Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 9/2/12
DAVIE, Fla. The cameras are everywhere. Sometimes the players see them, sometimes they dont. Such is life when training camp turns into "The Truman Show." HBOs "Hard Knocks" has been chronicling the Dolphins throughout the preseason, and several Miami players have suffered national embarrassment. One of the latest is Daniel Thomas, the running back whose meeting with coach Joe Philbin about being late twice was shown last Tuesday. In an interview with FOX Sports Florida, Thomas said nobody else was in Philbins office when the two met and the camera was hidden. He did go into the meeting wary he might end up on film. Theres a setup in there, Thomas said of Philbins office. You cant see a camera. I thought about (the meeting possibly being filmed) because when Chad (Johnson) was in there, there wasnt a (cameraman) in there with him, and you can see him looking around for a camera and everything. In an earlier episode of "Hard Knocks," Johnson, a wide receiver, was told by Philbin he was being released while a camera that apparently was hidden captured it. Cameras are everywhere, and you dont know exactly where they are, said Thomas, a second-year man. During their meeting, Philbin told Thomas he was disappointed he was late for a plane to Charlotte, N.C., for an Aug. 17 preseason game against the Panthers and that he didnt meet the dress code. He also expressed dismay in Thomas being 15 minutes late for a weight-lifting session. That kind of stuff can't happen, Philbin told Thomas. I'm getting a little queasy about you. You got to take responsibility for your own career, what you're doing and when you're doing it. I don't want to come talk to you again. I want to see you out there and next time I want to talk to you on a positive thing, not this kind of stuff." Thomas, fined for the incidents, got the message. Being scolded on national television certainly was a wake-up call. Its an embarrassing situation, Thomas said. They mention it (on 'Hard Knocks') and its worse. This is my first time getting in trouble from last year to this year. You got to be on top of your game. Thomas said he wasnt on time for the plane due to road construction and losing his way. He said he was late for the weight-lifting session because he didnt realize the running backs would be lifting until a trainer called to ask where he was. When "Hard Knocks" aired last Tuesday night, Thomas was in a meeting at a Dallas-area hotel in preparation for the next nights preseason finale against the Cowboys. He realized the word was out on his tardiness when he left the meeting and his phone was overflowing with messages. Soon, he heard from his mother, Louella. She and Thomas father, Jerald, are both ministers in Georgia. (Thomas mother) watched it and said, I cant believe it, and this and that, Thomas said. I had to explain to her what happened and everything like that. She said, You cant do that. You see theyre letting players go. Thats what scares me. I dont want to give them any reason to let me go, to give them any reason to think youre a problem by doing silly stuff like that. Thomas had just an OK preseason, rushing 14 times for 59 yards. But he remains the backup running back behind Reggie Bush heading into next Sundays opener at Houston. The Dolphins are still hoping Thomas can return to the form last season in which he rushed for 202 yards in his first two NFL games. Thomas then suffered a hamstring injury, and wasnt the same back the rest of the season. He finished the year with 581 yards in the 13 games he played. I really like the kid, Philbin said. Im excited about him; I think hes got a chance to be a good player. Despite his tardiness, Thomas appears to be back in Philbins good graces. I dont know how stern it was, but you owe it to (players) to at least sit to them face to face and tell them, Philbin said. Instead of saying, That Thomas was late, that no good son of a gun, and whining and complaining to his position coach or something, you should just address it with the player and see if it changes. Hopefully it will. Theres no guarantee, but hes practicing well and Im looking forward to seeing him on the team this year. Thomas is the simply the latest Miami player to be publicly embarrassed thanks to "Hard Knocks." Others who have met that fate include guard John Jerry and rookie tight end Michael Egnew. Jerry was heavily criticized in a show by offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and offensive line coach Jim Turner for being overweight and underperforming. Egnew, a third-round pick, was chewed out by Sherman and told he would be cut if Sherman were general manager. Similar unflattering stuff involving players is no doubt happening all over the NFL. But cameras arent around to capture it. I would venture to say there are probably a lot of guys late all over the league with all 32 teams every week, but its not on TV and its not brought up, Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake said of Thomas incidents becoming publicly known. At the end of the day, people perceive (Thomas being late) is a big deal. Yeah, you dont want to be late, but is it any more dramatic from somebody else on another team (doing the same thing) when youre not on Hard Knocks? But the Dolphins are on "Hard Knocks," and theres still one more episode out of the five to go. Perhaps another player in Tuesdays finale will fall victim to a hidden camera. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
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