Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The outcome was already known, but Tuesday night’s episode of “Hard Knocks” showed exactly what went down when the Miami Dolphins decided to release Chad Johnson on Sunday.
The HBO series proved to be must-see TV as cameras documented the entire meeting between Johnson and head coach Joe Philbin when the receiver learned he was cut by the Dolphins. But it was the lead up in the show that illustrated Johnson getting cut wasn’t simply over his arrest for allegedly head butting his wife.
When Philbin was told of the arrest by Dolphins Director of Security Stuart Weinstein, the security director said Johnson thought the arrest was “probably gonna be my death penalty.” Johnson was referring to his status with the team.
Philbin replied to Weinstein, “He obviously has some inkling of what may be coming.”
Earlier in the show, Johnson was shown not having the ability to get any separation from cornerback Sean Smith in practice. Johnson was seen at one point on the sidelines chiding himself for making a “rookie mistake.” There were also suggestions that Johnson was having a hard-time processing the Dolphins’ new playbook.
But the show’s culmination between Johnson and Philbin saw the wide receiver apologizing and basically pleading for his job back. Here’s part of the exchange between Johnson and Philbin from Sunday as shown on Hard Knocks.
- Johnson – “Coach, I’ve never been in trouble before. Ever. And I buy into your program most definitely. Because after that talk we had, I was hushed from that point on. And I was gonna stay that way the entire year.”
- Philbin – “It’s not really just last night. It’s where we are as a program, and where you are, and where we’re headed. I just don’t see the mesh right now. I wish it was different. I wish I could tell you something more encouraging, but I just think it’s best for both of us that we kind of part ways at this point in time.”
Johnson would go on to thank Philbin for giving him a chance to play again and said that he enjoyed himself while in camp with the Fins. Philbin responded, “I wish we were having a different type of a conversation. I mean that. I wish you well, I really do.”
The show concluded with Johnson’s locker being cleaned out by team personnel.
While some, including linebacker Karlos Dansby, have been critical of the decision to cut Johnson; the overwhelming response from outside observers has been positive for the way Philbin has conducted himself with regards to cutting Johnson and dealing with the media fallout.
Johnson’s life spun out of control quickly in the span of just a few days. He was arrested for allegedly head butting his wife on Saturday night. By Sunday, he had lost his job with the Dolphins and then his VH1 reality show was cancelled. Then Tuesday, his wife of roughly six weeks served him with divorce papers.