Browns HC Mike Pettine told reporters on Tuesday that they have “declined to volunteer” as the featured team on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series.
Pettine admitted that protecting QB Johnny Manziel from public scrutiny played into their decision to not volunteer for the show.
“We discussed everything that was involved with it. That was certainly something we needed to consider,” Pettine said, via Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland. “…I wouldn’t say (concern about Manziel) loomed large. You just weigh everything in. Because being a part of Hard Knocks, knowing they’re going to look to cover the team’s biggest, current storylines. It’s obvious that he would be a point of attention.”
According to Grossi, the Browns have met with HBO producers here at the owners meetings in Arizona and expressed their concerns about doing the show and how it could impact Manziel.
It’s worth mentioning that the NFL could still force the Browns to appear on the show, but that’s only in the event that they don’t have a volunteer.
Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News previously reported that the Browns were considered to be the “front-runners” for “Hard Knocks.”
Yesterday, Texans owner Bob McNair mentioned that they are a candidate to appear on the series.
For what it’s worth, the nine teams that can be forced to do the show include: Browns, Texans, Jaguars, Vikings, Giants, Rams, Buccaneers, Titans, and Redskins.