Tuesday night is the season finale of the Miami Dolphins' stint on Hard Knocks. Looking back, first-year coach Joe Philbin doesn't lament the decision to feature the team on the HBO show that offers a behind-the curtain glimpse at life in the NFL.
"I don't have any regrets," Philbin told NFL.com's Albert Breer Sunday night. "I'm not sitting in my office and saying, 'Geez, why did we do that?' And if we win 15 games, it's not gonna be because they were here, just like if we lose 13 games, it won't be because they were here. It was a good experience, we met a lot of good people. That's really it."
If the Dolphins go 15-1 new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam should call HBO the day after the season ends and promise unprecedented access. In the meantime, not everybody shares Philbin's opinion.
"I was never OK with it," former Cowboys linebacker Bradie James told Breer three summers ago when Dallas was featured on the show. "Never. You had characters. We play football. This is not soap-opera central. Training camp's important and when you have people still worried about being individuals, you never come together. That's what the cameras did -- we became part of the show."
There are also schematic concerns. Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt told the Houston Chronicle that he learned some things about the Dolphins' offense just from watching the show. It was enough to make the Chron's Texans blogger Stephanie Stradley wonder viat Twitter if fewer teams would be willing to subject themselves to HBO's prying eyes:
"End of show? RT @taniaganguli Watt says from watching Hard Knocks he picked up on Dolphins' snap counts and the attitudes of some players."
We'll find out soon enough: the Dolphins and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill face the Texans on Sunday.
Interestingly, Tannehill, the eighth overall pick in April, wasn't the biggest storyline in the show's four-episode run. It was wide receiver Chad Johnson, who was released last month after he was arrested on domestic violence charges for allegedly head-butting his wife.
Philbin spoke to the decision to allow cameras in his office when he gave Johnson his walking papers.
"I felt bad for [Johnson]," the coach told Breer. "He didn't want that out there necessarily. But, for example, we'd released Derek Dennis from Temple earlier, and that was in front of the cameras. I just didn't feel like it was right to treat Chad any different than someone like Derek Dennis. If you're going to do it in front of the cameras with other guys, you gotta do it with him. I just felt like it was the right thing to do, but it wasn't easy."
And you can expect more Chad in the finale, via NFL Films' Twitter feed: "[W]as Dolphins most talked about free-agent acquisition, so 2nite we followup w/ @ochocinco on #HardKnocks season finale."