It's time to pull back the curtains and take a look at the underbelly of the Miami Dolphins franchise.
"Hard Knocks In Season with the Miami Dolphins" will kick off Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on MAX, with filming having begun after the team returned from Germany after its Week 9 game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The crew followed the team during the bye week, documented the week of preparation for Sunday's 20-13 win over the Las Vegas Raiders, and will carry us up to the beginning of preparation for Friday's game AFC East rivalry game against. a limping New York Jets squad.
I'm curious about the storylines this In Season version of the NFL Film's reality series will document for the remaining eight-plus weeks.
Here are a couple of storylines I'd propose.
Who's Ready for Do-rag Tua?
Tua Tagovailoa is coming into his own as a quarterback, and it appears his look is also evolving. Tagovailoa decided to put cornrows in his hair the week Hard Knocks started filming in South Florida. It's doubtful that Tagovailoa, who is ultra private, let the film crew accompany him to get his cornrows done, but the fact he's sported a do-rag all week, and his teammates have joked with him about his more ethnic look shouldn't be ignored because it shows that Tua is one of the guys.
Jalen Ramsey’s return
Coming back from a major surgery after three months is a monumental feat, and it doesn't hurt that Ramsey is performing like an NFL elite, pulling down three interceptions in the three games he's played. Ramsey's team has documented his recovery and road back from the knee injury, and it's highly likely they've shared that footage with NFL Films because Ramsey has an established relationship with the Hard Knocks crew from when they featured him on Hard Knocks with the Rams.
The Evolution of Miami's Offensive Line
The Dolphins offensive line continues to evolve throughout this season, and despite all the injuries they have endured, this unit still holds the team's success in their hands. Can Terron Armstead stay healthy for the final stretch of the season? Will Isaiah Wynn make it back from his hamstring injury? Can Liam Eichenberg save his career by performing well? Will Connor Williams, Robert Hunt and Austin Jackson, the three impending free agents, use the show to showcase themselves and their personalities heading into this critical offseason. We heard there was an O-line dinner covered by the film crew. I'm curious to see what was said during that meet-up.
Authentic Mike McDaniel
The one thing nobody can ever say about the Miami Dolphins' head coach is that he isn't authentic. McDaniel is himself at all times, showcasing his humor, quirkiness and impeccable style. It would be ideal for Hard Knocks to go deeper, giving us a look into his life as a family man and father, which the bye week should have covered. If anyone should take the brunt of Hard Knocks' focus, it needs to be McDaniel because he can handle it, and he's such an inspiration to the average man who loves football considering he's a ball boy who became a head coach.
Steve Ross needs some shine
There's nobody associated with the Dolphins franchise who has made more sacrifices for the good of the team than Ross, the owner. Ross has proven there is no lengths he won't go to for the Dolphins to become a winner, and after a decade of struggles he finally has a franchise that might be in position to make a deep playoff push. It would be nice to see some behind-the-scenes footage of Ross with McDaniel, General Manager Chris Grier and CEO Tom Garfinkel. We need to see how hands on, or hands off, Ross really is.
De’Von Achane’s road back, and the recent setback
Achane began the first month of the NFL season as the league's hottest rookie. In three games he elevated himself to stardom. His 12.1 yards per carry average before suffering a knee injury that landed him on injured reserve makes him one of team's biggest storylines of this season. And now that he aggravated the knee injury against the Raiders it gives the Hard Knocks crew a storyline they can monitor, track for the duration of the reality series.
Tyreek Hill’s bye week wedding
Who in the world picks up and decides to get married on their team's bye week? Well, that's exactly what Hill did, finally saying "I do" to his longtime fiancee, whom Hill admitted didn't believe him when he told her he was finally ready to get married during the bye week. Wouldn't it be great if Hard Knocks showed wedding footage. Knowing Hill, who films everything for his podcast and social media channels, and loves attention, I wouldn't put it past him to use Hard Knocks to build his brand even more.
Jaelan Phillips & Bradley Chubb's Bond
Few players on the team have a closer bond than Phillips and Chubb, who have their locker next to one another, and are often seen together inside the facility. Their connection extends past the football field and it would be interesting to see how the veteran pass rusher connected with the up-and-coming star, and the lessons they've taught one another.
Jevon Holland Push to Prominence
Holland is being hyped as one of the NFL's top safeties and a budding superstar. It would be great to see the work he puts in behind the scenes to understand why the Dolphins organization and many NFL pundits sing his praises so consistently. Exactly what is Holland doing to sew Miami's defense together?
Vic Fangio's Unwavering Ways
Fangio comes off as a curmudgeon. He's an old man set in his ways forced to adjust to the new era of NFL players. At first the scheme struggled because the players weren't buying in and injuries watered down the talent. But the Dolphins defense has been trending up lately, and could use this three-game stretch of games to become a top 10 unit. If that happens, Fangio will have lived up to his reputation as one of the NFL's elite defensive coordinators and might get back in the mix for head coach openings. Hard Knocks could become a great platform for him to make another organization fall in love with him.