HBO plans to have an NFL team in place for this year's edition of "Hard Knocks" by June 1, according to Michael Shain of the New York Post.
Thus far, finding a willing participant to appear in the popular program has been difficult. The Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins reportedly have either declined offers or informed HBO and NFL Films that they're not interested in opening their doors to camera crews.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay indicated in a tweet on Friday that his team might not be ready to be under such a spotlight.
Tim Bear..we can't be on Hard Knocks..we simply aren't qualified 2b TV Stars!â Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) May 25, 2012
The New York Jets, who had a memorable run in the latest edition during 2010 training camp, haven't ruled out a return gig, though that seems unlikely considering how they're planning to keep the focus on football after a disappointing 8-8 season in 2011.
The only team that has openly lobbied to appear is the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Paranoia about letting camera crews into their facility is probably the driving force preventing the network and NFL Films finding a subject, but Shain reports that part of the struggle is the absence of NFL Films President Steve Sabol, who is battling brain cancer.
"Without him going out to the teams twisting arms, it's been hard," a source tells Shain. "Nobody would say 'no' to Sabol."