Last year was the most attended preseason in Browns’ History with all the national media sending reporters to Berea to report on Johnny Manziel and Josh Gordon. The Browns had been asked by HBO and the NFL to be on Hard Knocks but wisely turned it down using the first year head coach clause as it was Mike Pettine’s first year with the Browns. Then former Browns website editor and now Buffalo News writer Vic Carruci reported that the Browns are the favourite to be on next season’s Hard Knocks. If no teams volunteer to be on Hard Knocks then the NFL can force a team to take part in Hard Knocks. The NFL can only force a team to participate in Hard Knocks if 1) Has not made the playoffs in the previous two seasons, 2) Does not have a new head coach, and 3) Has not appeared on Hard Knocks in the previous 10 years. The Browns are one of nine teams eligible for Hard Knocks along with the Redskins, Giants, Buccaneers, Vikings, Texans, Rams, Titans, and Jaguars.
The Browns would certainly be entertaining TV if they were selected with all of the stories surrounding Johnny Manziel and his rehab, GM Ray Farmer and Textgate, Jimmy Haslam and his fraud, and Josh Gordon and his suspension. It would blow every other Hard Knocks out of the water and could make a star out of the hard nosed Mike Pettine like it did to Rex Ryan. You’d have to wonder would it be a distraction though as this is a group of players who are potentially on the verge of something special with plenty of talent on the roster and this could be enough to disrupt the momentum that was built last season.