Atlanta Falcons picked for HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ 2014 season

By Daniel S Levine,

If at first you don’t find the right bad team, try again. After the Cleveland Browns turned the network down, HBO went to the Atlanta Falcons to star in the new season of Hard Knocks. The Falcons, who were an unbelievable disappointment last year, said yes.

Hard Knocks with the Falcons will debut on Aug. 5 at 10 p.m., the network and team said today. The series, which will follow the team’s training camp, will run through Sept. 2.

“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 & Chairman Arthur M. Blank said in a statement. “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.”

The Falcons have been one of the most successful NFC teams in recent years, earning a .625 winning percentage since 2008. However, as the network and the team forgot to point out, their 2013 season was a disaster. They only won four games, despite finally making it past the first round of the playoffs after the 2012 season.

Still, the series should be an interesting chronicle of how the QB Matt Ryan, WR Julio Jones and head coach Mike Smith plan to get back to their winning ways.

HBO moved swiftly to get the Falcons on board after Browns head coach Mike Pettine revealed to Cleveland.com that he turned HBO down. The Browns were approached after the drafted QB Johnny Manziel.

“It was for the same reason we didn't feel super comfortable having a camera in the draft room,” the first-year head coach told Cleveland.com. “Let's get through the first time, let's get through the first year.”

The Falcons kick off the 2014 campaign on Sept. 7 at home against the New Orleans Saints.



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