When no teams volunteer to appear on Hard Knocks, the NFL forces someone to do it. This year, five teams meet the criteria to be told they’re on the annual HBO documentary show whether they want to be or not.
The Cardinals, Lions, Broncos, Jaguars and Steelers all can be required to do Hard Knocks. Most years no team volunteers, so one of those teams is likely to be the subject of the show in August of 2020.
To get out of doing Hard Knocks, a team has to have a new head coach, or have been in the playoffs within the last two years, or have previously appeared on Hard Knocks within the last 10 years. A team that doesn’t fit into any of those categories can be required to be on it.
At Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s year-end press conference, it was pointed out to him that his team is one of the five. Although he didn’t have much to say about it, he did acknowledge that the Steelers might be told, not asked, to appear on the show.