If the NFL plans to make the process of cutting players more “humane,” that dose of humanity won’t come from a kinder, gentler Hard Knocks.
The executive producer of the show has told SiriusXM NFL Radio that scenes of players being cut won’t be cut from the upcoming season.
“How we’re going to handle it is show exactly how they handle it,” Ross Ketover told Jim Miller and Alex Marvez. “If it’s kind, we’re going to show it. If it’s harsh, we’re going to show that, too.”
This could mean that the league office will suggest that the Bengals use a softer approach. Softer, say, than the scene from the last time the Bengals were the subject of the series, when former Bengals director of football operations Jim Lippincott dumped fullback J.D. Runnels in a manner that Ketover admits was “pretty harsh.”
Still, there’s only so much that can be done to change the way teams reduce from up to 90 players down to 53.
“There is no easy way to release players,” coach Marvin Lewis told Marvez via text message. “It’s always easier early in the morning so they don’t have to face their peers. Generally, this is done around the breakfast hour. Otherwise, it’s more awkward.
“It is the end to a chapter here but hopefully not to their career.”
Though every meeting with every player who is cut includes some sort of encouragement or advice suggesting that the glass is half full, plenty of these guys just don’t have what it takes to make it at the NFL level. At some point, the most humane approach entails telling them that it’s time to find something else to do.
After the cameras are off, of course.