Home » Articles » General News » Bucs Closing In On Being Featured On HBO's Hard Knocks
  • increase font size
  • Default font size
  • decrease font size

May 6, 2011 @ 9:39 am
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/2 Votes

Bucs Closing In On Being Featured On HBO's Hard Knocks

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


Publisher E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tampa Bay is the clear favorite to be the subject of HBO's Hard Knocks training camp mini-series. The show has been “offered to the Buccaneers and that it is essentially theirs for the taking," a source told PewterReport.com.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the clear front-runners for the league’s choice to be the subject of the popular Hard Knocks series, which is produced by NFL Films for HBO. An NFL source told PewterReport.com that the show has been “offered to the Buccaneers and that it is essentially theirs for the taking.”

Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris first mentioned his team as a possibility to be featured this year on Hard Knocks during the NFL owners meeting back in March. The Bucs have been tight-lipped with regards to whether they will ultimately be featured on Hard Knocks, although PewterReport.com has learned that a deal has yet to be signed, but is currently being contemplated by team ownership.

Although the Buccaneers appear to be inclined to be willing participants on Hard Knocks, a league source tells PewterReport.com that one of the apparent hold-ups is the lack of a collective bargaining agreement between the NFL owners and the representatives of the NFL players. Because NFL Films would be contractually obligated to owe HBO five episodes of Hard Knocks, the Buccaneers would have to allocate six weeks worth of access for filming leading up and during training camp.

But given the current lockout situation in the league, will training camp start on time as it typically does at the end of July? If the lockout uncertainty lingers, there is a possibility that no team will be featured on Hard Knocks this year if training camp is shortened due to the ongoing labor dispute.

If there is a season, the Tampa Bay is considered to be the heavy favorites for appearing on Hard Knocks, according to a league source. The Buccaneers have made no secret of their desire to raise the team’s profile on a local and a national level, and being featured on Hard Knocks would help that cause. The team wholeheartedly agreed to host the Chicago Bears in London for the league’s International Game this year despite hosting the New England Patriots just two years ago during the 2009 season.

It is believed that the team’s willingness to do so may have aided the Bucs in landing two primetime home games against Indianapolis on October 3 on ESPN’s Monday Night Football and against Dallas on December 17 on NFL Network. The significance of those night games helps Tampa Bay’s chances of selling out both contests after a year in which every home game was not sold out and was blacked out from local television in 2010.

The Bucs have plenty of young, talented players they are eager to showcase locally and nationally, such as quarterback Josh Freeman, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, wide receiver Mike Williams and running back LeGarrette Blount, to help make them household names in the NFL. Being the subject of Hard Knocks on HBO would help raise the profile of those players and generate interest and buzz on national sports networks such as ESPN and NFL Network, which often do not cast a large spotlight on smaller market teams such as Tampa Bay.

Such interest and buzz should help boost the team’s season and individual ticket sales, which naturally interests the Glazers as the sale of tickets is one of the primary revenue streams for the Buccaneers.

Because of the behind-the-scenes aspect of NFL Films’ storytelling, news often comes from the Hard Knocks series, such as last year’s controversy over Rex Ryan’s excessive swearing in front of players when the New York Jets were featured. The young and relatively unknown Bucs could benefit from the additional exposure that could come from an appearance on Hard Knocks with the newsworthy material and footage by being forced into coverage from ESPN, NFL Network, SI.com, ProFootballTalk.com and other national media outlets.

Some of the risks that come with an appearance on Hard Knocks are possible jealousy creeping into a very young, but tight knit Buccaneers locker room if certain players are featured more prominently on HBO while others are featured less or ignored altogether, which could negatively affect team chemistry. In addition, every other NFL team would get an extensive look at Tampa Bay’s personnel.

Last year, seldom-used third-year running back Danny Woodhead was raved about by the New York Jets coaching staff on Hard Knocks, and he was ultimately picked up AFC East division rival New England after the Jets waived him on September 14. Woodhead rushed for 547 yards and five touchdowns (5.6 avg.) and caught 34 passes for 379 yards and one receiving touchdown for the Patriots and become one of New England’s most dangerous offensive weapons.

Bucs general manager Mark Dominik, director of college scouting Dennis Hickey and coordinator of pro personnel Shelton Quarles have done a great job of raiding the waiver wire for players like Blount, guard Ted Larsen, wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe, and other team’s practice squads for players like promising young safety Larry Asante. Tampa Bay would be opening itself up to lose some of the players it may want to stash on its practice squad because Hard Knocks typically features the storylines of three borderline players that are fighting to make the roster, in addition to that of three veteran players. Additional exposure to those borderline players may increase other teams’ interest level in the Bucs’ potential practice squad players.

Of the five teams that have participated in six years of Hard Knocks (Dallas has appeared twice in 2002 and ‘08), the end result was four winning seasons.
Last modified on Friday, 06 May 2011 10:48

Only registered users can rate articles!


