Timsanity may lead Jets back to "Hard Knocks"

As the Jets discuss the possibility of a return to HBO's Hard Knocks, it raises the question was the acquisition of Tim Tebow strictly a football decision or in part a public relations stunt?

More than a week after his overflow press conference and people are still talking about Tim Tebow, or talking about how the Jets might fare with Tebow, or talking about how the Jets might get even more attention with Tebow in tow.

Of course, some of that attention will be sought after by the Jets. Owner Woody Johnson told reporters at a promotional event for the NFL in Manhattan on Monday, April 2, that the Jets have had informal talks with HBO about once again appearing on the network's training camp "reality" show "Hard Knocks" but that they " have yet to receive a formal invitation.

"When we do, we will take a look at it," Johnson said.

The Jets were the subject of perhaps the most memorable edition of "Hard Knocks" in 2010, when coach Rex Ryan became a viral sensation by capping a profane speech the night before a preseason game by yelling "now let's go eat a god (darn) snack."

With Tebow generating more attention than any NFL player, starting quarterback Mark Sanchez possessing something less than an ironclad grip on his job and the Jets coming off an 8-8 season marred by locker-room in-fighting, the 2012 edition of the green and white is an obvious target for HBO.

But perhaps wary of drawing even more attention to a dysfunctional franchise, neither Ryan nor general manager Mike Tannenbaum seemed all that enthusiastic earlier this offseason about returning to "Hard Knocks."

"At that time, I thought 'Hard Knocks' was good for us," Ryan told reporters at the league meetings last month. "We had nothing to hide. We were going to be ourselves, and I think it portrayed us pretty good. I don't know about all that right now."

Tannenbaum, during an interview with SiriusXM in late March, went even further. "I'm looking forward to watching another team on it this year," he said.

Perhaps sensing the inevitable, Tannenbaum issued a statement Monday in which he sounded more amenable to once again welcoming the HBO cameras at training camp. "Obviously, if we're asked, we'll sit down and talk about it," Tannenbaum said.

HBO spokesperson Greg Domino told the Newark Star-Ledger the network doesn't discuss the "Hard Knocks" selection process. If the Jets were picked, they would be the second franchise to appear on the show twice (the Dallas Cowboys appeared in 2002 and 2008) and the first to do it in consecutive editions. There was no "Hard Knocks" last year due to the lockout.

"It's something we would take a look at with Mike and the coach and (media relations director) Bruce (Speight) and I and others that we think would add value to that discussion, to see whether it is something we want to do," Johnson said.

Tight end Dustin Keller, who appeared in Manhattan with Johnson, said he understood why the Jets would be a candidate for "Hard Knocks" and that he wouldn't mind it.

"We would be good for 'Hard Knocks,' especially with Rex's personality (and) the Tebow trade-I definitely see how we would be appealing," Keller said.

As for the possibility of even more media interest in the Jets? "With everything that's going on, there couldn't be any more exposure," Keller said. "If it's something that could be good for the team, why not do it?"

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