Winless Cleveland Browns to Get the ‘Hard Knocks’ Treatment

The Browns?

“Hard Knocks,” the HBO documentary series which takes an inside look at an N.F.L. team in training camp, has chosen its 2018 subject: the Cleveland Browns, who are coming off a winless season.

Since its debut in 2001, “Hard Knocks” has focused on Great teams (the 2008 Cowboys were coming off a 13-3 season) in addition to bad teams (the 4-12 Falcons going into 2014). nevertheless never on a team too bad to even win a game.

“The story lines in Cleveland are compelling, which make the Browns an ideal partner on ‘Hard Knocks,’ ” said Ross Ketover, an N.F.L. Films senior executive.

There is usually something compelling about the Browns, although the idea is usually not football excellence. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2002 in addition to hasn’t won a playoff game since being reborn in 1999. the idea has put up season records which include 2-14, 3-13 (twice) in addition to 4-12 (several times), before the pièce de résistance: back-to-back 1-15 in addition to 0-16 seasons which set fresh standards for football futility.

One compelling story line when the show debuts on Aug. 7 will no doubt be Coach Hue Jackson, who has somehow kept his job. “We are excited about what we are building within our organization in addition to feel Great about the progress we have made This kind of off-season,” Jackson said optimistically.

Another is usually the quarterback situation. The Browns have struggled to find an adequate starter, using 29 quarterbacks since returning to Cleveland, including such long-forgotten signal-callers as Spergon Wynn, Thad Lewis in addition to Ken Dorsey in addition to the probably better forgotten Johnny Manziel. Last year’s starter, the rookie DeShone Kizer, put up poor numbers, in addition to the Browns have since acquired Tyrod Taylor by the Bills in addition to drafted the Heisman-Trophy winner Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma with the No. 1 pick.

“We’re looking forward to showing N.F.L. fans around the entire world what the Haslams, John Dorsey, Hue Jackson in addition to the coaching staff are doing to rebuild the team in addition to reboot one of the most iconic franchises in sports,” Ketover added, seriously stretching the meaning of “iconic.”

The Browns agreed to participate, as have various other teams featured inside series.

In an HBO news Discharge, the team owners Dee in addition to Jimmy Haslam said they had been contacted about being on “Hard Knocks” multiple times in recent times, nevertheless which the timing was not right until This kind of year.

“Organizationally, we are confident about where we are headed, nevertheless we have a lot of work to do in order just for This kind of franchise to earn the respect of our fans on the field,” they acknowledged.

in recent times, some teams have been hesitant about appearing on the show, worried about the distractions of dozens of cameras. The Patriots have never appeared, for example, in addition to the idea is usually hard to imagine Bill Belichick welcoming HBO with open arms.

“Like many, I was reluctant about being the featured team on ‘Hard Knocks,’ nevertheless once we sat down in addition to talked about the idea as an organization, I feel a lot better in addition to understand why the time is usually right,” John Dorsey, the team’s general manager, said.

Fears which the show can hurt a team seem to be unfounded. Of the 12 teams featured, several did better the next season in addition to several did worse.

One thing’s for sure: The Browns will not do worse.

“Hard Knocks” Seasons

2001. Ravens

2002. Cowboys

2007. Chiefs

2008. Cowboys

2009. Bengals

2010. Jets

2012. Dolphins

2013. Bengals

2014. Falcons

2015. Texans

2016. Rams

2017. Buccaneers

2018. Browns