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Buccaneers could be forced to go on Hard Knocks

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be forced to go on Hard Knocks this year. Due to a lack of voluntary participants the last couple of years, the NFL instated a rule that teams who haven't been to the playoffs in the previous two years and don't have a new head coach can be forced to participate in Hard Knocks.

The Bucs fit that criterium, as do the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, St. Louis Rams, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, and Washington. Thanks to the Richmond Times-Dispatch for putting together that list.

Hard Knocks is generally pretty fun, but it really depends on the teams. While some season have been legendary, others (like last year's Falcons, or the Dolphins and Bengals before that) were boring. I'm not sure the Bucs would be all that interesting. There's not a lot of drama, Lovie Smith is a pretty quiet guy, and the most colorful guy on the team seems to be Gerald McCoy -- who's entertaining, but not a good source of TV drama.

And, of course, Lovie Smith probably won't be too happy with being forced to go on Hard Knocks. It's another distraction during training, and head coaches tend to really hate distractions. So if the NFL and HBO can't find any team to volunteer and they think the Bucs are entertaining enough, we might see a pissed off Lovie Smith on HBO this year.