We entered 2017 with eight teams eligible to appear on this year’s edition of HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” Since then, a few teams have been eliminated from the running, including the Ravens, Colts and Eagles. The Browns also won’t be on it, leaving just the Buccaneers, Saints, Bears and Titans as potential suitors.
Getting picked to appear on the show isn’t typically something a team wants, knowing the attention and distractions that come along with it, but the Buccaneers don’t seem to be against the idea. At least, that’s the case with head coach Dirk Koetter.
“The NFL is the greatest game in the world,” Koetter said, via ESPN. “I have no fear of our guys — there’s always gonna be guys who act different with the cameras on and some of that stuff can get a little corny, but our mission is the still the same, to figure out how to win the division and try to get in the tournament.”
The Buccaneers are an up-and-coming team, improving their record in each of the past two years. They nearly made the postseason in 2016, falling just short with a 9-7 record.
They’ve added added DeSean Jackson, Chris Baker and J.J. Wilcox, who are certain to improve the team further next season. It’s those types of story lines that make the Bucs an intriguing option, as does Doug Martin’s situation.
Martin’s future is uncertain after he was hit with a four-game suspension to begin the year, following his decision to enter a drug rehab program. That’s not to say the show should bring his personal life into the spotlight, but it’ll be closely followed by everyone this offseason – regardless of whether the Bucs are selected.
As far as the impact it may have on his team, Koetter believes it could be positive.
“I think it could be good,” Koetter said. “I think when a team has not been one of the main faces of the league for a while, I think it can contribute to that, but the No. 1 thing that contributes to that is [to] win football games.”
There’s no indication of which team will be picked for “Hard Knocks,” but of the teams eligible, the Buccaneers certainly seem like one of the best options. Jameis Winston would be sure to provide some entertainment, too.