Houston Texans Training Camp Top 5 Story Lines: 4. Lights, Camera, Hard Knocks!
Photo by Groovehouse
If you got it, flaunt it, and when it comes to having a team that he feels should be showcased front and center as a shining example of what "good" can look like on and off the field, Texans owner Bob McNair believes he's got it. HBO's award winning Hard Knocks gives him the chance to flaunt it.
"The last year has not been the best year for public relations for the NFL," McNair said on the day the team announced its participation in the series. "Our team has not had the kind of problems that have existed with many teams. I think it's a wonderful opportunity for the rest of the country to see that we've got a first-class group of players and coaches. This is the way we'd like to see the game presented. I think it's something that will be very positive - and not just for us, but for the league. I'm quite proud of our players and the way they do represent us."
The cameras have made their way to Houston, the producers have already been tailing some of the players who will be featured on the show, and mission control has been assembled at NRG Stadium. Hard Knocks is here.
The Texans and the fans got a small taste of the Hard Knocks life last season when the Atlanta Falcons, 2014's subject team, made their way to Houston. Honestly, it was pretty damn cool watching that one episode and seeing J.J. Watt positioned as some sort of colossal monster and the Falcons players all wanting to murder D.J. Swearinger, who would've practically justified his draft slot on his Hard Knocks performance alone if he were still here.
The entire TV-watching world already knows J.J. Watt, and most of the football watching world knows Arian Foster. Hard Knocks, though, should give America a pretty good window into the world of Texans head coach Bill O'Brien (I'm predicting stardom for him), and stalwarts like Duane Brown (cameras are already following him and his wife around), Brian Cushing, Vince Wilfork, and the rebuild of Jadeveon Clowney. There may, however, he an adjustment period for the players.
“Is it always easy to have a camera in your face every day for five weeks? No, especially in the beginning.” O’Brien said on my show on SportsRadio 610, “We’re going to adjust to that very quickly. That will never be anything other than, that’s a show for the NFL and the fans.”
And O'Brien believes the fans will see a group of players that embody his beliefs in what makes a great team. “We feel that as an organization [Hard Knocks] will show these guys, these players as good teammates, good guys, hard working guys,” O'Brien said.
In the end, 31 other NFL cities will be talking more about the Texans on the five Wednesdays following each of the five Hard Knocks episodes than they have in the thirteen seasons since the franchise was born.
Exactly how Bob McNair drew it up on the chalkboard.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast.