The Atlanta Falcons will be the featured team for the ninth season of HBO’s Hard Knocks, which debuts Aug. 5.
The critically acclaimed, all-access look behind the scenes of one team’s NFL training camp will air for five consecutive Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Central. According to a release issued by the team, a 30-person NFL Films crew will descend upon Falcons training camp in Flowery Branch, Ga., and collect more than 1,500 hours of video over a five-week period.
The Falcons’ roster is absolutely loaded with players connected to the state of Alabama, including star wide receivers Julio Jones (Alabama) and Roddy White (UAB), rookie defensive tackle Nosa Eguae (Auburn), veteran defensive end Osi Umenyiora (Troy) and rookie offensive lineman Terren Jones (Alabama State). Jones and White are two of the players who will be featured in-depth, along with quarterback Matt Ryan, safety William Moore and various rookies and free agents attempting to make the squad.
“We are excited about the opportunity to give our fans a behind the scenes look at what it takes to prepare an NFL team for the rigors of a 16-game regular season and beyond,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said. “This marks the first time that our franchise will be featured on Hard Knocks and we look forward to showcasing our great players and coaches to football fans all across America.”
For the record, HBO also approached the Cleveland Browns about being the featured team this year on Hard Knocks (no doubt due to the presence of one Johnny Manziel). However, citing an NFL policy stating that teams with first-year coaches are not obligated to appear on the show, Mike Pettine and the Browns declined.