PHOENIX – If the Arizona Cardinals advance to the NFL playoffs, so will HBO’s “Hard Knocks In Season.”
On Monday morning, Warner Media announced that the team would be the subject of their upcoming in-season edition of “Hard Knocks.” This will mark the second installment of the in-season version, with the debut last fall centered around the Indianapolis Colts, who didn’t advance to the postseason.
“If the Colts had won that game in Jacksonville,” Keith Cossrow, NFL Films Vice President and Senior Coordinating Producer, told Cronkite News, “(Hard Knocks) would have kept going (into the playoffs). As long as the Cardinals play, Hard Knocks will be airing. So if they go to the Super Bowl, you will get your first ever Hard Knocks Super Bowl episode.”
Unlike its training camp counterpart, the in-season edition of “Hard Knocks” will follow a team through the second half of its season, when most teams play their most meaningful football games.
“They’re filled with charismatic, colorful leaders, starting with the owner Michael Bidwill,” Cossrow said. “We worked with Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim before in the show All or Nothing seven years ago, and it was a great experience. So we’ve always looked forward to working with Michael and the organization again.”
The previous series started with the Colts for their Week 10 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars and followed them through their regular season. That experience provided HBO Sports and NFL Films with the knowledge and tools to improve on upcoming seasons.
“We had to rethink, ‘What are the focus of these episodes?’” Cossrow said. “One thing we never had in Hard Knocks previously was a meaningful football game. In the preseason, what you care about is the rookies trying to make the team. With the veterans and stars, it’s more ‘Hey, let’s spend time with these guys as they get ready for a season.’ Well, in the season, it’s the stars who have everything on the line, so they have to be the focus of the show.”
The Arizona Cardinals expressed excitement about their selection for the upcoming season of Hard Knocks In Season.
“I think it’s exciting,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday. “Obviously, any time you get a chance to highlight the great people that work in this building, not just players, but coaches and staff, tell their stories and see a different side of them, I think it’ll be really good TV.”
Some Cardinals players are also very excited about being featured on this year’s show.
“Oh, that’s going to be fun,” wide receiver Antoine Wesley said. “There’s a lot to know about everybody. I’m really excited to hear a lot of other people’s stories.”
Even though the Colts series ended at the end of the regular season, Cossrow said that had things gone differently, the show would’ve gone longer.
No definitive date has been set for the first episode as of yet, but if the season’s Hard Knocks In Season follows the same format as last season, the first episode will air Wednesday, November 13, recapping the Cardinals’ Week 10 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.
That also means the episodes will begin after the suspension of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has ended.