In less than two weeks the New York Jets will be on full display for the world to see. The good, the bad and everything in between will be shown on HBO's "Hard Knocks" in five separate one-hour episodes every Wednesday starting Aug. 11.
Before HBO unveiled a 12-minute preview of Hard Knocks this past Wednesday, Jets head coach Rex Ryan, HBO's Ross Greenburg and NFL Films' Steve Trout joined together on a conference call to discuss Hard Knocks with the media.
Greenburg and Trout lauded their staffs of 25 on-site video journalists and 50 more at NFL Films' production studio for their ability to sift through 200 hours of video and condense it to five hours of show time. Most reality shows spend months editing their footage and coming up with dramatic conclusions. The HBO and NFL Films crews, however, will only have a few days in between shows to cut down all their film from the 11 cameras they'll have following the Jets during training camp.
"They will work literally around the clock for about 50 days delivering the most entertaining and realistic sports reality series on television," Greenburg said. "I don't know if there is a better combination in sports and television than HBO and NFL Films and we're really excited about the sixth season of Hard Knocks."
Not only are Greenburg and Trout thrilled about covering the Jets at SUNY Cortland, but Ryan believes that this will be a fantastic opportunity for the Jets to put themselves on display for the rest of the league. Ryan reiterated that the Jets will be completely open, honest and true to themselves during training camp and that Hard Knocks will be a chance to show the country that they are one of the premier teams in the NFL.
"I've mentioned it as a goal of ours," Ryan said, "to have every player in the NFL want to play for the Jets and for every coach to want to come coach for the Jets. This will provide us an opportunity to show the entire league what we're all about, the players, coaches, everything else, and get a true sense of how we handle things, how we do things and how we conduct our business."
It's an unavoidable training camp truth that players will get injured, players will get cut and there will be disagreements on a football team. HBO and NFL Films will most likely be capturing those issues, but they and the Jets are on the same page about what will and will not be aired on the show.
"There's a trust factor here," Trout said. "It's not like we're an outside agency coming in. We're NFL Films. I think Rex, Mr. Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum trust us and know us as professionals as to how we're going to treat this show and how we're going to treat the team and that trust goes a long way."
To deliver a realistic look at the team, Hard Knocks will also focus on the biggest personalities on the team. While many Jets fans believe Ryan is the team's most gregarious figure, the coach insisted that not he but others will be the stars.
"To start on the coaching staff I think Mike Westhoff," Ryan said. "Without question Westy is going to be the character people are talking about. Some will call him 'Old Crusty' but he'll definitely be one. I think obviously you have [quarterback Mark] Sanchez and a guy like Kris Jenkins. Bart Scott will be huge because Bart will be Bart and that's the way we love him.
"There's so many different personalities here but they're outstanding. It'll be interesting to see the guys that develop."
All of HBO's subscribers and the U.S. Armed Forces Network viewers will have the chance to witness both sides of Ryan's hope to see "who develops."