Though there hasn’t been an official NFL announcement regarding the team selected for HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy may have revealed a hint.
In his monthly story on the team’s website, which also includes a Q&A section with fans, Murphy addressed a question — or, rather, more of a statement — that Green Bay should avoid the show.
“‘Hard Knocks’ is a great show and gives fans an inside look at a team’s training camp,” Murphy wrote. “It also provides good publicity for the team. The downside is that it can be a distraction and teams are concerned that other teams can learn information from the show. The best thing to do if you don’t want to be on ‘Hard Knocks’ is to make the playoffs every year. The league (and HBO) can only require a team to appear on ‘Hard Knocks’ if they have failed to make the playoffs two years in a row.”
And then, in the final line of his answer, Murphy added some intrigue: “I’m anxious to see the Jets and the many ex-Packers on “Hard Knocks” this summer — should be very entertaining.”
If that’s the case, and the Jets are the subject of the HBO series for the first time since 2010, it’d likely frustrate head coach Robert Saleh, who was vocal about wanting to avoid the show.
“I know there are several teams that would love for ‘Hard Knocks’ to be in their building,” Saleh told reporters June 9. “We’re just not one of them.”
It’s certainly possible Murphy made an assumption — and may not know for sure — based on speculation that has emerged about the Jets being the best team for the show, given their offseason highlighted by the Aaron Rodgers sweepstakes.
They acquired the quarterback from the Packers to end years of tension between the 39-year-old signal caller and the Green Bay front office, and Rodgers’ request and intention to play for the Jets also made the franchise one of the most interesting storylines for the 2023 season.
Gang Green already had its young core, with receiver Garrett Wilson and cornerback Sauce Gardner.
They returned other key pieces of a defense that carried them in 2022.
But they still didn’t have a quarterback, with Zach Wilson piecing together another disappointing season with multiple benchings.
Less than a week after Saleh’s comments, ProFootballTalk reported that the league “apparently will not be listening to the preferences” of Saleh and the Jets, perhaps favoring Gang Green from the group of teams that meet the criteria of having not been on the show for 10 years, didn’t hire a new head coach in the offseason and haven’t made the last two postseasons — all of which the Jets have met, as well as the Commanders, Bears and Saints.
The Lions were the subject of “Hard Knocks” during training camp in 2022, with the Cardinals participating in the show during the season.
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