HBO's "Hard Knocks" concluded its 2012 series with the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday night.
Here are some notes on the season finale:
The episode starts with left tackle Jake Long's practice injury. Long tells Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin that his knee was "rolled up" by a teammate. Miami's head trainer later described the injury to Philbin as a Grade 1 or Grade 2 knee sprain. It would be a surprise if Long misses Sunday’s opener against the Houston Texans.
Philbin really likes third-string quarterback Pat Devlin -- so much so that Miami offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said he's "never seen anything like it." Sherman explains that a third-string quarterback is lucky if a head coach knows his name. But Philbin is constantly praising Devlin in practice.
Speaking of Devlin, Miami tight ends coach Dan Campbell said earlier in the preseason that Devlin reminded him of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo when Romo first came into the league. When Campbell, a former teammate of Romo's, ran into Romo before their preseason finale, the quarterback jokingly told Campbell to never compare another QB to him again. Campbell responded by saying "Don't watch that stuff."
Miami's coaching staff was not happy with the preseason finale. Philbin said he's not sure he's ever been that disappointed in a football team after a game, even though it was a fourth preseason game. I thought it was a bit overboard, considering the circumstances. But Philbin does have legitimate concerns that he hasn't seen the team play well for long stretches.
Former Dolphins receiver Chad Johnson made a cameo appearance. Johnson said he let the Dolphins down and he has to start all over. Johnson apologized for his transgression and said he has to rebuild and come back stronger. Johnson said he lost two things that he loved: his wife and football. Johnson thinks he still has five good years left to play and wants another chance.
The show wrapped up by showing several of the roster cuts. Unfortunately, HBO did not get footage of the release of David Garrard, who was cut Tuesday afternoon.
Many had their doubts, but it was a very good season of "Hard Knocks." Miami had plenty of intrigue with the Johnson fiasco and the unpredictable three-way quarterback competition that ended with rookie Ryan Tannehill winning the job.
Now it's time for the Dolphins to take the all-access cameras out of their facilities and prepare for the regular season. The Dolphins have a tough Week 1 matchup Sunday.
If you missed any episodes of "Hard Knocks," here is a comprehensive recap from the AFC East blog: