Head Coach Joe Philbin confirmed the news after this morning’s OTA session, revealing that fans around the world will now get an up close and personal look at training camp. The Dolphins were chosen by the National Football League and HBO to be that team that will allow the cameras to go behind the scenes for five one-hour episodes debuting Tuesday, August 7th, and running each subsequent Tuesday.
“Number one it was a football decision and it was made by the football operations staff,” Philbin said. “Our owner, Steve Ross, supported our decision but in no way, shape or form forced us to make this decision. I’m personally very excited about it and I shared my thoughts about it with our football team this morning. It’s a football show and it’s a show that’s going to showcase our players and the great group of men that we have assembled here in Miami as they go through training camp.
“The second thing is I think it’s a great opportunity for us to connect with our fans and to the people that aren’t going to be able to come out here on a daily basis in 110-degree heat index weather and watch our guys participate in training camp. The third thing is I think it’s a chance for us to show the new direction, the identity of this football team, where we’re headed and at the same time also connect with our past and the great history, tradition and heritage that we have here in Miami.”
For more than a decade, the popular cable television series has given fans a new perspective on the nation’s most popular sport and has consistently drawn high ratings. It’s allowed the viewer to feel as if he or she is on the sideline and in the locker room with the team.
Philbin isn’t concerned about any perceived distractions because he reminded his team that there are cameras everywhere on Sunday afternoon during game day. He doesn’t plan to do anything different in practice or the meeting rooms just because the cameras are there.
“I think the number one thing in coaching from a philosophical standpoint is that you have to be yourself,” said Philbin, who is in his first year as a head coach in the league. “Probably 20 years from now it will be a lot of fun to watch but I’ve never seen the show. That’s the truth and I certainly wasn’t necessarily auditioning for it. The easy answer would have been to say no but we thought it was in the best interest of the organization at this point to do it.”
Four current members of the Dolphins have been on Hard Knocks in the past – defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle when he was with the Cincinnati Bengals, quarterback
“On the 40th anniversary of the greatest season in NFL history – Don Shula’s perfect ’72 Dolphins – it is perfectly fitting that Hard Knocks is heading to Miami to capture the start of a new era for one of the league’s proudest teams,” said NFL Films president Steve Sabol. “After Hard Knocks’ hiatus last summer, I know our team at NFL Films can’t wait to get back on the field.”