Episode 2 of the HBO miniseries "Hard Knocks" did not lack for captivating moments. Days after the Miami Dolphins released WR Chad Johnson, HBO showed viewers what exactly went down when head coach Joe Philbin called Johnson into his office to deliver the bad news.
Watch a clip of the scene below (at least until HBO gets it removed from YouTube). Deadspin also has video of the scene.
Before Johnson enters Dolphins headquarters on Sunday morning, we see Philbin on the phone talking to somebody (perhaps general manager Jeff Ireland?) about Johnson. "His temperament isn't great for us," Philbin says. "When things aren't so good, he can be a tad, you know..." he continues before trailing off.
Johnson apologized to Philbin and made an effort to mend fences with his boss, but it is clear from the video that Philbin had already made the decision to release Johnson before the meeting began.
One thing is immediately clear from the video, Philbin is not terribly comfortable firing people. Throughout the scene, he can be seen nervously drumming his fingers on the arm of his chair. The way Philbin fumbles over his words and makes so many awkward pauses, one would think he was the one getting fired in the scene.
Terminating an underling is one of the most difficult things a boss has to do, and Philbin has never been a head coach at any level. This could be the first time he has ever had to release a player for (mostly) non-football reasons, as evidenced by his discomfort.
The scene closes with a clubhouse attendant emptying Johnson's locker while another player strolls into the locker room, emphasizing the transient nature of the life of an NFL player.