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No Hard Knocks For The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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The Buccaneers have declined the invitation to participate in this year's installment of Hard Knocks. The spot was offered to the Buccaneers, but they decided to keep the focus on the field instead. 

Rumors of Hard Knocks featuring the Bucs had been circling for a while, and it seemed almost a done deal. It's surprising that the Bucs decided not to participate, given their efforts to increase the team's media profile. But this also shows that the team's marketing and national awareness are secondary to the team's on-field performance. 

Of course, a more cynical reading of this decision involves the Bucs' recent off-field problems. The Buccaneers have had several DUI incidents over the past month, and Alex Magee was cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession just last week. But Aqib Talib's Felony Assault With a Deadly Weapon charge would be a major storyline during any Hard Knocks show, and the Bucs may not want that kind of attention.