There won’t be a bigger story this pre-season than the Rams’ long-awaited return to southern California.
And as such, HBO and the NFL have chosen the Los Angeles Rams (that’s going to take some getting used to) as the subject for the 2016 edition of “Hard Knocks.” Roger Goodell is expected to officially announce the selection at his press conference from the NFL owners’ meetings on Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“It’s clear both in Southern California and nationwide there’s significant interest in the return of the Rams to Los Angeles, and it seemed like a very good year to give people a look at our franchise and our players,” Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff told the paper.
“We have one of the youngest teams, a lot of talented players — back-to-back rookies of the year — that we want people to start to get exposure to. What better way to do that than ‘Hard Knocks’?”
“Previous teams that have moved, it wasn’t something that we had covered fully like we’re going to cover the Rams,” said “Hard Knocks” supervising producer Ken Rodgers. What we try to do on the show is find a team that’s going on a mission, that’s going somewhere. Having a team that’s not only trying to get somewhere but is also physically moving just adds to the drama of training camp.”
This fall will mark the 11th edition of “Hard Knocks.” Two of the past three subjects (2015 Houston Texans, 2013 Cincinnati Bengals) went on to win their respective divisions.
Oh, and that’s not all for the NFL’s new belle of the ball.
Not only are Rams doing this summer's Hard Knocks, they also are expected to play a regular-season game in 2018 in China.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 23, 2016
Elsewhere in the NFL, the league has announced it will adopt the college rule of moving touchbacks from the 20-yard line to the 25. Additionally, players will now be ejected after two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, mirroring the technical foul in basketball and the yellow card in soccer.
Many coaches were strongly opposed to touchback rule and ejection rule. Owners reconfirm that they run the show.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 23, 2016