The Casting of HBO’s Hard Knocks

The Cast

Honestly, this season of “Hard Knocks” was a no-brainer for HBO. This team, this year, with these players, could have come right out of “Central Casting.”  As a matter of fact, which came first… the story-line and casting… or the draft?   

Yeah, hello Casting? Yeah listen, we are doing a “reality” … if you know what I mean, wink wink… show, on pre-season training camp with a Pro NFL team. So, listen, this is what I’m looking for…

The Coach

The coach has to be a character. Someone “Maddenesque,” whose personality is an “in your face,” smashmouth philosophy, combined with being a natural leader with a killer wit. He’s a motivator who is very comfortable in front of the camera. You know… like Madden… A coach, a broadcaster… a coach… someone like that.  Who? Gruden? Yeah great, let’s check him out.

The Stud

OK next I need a guy who hangs out with a-list celebs and who routinely arrives at training camp in transportation ranging from a Helicopter to a Rolls Royce. He needs to have had previous experience in front of the camera. Maybe someone whose been on Dancing With the Stars, or something. I need him to be ultra-flashy. Oh, and can you make him the best wide receiver in football? Who? Antonio Brown? Yeah sure, send him over.

The Bad Ass Mega-Man

Next, we need the prototypical bad ass mega man. Maybe a 6’ 8” 380 lb Super Bowl Champion tackle or something like that. A big bad Trash Talker, who can back up his words with action. We need someone with leadership, confidence, a sense of humor and he must love the camera. Who ya’ got?  Trent Brown? Yeah cool, we’ll check him out.

The Trash Talker/Practical Joker

I need a guy with a likeable personality. A natural leader who can get away with ribbing his teammates and doing practical jokes in the locker room. I need one of the biggest trash-talkers in the league. But he needs to deliver on the field. Jonathon Abram? Yeah great, he’s on the list.

Next, I need some scene stealers. I need players in critical junctures in their life. I need interesting back-stories. I also need characters with quirky, unexpected personalities.

Possible Scene Stealers:

Derek Carr – Edgy QB, with flashes of brilliance but never surrounded by a real cast, till now. Longing for the love, acceptance and approval of Coach Gruden

Keelan Doss Undrafted free agent who grew up 10 minutes from The Raiders practice facility.

Chris WarrenSteller 2018 pre-season as a rookie, then sidelined the entire year with injury.

Maxx CrosbyThe Rapper. He has legit rapping skills, and will no doubt be dropping lines here and there.

Josh JacobsBack Story of the Year. Grew up hard, living out of his father’s car, but became a collegiate star, despite his surroundings. He already has offers for his life story. I sure hope he can play, or that happy ending goes away.

Richie Incognito Could be great. Call me skeptical.

What a cast! Can’t wait for the premier.

Cheers, Marsh

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