We don’t yet know who will appear on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” during NFL training camp. But according to a report, the Cleveland Browns will not be featured.
“The Browns were one of eight NFL teams that do not meet any of the three exemptions for opting out, if drafted,” ESPN’s Tony Grossi reported. “But the league and producers of the popular reality series have multiple teams interested, per the source, and the Browns will get their wish again to avoid the scrutiny of HBO’s cameras.”
Both head coach Hue Jackson and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams have been on “Hard Knocks” in the past. Grossi added that “the overwhelming sentiment with the Browns was they don’t want the distractions inherent in the series while they attempt to dig out from the rubble of last year’s 1-15 season.”
“Hard Knocks” is often one of the more enjoyable elements of the NFL training camp and preseason, which can certainly drag. With that said, it’s easy to see how it’s easy to see how teams can view it as a distraction.
In total, HBO has aired 11 seasons of “Hard Knocks.” Of those 11, five teams — the 2001 Baltimore Ravens, 2009 and 2013 Cincinnati Bengals, 2010 New York Jets and 2015 Houston Texans — made the playoffs. Others, including the 2016 Los Angeles Rams, had terrible seasons resulting in a head coaching change.
So, it’s easy to see why a team coming off of such a terrible season would opt against being featured.