Now that it appears the head coach firings going into the 2020 season have concluded (except maybe the Dallas Cowboys, who are irrelevant to this discussion), only a few teams remain that could be forced to appear on HBO’s training camp documentary series “Hard Knocks.” And for the second year in a row, the Detroit Lions are one of those teams.
Teams must accept being selected for “Hard Knocks” if all of the following are true:
- They haven’t appeared on “Hard Knocks” in the past 10 years
- They haven’t made the playoffs in the past two seasons
- They don’t have a first-year head coach
That leaves the Detroit Lions, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Denver Broncos, the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers as the five teams that cannot decline the option to participate.
You’d have to imagine the Pittsburgh Steelers would be the ideal fit for the NFL documentary series, as they are one of the most storied and popular franchises the league has. That being said, the Broncos and Cardinals both have young franchise quarterbacks, and you know HBO would go crazy mustache-crazy with Gardner Minshew.
As for the Lions, I suppose they could make an interesting storyline of a make-or-break season for the Patriots duo of Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn. But those two have made it clear that they have no interest in participating in “Hard Knocks.”
“I think Jon Gruden is an excellent choice for that show,” Patricia joked, hoping the Oakland Raiders would be featured in 2019 (they were).
Quinn offered a football-related reason why he hoped to not appear on the show.
“One of my guys in scouting watches the show,” Quinn said. “If we’re playing them that year, we DVR that show, we watch that show, we might gleam a little thing about a personnel matter or a scheme thing. So that’s something that other teams always do. I know we do it. We did it with our previous team. I’ve done it here, so it’s real.”
But those two will have no say in the matter. If HBO and the NFL decide that it’s the Lions’ year for “Hard Knocks,” then come August, we’ll see a behind-the-scenes look at our Detroit Lions.