In what seems like an increasingly-frequent occurrence, an NFL team has turned down the opportunity to be on HBO’s Hard Knocks.
Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine confirmed that the Browns were offered the chance to be on the show, but turned HBO down. While the NFL can foist the show upon any team at any time, the Browns were exempt because Pettine is in his first year at the helm.
“It was for the same reason we didn't feel super comfortable having a camera in the draft room,” he said. “Let's get through the first time, let's get through the first year.”
Perhaps fortuitously, the Browns declined before they had even drafted Johnny Manziel, dodging a potentially lethal distraction that would have hit the team before training camp even started.
While Pettine isn’t sure if they have been approached again, don’t expect their answer to change even if HBO gives it another shot. The prospect of even more attention on Manziel cannot be particularly appealing to a rebuilding team. Johnny Football hasn’t been able to go anywhere this offseason without a sea of cameras following him, and continuing that into the actual football season would have been a huge distraction.
As for the future, Pettine said that “There are positives and negatives to doing it. It's not something I would say we'd never do, partly because the league can make us do it.”
In other words, he knows that Roger Goodell is going to make them do it next year, so he’s just mentally preparing.
[via Cleveland Plain Dealer]