Could the Washington Commanders be chosen for HBO's Hard Knocks by default given the distinct lack of interest from elsewhere around the league?
The Washington Commanders have had their fair share of drama over recent years. Not much of it has been positive, but the signs now point to the start of an exciting new era for the franchise without Dan Snyder holding them back.
Ron Rivera and other influential figures within the organization are going to be under an untold amount of pressure once Josh Harris' ownership group gets formal NFL approval. There have been so many distractions away from football that the head coach has been forced to handle, which also restricted certain matters relating to playing personnel to further add frustration.
As it turns out, the Commanders could be set for more spotlight than most this summer. And that's without taking the ownership vote into the equation.
Commanders could appear on HBO's Hard Knocks this summer
HBO has yet to announce which team will be taking part in Hard Knocks, which is surprising with training camp just around the corner. This might have something to do with a number of teams that meet the criteria coming out publicly and stating they do not want to be part of the program in 2023.
The latest of these was New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh, who made his feelings known in no uncertain terms about the prospect of Gang Green featuring on the docuseries via the New York Post.
"I know there are several teams that would love for ‘Hard Knocks’ to be in their building. We’re just not one of them."- Robert Saleh via New York Post
Saleh's comments follow on from the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints also displaying no interest in featuring. The Commanders are the only one that hasn't stated their preference one way or another, which could lead to them being picked almost by default.
This was a topic discussed by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk recently. The writer stated that HBO and the NFL could easily force the Bears, Jets, or Saints to appear - especially considering the Aaron Rodgers trade - and there is also the complex situation regarding how to handle the controversy surrounding Snyder to factor into the equation.
"The NFL could tell the Bears, Saints, or Jets “tough crap.” That extra layer of intrigue could actually make the show better. The easiest course would be to give the gig to the Commanders. But how could the league (which ultimately runs the show) properly fashion the story of the team without fully delving into the Daniel Snyder angle? If NFL Films tells the truth about the sale of the team, it makes the league bad. If NFL Films brushes any of it under the rug, folks like us will call the league out."- Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
Discussions are obviously ongoing and if the Commanders are chosen, then a proper plan on how to handle Snyder's departure and ongoing investigations needs to be put in place. One that satisfies all concerned parties.
Another distraction with the HBO cameras at training camp is the last thing Rivera needs, in all honesty. But as always, the head coach will roll with the punches and adapt accordingly.
Given the timeframe, a decision should arrive sooner rather than later. And whichever way HBO goes, it won't be universally well received.