One strong dose of Hard Knocks was all it took for Chad Johnson to clam up.
Vontae Davis, on the other hand, faced his critics head-on Wednesday and with a smile.
It was a contrast in styles Wednesday morning, the first day A.H.K. After Hard Knocks. Davis answered every question about his conditioning and commitment (both are issues among the coaching staff, the show exposed) with good cheer.
Meanwhile, Johnson brushed past the pack of reporters saying nothing but, I dont do media anymore.
He did, however, take to Twitter on Wednesday with a two-word message to his 3.6 million followers:
The silent treatment was a complete 180 from his three-ring circus press conference from last week, when Johnson the walking sound-bite of a receiver said it felt good to breathe again, and then used seemingly every fourth breath to utter a curse word.
Tuesdays Hard Knocks premiere showed coach Joe Philbin had no patience for such behavior, saying that if it continued, Johnson could be out of a job.
Time will tell, Philbin responded, when asked if Johnson has gotten the message. I expressed to Chad, that youre in a position to influence people. Use it as a positive.
Theres a right way to kind of represent this organization and yourself, and a way thats not going to be us, he added.
PHONE CALL FROM GRANDMA
As for Davis, the gifted cornerback who has lost his starting job to Richard Marshall after not coming to camp fit, he dutifully answered every question, and if he was embarrassed by the attention, he didnt show it.
Davis didnt watch the program, he said, but knew something was up when his phone started buzzing in the 10 oclock hour.
Among the calls he received: One from his grandmother, Adeline Davis, who told him to get into shape. Vontae told her he was working on it.
Coach is supposed to be on you hard, he said. If hes not on you hard, I shouldnt even be out here. He wants me to be the best player I can be, and I want him to coach me hard.
Davis added his conditioning has improved since when the scenes in question were shot.
He has given more attention to his diet and hydration, he continued, and it may already be working. Philbin said Wednesday that Davis has looked better in practice in recent days.
Yet the show indicates the conventional wisdom on both Johnson and Davis that the former can be a distraction, and the latter lacks focus still carries weight.
Johnson broke every Bengals major receiving record during his 10 years in Cincinnati, but the organization grew tired of his baggage, and ultimately traded him to New England.
Before his demotion, Davis told The Miami Herald that he had grown up since last year, when he was inconsistent on the field and at times a pain off it. He was reportedly benched one game last year after a practice-field fight with then-teammate Brandon Marshall, following a night too late on the town.
TAKE YOUR LUMPS
The book on Les Brown, however, is more straight-forward. The rookie tight end is physically gifted, but cant block. Tight ends coach Dan Campbell explicitly said just that during Tuesday nights premiere.
But like Davis, Brown, who never played college football, responded to every query, and did so graciously.
It would be nice if there was a nice play on there, said a chuckling Brown, who admitted to watching the premiere. It was kind of a montage of all the bad ones.
Youre going to take your lumps, especially a guy like me, who hasnt done this for a while, Brown added. Theres going to be an adjustment period.
The same could be said about the team as a whole over the next month. Four episodes remain, meaning that for each of the next four Wednesdays, the Dolphins will have to go through the same routine. That is, for those who actually decide to speak.
As coach, Philbin is obligated to be out front at least five times a week. When asked Wednesday if he has any regrets of agreeing to the Hard Knocks experience, he responded, Not a bit.
There are too many other things on my mind, Philbin added. Do I think this will help us win games? Probably not. Do I think this is going to cause us to lose games? I dont think so. Again, my focus is on the development of the team and not necessarily the TV show.