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Dolphins’ Hill, Tua, McDaniel highlight ‘Hard Knocks’ debut — along with intense assistant Campanile

HBO series “Hard Knocks” aired its debut episode chronicling the Miami Dolphins for the rest of the 2023 season Tuesday.

The stars, of course, were wide receiver Tyreek Hill, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and coach Mike McDaniel.

But fans also got an inside look at some lesser-known members of the organization — most notably in the premier episode, linebackers coach Anthony Campanile, who gave an impassioned, intense speech to the team about pursuit in football.

The episode also featured the defense’s reward system of cakes for defenders who force turnovers. McDaniel said it was safeties coach Joe Kasper’s idea.

Hill got the early spotlight, which wasn’t much of a surprise given that he got married on the bye week, as “Hard Knocks” cameras started rolling. The crew had access to an at-home conversation between Hill and his now-wife Keeta Vaccaro Hill.

By the time Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders rolled around, Hill was heard repeatedly shouting “I’m the best in the world!” after his first-half touchdown Sunday.

A humorous moment came in Hill’s response to referees warning him not to flash the peace sign on touchdowns: “I’m spreading world peace.”

The series revealed that he injured his hand before the fourth-and-1 screen but aggravated it on the failed fourth down. Hill exited the game momentarily but re-entered.

Hill’s mother was a highlight with her enthusiasm on the field pregame and in the stands. She and Hill’s wife had a run-in with a fan sitting behind them that spilled food on them.

Like Hill, Tagovailoa also went through a major change on the bye week. He braided his hair into cornrows, and there was a humorous moment between him and quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell, with Tagovailoa explaining the purpose of a durag cap in keeping his braided hair down.

Tagovailoa was then chronicled at practice. McDaniel was amazed at a no-look pass he threw in drills.

Tagovailoa spoke to HBO about McDaniel’s impact on the team through his personality.

“I think the swagger starts with the head man, the head man allowing everyone to be themselves,” the quarterback said.

The docuseries followed the offensive line having a team dinner. Left tackle Terron Armstead, the leader of the unit, is seen echoing a sentiment made in the team meeting, that the Dolphins have to be aware of Raiders star defensive end Maxx Crosby.

The Dolphins devoted ample time to preparing for Crosby, with Bevell emphasizing to Tagovailoa that the standout pass rusher would hit and chip him after the throw to get in his head.

The premier episode opened with McDaniel giving his team a speech upon a return from the bye week. The basis of it: Don’t change just because the cameras are rolling; remain authentic.

By the way, McDaniel drops a lot of F-bombs in his regular speech with his team. Also, Tyreek Hill, on top of everything else, has a decent jump shot, as exhibited by his two made baskets on the basketball hoop inside the team meeting room.

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