After learning of the Bucs' decision on Monday to decline the NFL's invitation to be featured on Hard Knocks this year, I went back and re-read the recent comments in the St. Petersburg Times from Herm Edwards, whose Chiefs team did the show in 2007. If you didn't read the story initially, it's worth a look even now.
Edwards noted how the show can have both positive and negative effects, but what was particularly revealing was his statements about young players paying a little too much attention to the ever-present cameras.
"The downside is the players … get so hung up on wanting to be part of the show, and not all of them are going to be," Edwards said. "So half the time they're asking, 'Why wasn't I on the show last night?' Then they're almost overacting to become a part of it."
This is not to suggest the Bucs are somehow undisciplined, but some of what Edwards is referencing just seems to be human nature. And you can't help but wonder how a team as young as Tampa Bay's would react to the constant pressure of having every minute of their day documented on film.
It's also a test for the coaching staff. The cameras are rolling even during staff meetings when players' fates are being decided and roster decisions are being made.
"I think it's too long," Edwards said. "They start the week before you go (to training camp), and it runs all through training camp. After about four weeks, you get tired of it. It's definitely an adjustment for the coaching staff. I told them, 'You don't want to put yourself in a position that makes the organization look bad.'"
The obvious upside to Hard Knocks: the publicity it gives is unparalleled, especially for a team struggling to fill its stadium and promote young playmakers who could be around awhile. But there are definitely some tradeoffs associated with the proposal.
In conclusion, I'll leave you with this link to a story by respected NFL.com reporter Vic Carucci, who believes the Bucs did the right thing here. The basis for that opinion is his belief that the television show would only add to distractions that are already present because of the many legal issues players and staff members are facing.
That's a sentiment expressed by a number of you readers out there as well.
Posted by Stephen Holder at 1:03:57 pm on May 17, 2011