The Falcons are an exciting, and generally young team with a few key exceptions. They’ve been to the playoffs three out of the four years Mike Smith has been on the sideline, although winning a playoff game has been a problem.
But does on-field excitement lead to on-screen entertainment? We may find out this summer, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Atlanta has been officially offered to have a bright spotlight hover over their training camp, and be given the Hard Knocks treatment on HBO.
I’m not really sure how I feel about this yet. On one hand, we have Smith, who has mostly taken a calm, Tony Dungy approach to coaching. But it feels like there’s an inner Rex Ryan that’s unleashed in private, albeit on a much smaller scale and with far fewer four-letter words. No one does red face quite like Smith, so there’s an element of intrigue about his style, and that kind of mystery hasn’t been present in other recent editions of Hard Knocks.
Ryan was certainly entertaining when the Jets made their appearance, with his antics leading to hours of lost productivity due to addicting Internet games. But we were fully aware that he’s profane, and operates in an environment of semi-controlled chaos. There were no surprises, other than maybe Antonio Cromartie and his inability to remember the names of his children.
But unlike the Jets, or the Bengals when they were featured and Chad Ochocinco’s circus act carried the show along with Andre Smith’s pancake nipples, the intrigue is much lower among the players on the Falcons’ roster. Matt Ryan mostly delivers canned quotes, while Tony Gonzalez will be in the team’s kitchen making vegan food when he isn’t reading his copy of War And Peace.
Sadly, Ryan surprisingly turned down a repeat performance, and his team would have made for great theater after the addition of Tim Tebow, who’s walking into a still steaming mess in the locker room. But hey, maybe Brent Grimes still won’t have a long-term deal, and his wife will go on another training camp tirade.