It appears the Buccaneers are a lock to be the next subject of HBO’s NFL training camp series, Hard Knocks, assuming of course that there will be a training camp this summer.
However, there are those, such as NFL.com’s Adam Rank, who believe HBO could find a more captivating team to follow. It seems Raheem Morris and Josh Freeman lack the star power to carry the same show that made stars of Rex Ryan and the Jets.
Contrary to this notion, not only are football fans in store for a real treat, but the Buccaneers are the perfect team to feature this season. Not convinced? Here are five reasons why the Bucs will have you shelling out $39.95 for 55 minutes of television:
If Hard Knocks is looking for the next Rex Ryan, they found him. Morris is a blue collar coach with no problem letting the outrageous fly out of his mouth, as demonstrated by a curious boast last year that his Bucs were the best team in the NFC.
Known for candid remarks about his players and exuberant hip bumps following big plays, Raheem has the makings to be the star of Hard Knocks, and if Ryan’s meteoric rise last year was any indication, the Bucs’ head coach could help bring a little media attention back to Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers are entering 2011 as one of the youngest teams in the league, but their success last year does not mean the team can become complacent, especially if they end up on Hard Knocks.
Obviously, QB Josh Freeman will get the media coverage he deserves for all the hard work he puts in and all the trouble he avoids. Rookie standouts WR Mike Williams and RB LaGarrette Blount will get a chance to prove their collegiate troubles are behind them. Other young Bucs, like DT Gerald McCoy and WR Arrelious Benn, flashed talent last year, but injuries cut their seasons short.
All of the young Buccaneers have something to prove, and the pressure will be on to perform in front of a premium cable audience.
Ronde is the only player on the Buccaneers’ roster older than Morris, and that alone will designate him “the grizzled veteran” of the show. Fortunately for HBO, Ronde will be gold.
Anyone who has ever read interviews with Ronde knows he is highly intelligent and quite funny, and anyone who thinks he is as foolish and unlikable as his twin brother Tiki has another thing coming. For Ronde, this could be an audition for a commentary job following his inevitable retirement.
Stay away from the interns, Ronde.
Few GMs have done so much with so little as Mark Dominick in the past two years. The waiver wire wizard has turned the Bucs into a team where ANYONE could make the team. Hard Knocks is known for following the fringe players, and it would be difficult to find another team where aspiring pros have a better chance of playing a big part in the Buc’s 2011 plans.
In that same vein, word is the Bucs will be more active in free agency this offseason. On a team governed by the rules from Logan's Run, can a veteran linebacker or defensive end make the cut?
Hard Knocks is starting to develop a habit of chronicling teams with cagey cornerbacks. This year, Aqib Talib’s latest brush with the law will force the Buccaneers to either cut their best defensive player or stick him on the shelf for his inevitable suspension. Either way, the Bucs have no choice but to look for other options to replace him.
Hard Knocks viewers would be wise to keep on eye on CB E.J. Biggers. In the unlikely event Aqib actually makes it to training camp, the producers might just get lucky and catch Talib trying to convince the rest of the defense to rob the Bellagio or something.