The Buccaneers fall within the universe of teams that could be tabbed for Hard Knocks, whether they want it or not. While they haven’t raised their hands with zeal for the opportunity, they seem to be resigned to the possibility that the tap on the shoulder is coming.
As explained by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the Buccaneers believe they’re one of the primary candidates for the assignment. The team, per Stroud, has promised to cooperate fully. However, the Bucs want a final answer within the next week.
Coach Dirk Koetter has recently tried to put a positive spin on the presence of cameras and microphones. Owner Joel Glazer also has spoken about the situation in positive terms.
“I think our players are at a point in their maturity that they would be able to handle it,” Glazer said, according to Stroud. “They recognize what goes along with it. We’ll always be supportive of the league. Nobody is rushing to the podium for that necessarily. But I do feel I have great confidence in this team.”
While no one is rushing to do it, the key for the league is finding a team that won’t flat-out refuse to do it. That said, the best way to make the series more compelling would be to force a team to do it when the team is dead set against it.
The league recently renewed its commitment to the annual training-camp series via a four-year extension with HBO. Which means that, every year, the NFL will need to find someone to do it. Under current rules, only teams with new coaches, teams who have been to the playoffs in the last two years, and/or teams that have done the show within the last 10 years are exempt. For 2017, eight teams are eligible to be required to submit to the show: the Bucs, Browns, Eagles, Colts, Bears, Ravens, Titans, and Saints.