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#pounditWednesday, January 26, 2022

Articles tagged: Hard Knocks

Video: Frank Reich has amazing reaction to key player testing positive

Frank Reich reaction

With the uptick in positive COVID tests around the NFL in the last several weeks, a lot of coaches have been receiving bad news before big games. It would be a surprise if any of them handled that news better than Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich did.

NFL Films cameras filming the Colts for HBO’s “Hard Knocks In Season” series captured the moment Reich learned that All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson had tested positive and would miss the team’s upcoming game against Arizona. Reich takes the news in stride, showing remarkable calm upon being told the news.

“Love moments like this, right?” Reich says in the video. “I mean, I’m not happy about Q testing positive, but I love overcoming those things.”

This is the kind of calm and steady leadership teams look for in a head coach. At no point does the moment seem too big to Reich, nor does it appear to get him down much. He simply takes it in stride and moves on.

Reich and the Colts did overcome the adversity, as they managed a road win against the Cardinals in the game Nelson missed. Having seen this, it’s pretty easy to have faith in the Colts to hold serve against the Las Vegas Raiders even if they’re down a quarterback.

LeBron James wants an NBA version of ‘Hard Knocks’

LeBron James

HBO’s annual series “Hard Knocks” has been a big winner for the NFL. Viewers enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at a team’s training camp, and the series consistently draws a lot of buzz for the league.

That is perhaps why LeBron James thinks the NBA could use its own version. James, a longtime fan of the Dallas Cowboys, is clearly enjoying this year’s version spotlighting the team. The Los Angeles Lakers star said watching the series makes him want a similar version for the NBA — preseason only, of course.

James’ stance may put him in the minority. It’s a well-known fact that most NFL teams hate the idea of being featured on “Hard Knocks,” as the constant presence of cameras can often be disruptive and distracting. It’s why the league actually has a set of criteria for being featured on the show, and can essentially force teams to take part no matter how much they don’t want to.

James could probably volunteer the Lakers if he feels strongly about it. The additions of Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony alone would make them a very intriguing subject.

Here is the story behind the viral Cowboys drone shot

Cowboys Hard Knocks drone

The opening scene of the latest episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” left viewers mesmerized, and now we have a better idea of how it was made possible.

Tuesday night’s “Hard Knocks” began with a roughly three-minute drone video of the Dallas Cowboys’ campus in Frisco, Texas. The footage provided a unique glimpse into their practice facility, weight room, film room, and much more. Check it out:

A lot of amazed viewers were left with the same thought after watching the segment — how? Peter Schrager of helped answer that question. He said the drone shot took three hours and 15 takes to film. The production crew, led by Jason Weber of NFL Films, had a three-hour time constraint because of a boxing event that was scheduled to take place at The Star.

We don’t always appreciate all the work that goes into producing a show like “Hard Knocks,” but that drone scene was too incredible to ignore. Of all the different ways we have been entertained during the HBO series this year, that will easily go down as the most impressive.

Is ‘Hard Knocks’ appearance a bad sign for the Cowboys?

Jerry Jones

The Dallas Cowboys are going to have more cameras around than usual during training camp this year, and that may be a cause for concern for superstitious fans.

The NFL announced on Friday that the Cowboys have been chosen to appear on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” this year. The series will premiere on Aug. 10 and run for five episodes.

Teams typically are not thrilled to appear on “Hard Knocks,” as the added attention can create a distraction from preparing for the season. It’s unclear how Jerry Jones will feel about having HBO around as Dak Prescott works his way back from a major injury and the Cowboys look to rebound from a 6-10 season. Should he be worried?

This will be the Cowboys’ third appearance on “Hard Knocks.” The first time was in 2002, and they went 5-11 that year. The second time was in 2008. While Dallas had a winning record of 9-7 that season, they still missed the playoffs. As Dov Kleiman notes, only five teams that were featured on “Hard Knocks” have reached the postseason since the show began in 2001. Three of those teams won a playoff game.

That’s not a good sign, though it should be noted that teams that have made the playoffs the previous two seasons cannot be chosen for “Hard Knocks.” That’s why there are rarely good teams featured on the show.

The Los Angeles Rams were chosen for “Hard Knocks” last year, and head coach Sean McVay was not shy with expressing his feelings about it.

Report: Both Rams and Chargers will be on ‘Hard Knocks’ if there’s training camp

It remains uncertain if the coronavirus pandemic will force the NFL to cancel all or some of training camp and the preseason, but HBO’s “Hard Knocks” reportedly has some big plans in the works if the offseason proceeds as scheduled.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, “Hard Knocks” will feature both the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers if the offseason calendar allows for it. Both of the teams have volunteered to be part of the show as they move into the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

The NFL was originally scheduled to announce that both teams will be part of the HBO series during the league’s annual meeting last week, but the meeting was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. No announcement is expected this week as the NFL and NFL Films prepare for their virtual draft.

The Chargers have never appeared on “Hard Knocks,” while the Rams were featured on the show back in 2016. NFL Films is based in Los Angeles, so that would make it easier to cover both teams.

With sports fans hungry for any type of fresh content during the coronavirus outbreak, “Hard Knocks” should have excellent ratings if it can be filmed this summer. Featuring two teams and a new stadium will certainly help. Coaches have typically not had favorable opinions of being part of the HBO series, but circumstances are a bit different this year.

Mark Davis previously said Raiders on ‘Hard Knocks’ would be ‘disruptive’

Mark Davis

The Oakland Raiders were announced on Tuesday as the team that will be the focus of HBO training camp show “Hard Knocks” for the upcoming season, which is something that might not be too pleasing to team owner Mark Davis.

