No more Mike Sherman rip jobs. No more endearing nicknames such as 7-Eleven and Butterball. And no more inside information on injuries, which the Dolphins guard like launch codes.
In short, no more Hard Knocks.
The five-week televised odyssey through Dolphins training camp reached its final destination with Tuesday night’s finale. And “as uugge” (that’s “as usual,” in Les Brown-speak), there were compelling story lines and interesting nuggets that otherwise wouldn’t be made public.
• Jake Long’s knee sprain is not serious, and trainer Kevin O’Neill expects him to play in the season opener.
“I got [bleeping] rolled up,” Long said while laying in a heap. Defensive tackle Isaako Aaitui was the one who rolled him.
• As for Aaitui, the Dolphins had hoped to keep him on their practice squad, but the Jets spoiled those plans by claiming him off the waiver wire.
Aaitui sustained an injury this week, and was consequently released by the Jets, his agent David Canter wrote on Twitter.
• Clyde Gates’ fate was probably sealed with coach Joe Philbin’s assessment before the final exhibition game: “He’s a neophyte as a route-runner.”
When general manager Jeff Ireland broke the news to Gates, whom he drafted in 2011, Ireland said: “This is a tough one for me. I was expecting you to develop as fast as anyone I’ve ever seen.”
• Likewise, there was little suspense with Roberto Wallace, the receiver who earned the unenviable nickname “Ankle Weights.”
After jumping offsides in the preseason finale, Sherman bellowed, “We need to get the guys out of the game that we know aren’t going to make the team.” Wallace was consequently pulled.
• Sherman characteristically chewed out Jorvorskie Lane for coming late to a meeting. But Lane, called “Butterball” by Philbin, could get away with it, because his on-field performance secured a roster spot.
• Chad Johnson has not been on the team in weeks, but he made a cameo in the finale, working out on the beach and in the boxing ring in hopes of a comeback with another team.
“I let the Dolphins down,” said Johnson, cut after his arrest on domestic violence charges. “I made that bed, have to lay in it. Somewhere along the way, I lost focus.”
He added: “I have to reprove myself again. I’m not old. I’m 34, that’s sexy. I just have to rebuild, and come back a little stronger.”
• Finally, the season closed (in a bit of production dexterity) with the day’s biggest news — the release of David Garrard. The Dolphins had known for some time that Garrard wasn’t going to be well enough to make the trip to Houston, but worked him out in hopes that he could return soon. The final scene made clear their assessment: It showed Garrard cleaning out his locker.