Hard Knocks, the popular behind-the-scenes NFL reality show on HBO, is considering five teams for its 2021 documentary.
According to the Arizona Republic, the five teams that could be this year’s Hard Knocks focus are the Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Carolina Panthers. Each of the five would love to be in next year’s Super Bowl, but need a lot of work to get there.
The reality show is a project by HBO Sports and NFL Films.
This past season, HBO went with two teams — the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers. They share the glistening new SoFi Stadium so it made sense to share the documentary. It was the first time Hard Knocks split its time between two NFL squads. The year before, HBO Sports spent the fall with the Oakland Raiders. It was the final season for the team in Oakland before they moved to Las Vegas.
Actor Liev Schreiber narrates the series each season. The only time he missed it was in 2007, when Paul Rudd, a big Chiefs fan, narrated the reality show when it focused on Kansas City.
HBO/NFL Have Requirements For Hard Knocks
According to the HBO Hard Knock Rules, teams are eligible if they don’t have a rookie head coach. They must’ve missed the playoffs the last two seasons. And they can’t appear more than once every decade.
Hard Knocks follows a team starting with July’s training camp through the end of the season. The show has been an HBO staple since 2001. There’s not much that is off-limits. Cameras love to follow the top draft picks or the long-shot free agents. Coaches and staff members also are included.
Arizona could be a nice choice. The Cardinals were in the running last season. They’ve also been featured on Amazon’s “All or Nothing” series, which is similar to Hard Knocks, but isn’t exclusive to the NFL.
Plus, Kliff Kingsbury has his own social media following. There’s a reason he’s compared to actor Ryan Gosling. Kingsbury even ended up as an answer on Jeopardy. Plus, the Cardinals feature quarterback Kyler Murray, who was the No. 1 pick of the 2019 draft. Murray is dazzling to watch on the field.
The Dallas Cowboys could be stiff competition. Dallas will be in its second year of Coach Mike McCarthy’s tenure. All eyes will be on Dak Prescott and how the quarterback responds from the severe ankle injury that knocked him out of the 2020 season. The Cowboys last appeared on Hard Knocks in 2008.
The Broncos, Giants and Panthers have yet to be on Hard Knocks. They’d all have compelling story lines.