Hard Knocks is coming to Houston.
The popular HBO reality series documenting the training camp drama of NFL teams has picked the Houston Texans as the centerpiece of this year’s show.
Though rumors had circulated that the Texans were a finalist, it didn’t become official until the team announced it on Wednesday.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) May 27, 2015
HBO Sports president Ken Hershman later released a statement about Hard Knocks moving to Houston (via NFL Communications).
“We are thrilled that the tenth edition of HARD KNOCKS will spotlight a team in a division that we have not featured previously on HBO. It’s exciting to feature a team, a franchise and a city for the first time on HARD KNOCKS. We are grateful to Texans chairman Bob McNair, general manager Rick Smith, coach Bill O’Brien and the entire organization for agreeing to participate and look forward to what we expect to be one of the most compelling and interesting seasons in HARD KNOCKS history. The series has become a summertime destination for TV viewers, and we can’t wait for the premiere on August 11.”
Houston earned the Hard Knocks bid after a few other teams bowed out. There were rumors that the Cleveland Browns are a finalist, but the team reportedly asked not to be featured so they could sort out drama with Johnny Manziel behind the scenes.
“You just weigh everything in,” coach Mike Pettine said in March about the team appearing on the show. “Because being a part of Hard Knocks, having been there, knowing they’re going to look to cover the team’s biggest current storylines, it’s obvious that he would be a point of attention.”
The Buffalo Bills, another reported finalist, asked out as well. Teams with first-year head coaches — as the Bills are with Rex Ryan — are exempted from appearing.
There look to be some promising storylines on this season of Hard Knocks. The Houston Texans appear to have a quarterback competition brewing between Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer, and J.J. Watt will be a big draw, as well. It remains to be seen what role the city of Houston might play — the city is currently under massive flooding, so bad that the Texans had to cancel team activities. Though Hard Knocks is set during training camp, the series could look a bit at the fallout from flooding.
[Image via Getty Images / Scott Halleran]