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Buccaneers officially picked for Hard Knocks

Sports Xchange - Thursday 20th April, 2017

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be featured on HBO's "Hard Knocks" training camp documentary series for the 2017 season, the team officially announced Wednesday.

The Bucs, who finished 9-7 in coach Dirk Koetter's first season in 2016, will appear on the series for the first time.

"I think it will not only be good for Bucs fans but for NFL fans around the country," Koetter said Wednesday. "We've got some great young guys here. I think there are some good stories there.

"We're not trying to hide anything over here. I think there (are) some great stories to tell. I think the players have some great causes they're behind outside the building. ... I think that's the thing you try not to do. I think it's corny if guys are faking it. So we'll probably go with the 'no faking it' rule."

"Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers" will debut Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 10 p.m. ET and will feature five episodes, ending the week of the team's regular-season opener in September.

"It was very appealing to us. (It's a) young, charismatic roster," said NFL Films' Mark Dissinger, who was joined by Peter Nelson of HBO Sports at the team's facility for the announcement. "I think the fact that this is clearly a team on the rise, a team I would imagine would pique national interest.

"I'm sure the fans here in Tampa are really excited, but this an opportunity to get Jameis (Winston), Mike Evans, Gerald McCoy, to get some of those names out to a more national audience."

The NFL established parameters for being in the pool of possible participants for the documentary series, and eight teams qualified in 2017. The other seven teams in consideration were the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans.

In 2016, the Los Angeles Rams were the focus of the series, which began in 2001.

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