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Jets Hard Knocks ‘Won’t Be The Same,’ Warns Schefter

  • Team won't allow NFL Films to capture players being cut.
  • Aaron Rodgers says show ‘forced’ down club’s throat.
Aaron Rodgers mcafee
Syndication: The Record

The New York Jets were dragged kicking and screaming into HBO and NFL Films’ production of “Hard Knocks.” 

Based on comments from Jets players and media observers, this summer’s training camp show could come off like a hostage video or throw off more dramatic sparks than any edition in years.

New Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers said his team is not happy about being strong-armed by the league into the training camp spotlight.

“I understand the appeal with us. There’s a lot of eyes on me, a lot of eyes on our team. A lot of expectations for our squad. They forced it down our throat and we have to deal with it,” Rodgers said at the American Century Championship.

During Monday’s episode of ESPN’s “Get Up,” NFL Insider Adam Schefter said the Jets will cooperate – but only to an extent.

The team, for example, won’t let NFL Films cameras inside the rooms when coach Robert Saleh and General Manager Joe Douglas are cutting players.

“Hard Knocks will not be the same. They’re not going to be given the same access,” Schefter warned. “The Jets don’t believe it’s humane to show players being released.”

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Good for the Jets and their sense of altruism. But ultimately the NFL makes the call. With Rodgers’ move to New York from the Green Bay Packers by far the biggest story of the off-season, the outcome was probably never in doubt. 

Ironically, the last time the Jets were featured on “Hard Knocks” during the 2010 season is the last time they made the NFL Playoffs. 

That Rex Ryan-coached team reached their second straight AFC Championship Game before falling into a decade of losing and futility. 

The bottom line. This could be the highest-rated “Hard Knocks” in years. But with the “least access,” Schefter noted.

“NFL Films has a long and storied relationship with the Jets, from the early days of the AFL and Joe Namath’s “#1” salute after Super Bowl III, to The Sack Exchange, and the team’s first appearance on ‘Hard Knocks’ in the midst of back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances,” said Patrick Kelleher, executive producer of NFL Films in a statement.

“The 2010 Jets changed the profile and the success of ‘Hard Knocks’ forever. That Jets team made football fun for fans. And now we are excited for a new partnership with this iconic organization and HBO to create another chapter in both NFL and television history filled with great personalities and a roster striving to reach new heights of success.”

The five-episode “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets” premieres Aug. 8 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO and will be available to stream on Max.

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