On May 6, PewterReport.com reported that the Bucs were gaining strong consideration from NFL Films to be the subject of the popular HBO series Hard Knocks, which chronicles a team through training camp. A league source told PewterReport.com that Hard Knocks was "“offered to the Buccaneers and that it is essentially theirs for the taking.”
On Monday, the team officially declined that invitation, saying through its Twitter site: "We have respectfully declined this year's Hard Knocks invitation. Wonderful show, but the team wants to keep the focus on the field in 2011."
Tampa Bay was considered to be the heavy favorites for appearing on Hard Knocks, according to a league source, and turned out to be the preferred choice. 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.
But with the Buccaneers still being one of the league's youngest teams, and the team having a string of arrests over the past year ranging from DUI charges levied against essential football staffers, to drug charges involving players, to a felonious assault with a handgun case involving star cornerback Aqib Talib, perhaps Tampa Bay didn't want to be in the spotlight after all.