Tonight, the Miami Dolphins will again take to HBO with their second episode of Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Miami Dolphins. While there are a lot of interesting story lines the show can feature this week, the most obvious one is the downfall of wide receiver Chad Johnson. Last Friday, Johnson was the team's starting wide out. It all fell apart over the weekend, ending with his release Sunday night.
Now, reports indicate, the conversation between Johnson and head coach Joe Philbin, in which Philbin informs the 12-year veteran wide receiver that the team will be releasing him, will be featured tonight.
Johnson was targeted one time, letting the ball go straight through his hands, in Miami's opening preseason game last Friday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Then, 24-hours later, Johnson was being arrested for domestic battery after alledgedly head butting his wife, Evelyn Lozada, during an argument. After spending the night in jail, finally being released on bond around 1:30pm Eastern time on Sunday, Johnson reported back to the Dolphins, where he was informed the team was terminating his contract.
Dolphins running back Reggie Bush earlier today told the media he has spoken to Johnson since his release. "Obviously, he's hurt," Bush said. "What do you expect? He's not happy he lost his job, but Chad will be fine. He'll bounce back. I just gave him some words of encouragement, just to stay focus, keep his head above water. He'll be fine. He's a grown man and he'll be okay."
"It's tough," Bush continued, looking at what the loss of Johnson means for the Dolphins. "Chad, had that experience, the veteran experience that I think we could have used from the receiver position. He's obviously a great player, great athlete and I felt like he was going to make a huge contribution for us this year and it's tough not having him. Obviously, I think a lot of people were kind of looking forward to seeing him bring back the old Chad and being to go out and make plays for us. It's tough and, obviously, as a friend, I feel for him and all you can do is hope for the best, pray for him, but we've still got to move on, football's got to got on."
Johnson has not spoken to the media since his arrest. His wife, who married Johnson on July 4, released a statement today. Saying she was filled with "great sadness and much trepidation," Lozada's statement read, "I am deeply disappointed that Chad has failed to take responsibility for his actions and made false accusations against me, it is my sincere hope that he seeks the help he needs to overcome his troubles. Domestic violence is not okay and hopefully my taking a stand will help encourage other women to break their silence as well. I'm grateful to my family, friends and fans for the outpouring of support during this difficult time."
No matter what team you follow in the NFL, or how you feel about Johnson as a receiver, or if you believe Johnson or Lazada in the he-said/she-said currently happening, Hard Knocksjust became must watch TV this week.
Which has to please HBO.