Are the Browns front-runners to star on 'Hard Knocks'?


Hard Knocks might be on the verge of delving deep into the Cleveland Browns' Factory of Sadness.

Positional breakdowns

The Buffalo News' Vic Carucci -- who previously worked for the Browns' official team website -- reported Sunday that Cleveland is the front-runner to be featured on HBO's Hard Knocks training camp series in 2015.

In 2013, NFL owners decided that a team could be forced to participate in the reality television show if no franchise volunteers and the team 1) does not have a first-year head coach; 2) has not been to the playoffs in the past two seasons; 3) has not appeared on Hard Knocks in the past 10 years.

The Browns are one of nine teams -- Buccaneers, Giants, Jaguars, Rams, Redskins, Texans, Titans and Vikings -- that could be forced to participate if no team volunteers.

While Browns owner Jimmy Haslam might not want his enterprise dissected by cameras, Cleveland would provide an array of intrigue after a limp 2014 season followed the tame Atlanta Falcons.

From the interest surrounding first-round quarterback Johnny Manziel -- who will be fighting for a starting job and has spent time in a treatment facility this offseason -- to general manager Ray Farmer's wayward texting scandal last season, the plotlines are think and intriguing before pads ever hit.

Head coach Mike Pettine could become the star of the show. The second-year coach is not afraid to speak his mind and would provide a strong character for NFL Films to build around. Pettine was on the Jets' staff in 2010 when Hard Knocks traveled to Florham Park. That season lives atop the pantheon in the show's history.

If the Browns are selected as the case subject, there is no doubt it would be worth viewing even for those not living on the shores of Lake Erie.

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