All aspects of the NFL offseason are at risk right now due to the ongoing public health crisis. As state mandates keep having their timelines extended, there is further doubt in each scheduled NFL event. One such offseason media event, is the annual training camp docuseries, HBO’s Hard Knocks.
It was previously assumed that the Pittsburgh Steelers would be featured on Hard Knocks this season due to them fitting all the criteria necessary for the NFL to make it an obligation. The criteria is as follows:
- The team hasn’t made the playoffs in either of the last two seasons
- No first-year head coach
- Hasn’t been on Hard Knocks in the past 10 years
The Steelers rarely meet this criteria as they don’t often miss the playoffs two years in a row, but after a narrow miss in 2019 it was somewhat of a foregone conclusion that the Steelers would be featured this year.
Earlier in the offseason, Mike Tomlin was asked if the Steelers would do Hard Knocks if they were “asked”. Tomlin replied with, “Asked?”. It seems that even Tomlin was preparing for the Hard Knocks media frenzy to invade Latrobe, PA this summer for training camp. The Steelers lucked out, as they will not be participating in Hard Knocks this season.
It was announced early Tuesday morning by ESPN‘s Adam Schefter that Hard Knocks will feature a pair of teams for the first time. These two teams will be the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers.
It should be noted that both teams would had to have volunteered for this double feature as they made the 2018 season playoffs and would not be eligible by force. All of this, of course, is null and void if training camps are effected by COVID-19.
Regardless, this news is likely welcomed to the Steelers organization as they have never been one to have unnecessary media around to cause distractions.