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They have no choice . . .

The NFL is forcing them to do it.

Talking about “Hard Knocks.”

So now you are going to hear spin that it won’t be a distraction, but just some extra cameras.

But if Robert Saleh didn’t think it was a distraction, he would not have said on June 9, “I know there are several teams that would love for ‘Hard Knocks’ to be in their building. We’re just not one of them.”

I asked D.J. Reed today in a press conference today, why he thinks Saleh, who he knows well, after playing for him in San Francisco and the Jets, didn’t want to do the show.

“Probably just because it’s more cameras and some people see it as a distraction,” Reed said.

It’s not a matter of more cameras. You could have 100 cameras, but as long as they weren’t in your meetings, hotel and on the practice field, it would not matter. You could have 200 cameras.

It’s not the extra cameras. There are plenty of cameras at Jets interview sessions, but it doesn’t really matter because most of the questions are softballs.

If it wasn’t considered a distraction, then why did the Jets, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions, all eligible teams, say they didn’t want to do it?

The league respected the other team’s requests, but not the Jets.

Probably because Aaron Rodgers is on the Jets, and based on league rules, they can force a team to do this intrusive TV production.

Roger Goodell’s job is to grow the owner’s financial pie. That is his number one job and he’s done a great job of it. Why do you think he keeps getting lucrative contract extensions? He’s doing a fabulous job growing the pie with creative, lucrative TV deals.

Reed said the only thing you can say when you are forced to do “Hard Knocks.”

“If guys focus on their craft, and not pay attention to the external, we will be fine,” Reed said.

But the problem is it’s not external, it’s internal.

If I, as a regular reporter, went to many of the places in the building “Hard Knocks” cameras will go, I’d likely lose my credential.

They are going into the inner sanctum, where the mainstream media can’t go.

The Jets are making the best of a bad situation, being forced to do a reality show, when their main focus should be getting in the playoffs after missing them for 12 years in a row, a high current streak in all of pro sports.

Reed doesn’t think the extra cameras will be a big distraction.

“Honestly, we don’t notice what is going on anyway,” Reed said, “There will be more cameras. We are here to play football, get better and get ready for the season.”

Clearly, the Bears and Saints thought that it would hurt their ability to do that. They said “hell no” to “Hard Knocks.”

Did the Jets say the same? Their football side did, but according to Ian Rapoport, perhaps not the business side.

“Let’s just say there are some higher-ups with the Jets, who if they were on ‘Hard Knocks,’ would not be very upset by it,” Rapoport said on “The Pat McAfee Show on June 6. “I think the business people and really high-up people with the Jets, all the way up to ownership would probably be pretty psyched about it.”

This Rapoport report might have hurt the Jets’ chances of shooing away “Hard Knocks.” The league might have figured, perhaps Saleh doesn’t want to do it, but there are people in the building who do.

July 19, 2023

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