Steelers Could Be Forced To Do Hard Knocks This Year

Thanks to the Pittsburgh Steelers failing to make the playoffs for a second straight season, they are now one of eight teams that could be forced to be the subject matter of Hard Knocks, the HBO training camp documentary.

NFL owners passed a resolution last year during their fall meetings in Washington that would give the league the authority to pick a team to be on the show if they are in need of one. The resolution, however, included exemptions for teams that appeared on the show in the last 10 years, reached the playoffs once within the previous two years, or have a new coach.

In total, there are eight teams that fail to qualify for those exemptions and they are the Steelers, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams.

Last August during training camp, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was asked about the show and whether or not he would be for the team taking part in it in the future during a radio interview. While he didn’t totally rule it out ever happening, he was quick to discuss some of the negatives associated with doing it.

“There are things that are still protected as far as I’m concerned, “said Colbert. “The conversations when a player gets cut, it makes for good TV, but I don’t like because it’s embarrassing. First of all, you’re going to be a little guarded when you do it if you try to do it for TV, so it’s really not the real situation, it will be a little protected. So I can see the value of it, I know the fans would like it, but just as an administrator, I’d still be a little protected about some of it.”

The league and HBO would of course love to have the Steelers take part in Hard Knocks because of the global draw it would create. Last year the Cincinnati Bengals were the subject matter for a second time in the show’s existence and they wound up making the playoffs.

So when will we know if the Steelers will be the team chosen to do the show this year? Probably around June as that is when the announcement was made last year.

  • Iron Cadet

    Honestly as a fan I’d love the extra video and inside look during training camp, but that’s because I’m an addict. I don’t like that the league can force it to happen when Tomlin and Colbert have been so against it. If no one steps up I think they have a good chance of being forced to because the large fan base would create a lot of views

  • Chris Ranieri

    Agreed…with everything you said

  • Steve

    Would love to see the Steelers in Hard Knocks. I do understand that it would be awkward and you have to watch what is said, but it would give us a better understanding in what the Coaches and players go through as the cameras follow them around.

  • cp72

    I think this is something every team should do once. You do it once and you’re done for another 31 years. I love Hard Knocks and if the Steelers were the team it might replace Sopranos as my favorite HBO show of all time!

  • Superdriller316

    Just another reason to make it into the post season.

  • Boo

  • CrazyTerry

    Penguins did a similar show on HBO. I don’t see why the Steelers need to act holier than thou. They have become just like any other team – bandwagon fans who are no shows for a playoff contending team, multiple mediocre seasons. The organization will even fall in line for any proposal to increase playoff teams diluting competition(I hope I am wrong on what will happen on this part).
    Time to do their job as a member of the league and take part in the show.

  • Nolrog

    Is this punishment for Tomlin being on the field?

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    At first i was completely against it but after two sub-par yrs i actually want this now just so i can see if tomlin is an motivational coach and who on the team is ready to take over and lead

  • Milliken Steeler

    Now I know why reality shows just don’t stop popping up:( See posters below.

  • MailboxKid

    Do nfl fans want to familiarize themselves further with Ben roethlisberger? After his history its a weird point. I would be interested in getting to know how he behaves. It’s interesting if it will increase or decrease viewers…

  • Matt Manzo

    I wish I could “like” a thousand times!

  • Matt Manzo

    As a fan on the west coast(from Pitt!) ALL I see everyday is niner crap! I would love to be able to see behind the curtain of my team. As a fan.
    As a coach?…. I totally get why it would suck! They have enough cameras following them around all the time!
    And I believe a locker room is a world the public has no business in.

  • JohnB

    “distraction” “awkward” “forced”
    These arnt the type of words I want to see in the Steelers offseason.

  • Rob H

    Agreed, 100% of this teams focus should be towards getting back in the playoffs and becoming perennial SB contenders again. As with any fan, I would LOVE to see behind the scenes stuff with how they are run and what things are like during the week, but I can live without it.

  • steeltown

    What??? That’s Bullshit! Whata joke

  • srdan

    I can see why the organization and some fans would be guarded against this. But I would love to see the interaction.

    Plus this could be used as a catalyst to market the team to a new generation of steeler fans. Not the ones that don’t show up to the games and don’t sell or give their tickets away. The way I see it, If you don’t know how to use ticketexchange, you probably don’t have HBO. lol

  • r4kolb

    Lets not forget to read the clause about “new coach”. Make it happen Art!

  • Callentown

    With DICKtator Goodell, whichever the Steelers don’t want is what he will give.

  • DrakePirate

    The benefits of having the team on HBO would FAR outweigh any of the negatives … its only one year and i really do not see it as that much of a issue for the team. We have one of the biggest fan bases in the world and the joy and knowledge it would bring to us all would be everlasting !

  • mem359

    Are there any incentives (compensation pick, salary cap adjustment) for a team to be on, or is it just marketing / face time?

  • DrakePirate

    wouldn’t think so … but that would be pretty neat if they offered a special 7th round selection for doing it !

  • HopalongCassidy


  • joed32

    Excellent idea, they would get lots of volunteerss. Let’s not forget that they won’t force any team to be on it unless they don’t get any volunteers and I’ve never seen Jerry Jones pass up a chance to get his face on camera.