Aaron Rodgers

Bears ‘Hard Knocks' chances may have taken hit after Ian Rapoport Jets report

Many Bears fans hoped to see Justin Fields on the HBO show this summer

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Ian Rapoport shared a disappointing update for Bears fans who were hoping to see Justin Fields and the rest of the team star in “Hard Knocks” this year. In an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rapoport said there’s a “pretty decent possibility” that HBO and NFL Films will land on the Jets to highlight in training camp this year.

Rapoport was sure to emphasize that he does not know who the “Hard Knocks” team will be, but he did report that some big wigs within the Jets organization would welcome the film crews into their building if chosen.

“Let’s just say there are some higher ups with the Jets, who if they were on ‘Hard Knocks,’ would not be very upset by it,” Rapoport said on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

“I think the business people and really high-up people with the Jets, all the way up to ownership would probably be pretty psyched about it.”

“Hard Knocks” is a show produced by both HBO and NFL Films that follows a team from the start of training camp up to the start of the season. Historically, it tracked players who were on the roster bubble fighting for a job. Recently, the show has focused more on superstars and big personalities in addition to the fringe players.

Mutual interest is usually all it takes for a team to be selected for the show, so if Jets ownership “would probably be pretty psyched” to have “Hard Knocks” follow their team, it seems unlikely that HBO and NFL Films would force another team to participate. The Bears have said before they would not want the show's cameras in Halas Hall. 

If no teams volunteer for the show, the powers that be will select a team to be featured. However if a team has a new head coach, has made the playoffs in the last two seasons or has been on the show sometime over the past 10 years, they’re exempt from being forced on the show. The Bears are one of four teams who do not meet any of those criteria, so they can be chosen if no team volunteers.

“They treat players right, so even though football people are wary of it, it seems like the product and the treatment has been really good,” said Rapoport. “The Jets don’t need any more publicity. They’re going to get it from our network and other networks, largely because of your friend Aaron Rodgers.”

That includes this network. 

The Bears are certainly a compelling team to follow this year, considering the strides Justin Fields made last season and the expectations for the offense as a whole with DJ Moore in the fold now. But almost nothing in the NFL matches the national attention that Rodgers demands. Not only is he still one of the most talented QBs in the league, but he remains one of the league’s kookiest characters. Rodgers gives us ridiculous headlines regularly, from Covid toes to hobbit holes. Think of what we may get when the cameras are on him constantly?

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