he wants it, to test him.
This leads to Jerry puking on the Miami Dolphins logo in the end zone after taking a massive amount of reps.
After veteran guard Eric Steinbach meets with Philbin to make it known he's considering retirement, fans get a look at the infamous rookie talent show. Jerry makes an appeared again as the butt of a lot of the jokes, being compared to Big Black from MTV's "Rob & Big" and the target of Jim Turner's ire as another rookie does an impression of the coach.
Jerry takes it all in stride however, nearly falling out of his chair laughing at himself.
The show then moves on to injured quarterback David Garrard, who's recovering from a surprise knee surgery he had to undergo in the show's last episode. You can see Garrard come into the building gingerly on crutches. "It's coming good," Garrard told the the cameras. "All the doctors and trainers says it looking good. Just got to keep working and rehabbing it to get to 100 percent."
"We don't get to play this game forever," Garrard said. "Just going to battle back from it and let the chips lie where they are."
Continuing with the quarterbacks, the show focuses in on the quarterback battle between Matt Moore and rookie first-round pick Ryan Tannehill, as the coaching staff is trying to decide who's going to start. As Moore works on his footwork while making his throws, Tannehill attempts to deal with a "dead arm" three weeks into camp as he struggles to make some of his throws.
Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman explains to the coaching staff that to get a real feel for where Tannehill is at, his former college quarterback needs to get real work with the first team offense. Tannehill is told he's going to be starting the game with Moore coming in around mid-way through the second quarter.
After the Dolphins' second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, which ended in an interception in the end zone by Pat Devlin, the coaching staff decided that Tannehill was going to be the team's starter. Moore was clearly frustrated when meeting with the team's quarterback coach, Zac Taylor, after being told he's "the best back-up quarterback in the NFL," but has been in the situation before and knew how to handle it.
"I get it. I understand," Moore said to Philbin in a one-on-one meeting. "I guess it's good to know, instead of all the questions all over the place. I told Zac [Taylor] from the beginning as long as we know what's going on, you're not going to hurt anyone's feelings."