Regardless of quickly turning into a 365-day occasion calendar, there are moments within the 12 months the place the NFL isn’t essentially offering all the things the die-hard soccer fan would need. However simply as these cravings begin to rise, enter ‘Hard Knocks.’
The HBO docuseries is getting into it’s nineteenth preseason. Annually the sequence attracts in followers to observe one particular crew, masking coaching camp and specializing in essentially the most attention-grabbing characters. By now the premise isn’t precisely floor breaking, perhaps even formulaic, however it someway at all times works.
This 12 months’s ‘Laborious Knocks’ crew has but to be introduced, however the discipline has been restricted to only 4 groups. A bunch that features among the largest manufacturers within the league, making this season that rather more intriguing even when selecting the crew is tougher.
Due to restrictions on which groups may be eligible – no first-year head coaches, no playoff groups from the final two years, no crew that has appeared on the present within the final 10 years – the choices aren’t often this plentiful. However this 12 months HBO will decide between the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets and Washington Commanders.
A type of groups, nevertheless, has sparked a ton of dialog this offseason, and it’s not the crew that traded the first-overall draft decide. In a survey carried out by SB Nation Reacts polling NFL followers across the nation, practically 50% of followers need to see the Jets on ‘Laborious Knocks.’
There are two VERY completely different causes to be inquisitive about a ‘Laborious Knocks’ that includes the Jets. Most clearly, the looming presence of Aaron Rodgers. The somehow-still Green Bay Packers quarterback has requested a commerce to the Jets however the two sides don’t appear all that near a deal. So regardless of the Jets selecting up each free agent on Rodgers’ wish-list and followers presupposing it’s going to work out, the Jets nonetheless don’t have their quarterback.
If the 2 sides can come to phrases, the concept of ‘Laborious Knocks’ that includes Aaron Rodgers and the strolling punchline that has been the Jets over time is an excessive amount of to keep away from. Having cameras rolling whereas Rodgers tries to elucidate his crystals to a New York media is the sort of factor TV executives salivate over. With Rodgers, the Jets wouldn’t solely instantly turn into one of many weirdest groups within the NFL, they’d even be among the many finest. The longer term Corridor of Famer, whilst his present self, would be a part of a robust protection and skilled items Rodgers himself hand picked.
One way or the other, even with out Rodgers, the Jets are practically simply as attention-grabbing. Whereas they might solely be a Corridor of Fame quarterback away from a Super Bowl, they’re at the moment one of many messiest groups within the league. Whereas Zach Wilson is technically nonetheless on the crew, the Jets have achieved all the things they will to make it apparent he has no future in New York. After benching the previous first-round decide, his Jets teammates spent the final month trying to recruit Rodgers. In the event that they don’t make the commerce, the quarterback place is an absolute nightmare.
Whereas groups don’t formally have a say within the choice of who finally ends up on ‘Laborious Knocks’ that doesn’t cease crew officers from making their emotions identified. That alone has been sufficient prior to now to swing the choice in one other path. Head coach Robert Saleh and proprietor Woody Johnson haven’t weighed in on the subject but, however one in all Johnson’s counterparts has.
The Bears, unsurprisingly, have been eligible for Laborious Knocks quite a few instances by means of the reveals run. However due to the burden behind crew proprietor George McCaskey, the HBO cameras have by no means made it to Illinois. McCaskey lately instructed The Athletic that there have been “thirty-one [other teams]” that may be nice for the present. That will come as a disappointment to a majority of Bears followers, greater than three-fourths of which stated they wish to see the crew on ‘Laborious Knocks.’
With Justin Fields and an energetic offseason, the Bears would make for an entertaining season of the present.
The Commanders would equally make for an entertaining matter, though not essentially for causes the NFL wish to spotlight. With the crew is within the midst of a potential sale, it looks like an inopportune time for cameras to be rolling. Regardless of that, practically two-thirds of Commanders followers would get pleasure from having HBO filming.
The most secure selection for all concerned additionally appears to be the least attention-grabbing. Whereas the Saints will function a brand new quarterback and a nonetheless comparatively new head coach, not even the New Orleans fanbase appears all that . Simply over half of followers stated they’d just like the Saints to be on the present.
Which crew will find yourself being chosen continues to be an entire unknown. But when fan curiosity generally is a thumb on the dimensions, the selection is a no-doubter. However regardless of who’s picked, soccer followers will probably be tuning in.