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Saints bracing for involuntary Hard Knocks assignment

HardKnocksGetty Getty Images

Three days at the Scouting Combine resulted in plenty of intriguing information landing in the PFT bucket, and the biggest goal for the next two days will be to share as much of it as possible. To the extent I can remember it.

Here’s one thing I remember. Per a league source, the Saints are bracing for the possibility of the league tapping them on the shoulder and directing them to be the subject of the annual Hard Knocks series.

The Saints are one of seven teams that can be forced to do it, under criteria the league developed several years ago. Only teams that: (1) have a new coach; (2) have been to the postseason in either of the last two years; or (3) have served as the Hard Knocks subject within the last 10 years can say no. This year, the teams that can’t decline are the Saints, Bills, Bears, Jaguars, Raiders, Chargers, and Rams.

Here’s one thing that won’t be happening if Hard Knocks descends on Saints training camp (which could be returning for the third straight year to West Virginia): Saints players won’t be fighting with players from other teams during joint practices, for the benefit of the cameras.

As the Saints and Patriots prepared to share a practice field at the Greenbrier last summer, Payton told his players, “If you decide to fight, pack your bags.” Payton later bemoaned that fact that NFL Network excessively hyped a brouhaha between the Cowboys and the Rams.

Here’s another thing that may not be happening if the Saints get the assignment: Payton may resist allowing camera into the room when players are being cut. And that, frankly, could be enough to get the NFL to draft a team that would be more willing to allow what often are the most compelling moments of the series to be captured.

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27 Responses to “Saints bracing for involuntary Hard Knocks assignment”
  1. howiehandles says: Feb 27, 2016 1:13 PM

    Rams, with the big change, and a young team
    Raiders, up and coming team.
    Bears, going through their rebuild.

    Jags, Chargers, Saints, zzzzzz.

    Ryan was fun, but want to see some new blood.

  2. fanofpft says: Feb 27, 2016 1:16 PM

    NFL should have an incentive policy over this. Like doing so would not lose you a home game by having to play an international game.

  3. bleedingfacemask says: Feb 27, 2016 1:20 PM

    With relocation and temporary digs, a certain extra dynamic is added if the Rams have to do Hard Knocks.

    And the league is always intrigued by “good television”.

    Saints probably shouldn’t worry so much.

  4. badmude says: Feb 27, 2016 1:40 PM

    NFL is doing this wrong, Instead of interrupting a team who is trying to get to the next level, by rebuilding, or trying to get to the playoffs. These teams don’t need the distractions. It’s the playoff teams or how about one of the Superbowl teams the NFL should be showcasing. They can show how a championship team is run and keeping them focused for another run for a title. Don’t burden a team that already sucks and give them more distractions.

  5. firerogergoodellnow says: Feb 27, 2016 1:45 PM

    HBO should film Hard Knocks at the league office. Have cameras in Goodell’s office when he tells a player he’s fining or suspending him. Also film the owner’s meetings too.

  6. araidersfan says: Feb 27, 2016 1:56 PM

    I would think that an attention-seeking egomaniac who has accomplished nothing like Rex Ryan would be yelling ‘pick me!!!’ in order to get onto Hard Knocks.

  7. a6baum says: Feb 27, 2016 2:01 PM

    It’ll be LA Rams… why does anyone think otherwise…

  8. mongo3401 says: Feb 27, 2016 2:02 PM

    No team should be forced into this. Was interesting a few years and now is mundane. Just noticed hbonhad Houston on from last year. Until then did not know they were even the 2015 hard knocks ” guest “

  9. weepingjebus says: Feb 27, 2016 2:31 PM

    The Bills have two Ryans on staff, a star RB who might be jailed, and haven’t made the playoffs this century. If they don’t get Hard Knocks I will lose all faith in the league’s media instincts.

  10. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Feb 27, 2016 2:58 PM

    The Jeff Fisher Phenomenon strikes again.

