The New York Jets will begrudgingly open their doors to HBO’s “Hard Knocks” during training camp this summer. But don’t expect the same level of access other seasons have enjoyed.
The team reportedly asked the NFL not to feature them this year, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, before they were officially picked. The Jets also reportedly plan to limit HBO’s access to the team, which includes not showing players being released throughout the summer.
This comes after head coach Robert Saleh, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and special teams captain Justin Hardee publically voiced their displeasure with being a part of the show. Saleh told reporters in June — before the Jets were picked — that New York wasn’t a team that wanted the show in their building. Rodgers went so far as to say, “They shoved it down our throats” after the news broke. Hardee, meanwhile, called the cameras what many believe they are: “a distraction.”
Jets general manager Joe Douglas also has his own personal reason for not wanting film crews to be in the building and especially why he doesn’t want them showing players being released. Douglas was in the first-ever season of “Hard Knocks” in 2001 when he worked for the Baltimore Ravens and had to escort players to the room where they’d be told they were being cut. He was called “The Turk” on the show but personally said he felt like “the Grim Reaper.
But it doesn’t matter. “Hard Knocks” is coming to Florham Park, New Jersey. So the only thing the Jets can do now is have it on their own terms. And, as Rodgers said earlier, the appeal is obvious: They have a four-time MVP, a couple of exciting young players and the backdrop of New York City. The team will, more than likely, make for exciting television.
And it’s not like teams who’ve been on the show have been all bad that season. Of the 20 teams who appeared on “Hard Knocks” since 2001 (including in-season versions of the show), seven made the playoffs, three won a playoff game and one reached the conference championship.
That one team? The 2010 Jets.