‘Round the Room: Five Hard Knocks 2013 Candidates

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Adam Rainbolt (@adamrainbolt)
My choice for the 2013 season of Hard Knocks is the Indianapolis Colts.

HBO’s stellar program would the perfect opportunity for America to get to know Andrew Luck, the man tasked to do the impossible; replace Peyton Manning. Luck played his way into a top-12 fantasy quarterback status in 2012 and we haven’t tired of him as a national pitch man.As we enter the twilight of Reggie Wayne’s outstanding career, there are plenty of interesting storylines in this small-market football town. From a fantasy standpoint, Indy running backs have been pretty pedestrian, so maybe featuring Donald Brown, Vick Ballard and Delone Carter would cause other owners to take them way to early in your re-draft, resulting in better players falling into your lap.

After being traded from Miami during Hard Knocks last season, maybe cornerback Vontae Davis will call his grandma again.

Plus maybe we viewers can be treated to the next round of the slap fight between ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio and Colts Owner Jim Irsay.

The Colts should compete for the AFC South crown and make some noise in the playoffs and Hard Knocks would be a great way to start the season.

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Regan Yant (@ReganFP)

Until last year, I had never watched an episode of Hard Knocks.  My feeling was that the teams that were on it were more concerned with the cameras being on them than they were with getting ready for the season.  And it usually showed with those team’s seasons usually being train wrecks.  I was glad my Arizona Cardinals had never been on it, but that’s mostly because they weren’t any good!

Adam got me to watch last year’s season with the Miami Dolphins and I didn’t know what I had been missing!  There was great drama, we got to meet some new players, names we could remember for fantasy football purposes, hot wives, and best of all we got to watch Chad OchoJohnsonCinco get cut for being an idiot.

I am now hooked, and who would I like to see on this year’s season?  Let’s keep it down in Florida and follow the Jacksonville Jaguars.  With new Head Coach Gus Bradley bringing his no nonsense attitude to the Jags there are a couple of players I would love to focus on.

With his impending four game suspension, how will last year’s 1st round pick Justin Blackmon respond to the new coaching regime?  Will he put forth all his effort or will he slack off? Will Cecil Shorts put a stranglehold on the #1 WR spot?

How will Super-Dud QB Blaine Gabbert progress?  Will he cower in fear and fold from the practice pressure of Bradley’s new look defense?  Will Chad Henne or rookie Matt Scott step up and steal the job?

Which rookie will be featured on the show way too much, Ace or Shoelace?  Or will another steal the spotlight and be focused on only to be among the final cuts and piss us all off?!?!  Damn you drama!!

Finally, and the question I’m most looking forward to; how does Maurice Jones-Drew look in his rehab?  Will we see that dominant runningback we were accustomed to seeing?  Can he come back fully healthy and be a Top-10 RB again?

There are many teams who could have filled this article, we could have given you reasons for all of them!  We hope you enjoy our little writeup and look forward to the upcoming season of Hard Knocks like we will!

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John Kerwin (@Jkerwin777K)

Drama, personal conflict, situational intrigue…reality television offers a dynamic unparalleled by scripted plots. This element of real-life suspense has grown beyond the female perspective of the hit shows I’ve personally had to endure: The Real World, Teen Mom, and the masses of other excruciating rubbish MTV and some other networks have unfortunately graced us with.

The NFL and HBO paired together to spoon feed the female race with a taste of their own medicine, Hard Knocks. The first sports oriented reality series has become a phenomenon and the crew here at FakePigskin.com is creating this wish list of teams we’d like to witness on air.

There is no team I’d enjoy watching more than the newly acquired and remaining shattered pieces of the self-proclaimed “Dream Team” – better known as the Philadelphia Eagles.

The curiosity surrounding the arrival of Chip Kelly and his non-stop, option onslaught styled offense is enough to spark the interest of any football fan. Throw in his three main quarterback options: an aging, injury-prone, mobile QB with something to prove, a rookie QB with everything to prove, and a young QB now deemed as a scheme misfit, and the entertainment begins.

The personal struggles of LeSean McCoy coming off of an underwhelming season – to word it nicely. How will he react to this and the emergence of Bryce Brown as a potential star in the making? This is if we see what the Eagles are accomplishing to make sure Bryce can hold onto the football when they get it into his hands.

