According to multiple reports the Tampa Buccaneers will be the featured team in the 2017 edition of the popular pro football reality show Hard Knocks.
The long-running HBO series annually selects a squad that will be followed through NFL training camp and the preparations for the upcoming season.
It will be a big step for the young Buccaneers who appear to be on the cusp of a breakout after years of being mired in misery marked by poor personnel choices, lousy quarterbacking and a revolving door at head coach.
Once the team dropped the hammer on doomstruck bumbler Lovie Smith and hired offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter as the boss it’s been an uptrend for the Bucs and their burgeoning superstar youngster quarterback Jameis Winston.
Bucs expected to announce Hard Knocks participation Wednesday https://t.co/zgYIKiZwpu
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 18, 2017
According to Pro Football Talk “Bucs expected to announce Hard Knocks participation Wednesday”:
Earlier this month, word was that the Buccaneers believed they were a leading choice to be the featured team on this year’s installment of HBO’s Hard Knocks show about life in an NFL training camp.
It looks like the Bucs were on the right track. The team said Tuesday that they will make a “major announcement” on Wednesday afternoon that is expected to be confirmation of their moment in the preseason spotlight. General Manager Jason Licht and coach Dirk Koetter will both be part of that announcement, although Licht already discussed appearing on the show on Monday.
“The fans would get an inside look at how our team really is,” Licht said in comments distributed by the team. “I know that you guys get a better feel than most, but I think the fans would get a real inside look at how we operate, how the players are. In terms of being a distraction, I think we’re wired to where we would be able to minimize that.
Buccaneer fan websites are also touting the choice of Tampa Bay’s selection to be a done deal:
Buccaneers will be on Hard Knocks 2017 https://t.co/cWAP2qL7RO
— Bucs Nation (@Bucs_Nation) April 18, 2017
— The Pewter Plank (@ThePewterPlank) April 18, 2017
The Bucs finished the 2016 season at 9-7, their first winning record since 2010 and were it not for shooting themselves in the foot during an early season game against the Los Angeles Rams (2016’s Hard Knocks honoree) and some ugly late season turnovers by Winston in key road games, would have made the playoffs.
The Bucs are looking to breakout in the loaded NFC South and with the addition of speedster wide receiver DeSean Jackson through free agency and more reinforcements likely on the way via next week’s NFL draft could have the firepower to compete with the Falcons, Saints and Panthers in the league’s most prolific offensive division.
With it looking like the dawn of a new era on the big pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium the national spotlight courtesy of HBO may be the coming out party for the new and improved Tampa Bay Buccaneers who aren’t going to settle for anything less than a playoff berth this year.