The Atlanta Falcons shocked the football world when they actually volunteered to be showcased on Hard Knocks last year.  The NFL had to institute rules to make it mandatory for a team to appear on the program that fit a certain criteria because nobody was volunteering to have HBO’s cameras and microphones invade their training camp space.  Hard to believe because football coaches are usually so friendly and hospitable to outsiders in their mix and embrace the free flow of information, right?

With Mike Smith axed by the Falcons, it’s unlikely we’ll see another brave soul step up to volunteer.  So out of the nine teams that are eligible (two years out of the playoffs, no first year head coach, haven’t appeared on Hard Knocks in the last decade), who might the NFL choose.

Take a deep breath America, because the Cleveland Browns are reportedly the front-runners to appear according to longtime NFL writer Vic Carucci.

The Browns make perfect sense for Hard Knocks.  They’re a young team with a second year head coach who slowly began to turn things in the right direction last year.  Not only that, but they are having to deal with the controversy of losing Josh Gordon to suspension once again.  Then you have great players who don’t get a lot of publicity like Joe Thomas in which you can follow.  Oh, and did we mention the team is getting new uniforms!  The Browns!  Those uniforms are like a hundred years old so that’s a big flippin’ deal!

Let’s see, are we missing anything else that would lead the NFL to want the Browns for Hard Knocks?  Anything?  Hmmm….