HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ com­ing to Cleve­land

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - FRONT PAGE - By Jeff Schudel jschudel@news-her­ald.com @jsproin­sider on Twit­ter

“Hard Knocks” chron­i­cles be­hind-the-scenes sto­ries of train­ing camp of one NFL team each sum­mer.

The Browns were al­ready re­warded go­ing 0-16 last sea­son by get­ting the first pick in the draft last month. Now they’re go­ing to be on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” too.

The story was first re­ported by Adam Schefter of ESPN. “Hard Knocks” chron­i­cles be­hind-thescenes sto­ries of train­ing camp of one NFL team each sum­mer.

The Browns were se­lected from among sev­eral teams con­sid­ered for the ca­ble net­work show. There are plenty of story lines — Coach Hue Jack­son on the hot seat with a 1-31 record, first over­all draft pick quar­ter­back Baker May­field and the re­cov­ery of wide re­ceiver Josh Gordon to name a few.

“The story lines in Cleve­land are com­pelling, which make the Browns an ideal part­ner on Hard Knocks,” NFL Films se­nior ex­ec­u­tive Ross Ke­tover said in a state­ment. “We’re look­ing for­ward to show­ing NFL fans around the world what the Haslams, John Dorsey, Hue Jack­son and the coach­ing staff are do­ing to re­build the team and reboot one of the most iconic fran­chises in sports.”

“Hard Knocks” be­gan in 2001 with the Bal­ti­more Ravens. The Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers were fea­tured last sum­mer.

The Browns will be the 13th team to ap­pear on the show.

Browns gen­eral man­ager John Dorsey at first did not want the Browns in­volved in “Hard Knocks,” but he has come to ac­cept the in­tru­sion.

“Like many, I was re­luc­tant about be­ing the fea­tured team on Hard Knocks but once we sat down and talked about it as an or­ga­ni­za­tion, I feel a lot bet­ter and un­der­stand why the time is right,” Dorsey in a state­ment. “Hue and I both feel like this team is in a good place and that we are in the process of build­ing some­thing that will lead to suc­cess. Be­ing a part of Hard Knocks will give our fans the op­por­tu­nity to see how pas­sion­ate the peo­ple in our build­ing are about win­ning and how ex­cited we are about get­ting to work and pre­par­ing for the 2018 sea­son.”

Jack­son was the run­ning backs coach in Cincinnati when the Ben­gals were on “Hard Knocks,” so he will be able to pre­pare his play­ers for what to ex­pect.

“I’ve been a part of Hard Knocks and when you ex­pe­ri­ence it first hand, you come to ap­pre­ci­ate the in­side look it re­ally gives fans,” Jack­son said in a state­ment. “We’re ex­cited about what we’re build­ing within our or­ga­ni­za­tion and feel good about the progress we’ve made this off­sea­son.

“Be­ing able to bring our fans in so they can get to know our play­ers and our or­ga­ni­za­tion in a dif­fer­ent way will be a huge pos­i­tive for us. I want peo­ple to see how much our play­ers and coaches care, how hard they work and how badly they want to win for Cleve­land. This will be a great op­por­tu­nity for our team.”

A 30-per­son NFL Films crew will shoot more than 2,000 hours of footage over the course of the series. Cam­era and sound crews will have to­tal ac­cess in Berea.

PHIL LONG — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Browns first-round draft picks Baker May­field, left, and Den­zel Ward will likely be play­ers in the spot­light dur­ing film­ing of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” dur­ing train­ing camp.

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