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Atlanta Falcons to be Featured in HBO's 'Hard Knocks'
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Atlanta Falcons to be Featured in HBO's 'Hard Knocks'

Jun 13 2014, 2:46am CDT | by

The Atlanta Falcons will be featured in HBO's "Hard Knocks" this season, per multiple reports.

The Atlanta Falcons will be featured in HBO's "Hard Knocks" this season, per multiple reports.  Jay Adams of the Falcons' official website wrote more about the development on June 12:  "The Atlanta...

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14 weeks ago

Atlanta Falcons to be Featured in HBO's 'Hard Knocks'

Jun 13 2014, 2:46am CDT | by

Atlanta Falcons to be Featured in HBO's 'Hard Knocks' Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons will be featured in HBO's "Hard Knocks" this season, per multiple reports.

The Atlanta Falcons will be featured in HBO's "Hard Knocks" this season, per multiple reports. 

Jay Adams of the Falcons' official website wrote more about the development on June 12: 

"The Atlanta Falcons will be featured on HBO Sports' award-winning documentary series HARD KNOCKS, the club announced on Thursday. 

"The Falcons, HBO Sports, and NFL Films will team up for an all-access, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League when HARD KNOCKS: Training Camp with the Atlanta Falcons debuts on August 5. 

"The sports-based reality series kicks off its ninth season, presented in HD on Tuesday, Aug. 5 (10 p.m. ET), excusively on HBO. Subsequent hour-long episodes debut on Tuesdays at the same time, with an encore replay every Wednesday in August at 11:00 p.m., culminating in the Sept. 2 season finale. 

"'We are excited about the opportunity to give our fans a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to prepare an NFL team for the rigors of a 16-game regular season and beyond,' said Falcons Owner & Chairman Arthur M. Blank. 'This marks the first time that our franchise will be featured on HARD KNOCKS and we look forward to showcasing our great players and coaches to football fans all across America.'

"The award-winning documentary will focus on the daily lives and routines of Falcons players and coaches and showcase the club as it prepares to do battle in the always competitive NFC South Division of the NFL. 

"'We are thrilled that the ninth edition of the HARD KNOCKS series will spotlight the Atlanta Falcons,' said Ken Hershman, President of HBO Sports. 'It's exciting to feature a team, a franchise and a city for the first time on HARD KNOCKS. We are grateful to head coach Mike Smith and the entire organization for agreeing to partcipate and look forward to what we expect to be one of the few summertime programs that is truly appointment TV and we can't wait for the premiere on August 5th.' 

"Additionally, HBO will chronicle an intriguing mix of high-profile veterans, including Pro Bowlers QB Matt Ryan, WR Roddy White, WR Julio Jones and S William Moore, along with free agents and rookie hopefuls throughout training camp and the preseason. Each week, players will experience drills, meetings and fun, while struggling to prove that they have what it takes to make the team and make their mark in the NFL. 

"Since 2008, the Falcons have recorded a .625 winning percentage and have qualified for the NFC playoffs four times (2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012). During the same time span, the Falcons posted a 13-3 record twice (2010 and 2012) and are one of the NFL's most dominant teams at home, posting a winning percentage of .750 at the Georgia Dome (36-12). 

"'We are looking forward to connecting with our fans across the country as the program chronicles our 2014 training camp,' said Falcons head coach Mike Smith. 'The series will give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the competition between players as we build our roster and prepare for the season. We are looking forward to the start of camp in late July.'

"A 30-person NFL Films crew will be at the Falcons' training camp at team headquarters in Flowery Branch, Ga., shooting more than 1,500 hours of video over the course of the five-week series. Camera and sound crews will be given unencumbered access to the players' and coaches' meeting rooms, training rooms, dormitories and practice fields."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter, who says last year's "Hard Knocks" espisode featuring the Cincinnati Bengals averaged 3.6 million viewers, says the Falcons declined an offer to be on the show several years ago. He posted a 2011 interview with Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff who explains why the team turned down the opportunity: 

"I truly believe that an organization has to be in the right spot to jump into something like Hard Knocks. I think it sheds a lot of light in our league. This is a league of entertainment. There are some traditionalists that struggle with it, but they have to work against the grain a little bit and see that this is about entertainment. Hard Knocks is a good show for the fan base. 

"Two years ago we were approached and decided that it wasn't right for us at that point. Dimitroff said back in 2011. That's not to say we wouldn't go down that road if it was presented to us at another time. We are much closer to being in that spot where it's not going to be as much of a distraction as it would have been another time. 

"It's such an individual thing. Hard Knocks could be right for some of the teams that are fairly entrenched. It could be right for some team that wants to kick some more brand recognition"

Falcons free safety Dwight Lowery, who was part of the New York Jets team who was on "Hard Knocks" four years ago, told ESPN's Vaughn McClure that being on the show can help the team with its focus heading into the 2014 regular season: 

"New Atlanta Falcons free safety Dwight Lowery knows firsthand all about the HBO series 'Hard Knocks.' 

"And Lowery knows things can get ugly. 

"Lowery was a part of the award-winning documentary in 2010 while a member of the New York Jets. He was a spectator what they called the 'King Ugly' competition between the rookies. 

"'That thing was hilarious,' Lowery recalled. 'Pretty much the players voted for who the ugliest player on the team was. You had to put money in as your vote. Whoever got third place, they got 75 percent of the pot. Second place got 25 percent of the pot. And first place didn't get anything, because they were so ugly. Some defensive back won, too (Brian Jackson).

"'I just watched it the other day. And watching it, knowing that I was in those seats, it brings back a lot of memories.'"

Lowery then says having HBO around to film the Falcons' training camp should help loosen the players up, per ESPN. 

