The Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers will be featured on HBO's "Hard Knocks'' this summer, the NFL announced in a tweet. The five-episode season debuts Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 10 pm ET. Episodes will air each Tuesday until the finale Sep. 8. According to a press release, "camera crews will head to southern California in the next few weeks to begin filming." Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn had previously taken part in the show with the New York Jets.
"Having been part of Hard Knocks before when I was with the New York Jets, my biggest takeaway from that whole experience was that you get out of it what you put into it. There's a reason that season was probably the most popular Hard Knocks ever. If you're going to do a show, do it right. You can't fake it. We didn't have a problem providing access because we built a relationship with the crew. There was a mutual trust that exists to this day with those people, and many of them will actually be working on this year's show. Broadcasting your internal business all over the world isn't something you regularly want to do, but in a year with as many challenges as this one has had, I'm glad we can be part of bringing football back to the fans this summer," Lynn said in the press release.
For Rams head coach Sean McVay, it will be his first appearance:
"We are looking forward to having Hard Knocks in our camp this year. Hard Knocks always offers a rare opportunity for our fans to see our players' hard work to prepare for the season, as well as gives them a peek behind the curtain to observe these guys off the field, too. This year will be special because the show will also get an unprecedented look at SoFi Stadium, Stan Kroenke's vision for professional football in L.A.," McVay said in the press release.
The two teams in Los Angeles were very appealing as the league continues to provide a spotlight for their fledgling franchises. Each has relocated within the past five years. The idea of featuring two teams is likely a byproduct of a shortened offseason. In the past, the production crew would be filming through organized team activities (OTA), mini-camps, training camp and the preseason. Teams have been undergoing virtual OTAs but there has been no resolution on when teams may re-convene for in-person activities. Training camp usually commences in late July, early August.
The Rams appeared on the show in 2016 under head coach Jeff Fisher. The Chargers will be making their first appearance, however. Thirteen teams have appeared on the show since it began in 2001. The Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys are the only two teams to be featured twice. The Oakland Raiders were on the show in 2019.
Sean McVay's team is coming off a disappointing season that ended with a 9-7 record. They had made it all the way to the Super Bowl the previous season. The team elected to sever ties with long-time defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and hired defensive coordinator Brandon Staley and offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell this offseason. The offense is without the familiar faces of Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks.
The Chargers are undergoing their own changes with veteran quarterback Philip Rivers moving on to the Indianapolis Colts and running back Melvin Gordon moving on to the Denver Broncos. Los Angeles selected coveted Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert early in the 2020 NFL Draft. Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray was also taken in the first round. The Chargers signed cornerback Chris Harris Jr., defensive tackle Linval Joseph and offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga as well as trade for offensive guard Trai Turner.