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Falcons, Jaguars enter 'Hard Knocks' rumor pool

New developments on the rough-and-tumble "Hard Knocks" front.

We learned Wednesday that Jets coach Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson don't see eye-to-eye on a possible return to the HBO series.

That's a shame for anyone with access to a television. A direct pipeline to the inner worlds of Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Co. sounds, well, unbeatable, but HBO has a (secret) backup plan ready to roll.'s Adam Schein dropped the possibility of a Baltimore Ravens-San Francisco 49ers mash-up, with a heavy focus on the Harbaugh brothers (and, we predict, a lethal dose of Terrell Suggs). 

Two other possibilities have emerged:

The Atlanta Falcons are a "strong candidate," a source told's Rich Cimini. Zero drama compared to the Jets, but a compelling pick on another level. Matt Ryan and the talented Falcons are struggling to get over the hump in the NFC, facing a fair amount of pressure from an antsy fan base -- that makes for good TV.

Schein reported interest on behalf of the Jacksonville Jaguars* *and Tania Ganguli of The Florida Times-Union confirmed it. Team spokesman Dan Edwards told her, "We did express interest, and at this point we don't know what HBO's plans are."

Jaguars owner Shahid Khan is hellbent on revamping the team's image. Jacksonville ranked dead last in a recent Harris Interactive Poll for league popularity. Kind of a tough sell on the HBO brass, unless they fall for the flowing locks of Blaine Gabbert.

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