Back in March, Davis was not thrilled with the idea of his Raiders appearing on “Hard Knocks,” saying it would be “disruptive.”

“It would be disruptive,” Davis said in a March 27 article by ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “We’ve got a lot of business to take care of, get ready for the season. I appreciate that they might think we’d be great TV, but we got something to accomplish.”

HBO and the NFL may not have cared too much whether Davis found it disruptive or not, because they made it happen.

The Raiders were one of five teams eligible to appear on the show, along with the Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants and Washington Redskins. Fans are going to watch regardless of which team is on the show, but the Raiders have the most intrigue and appeal of all, with the Giants not too far behind.

Whether it was the Bucs’ head coach, the Browns’ Hue Jackson, or Houston’s Bill O’Brien, coaches and higher-ups often are not thrilled about the presence of Hard Knocks at their training camp. Comments like the one from JJ Watt help explain why.

Oakland Raiders selected to appear on ‘Hard Knocks’

The Oakland Raiders built a roster of characters that were meant for HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” Fittingly, they were announced Tuesday as the team that will be featured on the training camp show.

“If you’re a fan of football or great storytelling, HARD KNOCKS with the Oakland Raiders is going to be must-see television,” HBO Sports executive vice president Peter Nelson said. “We are so grateful to this storied franchise for opening up its doors and allowing HBO and NFL Films to spend the summer with the Raiders in what promises to be a compelling and engaging training camp.”

“Since the AFL-NFL merger, the Raiders have been a part of some of the most iconic moments in League history,” says NFL Films senior executive Ross Ketover. “We at NFL Films have been thrilled and honored to showcase the mythology of the Raiders from the Holy Roller, Sea of Hands, Ghost to the Post all the way to today with Coach Gruden and this unbelievable cast of players and coaches. Needless to say, we’re very much looking forward to this season of Hard Knocks.”

This will be the 14th edition of the program, which began in 2001. HBO said in their press announcement that episodes of “Hard Knocks” have averaged 3.9 million viewers over the past four seasons.

What makes the Raiders so perfect for the show? Let’s start with head coach Jon Gruden, who was a television personality for ESPN several years prior to his return to coaching. Then they have Antonio Brown, who forced his way out of Pittsburgh and is now in his first season with the Raiders. They also added Vontaze Burfict, a player who’s been fined more money than any other player in the history of the league. Their GM Mike Mayock also was just a TV analyst for NFL Network.

There should be no shortage of entertainment with this year’s version of the show.

Browns selected for this year’s HBO ‘Hard Knocks’

Baker Mayfield

The Cleveland Browns are one of six NFL teams that were eligible to be chosen for this year’s edition of HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” and it sounds like the Baker Mayfield storyline was too good for the network to pass up.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, HBO is expected to announce on Thursday that the Browns have been chosen.

In order for teams to be exempt from “Hard Knocks,” teams have to either have a first-year head coach, have made the playoffs in the previous two seasons, or have appeared on Hard Knocks in the past 10 years. The Browns meet none of those criteria. They’re also coming off an 0-16 season and have one of the most polarizing figures in sports in Mayfield, so the choice was not a surprise.

Based on some of the remarks members of the organization have made about “Hard Knocks,” it’s safe to say the Browns will be less than thrilled.

Dirk Koetter admits he would rather not be on ‘Hard Knocks’

There probably isn’t an NFL coach that actively wants his team to be on “Hard Knocks,” and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter is no exception.

In a Wednesday press conference, Koetter admitted that, while a fan of the show, he would rather not be the subject of it.

“I like watching the show. I wish I wasn’t on it,” Koetter said, via Scott Reynolds of Pewter Report.

Koetter, who was part of “Hard Knocks” in 2014 as the offensive coordinator of the featured Atlanta Falcons, did downplay how big a distraction the show is during camp.

“Yeah, I don’t buy that,” Koetter said of that narrative, via Scott Smith of the team’s official website. “Again, we all have a job to do. The players have a job to do, the coaches have a job to do and this is a no-nonsense business. The NFL, there are bright lights. It’s just part of the deal, and I think we’ll be fine. There’s going to be some stuff – it’s a TV show. The real TV shows are on Sunday in the fall; those are the ones I’m worried about.

“My main memory is how professional the crew was. They actually make it so easy to get in and out [when] you’re mic’d up, taking the mic on and off, the meeting rooms. Again, they’re pros. It’s a seamless process.”

“Hard Knocks” is popular among fans, but not necessarily among coaches. Koetter is as diplomatic as he can be here without saying he downright hates the thing.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be featured on Hard Knocks

The NFL and HBO confirmed the league’s worst-kept secret on Wednesday, officially announcing that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be featured on the 2017 edition of “Hard Knocks.”

In a joint statement, the league and network announced that the newest edition would spotlight the Bucs and premiere on Aug. 8. They also released a teaser video featuring the show’s newest subjects.

“We have multiple coaches who have prior experience with ‘Hard Knocks,’ so I have a good understanding and appreciation for how HBO and NFL Films work with the players and coaches to document all that goes on in preparation for the upcoming season,” Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter said in the statement. “We have a roster full of players who will be focused on competing and improving each and every day during training camp. It will be good to give our fans that rare opportunity to see just how much work our entire organization is putting in to prepare for this season.”

The Buccaneers have been bracing for this for some time now. They beat out the Bears, Browns, Colts, Eagles, Ravens, Saints and Titans to be 2017’s featured subjects.