Cleveland Browns: Some Other Team Will Be On NFL’s Hard Knocks

Jan 1, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam (left) talks with executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and head coach Hue Jackson before the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam (left) talks with executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and head coach Hue Jackson before the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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If you are a fan of the HBO special Hard Knocks, you won’t see the Cleveland Browns on the program again later this year.

The NFL needs a team to appear on the 2017 version of Hard Knocks. At one time, the Cleveland Browns were in the running to be this season’s team.

In addition to the Browns, the Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, and the New Orleans Saints have been under consideration.

Well, if Cleveland appears on the program, it won’t be in 2017. According to ESPN Cleveland analyst Tony Grossi, the NFL will choose a team other than the Browns for the show.

That is not to say Cleveland is not going to ever be on the show. In fact, the NFL may select them once the organization gets better.

"The overwhelming sentiment with the Browns was they don’t want the distractions inherent in the series while they attempt to dig out from the rubble of last year’s 1-15 season. They’d prefer a more positive presentation if they were on the verge of competing for the playoffs."

Sooner rather than later Cleveland will be on the upswing with better yearly records. Perhaps in 2018 or 2019 the NFL will have the Browns on the yearly Hard Knocks program.

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Regardless if or when Cleveland will be on the show, I am glad to see the NFL not forcing the HBO special on the organization for 2017. They have a lot of work to do and with another opportunity to add quality players via the draft, as few distractions as possible is what Cleveland needs right now.

So, with the remaining teams under consideration, I wonder which teams would really want to be the show. The rest of those organizations all have cases for pro-Hard Knocks, but my guesses would either be the 49ers or the Saints.

San Francisco, despite being in a multi-year rebuild has two key people who would be interesting to watch: Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.

Shanahan has had his share of drama and/or extra general interest from the media from his stops with the Browns, Washington Redskins, and Atlanta Falcons. Meanwhile, Lynch is a former FOX analyst and any preparation and decision making in rebuilding a franchise from a hall of fame finalist is worth a watch.

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As far as the Saints go, quarterback Drew Brees have had his share of commercials. Also, seeing how they try to regain their crown as NFC South champs, along with the possibility of a highly drafted quarterback to learn from Brees could be quite the water cooler talk.