The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and HBO have officially announced that they’ll be the team featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks in 2017. Hard Knocks profiles one NFL team’s training camp every season, which effectively gives fans a rare behind-the-scenes look into an NFL team’s preparation for the regular season.
The show will premiere on Tuesday, August 8 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO and will run through the end of preseason. Each episode will also be on Tuesdays, and the season finale will air on September 5.
The Bucs had been linked to Hard Knocks for most of this season, and the Bucs never shied away from the possibility, at least publicly. General manager Jason Licht, head coach Dirk Koetter and the team’s ownership commented positively and confidently on having an HBO camera crew in the building for all of training camp throughout the offseason.
That said, Koetter wasn’t as happy at the announcement today, saying “I like the show. I wish I wasn’t on it.”
The Bucs don’t have any previous experience with Hard Knocks, but several of their coaches do. Most notably, head coach Dirk Koetter and defensive coordinator Mike Smith were both on the 2014 edition of Hard Knocks with the Atlanta Falcons—which resulted in Mike Smith, who has the head coach at the time, getting fired after a disastrous season. Oops.
Still, it seems Smith and Koetter aren’t overly concerned with Hard Knocks’ effect on the Bucs. Perhaps rightly so: while that edition didn’t work out for the Bucs, five of eleven teams to have been featured got into the playoffs—and that’s with almost no teams who had made it into the playoffs the season before being featured on the show.