By Thomas Galicia (@thomasgalicia)
After an explosive second episode of Hard Knocks, a letdown was sure to ensue in episode three.
Then we caught John Jerry throwing up on the Dolphins logo in the endzone of the practice bubble and knew that while it wasn't going to be as explosive as last week, it would be entertaining in it's own right.
First thing we see is Jeff Ireland listening to Karlos Dansby's appearance on the Sid Rosenberg Show. Dansby came out swinging as we all recall from the interview, stating that the release would be an unwelcome distraction to the team (the irony of course is that a current player complaining about the release of a former player is probably more distracting, especially when players get released during training camp all the time).
This leads to Philbin meeting with the team, stating that: "You're not going to agree with every decision that Jeff (Ireland) makes or the input I have in it, but ultimately, you have to be supportive." Had I been Philbin I probably would've used different wording on that one. You have to be supportive? How about a simple "if you have a problem with it, come to me, don't complain about it to the media" which is really what he was trying to say (at least I think that's what he's trying to say but who knows).
Reggie Bush then asked Philbin for a meeting. Bush and Philbin would be joined in the meeting by Jake Long and Karlos Dansby himself. From there the three spoke to Philbin about how the Johnson situation was handled as well as their own opinions on how it should've been handled. The three veterans showed their leadership as they showed respect for Philbin while at the same time being firm in their beliefs. This leads to Philbin setting up a leadership council involving the three. I couldn't think of three better people on the Dolphins for this committee (although Cam Wake should be a part of it as well), however one has to wonder how the committee will deal with any potential problems down the road.
Bush was further emphasized, mainly his work ethic. We all knew that Bush is a hard worker, he has been since his days at USC (which according to the NCAA never happened due to his accepting "improper benefits") up until now. Bush's goal is to lead the NFL in rushing yards, and is working towards that goal in a very meticulous matter.
Speaking of meticulous, that's likely the best word to describe Joe Philbin. Well anal retentive seems to be a better word as he keeps track of untied shoelaces, a messy locker room, and picks up trash from the practice bubble. I was hoping we would see Philbin scrub up Jerry's puke, but alas, this wouldn't happen.
Forgive me for skipping over what happened between Bush's spotlight and me cracking jokes on Philbin's anal-retentiveness (which is actually a pretty good quality for a head coach to have provided he doesn't go overboard on how neat the locker room is). The offensive line was looked at, first Jonathan Martin.
Martin looked terrible against Carolina, yet in practice was actually pretty good. Martin earned praise from offensive line coach Jim Turner, who predicted that Martin would be Miami's week one starter at right tackle. Considering what we know about *spoiler alert* Tannehill being the starting quarterback, this has me worried to no end. Scarier still, Turner is right, only by default. The Dolphins' right side of the O-Line is beyond atrocious at this point as shown by John Jerry.
What did we learn about John Jerry? Well, nothing. Apparently the coaching staff is as frustrated at him as all of the fans are. Because of his failures on the field (apparently he's as good in practice as he is during the game, which it to say not at all), he's given extra work. That's when Jerry decided to eject his breakfast onto the field. Interestingly, his play on the field is still more disgusting then his puke on the field, if anything I'm willing to just assume that his vomit would do a better job at right guard than he has in his three years in Miami.
If you think there's a chance Eric Steinbach could help plug that hole on the right side, well that doesn't look possible. In speaking with Philbin, Steinbach appears reflective of his career while mentioning that he "doesn't want to bring up retirement".
From there we go to the rookie talent show, which didn't include an appearance from Coach Philbin (who would ask if it was "clean"), but did include a power point presentation that had the obvious joke comparing Philbin to South Park's Mr. Mackey (by the way, Nick Saban sounded like Mr. Mackey with an anger management problem while with the Dolphins) as well as another joke comparing Matt Moore to Jack Black's character in Nacho Libre. It was a bit entertaining, and at least a shade better than Ryan Tannehill's rendition of Lean On Me.
A quick look at Vontae Davis shows that he is improving (something I saw in the preseason game), along with David Garrard recovering from his knee surgery. Nothing to exciting here as it leads to the preseason game against Carolina.
Now the Carolina game was by no means a good one. I would say that Tannehill was one of the few shining stars from that game, mainly because he didn't make a single bad decision. However he and Jonathan Martin spoke to Philbin after the initial drive, one where both had their problems.
Then we see Davis defending himself after the still dubious personal foul call against him due to his battle with Steve Smith. I say dubious because it was Smith that initiated the contact and continued it while all Davis was doing was trying to get him off of him.
Tannehill's touchdown drive was shown, which led offensive coordinator Mike Sherman (who right now is the coach I'm most impressed with) to quip that "it was like giving birth."
While Chris Hogan didn't get much play in this episode (Les Brown and the trip he and his wife made to the Everglades did), we did see a nice catch from him. Right now I think its safe to say that Mr. 7-11 is a lock to make the team.
The episode ends with the second most important decision in Miami sports since 2010. The Dolphins informed Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill of their decision to start Tannehill in Week 1. Moore is obviously disappointed, however he shows class afterwards and tells Coach Philbin that he's "100% with him", while quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor informs Tannehill that they're "counting on you to lead us to some big things this year."
What those big things are, we don't know. The super optimistic Dolphins fan in me hopes its a Super Bowl, but we know better. I'm reasonably optimistic about Tannehill based on his decision making, but I still have questions about the rest of the team, questions to be answered not next week during episode four, but throughout the season.
Thomas Galicia is a Miami Dolphins Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.