TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don't want any distractions in training camp, but they might not have a choice.
HBO's "Hard Knocks" could come calling and invade Tampa Bay's training camp. General manager Jason Licht told Pewter Report that he is not in favor of the team being featured on the all-access show. But it might not be Licht's call.
If no team volunteers to be featured on the show, the NFL has reserved the right to select a team to appear. The Bucs could be an attractive candidate, mainly because they have rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. He is nationally known and seems to be a lightning rod for attention. Winston's first camp could make for good television.
But it wouldn't be good for the Bucs from a football perspective. Winston doesn't need any more attention than he already is going to get. On the first day of the team's recent rookie camp, about 60 media members showed up. That's about six times the normal media crowd.
Winston will be trying to learn the playbook and build chemistry with his receivers while being under a media microscope. He doesn't need it to get any stronger.
There is also a civil lawsuit filed by a woman who claims Winston sexually assaulted her. Winston has filed a countersuit. If "Hard Knocks" is covering camp, the legal matters could become a part of the storyline.
The Bucs are a team that hasn't received a lot of national media attention in recent years. There's a reason for that. They haven't been very good or interesting.
With Winston, it will be impossible to continue to fly under the radar. Someday, it might make sense for the Bucs to be featured on "Hard Knocks." But now is not the time. Winston's first training camp needs to be only about football.