HBO’s signature NFL docuseries Hard Knocks will feature the Cleveland Browns in 2018. The report broke earlier today with an official announcement from HBO expected later this evening. The Browns will be the 11th NFL franchise to take part in the series. Two other AFC North teams, the Baltimore Ravens, and Cincinnati Bengals have also previously starred on Hard Knocks. The Bengals, along with the Dallas Cowboys, have participated in the show twice.
The opportunity could not have come at a better time for the Browns. Coming off an 0-16 season, Cleveland can make use of any and all chances for good P.R. The complete overhaul this off-season has already made Cleveland one of the most talked about organizations heading into the upcoming season.
A First Look at Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield will have plenty time before training camp and Hard Knocks to assert himself in Cleveland. That being said, the number one overall pick will surely be a star of the show. Mayfield’s personality alone is exceptional Hard Knocks material. The young quarterback’s relationship with head coach Hue Jackson will also surely be a point of interest for viewers.
Also worth noting is the potential quarterback battle involving Mayfield and veteran Tyrod Taylor. Jackson has adamantly maintained that Taylor is the starter, but that does not mean that Mayfield does not have the talent to push him in camp. Hard Knocks will provide an inside look at the possible position battle. The extra attention will add pressure to both Taylor and Mayfield to perform well out of the gate.
The Dynamic Duo
The Browns have a strong pair of young pass rushers for Hard Knocks to show off. Former number one overall pick Myles Garrett and former second-round pick Emmanuel Ogbah are a duo the organization thinks quite highly of. Unfortunately, the tandem’s first season together was derailed by injuries. The small sample size the two were able to provide together in 2017-18 was still quite impressive. The two should benefit greatly from a greatly upgraded secondary in 2018.
The series could also serve as a great coming out party of sorts for both players, particularly Garrett. Garrett is widely respected around the NFL as a potential All-Pro talent. Despite that praise from some around the league, the Texas A&M product did not break out amongst fans largely due to the team’s horrendous play in 2017-18. Garrett is a rather charismatic and genuine individual on top of his talents as a football player. The exposure from Hard Knocks could quickly make the second-year pro a league-wide fan favorite.
Who’s Calling the Shots?
The most intriguing aspect of this year’s Hard Knocks will be the inside look at the organization’s power structure. The show’s up-close and personal look at the relationships between members of the Browns front office and coaching staff will shed light on just how soon this team can rise from the ashes. The dynamic between Hue Jackson and general manager John Dorsey will be of particular interest.
The exchanges between members of the front office and coaching staff will give fans a better understanding of how the overhauled roster came to be. Offensive and defensive coordinators Todd Haley and Gregg Williams will surely provide several interesting and colorfully entertaining soundbites for the show themselves.
View the original article on Last Word On Pro Football: HBO Hard Knocks Series to Feature Cleveland Browns in 2018