Texans owner Bob McNair, general manager Rick Smith, NFL Films supervising producer Ken Rodgers, and Hard Knocks director Matt Dissinger were made available today for a press conference following the announcement that the Texans have been selected as the subject for the 2015 season of the long-running series. Here are a few of their more notable quotes, including information on how fans can legally get their fix of Hard Knocks without a cable subscription.
"Well, we’re delighted that NFL Films and HBO are going to be with us for training camp. It’s a great opportunity to showcase our team. We in Houston know our team, we know our players, we know our coaches, and we love and support them. We have great fun with it, but we know that there are a lot of people around the country who aren’t familiar with us, and so this is an opportunity for them to get to know what a great team, what a great organization we have and we’re delighted to have you all with us."
"The main thing is that we’re not going to be doing anything that is going to be giving any of our opponents a competitive advantage, and NFL Films understands that. Really that’s not what they are trying to represent and present. That was the main focus of any discussion, and I think we’re all comfortable with it."
"A lot of people ask ‘do I have to have HBO to watch Hard Knocks,' and the answer to that question is yes, but there are multiple ways to see the show. We would love for everyone to tune in for the premiere, starting Tuesday night, August 11th at 9:00 PM central. You can also watch on demand at HBO On Demand, or on your mobile device on HBO GO, and for the first time this year you can watch on HBO NOW, which is a streaming on demand service that does not require a cable subscription. There’s many ways to watch, and we hope everybody will."
"There are of course story lines, but we’ve learned to go into this without preconceived notions. We’ll come up with twenty-five or so story lines going into camp that we think are story lines. A lot of them will be culled from those in the room here. We will certainly be reading and following everyone, and we’ll be here on the ground researching as well. Once we get to camp we sort of let those story lines play out or not play out. The best parts of the show are often the story lines that come out of nowhere that we couldn’t have seen coming. A young bowling ball fullback nicknamed ‘The Terminator’ in New York wasn’t someone on our list. That same a year, a real quiet kid named Danny Woodhead was on the show, and we didn’t target him as someone who was a star of the show going in and he became an important player for the Patriots and coach O’Brien later that year when he left the Jets. I think it would be very easy to say ‘here are the stars of the team and this is going to be the show’, but that’s really not the case. We follow whatever is happening, and that is often a surprise to us."
"We’re very comfortable. NFL Films and HBO Sports, we trust them implicitly to handle our preparation. You go to training camp for two primary reasons – to get your football team ready for the season, and to figure out who the best 53 men are to accomplish your goals. So we feel like by no stretch of the imagination is this going to prevent us from doing that. We feel very comfortable. We trust them. It’s a great partnership. They’ve put a good product out before so from that standpoint, we will function and operate just like we always do. There is a part of the editorial process that we are a part of, but we trust them that we will be well represented."
"What we have is about five or six crews with probably about two to three people per crew. Those are the manned cameras that we have. We also have up to eight robotic cameras that we place in the coach’s offices. What eventually happens inevitably in every one of these camps is that we blend in to the background. At some point between weeks one and two, inevitably a coach or a player will say ‘man, I don’t even notice that you guys are around anymore’. Once you get to that level of comfort and relaxation and trust, I think that’s when people can’t help but put their guard down and act naturally."
The full presser will likely be put up on the team's official site later today, at which point we will update this article. Until then, check out this swanky preview trailer that NFL Films released just after the conclusion of today's media session.