Can DeSean Jackson prove his initial “star” status, or is Jeremy Maclin creeping into that WR1 position? Will Brent Celek ever become the solid tight end we’ve seen glimpses of or is Zach Ertz the selection of the present and future?

Many holes on defense were apparently filled during the offseason, but how can this unit build the cohesiveness to stay competitive with the likes of the Dallas Cowboys, NY Giants, and Washington Redskins star-studded offenses? the NFC East has become a well-rounded divisional powerhouse, but there is much to be answered.

If these questions and potential situations don’t exemplify the value of entertainment, then I don’t know what does.

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Luke Taylor (@DSEmpire_Luke)

Full disclosure, I haven’t watched a hard knocks since 2001 when the Baltimore Ravens kicked off the documentary series. As such, I feel I’m slightly out of touch and unfamiliar with what usually transpires on the show, but I assume it’s basically the NFL’s version of “The Real World”, right?

So, in order to familiarize myself with what I’d missed the past several years, I did what any normal person would do: that’s right, I Googled it. The Google search then naturally led me to a Wikipedia page, which, in turn, didn’t really inform me of anything significant(don’t you like my researching method?), but it did show me what were some of the major highlights or issues that each team would experience as they prepared for the upcoming season. It turned out to be a lovely little jaunt down memory lane(I saw names like: Quincy Carter, Randal Cunningham, and Larry Johnson!).
That got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be fun to highlight some made up story lines; some realistic, and some not-so realistic(it is reality TV after all, don’t we need some drama?), of a team that could potentially find themselves being this year’s training camp spectacles? The answer is probably not, but that’s what you’re getting anyway…
Seattle Seahawks (2013)
 
Some issues covered in the 2013 Seahawks season include:
  • As many pundits pick to win the Super Bowl in ’13; the team prepares for the long season with a heightened sense of urgency
  • Entering camp as the starting Quarterback and now team leader, Russell Wilson now looks to avoid a sophomore slump and lead his team to the promised land
  • Marshawn Lynch, perhaps feeling some organizational pressure from 2nd round pick Christine Michael, allows the rookie unlimited access to his Skittle stash in hopes that he’ll put on some unwanted poundage–a feat that would have been unheard of in previous seasons
  • Newly-acquired wide receiver, Percy Harvin is fined an undisclosed amount for tagging former teammate, Christian Ponder in a Facebook picture featuring Harvin and Russell Wilson with the caption: “BFF’s!”
  • With expectations higher than ever, Pete Carroll now heads into his 4th season as the team’s head coach.

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Richard Janvrin (@RichardJanvrin)
“Hard Knocks” with the New York Jets was very interesting TV.

After the Jets? Blah.

If I could think of a team to revitalize the series, it would be the Detroit Lions.

I mean, c’mon, they’re ALL criminals. I would just love to see how the coaching staff handles the future inmates of Detroit, Michigan.

Some notable players to watch: Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley.

Ndamukong Suh based on his on-the-field antics, like the Thanksgiving Day game versus the Packers in which he kicked a lineman’s head and Fairley because, well, he has been arrested on drug charges before.

Aside from the criminal activity, watching Calvin Johnson just embarrass his fellow teammates would be a sight as well.

I’d love to follow what would be an unexpected position to watch would be the Detroit Lions kicker. Yes, a kicker.

Havard Rugland, Mr. Kickalicious.

I can just see him now, doing his best Garo Yepremian impression. “I keek a touchdown!”

Overall, to see how the coaching staff handles what is or what seems to be a toxic locker room would be interesting.

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One Comment

  1. Matt Lane

    May 18, 2013 at 6:50 am

    “Marshawn Lynch, perhaps feeling some organizational pressure from 2nd round pick Christine Michael, allows the rookie unlimited access to his Skittle stash in hopes that he’ll put on some unwanted poundage–a feat that would have been unheard of in previous seasons”

    I can just imagine Lynch… “Hey Chris, want a skittle?”

    A second on the lips a lifetime on the hips!

    Can’t disagree with any of the suggestions, the difficulty is getting a decent enough team on it, most good teams would view it as unwanted attention I would imagine.

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