Tua Tagovailoa, high-powered Miami Dolphins selected as 'Hard Knocks' in-season team

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) speaks during a post game news conference following an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the Panthers 42- 21. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee )

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — The NFL world will get a behind-the-scenes look at Tua Tagovailoa and Miami Dolphins later this season: They will be the featured in-season team on “Hard Knocks” this fall.

The team announced its featured role on the long-running HBO and NFL Films show on Monday.

The Dolphins are one of the NFL's more interesting teams with the league's top-ranked offense led by Tagovailoa, All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill and creative play-caller Mike McDaniel.

McDaniel said Monday that it wasn't necessarily a team decision to be featured on the show, but he thinks the experience could be positive for his young Dolphins. He expects filming to start some time after Miami's trip to Germany to face Kansas City on Nov. 5, and it will last through the end of the season.

“You guys know me well enough to know that I steer clear of things that I can't control,” McDaniel said. “I don't think it's a bad thing for people to see our day in and day out hard work. I know there's a lot of guys on this team that garner interest, and I think that a platform for them to showcase who they are, and for the fanbase to get to know the players and coaches better, I can understand the value to the National Football League, to HBO, to NFL Films. And I can understand the value for the Miami Dolphins.”

McDaniel said he initially had concerns about whether the show would be a distraction for his team, which sits atop the AFC East with a 5-2 record and is seeking its second straight playoff berth. He also expressed worries about “competitive advantages leaving the building," but added that early talks with HBO eased those concerns a bit.

“Outside of that, that's why I kind of think that this particular team, I'm very, very proud, happy with how we go to work every day," McDaniel said. "This particular team, it's not the worst thing in the world because that's what will be conveyed.”

Miami was featured on “Hard Knocks” in 2012 under then-first-year head coach Joe Philbin. Storylines that year included then-GM Jeff Ireland calling Dolphins 2009 first-rounder Vontae Davis into his office to inform him that he was being traded to the Indianapolis Colts.

This is the third year that “Hard Knocks” has featured an in-season team — the show has typically offered a behind-the-scenes look during the preseason. The Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals were the previously spotlighted teams.


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