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Will the Cleveland Browns benefit by appearing on Hard Knocks

Cleveland Browns players during 2017 training camp — by Scott Piker
Cleveland Browns players during 2017 training camp — by Scott Piker

It was going to happen sometime,the Cleveland Browns are selected to appear on the HBO Sports 'Hard Knocks. 2018 is the year for the Browns.

Coming off an 0-16 season, the Browns certainly can't go anywhere but up. However will the dreaded hard Knocks jinx come into play again?

“Like many, I was reluctant about being the featured team on Hard Knocks,” said general manager John Dorsey in a release by the team. “Once we sat down and talked about it as an organization, I feel a lot better and understand why the time is right,”  said general manager John Dorsey.”

The Browns don't have to look back to long to see how the Hard Knocks jinx impacted other teams. Last year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished a disappointing 5-11, last place in the NFC South. In 2016, the Los Angeles Rams in their first season back in southern California finished 4-12 and losers of eleven of their last 12 games. The Rams fired their coach Jeff Fisher during the season.

There are plenty of reasons why the Browns were selected to appear on Hard Knocks in 2018. The quarterback battle first and foremost. Cleveland traded for Tyrod Taylor and placed him as the starter for now. Drafting Baker Mayfield number one overall adds to the drama.

There will be mixed views about appearing on Hard Knocks. Some will embrace it, others not so much.

“We have been asked multiple times about being featured on Hard Knocks, and we really felt like it was our turn this year and the timing was right,” owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam said. “We want to be great partners in this league, and we also recognize Hard Knocks gives fans a special opportunity to learn more about our team and players. Organizationally, we are confident about where we are headed, but we have a lot of work to do in order for this franchise to earn the respect of our fans on the field. We understand winning is ultimately most important to our fans. We’re looking forward to partnering with HBO and NFL Films to show how our team is working hard at training camp to prepare for the 2018 season.”

“I’ve been a part of Hard Knocks and when you experience it first hand, you come to appreciate the inside look it really gives fans,” head coach Hue Jackson said. “We are excited about what we are building within our organization and feel good about the progress we have made this offseason. Being able to bring our fans in so they can get to know our players and our organization in a different way will be a huge positive for us. I want people to see how much our players and coaches care, how hard they work and how badly they want to win for Cleveland. This will be a great opportunity for our team.”

Hard Knocks, training camp with the Cleveland Browns premieres Tuesday August 7 on HBO. Training camp will begin for the Browns in late July.