  • avatar

    this team still needs to sort of be an underdog and a sleeper to win big this year....if the league swells this teams head as a whole, with lots of exposure, which i am beginning to see with freeman and mike williams, it will hurt these guys and they will wind up underachieving....this will be a weird year for the bucs....2012 will be when this team really matures and becomes a bunch of seasoned pros....2011 we will be competitive but hard luck can come into play....hard knocks will bend the bucs over the couches armrest while stuffing the glazer's pockets with mucho dinero....adam from the zoo
  • avatar

    it's such a 50% - 50% thing with this hard knocks crap.....there is so much good and so much bad to it....in the end if we do accept to be on the show i think it will hurt our season a little as all cats are officially out the bag when you are on hbo every week....adam from ny
  • avatar

    I say nay just play football !!
  • avatar

    I think the players could be properly prepared for the show ( to disuade jealousy )and it would help sell more tickets and get more national fans for us! Besides, I want to see my beloved Bucs on it! The show is well done and gives a behind the scenes look that you would not get otherwise. Showcase that beautiful new facility and let the world know what a great young team we have!
  • avatar

    The Hard Knocks deal is both a potential blessing AND a curse.I would rather think about the positives than the negatives. I am a Cali based fan,so I get very little news on training camp and such unless I search it out.In my experiences around Los Angeles(and surrounding areas),Tampa seems to have a very small fan base outside of Florida. I have come across huge groups of fans for just about every team in the league- EXCEPT Tampa..Im not Bullsh*ttin.. We are an up and coming young football team and the exposure could help grow the fan base. Gone are the Bruce and Chucky days-and Superbowl glory..Unless you are a fan of the team or a fan of the NFC South,Tampa is not on the radar.Hard Knocks could help open eyes to what we Buc fans already know- this team is on its way to great heights again.Rah and Dom era has begun and the rest of the fans of this league should get to know us now-before the hype,before our next Super Bowl victory..I say go for it-I would buy HBO just for it alone.. GO BUCS !!
  • avatar

    im pretty sure they took briscoe off the practice squad and onto the roster
  • avatar

    Fortunately I have Knology and all of the channels including the NFL network so that's not an issue for me. I've given this Hard Knocks show some thought as to it being good or bad. My take is that if the team chemistry is as strong as reported, it could make them an even closer knit group. I also believe Morris will keep them grounded and will set an example of keeping their egos in check. Unlike Buddy Ryan's fat son with the foot fetish and potty mouth. Rather than be envious of another player getting "face time" on camera I could envision them kidding each other over it.So in that sense I think the players would enjoy it. Since I used to be one of the guys looking over the fence at the old One Buc Place to watch training camp; I think we all would get a peek inside the inner workings of the team far beyond anything we could have imagined. I think anyone on this board would want to experience that. And finally, fans in this area have to think going to a Bucs game is "the thing to do". Seeing the team members cast as TV stars would create more of a desire to be there......and be seen. I say, "roll the cameras".
  • avatar

    Bad idea. It'll be like being on the cover of Madden..you'll curse yourselves. PLus why give that insight to the other teams? It's not worth it. Keep your magic tricks a secret Bucs!
  • avatar

    "You will give things away"-lol, Its hard reading these stupid blogs sometimes maybe i do it for the entertainment
  • avatar

    Bad idea... let's just play ball....
  • avatar

    It's a good show for the football fan and I would like to see the Bucs get the exposure, but I'm not sure it's the best thing for the team. More of a business decision to bring in more money than football decision to make the team better. I would rather have a better team if that's the case.
  • avatar

    Really bad idea. RJS will sell out without HBOs help. It just might take a little longer, that's all. Any fan that can afford it, knows what's going on with the team, and will gladly buy the tickets. They don't need HBO to clue them in. Don't screw with the chemistry this team has developed. These guys will draw enough attention as the wins pile up. They'll sell out for the next ten years.
  • avatar

    1sparkybuc- get real!!! This would be awesome to watch
  • avatar

    I would love to see it, but don't like two things: 1. Not at the cost of the Bucs losing out on some borderline players 2. I would have to buy HBO, something I never wanted to do again because of their BS political slant
  • avatar

    yes yes let's have some football and the Bucs or hard knocks is the icing on the cake....let's go BUCS
  • avatar

    Go for it! Great exposure. But, beware. Herm Edwards says there are pluses and minuses. The players will practice harder because they're on TV, but your up-and-comers and practice squaders will on display before 31 other teams who may become interested because the show focuses on 2 or 3 players trying to make the team. Dominik knows all too well what can happen when you have talented players hidden on the PS ala Dez Briscoe.
  • avatar

    I guess I need to sign up for HBO now....
  • avatar

    I was thinking the same thing.
  • avatar

    The Bucs have to be shoo-ins to be on Hard Knocks now. Dominik cemented his rising rock-star GM status with this year's draft and there are some great stories behind Morris, Dominik, Freeman, Cadillac, Clayborn, Bowers, Mike Williams, Blount, McCoy and unfortunately Talib & TJax. Too many stories and too much young talent to consider any other team for the role at this point. It's all about the drama and the Bucs have plenty of it now.
  • avatar

    Get the damned CBA signed. Do this...
Only registered users can write comments!
  • Blog

  • Articles

  • Around the Web

more RSS feed
moreRSS feed


View Magazine Front
The Buccaneers’ Christmas Wish List The Buccaneers’ Christmas Wish List The Bucs may be on Santa’s naughty list after posting a worse record in 2013 than the team did last year, but they might as well make a Christmas wish list anyways to get some ... [+] Read more
Missed an Issue? Archive
View Magazine Front


Should the Bucs sign Richie Incognito?

Pewter Report: Your source for inside and breaking news on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Hide Tools Show Tools