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Hard Knocks team likely will be a volunteer

20100811_hardknocksny1_560x375 Getty Images

The ultimate reality show has its own reality show.  And the process of selecting a subject for it could be a reality show unto itself.

The NFL has not yet announced this year’s Hard Knocks team, but a rule passed in 2013 gives the league a pool of prospects that can be pressed into service.  With 24 teams falling within the criteria this year for an exemption (new coach, playoff appearance in one of the last two years, or Hard Knocks duty with the last decade), eight teams can, in theory, be drafted.

They are the Bills, Bears, Cardinals, Giants, Jaguars, Raiders, Rams, and Steelers.

But the NFL has “potential volunteers,” we’re told, which means that a team most likely won’t be led kicking and screaming to the assignment.  It’s unclear whether any/many/all of the volunteers are technically exempt; every year, at least one team wants to do it.  The question is whether the NFL wants that team to be the team that does it.

Ultimately, it would be a surprise if the NFL picks a team that is dead set against the assignment.  The new formula likely arose from the long-term commitment to continue with the HBO series.  The league needs to have a way to satisfy the obligation if/when a year arrives when no one wants to do it.

So basically someone wants to do it this year.  We just don’t know yet who that is.

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36 Responses to “Hard Knocks team likely will be a volunteer”
  1. thevikingslol says: May 21, 2014 1:39 PM

    Having the Vikings on there would be beneficial to the rest of the league in showing them how to NOT be a failure.

    Just do exactly the opposite of everything you see on the show and you’re good LOL NO RINGS.

  2. sdelmonte says: May 21, 2014 1:40 PM

    Jags. I think Shad Khan will see the publicity as a good thing. Or maybe Oakland, since it’s always a circus there.

    Definitely not the Giants, Rams or Steelers.

  3. bmore44 says: May 21, 2014 1:42 PM

    It will be Steelers. NFL is still PO at Tomlin for the shenanigans he pulled at B-more

  4. sb44champs says: May 21, 2014 1:43 PM

    It will never be the New Orleans Saints

  5. savocabol1 says: May 21, 2014 1:44 PM

    How can they force a team to do the show?

  6. blamatina says: May 21, 2014 1:45 PM

    All signs point to the Rams this year.

  7. weepingjebus says: May 21, 2014 1:48 PM

    Can we add the “volunteering” randomly to the draft, sort of like a whammy?

    “And with the 16th pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys select…..Zack Martin! Oh, and that alarm tells us they have also been volunteered for Hard Knocks! Congratulations.”

    I would watch this.

  8. luadak says: May 21, 2014 1:53 PM

    I say add a supplemental 3rd Round Draft Choice to the team that volunteers.

    Incentive…

  9. ickyfreakingwoods says: May 21, 2014 1:56 PM

    I’d like to see Cincinnati.

  10. thestrategyexpert says: May 21, 2014 1:57 PM

    All of those teams should want to do it. But I can understand why all of them would not want to do it if they lack the confidence that they are going to have a great year and/or aren’t confident in the quality of the coaching work they do.

    Being on the show is an advantage if you are smart and good at what you do, but it’s the reverse if you don’t have the goods.

  11. donphin99 says: May 21, 2014 1:58 PM

    NFL should offer a draft pick to do the show. Up the round until someone bites…

  12. berniekosar says: May 21, 2014 1:58 PM

    Cleveland obviously.

  13. fitzmagic1212 says: May 21, 2014 2:02 PM

    bills…new owner drama new stadium updates interesting young team HOF game. joint practices with the steelers. makes sense

  14. revren10 says: May 21, 2014 2:08 PM

    They should put on the Vikings and show how awful there first round bust of a quarterback will be

  15. jwh8541 says: May 21, 2014 2:08 PM

    Fisher hates HK, in fact the other day said Rams were “unlikely” to be selected. I think after they took Sam they told the league look we did our part for the league get someone else for HK.

    That incentive thing is a goodidea luadak.
    Maybe force the team with the top pick.

  16. tformation says: May 21, 2014 2:12 PM

    Fisher & Arians have come out swinging against the idea publicly. Probably not them.

    Whoever said Cleveland forgets that they have a new head coach which puts them out of the running.

    I’d love it to be the Bears, but I’ve got a feeling Trestman wouldn’t. Hard Knocks might actually put a human face on Jay Cutler. For a change.

    Jags are probably the team most publicity hungry and could gain the most from it. They are my guess at the volunteer. Although, Hard Knocks would have their work cut out for them to make it interesting… yeah, you’ve got Bortles & a talkative players’ head coach, but good God the Jags are just awful.

