In recent years, it has felt as though fewer teams have been willing to participate in HBO's Hard Knocks. The behind-the-scenes spotlight doesn't seem to jibe with a lot of current front offices and coaching staffs, and thus many have wondered if the annual series is nearing the end of its life. 

Not so.

If nobody volunteers for Hard Knocks going forward, the NFL will make you. That's right, according to's Ian Rapoport and Albert Breer, the league has approved a policy that gives Roger Goodell and Co. the ability to assign a team to Hard Knocks duty. Albert Breer has more details on which teams would be exempt, particularly, those who have a new head coach, those who have appeared on the show in the last 10 years and those who have made the playoffs in one of the last two seasons.

So there you have it. Extra incentive to make the playoffs and/or fire your head coach. 

The Patriots are probably going to keep making the playoffs, but the Giants will likely meet the criteria this upcoming summer. Imagine Tom Coughlin on Hard Knocks. Other intriguing candidates that could be available for assignment: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Any of those options could produce the most compelling season of Hard Knocks yet, which is great news for fans and the league. We'll see how the teams feel about it though.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at, Deadspin,, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.

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