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Los Angeles Rams will be featured on 'Hard Knocks'


Hard Knocks is going Hollywood.

The league announced Wednesday that the Los Angeles Rams will be the focus in the 11th season of HBO's acclaimed documentary series that delves into one NFL team's training camp. The first episode will air Aug. 9.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times first reported the news.

"It's clear both in Southern California and nationwide there's significant interest in the return of the Rams to Los Angeles, and it seemed like a very good year to give people a look at our franchise and our players," Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff said, per Farmer.

"We have one of the youngest teams, a lot of talented players -- back-to-back rookies of the year -- that we want people to start to get exposure to. What better way to do that than Hard Knocks?"

The news comes two months after NFL owners voted to endorse the Rams' relocation. Angelenos are welcoming the organization back home after 21 years in St. Louis.


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Jeff Fisher's Rams club is the first NFC West outfit to be featured on the show. In accordance with an NFL rule passed in 2013, the Rams, Saints, Bears, Bills, Chargers, Jaguars and Raiders were the seven teams eligible to appear on Hard Knocks this year.

Bills coach Rex Ryan suggested during Tuesday's AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meeting that final decision came down to the Rams and Saints.

The NFL has tacitly acknowledged that the show's range and power are invaluable assets to professional football, regardless of any perceived invasion of privacy. For all of the coaches worried about losing a competitive advantage to prying eyes, the last six teams to appear on Hard Knocks have matched or improved their won-loss record in the season that followed.

The Rams will be interesting to track this summer as they transition to their new home. Yet to set up shop, they are expected to hold spring practices north of Los Angeles in Oxnard and move south to UC-Irvine for training camp before possibly settling on the Thousand Oaks area for a temporary in-season facility.

Casual football fans will be introduced to dynamic power back Todd Gurley and ultra-disruptive defensive tackle Aaron Donald, a pair of superstars with the potential to be the best at their respective positions for the next half-decade. Hardcore fans will watch with a jaundiced eye as the team's brass continues to make a case for Case as the starting quarterback.

Beyond those topics, we can expect the now classic training-camp storylines, including the lovable underdog, coach tantrums, position battles and rookie hazing.

Be sure to check back in August for Dan Hanzus' entertaining and all-encompassing Hard Knocks recaps.


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