  17. olcap says: May 21, 2014 2:14 PM

    NFL volunteer committee to Tomlin:

    “Hey Mike, remember that little incident last season where you interfered with a play by stepping onto the field and we let you off really light for?”

  18. antilogicalvoicesays says: May 21, 2014 2:19 PM

    If you enjoy your zzzzzzzz, call the Raiders, because Dennis Allen’s personality is as exciting as a dry fart!

  19. citizenstrange says: May 21, 2014 2:20 PM

    Probably the Steelers. Everyone in the media — not to mention the Rooneys —- seems to be “blown away” by Tomlin’s gobbledygook double talk.

    It could be the Steelers for the forseeable future too since they will not be making any playoff appearances and for some reason Tomlin seems bulletproof.

  20. nostalgicsound says: May 21, 2014 2:22 PM

    I’d like to see the Browns. Their off season has been a interesting marred by turmoil and yet promise any potential. I would deffinately tune.

  21. ncheelsboysfan says: May 21, 2014 2:24 PM

    Cleveland and Johnny Football – Id watch that!

  22. flacco8 says: May 21, 2014 2:32 PM

    It warms my heart that the Steelers are in the same group as teams like the Bills, Cardinals, Jaguars, Raiders, and Rams…

    What a fall from grace Steeler Nation, look at the company you keep now with 2 straight years missing the playoffs!!!!!

  23. arcross12042004scorp15 says: May 21, 2014 2:40 PM

    The Bills would be good choice, this would give viewers a chance to see the team they have quietly assembled. 18 starters are either 1st (12) or 2nd round picks (6). Coming off a 6-10 season where they lost 4 games by a touchdown or less. They have 6 new starters, 5 are upgrades.
    Some quality players who will start on other teams will be cut.

  24. Timothy Benton says: May 21, 2014 2:42 PM

    Do not think the Pack will ever volunteer for this, not their style. But then I doubt the Bronco’s, Patriots, or other teams that are always in the playoffs would like this distraction.

  25. radrntn says: May 21, 2014 2:57 PM

    it should be the raiders….maybe they can include discussions of a new stadium, or a new city on one of the episodes.

  26. dtr3e says: May 21, 2014 3:21 PM

    I think people need to read between the lines here. It’s going to be the St. Louis Rams. They have Micheal Sam, the biggest “story” of this offseason, the first openly gay football player. Who has his own reality show that was POSTPONED. Why? Probably due to the cameras HBO will have at training camp, documenting Sam’s arrival and let the NFL get paid for the publicity, rather than it going into Sam’s pocket and be scrutinized for it.

  27. obsessedvikingfan says: May 21, 2014 3:33 PM

    They should put on the Packers and show how awful there first round bust Ha Ha will be.

  28. djshnooks says: May 21, 2014 3:37 PM

    Not only are the Bills an up and coming young team with a lot of characters…

    They are selling the team, having a legend inducted into the HOF, and dedicating this season to their lost leader.

    There is A LOT of drama about to unfold at Ones Bills Drive this year.

  29. rcali says: May 21, 2014 3:48 PM

    Fisher and the Rams already did the league one huge favor so I’m guessing the NFL is going to give them a break and not force them onto the show. Although you know the NFL desperately wants it to be the Rams.

  30. jrcoop says: May 21, 2014 6:47 PM

    Obviously it’s not the Rams as Fisher has already informed everyone that the organization has some special “right to go through training camp with some normalcy.” Of course, that’s rather unlikely regardless of HK.

  31. lewiscafarella says: May 22, 2014 12:12 AM

    I’d love to see my Bills on Hard Knocks. Just please no Browns or Rams, they’re way too obvious choices.

  32. tinytoolalldrool says: May 22, 2014 9:43 AM

    bring it to Pittsburgh the City of Champions.

  33. mdsayre says: May 22, 2014 1:25 PM

    C’mon Steelers! That would be a great series, with plenty of backstories and drama.

    Jags would be a good one too with their rookie QB and new owner Shaka Khan.

  34. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: May 23, 2014 3:27 AM

    Typically a team that wants it isn’t necessarily a team that HBO wants.

    Just make it the team with the first draft pick each season. That’s usually a team that just had a bad season and could use some coverage. Also HBO covering the very first pick in the draft can be interesting.

    Done.

  35. salviefresh says: May 23, 2014 6:49 PM

    Oakland has a ton going on with rebuilding and the search for a future home I think it would be cool to watch that all unfold.

  36. jgarcia1227 says: Jun 11, 2014 5:11 PM

    It says here that first coaches are exempt but the Dolphin’s season featured a first year head coach

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