Hard Knocks is a program all football fans can get behind and enjoy. In the secrecy-ridden, paranoia-ruled lands of professional football, such behind-the-scenes looks are few and far between. We collectively cherish the fun moments as equally as the heartbreak. It’s good television all-around.
It’s about this time of year the participants for Hard Knocks are announced. Thanks to the various restrictions and sources from around the league, we know it’s narrowed down to three teams: the Oakland Raiders, the Washington Redskins, and the Detroit Lions. The obvious choice? The Raiders, of course. It would be interesting to see how Matt Patricia operates, and the Redskins are a fount of intrigue at any given moment, but the Raiders outdo them all.
Jon Gruden alone would be enough to have the Raiders on, but adding in Mike Mayock makes for an excellent tandem on the TV screen. Broadcasting Antonio Brown’s antics the year after he forced his way out of Pittsburgh would be must-watch content. Gruden’s opinion of incumbent QB Derek Carr seems to err on the side of “this guy will be gone soon,” which will give their interactions some extra flair and intrigue. This isn’t even to mention the team’s looming move to Las Vegas. If anything, the biggest argument to not have the Raiders on Hard Knocks this year is because it’ll be even better next year, their first official season as the Las Vegas Raiders.
Three first-round picks, including the shocking selection of Clelin Ferrell as the fourth overall pick. A complete wildcard of a player, under the authority of a wildcard coach. Mayock has extensive experience in television, so while he won’t accidentally give the audience anything too important, he understands the value in a good quip or two. Nobody in the league really knows what’s going on in Oakland, or what their long-term plans are. It’s time to change that.
Raiders for Hard Knocks 2019!