It sure took a while for the announcement of which NFL team would be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks this year, but the chosen one is one (out of the five eligible) that many were hoping for; the Oakland Raiders. Last year, the announcement (Browns) came May 17, while 2017’s announcement (Buccaneers) came in April and 2016’s (Rams) came in March. This year, it took until June 11 (which maybe indicates some reluctance from the Raiders, or some details that needed to be worked out)”, but the final decision was to show off Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock, Derek Carr and the Oakland-for-now Raiders.
— NFL (@NFL) June 11, 2019
Here’s a trailer:
"Everybody wants to be a Raider. Now they’ll find out what it takes to become one."
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) June 11, 2019
And here’s more from HBO’s release:
HBO Sports, NFL Films and the Raiders team up for an unfiltered all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE OAKLAND RAIDERS kicks off its five-episode season this summer. Spotlighting this AFC West franchise that has an intriguing mix of established veterans, highly regarded rookie hopefuls and free-agent acquisitions under head coach Jon Gruden, the 14th edition of the 18-time Sports Emmy® Award-winning series debuts TUESDAY, AUG. 6 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT). Other hour-long episodes of the first sports-based reality series – and one of the fastest-turnaround programs on TV – debut subsequent Tuesdays at the same time, with encore plays Wednesday nights, culminating in the Sept. 3 season finale.
…“If you’re a fan of football or great storytelling, HARD KNOCKS with the Oakland Raiders is going to be must-see television,” says Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. “We are so grateful to this storied franchise for opening up its doors and allowing HBO and NFL Films to spend the summer with the Raiders in what promises to be a compelling and engaging training camp.”
“Since the AFL-NFL merger, the Raiders have been a part of some of the most iconic moments in League history,” says NFL Films senior executive Ross Ketover. “We at NFL Films have been thrilled and honored to showcase the mythology of the Raiders from the Holy Roller, Sea of Hands, Ghost to the Post all the way to today with Coach Gruden and this unbelievable cast of players and coaches. Needless to say, we’re very much looking forward to this season of Hard Knocks.”
The release outlines that filming will start in the next few weeks, with a 30-person NFL Films crew at the Raiders’ training camp headquarters in Napa Valley. They plan to shoot more than 1,750 hours of footage over the course of the series. The series will again be narrated by Liev Schrieber (his 13th time in that role). And there should be plenty of storylines and personalities to focus on, including Mayock settling in as general manager, Gruden’s preparations for his second season back in the NFL, how Carr is going to do (he posted career-best numbers in yards (4,049) and completion percentage (68.9 percent) last season, but took a lot of criticism amidst the Raiders’ 4-12 record), and how the team’s preparing for their move to Las Vegas in 2020. There will be a lot of viewers eager to see how this Hard Knocks installment turns out.
[Photo from the Raiders on Twitter]