No 'Hard Knocks' For Patriots

HBO is finding it tough going to lure a big market team to open the doors for an offseason of their "Hard Knocks" series. One NFL insider told us, there's no chance the Patriots would ever get on that list. They're probably right. The Cincinnati Bengals however, ARE reportedly one of the teams still in the mix.

HBO having trouble finding "Hard Knocks" takers
The Sports Xchange

Despite having a difficult time finding a team to profile for its popular summer reality series "Hard Knocks," HBO is expected to pick an NFL club on June 1, the New York Post reported.

The program closely follows an NFL team during training camp and preseason in a documentary format. The program started in 2001 but did not film last year due to the lockout.

Several teams, including the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins, have declined to be featured, according to USA Today.

A source told the Post that with NFL Films President Steve Sabol battling brain cancer, it has been difficult to convince teams to allow such close access.

"Without him going out to the teams twisting arms, it's been hard," the source said. "Nobody would say 'no' to Sabol."

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan has said he would be interested, but HBO would likely be more interested in a bigger market team

Patriots Insider's Take:
According to insiders familiar with the team, the Patriots are considered to be one of the clubs that HBO's producers have given up on trying to recruit. It's believed that certain decision-makers in New England have made it known there's no chance the team would agree to allow that kind of insider access to the Patriots.  After a season with Jets head coach Rex Ryan  forcefully encouraging his team to eat a snack after chewing them out, is it any wonder why the Patriots would choose to avoid the possibility of stirring up that same type of drama just for TV ratings?

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