It wasn’t quite a “Been there, done that” response from head coach Rex Ryan, but the Jets head coach kept a clear arm’s length when asked about his team appearing on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” this season.
Two years ago, the “Hard Knocks” cameras followed the Jets to Cortland, N.Y. to film the team’s preseason training camp. The show was wildly successful for the Jets, who clearly didn’t shy away from the cameras and shocked the somewhat naïve conscience of some with their profanity and wild dialogue. With the trade for Tim Tebow last month, the Jets are again a talking point in the league and recent reports have indicated that owner Woody Johnson would again embrace the idea of being on the show.
Last week, a report said that Ryan was opposed to the idea of having their preseason filmed again and the distraction it would inevitably bring to the field.
“We have had some casual conversations about ‘Hard Knocks’ and things like that, but we don’t have any new information,” Ryan told reporters on a conference call Monday as the first offseason workouts began.
“If we’re asked, we’ll talk about it. Quite honestly, we’ve just had some casual conversations.”
When the story first broke two weeks ago, several Jets players told Metro New York that they, like their coach, weren’t thrilled with the idea of being on “Hard Knocks” again. One player who was part of the team when they were on the show two years ago spoke on the condition of anonymity about another appearance.
“It would be another distraction that we don’t need at this point, coming off the season we had,” the player said.
The “other distraction” being, of course, the trade for Tebow and the exposure he brings.
“When we did ‘Hard Knocks,’ I thought it was excellent. I thought it was great exposure for our team. I thought ‘Hard Knocks’ was a good thing for us at that time. I think looking at it, obviously, if we’re asked to do it we’ll have some candid conversations about it. But right now, we don’t have any updates,” Ryan said.
“We’ll look at it then, but there’s no sense of getting into the ‘what ifs.’ If we’re not asked, that’s easy — then we’re not doing it. If we’re asked, then we’ll sit down and have those conversations.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.