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Buccaneers Chosen For HBO's "Hard Knocks" Because Of Team's Young Stars, Potential

Buccaneers Chosen For HBO's "Hard Knocks" Because Of Team's Young Stars, Potential

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At least 10 players and/or coaches will wear microphones during production
"Hard Knocks" Director Matt Dissinger yesterday said that the Buccaneers were chosen "ahead of seven other eligible teams" because they are "considered an ascending franchise with young stars" such as QB Jameis Winston, according to Rick Stroud of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. Dissinger: "This is clearly a team on the rise, a team I would imagine would pique national interest. ... This is an opportunity to get Jameis, Mike Evans, Gerald McCoy -- this gets some of those names out to a national audience. And it's very appealing to us. A young, charismatic roster. I think it's a good match." Stroud notes at least 10 players and/or coaches will "wear microphones, and the crews will have access to every room in the facility and will shoot footage away from One Buc Place." For a franchise that has failed to make the playoffs for the last nine years, "Hard Knocks" represents a "windfall of marketing and rare national exposure." Bucs GM Jason Licht and coach Dirk Koetter said that they did "not believe 'Hard Knocks' would be a distraction." The show premieres Aug. 8 (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 4/20). In Tampa, Tom Jones writes viewers should "get an unprecedented look at the organization's most high-profile figures," such as Koetter, Winston and McCoy, "revealing how they interact with the each other, how they talk when they don't think the public is listening and how they go about their daily lives." What is "amazing about the show is that even after 11 seasons, you still never know what you're going to get." The stories on the show have "become so intimate that no NFL team wants to do the show." Koetter yesterday said what "all coaches think." Koetter: "I like watching the show. I wish I wasn't on it" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 4/20).

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