After watching last night's episode of "Hard Knocks," I don't know why any team would volunteer to be on the show? An uptight NFL head coach letting cameras into a training facility for constant coverage seems to go against what NFL coaches have typically believed in. George Allen must be cringing in his grave.
Why would a business that does everything in its power not let out what its doing to the public invite the show to come film practices? The entire world now knows what the plans for the team are.
Two years ago, we found out who Danny Woodhead was thanks to "Hard Knocks." He was an undersized running back that had a knack for making plays. We were able to see his personality under the helmet and not judge him purely on what he does between the lines. "Hard Knocks" gives other teams the chance to see what weapons a team has. If the New York Giants had been on "Hard Knocks" last year, Victor Cruz would have been a known commodity before the season started.
The Jets cut Woodhead in 2010 and the Patriots picked him up. Woodhead had a breakout year with New England and might not have gotten that chance without being featured on HBO. The Jets gave its archenemy a weapon they otherwise would never had known about.
This year's Danny Woodhead could be Chris Hogan, or Reggie Bush calls him, 7-11, because he's always open. He's shown in practice and in the first preseason game he has the same knack for making plays that Woodhead had. If Miami decides not to keep him, a team that needs a receiver, like their division rival Jets, could scoop him up.
The league and viewers can see the mistakes the coaching staff makes with letting the wrong players go, or how they handle their business. I didn't like the mind games offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was playing with the tight ends in a meeting. He singled out player and told them they should be cut. I know the NFL needs to show tough love but now I understand when players say coaches treat the players like men. I didn't think Sherman showed that kind of respect to his players.
"Hard Knocks" will also balloon a small problem into the most talked about scandal in sports. Case in point, Chad Johnson. Cameras were rolling as we saw Johnson's life crumbling before us. He had already been arrested and the Dolphins didn't waste any time to release him. I think head coach Joe Philbin wasn't fond of Johnson to begin with and he saw his opportunity to part ways.
Looking at "Hard Knocks" from a football side, I don't know why any team would want to be on the show. But as a viewer, I hope HBO finds a willing team each year to make as compelling of a show as Hard Knocks is each year.
Last night's episode started out with Joe Philpin talking about the tragic death of his son in January and how he can relate to Andy Reid's situation. Viewers get to see how coaches and players are people dealing with personal issues like the rest of us. It humanizes the sport.
We also got to see quarterback David Garrard go from the top of the depth chart, to unexpectedly being sidelined for a month. We get to see how the trainers react to injuries and how they have to break the news to a head coach. We hear how players are injured all the time but we don't see how the process of an injury is handled.
Bringing it back to Johnson being cut, it's much more suspenseful seeing the conversation that Philbin and Johnson had, rather than just hearing about his release. We can see what went into the decision as an organization to release Johnson.
It's nothing new that we see things about an NFL team on "Hard Knocks" that we don't normally get see. I don't know why a franchise would want the world to see what they're doing during training camp, but I hope head coaches keep thinking differently.