Raiders will be featured on HBO's 'Hard Knocks'

Jerry McDonald, East Bay Times on

Published in Football

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Get ready for the Raiders on the HBO series "Hard Knocks."

One of five teams eligible for the inside-training camp look by the network, the Raiders will be this year's feature attraction, a source told the Bay Area News Group Tuesday. The NFL announced the union between the cable network and the Raiders on Twitter, and the network as well as the Raiders later sent out announcements.

Raiders coach Jon Gruden hasn't been keen on the idea of cameras invading the space of his team's Napa training camp, but appeared to soften on the idea Tuesday at the team's three-day mandatory minicamp, realizing the deal was already done.

It happened when Gruden made an unsolicited reference to the show when being asked about the progress of rookies such as Clelin Ferrell and Johnathan Abrams.

"Who knows? Maybe 'Hard Knocks' would come and cover it," Gruden said. "That'd be awesome, wouldn't it?"

With Gruden and Rams coach Sean McVay having discussed the possibility of joint practice sessions leading in to their preseason game on Aug. 10, it's conceivable "Hard Knocks" could include those practices.


The Raiders were eligible along with Washington, the 49ers, the New York Giants and Detroit Lions as teams that weren't coming off playoff seasons and didn't have new head coaches. Gruden and his brother Jay, who coaches Washington, have each nominated the other's team to be featured.

"I'm not talking to my brother again," Gruden said.

The series will begin Aug. 6, and cameras will be present in practices and meeting rooms, with the Raiders heavily involved in terms of the content.

Raiders owner Mark Davis didn't want "Hard Knocks", and even joked to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez he'd fire Gruden and then rehire him to avoid being on the show. Ideally, Davis would have liked to see the publicity that comes with "Hard Knocks" come preceding the Raiders' first year in their new stadium in Las Vegas.


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