Hard Knocks is good for the NFL: It provides a fascinating glimpse at the work that players and coaches do during training camp, and serves to get fans excited about the upcoming season. But while the whole NFL benefits from the publicity of a popular, well-made show that generally casts the league in a positive light, only one team has to deal with the potential distractions of cameras and microphones following everyone around at all times.
Those distractions are why most teams don’t want to do Hard Knocks, and some years there is no Hard Knocks because no team will do it. And so NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is hoping that NFL teams will begin to view Hard Knocks as a shared obligation that can benefit the entire league.
We noted in our Monday morning one-liners that Goodell praised the Bengals as being “great” in allowing access to the Hard Knocks cameras, having done the show in 2009 and agreeing to do the show again this year. But while Goodell appreciates the Bengals doing it again, he also said he’d like to see more teams welcome the cameras into their training camps.
“We’re talking about some kind of formal rotation where teams participate in the show on a more regular basis,” Goodell told Bengals.com. “Not necessarily more frequently, but on a regular basis so that it is a shared obligation and it would give more teams an opportunity to have this.”
It’s easy to see why Goodell wants teams to buy into the league’s view that Hard Knocks should be a shared obligation. But unless the NFL is prepared to force Hard Knocks on a team that doesn’t want to do it, there are some coaches who will simply never go along with having cameras and microphones in their film rooms and team meetings.