According to Mike Pettine, Cleveland turned down the chance to appear on HBO's hit NFL reality series by utilizing his status as a first-year head coach.
"It was for the same reason we didn't feel super comfortable having a camera in the draft room," Pettine said. "Let's get through the first time, let's get through the first year."
Pettine, who was with the Jets when they were on "Hard Knocks" in 2010 under Rex Ryan, said the Browns were approached about doing the show before the team drafted Johnny Manziel (and therefore, in advance of Josh Gordon reportedly facing a suspension).
"There are positives and negatives to doing it," Pettine said. "It's not something I would say we'd never do, partly because the league can make us do it."
The league passed a rule allowing it to compel clubs to participate in "Hard Knocks" after teams shied away from it and the Bengals landed on the program for the second time in the past 10 years.
Teams can decline "Hard Knocks" if a) they have a rookie head coach, b) made the playoffs in the last two years, or c) appeared on "Hard Knocks" in the last 10 years.
The Bears, Bills, Cardinals, Giants, Jaguars, Raiders, Rams and Steelers all qualify as potential teams for the show this year.
If Pettine wants to avoid the program in the future, he can simply make the playoffs. Sounds easy anyway.