HBO has aired a television series dubbed “Hard Knocks”, giving fans the experience of watching the in-depth happenings of a National Football League franchise. From position battles to family life to the emotional cut-down from 90 players to 53, Hard Knocks has been a must-watch among NFL fans since 2001.
Featured on the show have been the Baltimore Ravens, the Dallas Cowboys, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Cincinnati Bengals, the New York Jets and most recently, the Miami Dolphins.
While the Bills certainly aren’t the most popular team in the National Football League by a wide margin, the 2013 offseason has been one that could give the execs over at HBO one of the best seasons in Hard Knocks’ history…except the Baltimore Ravens’ 2001 season.
While not highly popular through the eyes of the casual fan, Stevie Johnson is one of the more polarizing wide receivers in the National Football League. From exciting touchdown dances to rap, Johnson could provide the humor and excitement the average watcher would find amusing.
Johnson hosts his own rap show on Sirius XM’s Shade45 and has a multitude of endorsements. He can be the humorous, funny player to follow, being that he’s one of the team leaders as well.
Mario’s tumultuous offseason has been well known by not only sports media, but the national entertainment media as well. From his highly publicized court dispute to having to publicly apologize for using a coach’s motto (REALLY!?), Mario seems like a dedicated player looking to prove his *worth* as the premier pass-rusher of a new-look defense.
E.J. Manuel Vs. Kevin Kolb
Hard Knocks generally follows the chosen franchise’s first round pick and their late-round, undrafted free agent picks. However, with rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel, who was the first quarterback ever taken by the Bills with their first 1st round pick.
Furthermore, Kevin Kolb is an intriguing quarterback that was a highly touted second round pick out of Houston and was traded to the Arizona Cardinals from the Philadelphia Eagles. Kolb had a rough time in Arizona, but he brings serious competition to Manuel, which HBO could ride throughout the preseason.
New Regime and Coaching Staff
The Bills turned over not only their coaching staff, but the front office as well. The team promoted Russ Brandon to president and Doug Whaley took over for Buddy Nix, who stepped down after three seasons with the Bills as general manager.
On the field, the new-look coaching staff features Doug Marrone, a first time NFL head coach, Mike Pettine, the former Jets’ defensive coordinator that will be coaching in his mentor’s division, and Nathaniel Hackett, a young offensive coordinator.
What makes this storyline so attractive is how do all of these new faces gel when it comes down to cut day? New schemes are being developed and installed on both sides of the ball, which will give the coaching aspect of a show an even better angle in which to tell their story.
Da’Rick Rogers was one of the most gifted wide receivers in the 2013 NFL draft, but after being kicked off of the Tennessee Volunteers after a multitude of off-the-field issues and was forced to transfer to Tennessee Tech.
Those off-the-field issues were apparently so bad that Rogers went undrafted. The Bills claimed him, and it would be intriguing to see how Rogers’ persona as he attempts to prove to each team that failed to select him in the draft were wrong.
Jairus Byrd Contract
Hard Knocks has seemingly always made a big deal about a contract disputes and holdouts, and if the Bills were to be featured on the show, they’d have a great one. Hard-nosed agent of Bills’ free safety Jairus Byrd, Eugene Parker is a tough sell.
After documenting the Dwayne Bowe, Andre Smith, Larry Johnson and Darrelle Revis contract disputes (all of which were eventually signed), it would add another stimulating aspect to the show.
Now we all know the Bills aren’t going to even be thought of to be featured on Hard Knocks and Mike Pettine would probably say “Kill em or Hurt em” to Mr. Brandon if the topic ever arose, the 2013 Bills on Hard Knocks would be an excellent watch; not only for Bills fans, but for many football fanatics.