Bend the knee, Drogon. Step aside, Madeline Mackenzie. The biggest HBO-produced source of explosiveness and drama will come from the Oakland Raiders.
The premium cable/satellite channel unveiled its first footage from the upcoming season of Hard Knocks. It will premiere on Tuesday, August 6 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Oakland will be the subject of the documentary series’ 14th season. The Raiders present several noteworthy storylines for viewers as they seek atonement for a 4-12 season. They welcome in several names ready for television, namely former Pittsburgh Steeler Antonio Brown. The receiver briefly appears in the official trailer, as does franchise quarterback Derek Carr.
Absent from the brief video is new general manager Mike Mayock. Ironically, Mayock may have the most on-screen experience, having served as an NFL Network draft analyst and Notre Dame football commentator prior to his arrival.
The trailer’s voiceover also refers to “head coach Jon Gruden’s new array of talent.” No word on if that refers to issue-laden veteran addition Vontaze Burfict or Richie Incognito. Could it perhaps shine the spotlight on Gruden’s apparent new diamond in the rough…Nathan Peterman?
Other storylines will likely focus on what could be the Raiders final season in the Bay Area. The team is preparing a move to Las Vegas in time for the 2020 season.
HBO and the Raiders previously released posters and clips from the series last week. One such clip features Gruden motivating his new, young squad. Another showcases quarterback Mike Glennon conversing with rookie Hunter about The Bachelorette‘s season finale.
Hard Knocks has offered unprecedented looks inside NFL training camps. The series was created by Emmy-winning director Marty Callner and is narrated by actor Liev Schreiber. It has proven very popular amongst fans, but has drawn the ire of both players and coaches. Raiders owner Mark Davis even spoke out against the notion of appearing on the show back in March.
“It would be disruptive,” he told ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “We’ve got a lot of business to take care of, get ready for the season. I appreciate that they might think we’d be great TV, but we got something to accomplish.”
Teams are exempt from appearing on the series if they have a first-year head coach, have reached the playoffs in either of the two preceding seasons, or have been featured on the program in the past decade. Davis jokingly stated he would fire Gruden to avoid appearing. Oakland was one of five teams unexempt from the criteria, the others being the San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, Detroit Lions, and Washington Redskins.
The Raiders open their preseason slate on August 10 against the Los Angeles Rams (8:00 p.m. ET, KTVU).