Jay Gruden: 'Hard Knocks' should follow Raiders

John KeimESPN Staff Writer2 Minute Read

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden knows the perfect team for HBO's "Hard Knocks." It's not his own -- but he wants to keep it in the family.

The Redskins are one of five teams eligible for the program that chronicles training camp -- so, too, are the Oakland Raiders coached by his brother, Jon.

The Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants are the other teams eligible to appear on "Hard Knocks."

Naturally the younger Gruden lobbied for "Hard Knocks" to chronicle his older brother's team.

"If they were smart, they would go to Oakland," Jay Gruden said. "What an entertainment value that would be: Antonio Brown, Jon Gruden, Paul Guenther, Vontaze Burfict, [Richie] Incognito. You'd be crazy not to go to Oakland. You can do us next year."

But a reporter reminded Gruden that if the Redskins made the playoffs, they'd be ineligible for "Hard Knocks" next summer.

"If we don't make the playoffs, I probably won't be here anyways," Jay Gruden said, laughing. "They can come here and do it all they want."

The Redskins have never appeared on "Hard Knocks," though Gruden does have experience with the show. He was with the Cincinnati Bengals when they were the featured team in 2013. He became Redskins coach the following season.

"It's not up to me, so if we're forced to do it, then obviously we'll have to make it work," Gruden said. "It can be distracting at times, but they do an excellent job keeping out of your business. It wouldn't be the end of the world; I think our guys would have fun with it."

The Redskins would be appealing because Gruden could be in his final season. He has two years left on his contract, but he's entering his sixth season and the Redskins have missed the playoffs three straight years. They also have a popular rookie quarterback in Dwayne Haskins and some notable talent in running back Adrian Peterson and corner Josh Norman.

Redskins running back Chris Thompson said being on the show could cast the organization in a better light. But Thompson's preference is for another team to get the spotlight.

"Oh man, shoot. I don't want it," Thompson. "When cameras are around things get a little more chippy than sometimes it needs to be.

"We dodged it one time already. I don't think we can keep dodging that bullet. If it comes, then we've just got to make the best of it. It would be exciting for some guys; some guys get TV time and that helps them down the line off the field. If it happens, I'll have to be excited; but if not, I will not be hurt, I promise you that."

A decision on which team will appear in the show this summer is expected soon.

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