HBO announced on Tuesday that the Miami Dolphins have been chosen as the focus of this year's edition of "Hard Knocks," fans will get a very close look at a team that had a rough past 12 months.
The Dolphins lost their first seven games of the 2011 season, fired head coach Tony Sparano after week 14 and finished 6-10. In the offseason, they were ostensibly involved in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, though in the final analysis he probably had no real interest in joining them.
Ryan Tannehill could be one of the major story lines of the 2012 edition of Hard Knocks.
They dealt their top wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Bears, without bringing in much to replace him, and the Dolphins were embarrassed to be rejected by Jeff Fisher for the head coaching job.
Hard Knocks though will give the Dolphins a chance to show off a little, and perhaps show many fans that they aren't quite as inept as they appear to be.
Here are a few story lines that should keep viewers interested and excited to follow this team.
Yes, Tannehill was the "other guy" among quarterbacks in this year's draft, as the third man selected after Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III; however, on Hard Knocks he should feature prominently.
Tannehill figures to be part of a quarterback battle with Matt Moore and possibly David Garrard, for the starting job this season while he attempts to acclimate to the NFL, which will keep things interesting on the field, and his wife Lauren will keep things interesting off the field.
Lauren is an aspiring model who became a trending topic on Twitter and an object of national attention for her beauty when her husband was drafted. Bet on her getting plenty of screen time as well.
The Accountant Who Would Be A Tight End
Les Brown may not even make the Dolphins roster this year, but expect his struggle to do that to be a focus of the show. Brown was an accountant at this time last season, two years removed from his days as a Division II college basketball player.
He has taken a bizarre route to the NFL and as a result his story will be hard to ignore.
Don't Give Up
In addition to Brown's inspiring story, the Dolphins feature two of the NFL's best rags-to-riches stories. Cameron Wake was a star linebacker for Penn State from 2001-2005 but he went undrafted out of college. The Giants signed Wake but cut him early in training camp.
After a year out of the game, he signed for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League and resurrected his career. After winning rookie of the year, and back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards in Canada, the Dolphins came calling.
The Dolphins also have Davon Bess. Bess lost his scholarship to Oregon State before he ever started there as a freshman, when he was sentenced to 21 months in a Juvenile Detention Facility for allowing a friend to store stolen items in his car.
While in detention he played 7-on-7 football, a tape of his highlights was sent to University of Hawaii coach June Jones who gave Bess an opportunity when he got out. He made the most of the opportunity and was a three-time All-WAC selection at Hawaii.
Bess was an undrafted signee of the Dolphins but he continued to produce and has hung on as a wide receiver with the team.
The Odd Ball
Every season of Hard Knocks seems to shed light on one player who is just plain odd. This year will be no different as soon as the cameras get a chance to meet Dolphins cornerback Vontae Davis.
Davis has been a great corner for the Dolphins who have stepped into a starting role from his first day with the team. But off the field Davis lives on his own planet. He has a high pitched voice and a strange take on just about everything.
Expect him to be one of the more memorable players.
The Dolphins best known player, Reggie Bush, will probably be important to the storylines as well. He has an interesting personal life that crosses the line into Hollywood celebrity from time to time. He will have to feature in an attempt to draw in neutral fans to a group of relative unknowns.
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