    It’s a slam dunk that it should be the Rams. There are so many built in story lines around a team relocating to another city.

    But it won’t be the Rams because Jeff Fisher wields enormous power within the inner circles of the league based upon his position on the Competition Committee. Never has someone who accomplished so little held more power.

  11. cinzano08 says: Feb 27, 2016 3:14 PM

    The saints should tell NFL to get lost after the screwing they took on bountygate

  12. ebdug says: Feb 27, 2016 3:22 PM

    Ain’t no way Goodell is going to give anyone an excuse to put a mic under Brees mouth. Not since his talk show tour a few years ago when he announced that none of the players trusted Goodell. Besides, it can be argued that Payton’s hush money has run out since the extension he received back then is being redone.

  13. charger383 says: Feb 27, 2016 3:48 PM

    Drew Brees demands an explanation

  14. beavertonsteve says: Feb 27, 2016 3:59 PM

    Fisher may not have a say. The Rams agreed to just about every possible stipulation you can imagine to make the move. Hard Knocks could have been another one.

  15. Jeremy Meyer says: Feb 27, 2016 4:02 PM

    I agree with everyone that says its the Rams.
    The road to LA is a story that may get you more of a behind the scene story than any other Hard Knocks.

  16. captainwhodat says: Feb 27, 2016 4:19 PM

    well, it has been hard knocks for Aints fans the past few years…with the success of the team and everything…but then, they do, as their fans, point out, have the #1 passing offense which has got to be balm for the heart, doesn’t it…

  17. chc4 says: Feb 27, 2016 4:25 PM

    The Saints are so boring.

  18. tomtravis76 says: Feb 27, 2016 4:26 PM

    The league wants the spotlight on LA.

    Nothing interesting about the Saints unless you are a Saints fan.

  19. laxer37 says: Feb 27, 2016 4:29 PM

    It should just automatically be the Browns every year.

    No reason to burden any of the other teams that are actually TRYING to compete for a championship.

  20. noteamforlosangeles says: Feb 27, 2016 4:59 PM

    I say it should be the Rams…Stick it to Cranky Kroenke for messing over St. Louis fans.

  21. cinzano08 says: Feb 27, 2016 5:35 PM

    Not going to be Rams. Facility is not ready. They’ll get it once facility is completed. It will be must watching to hear Bree’s bad mouthing goodell

  22. kcflake says: Feb 27, 2016 5:47 PM

    Teams should not be forced to participate in hard knocks.

  23. jm91rs says: Feb 27, 2016 6:49 PM

    Kroenke should be all over this. There’s no better way to introduce the city to a new team than all the behind the scenes stuff. Of course fisher won’t like it but he can’t stick around much longer anyway.

  24. mongo3401 says: Feb 27, 2016 7:02 PM

    Glad info not bet because I would have bet it was going to be the Los Angeles Rams. I don’t like Hard Knocks but would have watched it if it was the Rams A Hard Knocks with the Saints will be as much fun as watching paint dry.

  25. ReligionIsForIdiots says: Feb 27, 2016 7:49 PM

    araidersfan says:
    Feb 27, 2016 1:56 PM
    I would think that an attention-seeking egomaniac who has accomplished nothing like Rex Ryan would be yelling ‘pick me!!!’ in order to get onto Hard Knocks.
    ———

    How many rings do you have? How many Top 5 defenses have you run?

    Thought so.

  26. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Feb 27, 2016 8:30 PM

    ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Feb 27, 2016 7:49 PM
    araidersfan says:
    Feb 27, 2016 1:56 PM
    I would think that an attention-seeking egomaniac who has accomplished nothing like Rex Ryan would be yelling ‘pick me!!!’ in order to get onto Hard Knocks.
    ———

    How many rings do you have? How many Top 5 defenses have you run?

    Thought so.
    ====

    How many do you have and how did you earn them?

  27. raiders757 says: Feb 28, 2016 9:52 AM

    What a crock. The NFL has no right to force this on any team that doesn’t wish to participate.

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