"Honestly, my point of view is this: If you're not able to function when there are cameras around at the facility or practice or wherever, how are you going to go out and win a national game with 60,000 people in the stands? You're on national TV. Cameras are rolling. If you're a team that's fortunate to go all the way, Super Bowl week has become crazier and crazier as the years have progressed. 

"There is going to be a lot of that kind of hoopla and jazz going on that you need to focus in that type of situation as well. 

"Hopefully, it will be something that we can use for energy on those days in camp where it gets hard and long; kind of keep the mood light, I guess. I honestly don't think it will be a distraction. If it is, I think only at first because it's brand new. I think three weeks into training camp, guys will get accustomed to them being there and actually kind of get sick of it." 


2 hours ago

Devin Hester and Deion Sanders Share Emotional Moment During TNF Postgame Show

Sep 19 2014 11:04am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Devin Hester made history on Thursday night, returning a punt against the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers and breaking Deion Sanders’ record (19) for all-time return touchdowns.The Atlanta Falcons utility man honored Sanders as he scored the 20th return touchdown of his career, high-stepping the final 20 yards at the Georgia Dome as Sanders—on hand doing analysis for CBS—watched from near the tunnel.After the Falcons’ 56-14 trouncing of the Buc ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report


3 hours ago

Devin Hester’s Record-Breaking Night Bittersweet For Chicago Bears Fans

Sep 19 2014 9:55am CDT | Source: Rant Sports

You could tell Devin Hester was in the zone. On the opening kickoff, the Atlanta Falcons received the ball and Hester galloped 30 yards as he maneuvered in and out of Tampa Bay Buccaneers players. After the Buccaneers’ first possession resulted in a three-and-out, Hester returned the punt 48 yards int ...
Source: Rant Sports   Full article at: Rant Sports


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Bobby Rainey salvages fantasy stats in garbage time in Week 3

Sep 19 2014 6:20am CDT | Source: SBNation

Despite fumbling twice, Rainey still managed to post over 100 total yards in Week 3. We break down the fantasy implications. With Doug Martin out for Week 3, Bobby Rainey took over the starting duties for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rainey rushed for 41 yards on 11 carries and caught seven passes for a team-high 64 yards against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. Rainey fumbled twice on the night, and was initially punished as Lovie S ...
Source: SBNation   Full article at: SBNation


7 hours ago

Devin Hester shows fantasy versatility with rush, return touchdowns

Sep 19 2014 6:15am CDT | Source: SBNation

Hester set a return touchdown record on Thursday night while adding another score on the ground. We break down the fantasy implications. Devin Hester was one of the stars of the Atlanta Falcons victory on Thursday night, scoring twice to help his team win a 56-14 blowout against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hester first scored on a 20-yard run in the second quarter as he took the handoff from Matt Ryan and blew past the defense on the edge. His second touchdown was a 62-yard p ...
Source: SBNation   Full article at: SBNation


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Sep 19 2014 6:10am CDT | Source: SBNation

Jackson fought his way into the end zone for his first touchdown of the season Thursday night. We break down the fantasy implications. Steven Jackson led the Atlanta Falcons backfield with 14 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He would have touched the ball more if the game had been competitive, but the Falcons held a 56-0 lead in the third quarter and ultimately pulled their starters. Jackson's 2-yard scor ...
Source: SBNation   Full article at: SBNation


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Julio Jones dominates for fantasy owners in Week 3

Sep 19 2014 6:05am CDT | Source: SBNation

Jones looked impressive in his first two games of the year, but they were nothing compared to his performance in Week 3. We break down the fantasy implications. Julio Jones caught nine passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was targeted 11 times in close to three quarters of play. The Atlanta Falcons pulled their starters with a 56-0 lead. Roddy White sat out Thursday night's game, leaving Jones to reap the benefits a ...
Source: SBNation   Full article at: SBNation


8 hours ago

Devin Hester sets new NFL record for touchdown returns

Sep 19 2014 5:31am CDT | Source: Crunch Sports

Devin Hester cemented his status as the greatest kick returner of all-time as he returned a 62-yard punt for a touchdown during the Thursday Night Football showdown between the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Falcons romped to a 56-14 victory over the woeful Bucs in the Georgia Dome, b... Read the rest of the article hereClick he ...
Source: Crunch Sports   Full article at: Crunch Sports


9 hours ago

Even The Mascots Tackle Hard In The NFL

Sep 19 2014 4:50am CDT | Source: balls

Balls.ie It may have been a memorable night for Devin Hester but one football fan might have no memories left after the game. A crazed Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan flamboyantly stormed the field donning full pirate attire during their 56-14 annihilation at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons. The pitch invader was stopped in his tracks in spectacular fashion by the opposing side’s mascot. Freddie the Falcon ...
Source: balls   Full article at: balls


10 hours ago

Devin Hester Makes NFL History, Hugs Unsuspecting Security Guard To Celebrate

Sep 19 2014 3:33am CDT | Source: balls

Balls.ie Devin Hester has arguably cemented his place as the best kick returner in NFL history after breaking Deion Sanders’ record last night. The Atlanta Falcons’ wide receiver/return man caught a punt against the Tamp Bay Buccaneers last night and ran it in for a 62 yard touchdown. This marked Hester’s 20th special teams touchdown of his career which made him surpass Deion Sanders on the all-time list. Check out the mes ...
Source: balls   Full article at: balls


12 hours ago

Devin Hester says he wasn’t happy the last few years in Chicago

Sep 19 2014 1:26am CDT | Source: ProFootballTalk

Devin Hester took sole possession of the NFL record for most return touchdowns in a career when he took back a Michael Koenen punt for a 26-yard touchdown in the second quarter of the Atlanta Falcons 56-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hester made the majority o ...
Source: ProFootballTalk   Full article at: ProFootballTalk


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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.


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