USA TODAY US Edition

HBO builds ‘Hard Knocks’ buzz with silence

- By Michael Hiestand -Follow him on Twitter @hiestandus­at

HBO, as it always has, declines to comment on the various reports on what team will be picked for its Hard Knocks NFL training camp show — including a tweet by ESPN’S Adam Schefter that the Atlanta Falcons have been offered the role.

The New York Jets (and Tim Tebow) would be a more obvious choice, while the bounty-burdened New Orleans Saints would be a better one. It doesn’t really matter for the NFL Films-produced show. Like NBC’S Olympic coverage, Hard Knocks hopes to create personal story lines around ath- letes — even if they’re obscure. HBO doesn’t have to worry about ratings because it’s ad-free. HBO just wants buzz, which it builds from staying mum.

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