When it comes to deciding which NFL team will be featured on "Hard Knocks," there is, believe it or not, a protocol. As Chris Wesseling explains here, the first (and preferable) option is for a team to volunteer. If that option fails to materialize, the NFL then moves on to a three-part test to determine "Hard Knocks" eligibility. To be forced into participating in "Hard Knocks," a team must not have:
1. A first-year head coach.
2. Made the playoffs in either of the two preceding seasons.
3. Been featured on "Hard Knocks" in the previous ten (10) seasons.
Guess what? That's right--your Houston Texans meet all the criteria. In fact, there are a total of nine (9) teams this year that could be compelled to be featured on "Hard Knocks." The list:
1. Houston Texans
2. Washington Redskins
3. Cleveland Browns
4. New York Giants
5. Minnesota Vikings
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7. St. Louis Rams
8. Jacksonville Jaguars
9. Tennessee Titans
Looking at that list with some attempted semblance of objectivity, I'd say the Texans, Browns, Giants, and Vikings in some order are the most enticing candidates from HBO's perspective.
While I'm fairly certain Bill O'Brien would want absolutely nothing to do with "Hard Knocks," he doesn't get to make that decision if push comes to shove. What say you? Do you think an inside look at the Houston Texans would make for good television for a national audience? Would you want to see the Texans featured on "Hard Knocks"? Is it possible for J.J. Watt to be an even bigger star?