Ravens returning to 'Hard Knocks' along with rest of AFC North

Brian Wacker, Baltimore Sun on

Published in Football

BALTIMORE — The Ravens are returning to “Hard Knocks.”

HBO and the NFL announced Monday that Baltimore will be one of four teams featured on “Hard Knocks: In Season with the AFC North.” The series will debut on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 9 p.m., following the Ravens’ Week 13 game against the Philadelphia Eagles at M&T Bank Stadium and will be carried on HBO and streamed on Max.

The “all-access coverage” will follow the AFC North — which had the best record in the league and three playoff teams last season in the Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers — with episodes airing every Tuesday over the final six weeks of the regular season and the playoffs.

“Last season the AFC North became the first division ever to have all four teams finish with a winning record, making it the perfect place to launch this new approach to ‘Hard Knocks,’ ” Keith Cossrow, NFL Films vice president and head of content, said in a statement. “We thank the Bengals, Browns, Ravens and Steelers for the opportunity to showcase some of the greatest rivalries in football and present the intensity of a playoff chase from all four corners of this incredibly competitive division.”

It will be the Steelers’ first time on “Hard Knocks” and marks a return to the 18-time Emmy-winning series for Baltimore, which was the first team featured on the original “Hard Knocks” training camp series in 2001 following its Super Bowl victory over the New York Giants in the 2000 season.

Since then, the Cincinnati Bengals appeared in the series in 2009 and 2013 and the Cleveland Browns in 2018.


The Ravens’ other opponents over the final six weeks of the regular season include the New York Giants, Steelers, Houston Texans — whom they will play on Christmas — and the Browns, with a bye week during that span in Week 14.

Last season, Baltimore won the AFC North, finished with the NFL’s best regular-season record (13-4) and reached the AFC championship game, losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, 17-10, at M&T Bank Stadium. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, meanwhile, won his second NFL Most Valuable Player Award.

One prominent Raven is not a “Hard Knocks” fan.

“I never watch that show,” coach John Harbaugh said recently on former Orioles center fielder Adam Jones’ podcast. “It’s just not real. People think it’s real, it’s not real.

“You put a microphone and a camera in your face, people aren’t the same. If they wanna bring ‘Hard Knocks’ in here, it wouldn’t bother me one bit just because I know what I’ll tell our guys is, ‘Here’s what were gonna do, we’re just gonna be us.’ … We’re not trying to put on a show or act for anybody. … But I do think it’s a distraction because you’ve got a camera in your face.”

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