Cleveland Browns to be Featured on HBO’s Upcoming Season of Hard Knocks
If there is any team in the NFL who has gone through consistent “hard knocks” in the past few years, it’s the Cleveland Browns. They finished off the 2016 season with a 1-15 record, and then went on to achieve the least coveted achievement in the NFL – a winless 2017 season. However, the Browns have announced they will be featured on the 13th season of Hard Knocks.
Hard Knocks is a HBO documentary series that follows an NFL team through training camp and the preseason. The show gives viewers a raw, unfiltered look at the many hardships a team endures before the start of the season. The past two seasons of Hard Knocks have featured the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both of which went on to complete a less than stellar season during the time of filming Hard Knocks.
While a winless team so hopelessly lost in despair might not sound like an ideal choice to be featured on the show, Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam stated, “We really felt like it was our turn this year and the timing was right.” There are also some new additions to the Browns that gives fans hope of winning games again. The series typically follows a handful of players throughout training camp and the preseason, and details their struggles on catching the eye of their coaches, in hopes of securing a starting position.
The Browns selected Baker Mayfield, a quarterback from Oklahoma, as the number one pick of the draft. The former Heisman Trophy winner is the final piece to a young, physical, and athletic roster that the Browns have been building for the past few years. Expect a big part of this upcoming season to feature Mayfield competing against recently acquired veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
Other potential story-lines include wide receiver Josh Gordon, who hasn’t played a full season since 2013, due to multiple suspensions and legal troubles off the field. He will be competing with Jarvis Landry and Corey Coleman for a top spot on the Browns receiving core. I’d expect some juicy drama between the young running backs Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb as well. Hard Knocks will also bring much needed exposure to some of the talented members on the Browns roster, including safety Jabril Peppers and defensive end Myles Garrett.
“We have been asked multiple times about being featured on Hard Knocks, and we really felt like it was our turn this year and the timing was right,” Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said in a statement. “We want to be great partners in this league, and we also recognize Hard Knocks gives fans a special opportunity to learn more about our team and players. Organizationally, we are confident about where we are headed, but we have a lot of work to do in order for this franchise to earn the respect of our fans on the field. We understand winning is ultimately most important to our fans.”
Hue Jackson, who has a less than stellar 1-31 record as head coach, said, “Being able to bring our fans in so they can get to know our players and our organization in a different way will be a huge positive for us. I want people to see how much our players and coaches care, how hard they work and how badly they want to win for Cleveland. This will be a great opportunity for our team.”