The Buccaneers insist they’re ready for their close-up. From co-chairman Joel Glazer to slot receiver Adam Humphries, every executive coach and player who has been asked has expressed not just a willingness but a desire to be the focus of HBO’s next season of “Hard Knocks.”
Well, it looks like the Bucs are going to get their wish.
An official announcement of the team whose training camp will be invaded by the HBO and NFL Films camera crews is expected to come on Wednesday and Florida Football Insiders has learned that the Bucs have indeed been chosen as the subject for this year’s inside look at the making of an NFL team.
The news probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The Bucs are one of several teams that meet the criteria for the show and the Bucs themselves believe they’re not only ready for such an invasion but they believe the personality of their team is all but perfect for it.
“I’ve said it before, I feel good about our team and the maturity, especially for being a young group,’’ general manager Jason Licht said Monday when he was asked about the possibility of the Bucs being on Hard Knocks.
“I know we have some great personalities on our team starting with Jameis (Winston), Gerald (McCoy), the list goes on and on, (linebacker) Kwon (Alexander), I think the fans would get an inside look at how our team really is.
“I think the fans would get a real inside look at how we operate, how the players are. In terms of being a distraction, I think we’re wired to where we would be able to minimize that.’’
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter and defensive coordinator Mike Smith have both been a part of the series before, when Koetter was the offensive coordinator and Smith the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, who were the subject of the series in 2014.
Like Licht, Koetter has expressed confidence in his team’s maturity level and ability to deal with the distractions that can come when dozens of television folks suddenly invade some of the areas that football teams consider to be most sacred.
So have many of the players. Humphries recently said he would welcome the opportunity to be on the show and so did Winston. McCoy, meanwhile, has expressed a little more reservation than most but he doesn’t believe the invasion should effect the Bucs preparation for the season.
“If they pick us, let’s be professionals about it and move forward,’’ McCoy said Monday. “We’ve still got a season to prepare for, whether there’s a camera watching or not. We play the games on Sunday’s with cameras watching, so if you think you can’t go out to practice and practice with a camera on you, then you’re probably in the wrong profession. If we get picked, it is what it is, let’s be professionals and go to work.’’