For the first time in its 15-season history, HBO’s Hard Knocks will feature not one, but two NFL teams this season. As was reported in April, crosstown rivals and new SoFi Stadium co-tenants the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams will split the season.
The Rams will be a familiar focus for the show. The team was last featured on the program in 2016, the team’s first season back in L.A.
That year, Jared Goff was a rookie, having recently gone No. 1 overall. The show led many to correctly predict that he’d struggle in his first NFL season, with former head coach Jeff Fisher leading the franchise at the time.
The Rams are just the third team to be featured on the show twice. They join the Dallas Cowboys (2002, 2008) and Cincinnati Bengals (2009, 2013) as the only repeat subjects. This is the first time that the Chargers will be featured.
This year, #HardKnocks heads to Los Angeles.
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) June 18, 2020
“Having been part of Hard Knocks before when I was with the New York Jets, my biggest takeaway from that whole experience was that you get out of it what you put into it,” said Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, in the NFL Films release about the new season. “There’s a reason that season was probably the most popular Hard Knocks ever. If you’re going to do a show, do it right. You can’t fake it. We didn’t have a problem providing access because we built a relationship with the crew. There was a mutual trust that exists to this day with those people, and many of them will actually be working on this year’s show. Broadcasting your internal business all over the world isn’t something you regularly want to do, but in a year with as many challenges as this one has had, I’m glad we can be part of bringing football back to the fans this summer.”
Sean McVay also welcomes the crew back to Rams camp.
“We are looking forward to having Hard Knocks in our camp this year. Hard Knocks always offers a rare opportunity for our fans to see our players’ hard work to prepare for the season, as well as gives them a peek behind the curtain to observe these guys off the field, too. This year will be special because the show will also get an unprecedented look at SoFi Stadium, Stan Kroenke’s vision for professional football in L.A.”
A year after reaching the Super Bowl, the Rams were a disappointment in 2019-20, going 9-7 and missing the playoffs. The San Francisco 49ers won the NFC West and reached the Super Bowl, while the Seattle Seahawks earned a Wild Card berth at 11-5.
The Chargers went just 5-11, earning the No. 6 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which the team used on Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert.
The season will debut on HBO on Tuesday, Aug. 11, and run through Sept. 8.