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It’s Official Hard Knocks is Coming to Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially announce Wednesday that the Emmy award-winning Hard Knocks will feature the Bucs in 2017

With the Buccaneers emerging early as one of the front runners to be featured on the 12th season of HBO’s Hard Knocks, opinions flew wild on whether or not the ultimate sports based reality show would be beneficial. Opinions ranged from giving the on-the-rise Buccaneers some much-needed exposure, to the intrusive nature of the show just causing a distraction that will ultimately divert the team from returning to the postseason for the first time since 2007.

Love it or hate it, Hard Knocks is coming to Tampa Bay.

Regardless of your stance, Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President of HBO Sports made the official announcement Wednesday.

 “On behalf of HBO and NFL films it’s my privilege to announce that the 2017 edition of Hard Knocks will feature the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.” “I want to thank the Glazer family, as well as Jason Licht and coach Koetter as well as all the players staff and coaches who give their time energy and resources to making this show such a success.”-Peter Nelson


Buccaneers GM Jason Licht was very supportive of having Hard Knocks in Tampa this year, especially for the fans:

“There is a lot of hard work that goes into a season and HBO and NFL films will be able to capture that for our fans so I am very excited for the fans to see the work that goes on behind the scenes that sometimes isn’t detailed or goes a little bit underappreciated. Not only from our players, but our coaches, our scouts, our full staff (and) everyone in general.”

“I’m excited that our fans are going to be able to see that.”

For some members of the Buccaneers organization, this isn’t the first dance with Hard Knocks. Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith and head coach Dirk Koetter were both with Atlanta when Hard Knocks featured the Falcons.

” I like watching the show, I wish I wasn’t on it, me personally I’m speaking for me personally,”Koetter joked. “I did a good job of staying out of the camera line in Atlanta, and I’ll try to do the same thing here.”

With the pressure of being in front of a camera when normally they are not, there is always the lingering thought that the Buccaneers progression could be hindered by the presence of the Hard Knocks staff. The confidence and focus shown not only by Jason Licht, but by Dirk Koetter as well seemingly took away from the chance of distraction.

“Everyone here in this room today, we all have jobs” Koetter said. “I’m very aware of what my job is in all this and that’s to get our football team ready to play.”

“I have to worry about what my job is.”

When asked if Hard Knocks was a distraction in 2014 when the show covered the Falcons, Koetter responded, “In no way was that a distraction. It’s just part of the deal.”

Some people may believe that players or even coaches put on a front when the Hard Knocks crew is around. If that has been the case in the past, Dirk Koetter made it clear that is no in the plans with his club.

“We are not trying to hide anything here. I think there are some great stories to tell and I think the players have some great causes they are behind outside of the building. I think thing that’s corny is if guys are faking it, so we will probably go with the no faking rule.”- Dirk Koetter

With six cameras on all the players and coaches at any given time, Hard Knocks will allow the fans to get a unique view of training camp from players and personnel alike, from time on the field to behind the scenes meetings. Hard Knocks will feature five episodes, with the final four being featured around the teams’ preseason games.

The first episode of Hard Knocks with the Buccaneers will premiere on HBO Tuesday August 8th at 10pm.

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