SNYDER: Skins And ‘Hard Knocks’ A Great Fit

If the NFL and HBO want compelling drama with a dash of dysfunction for the next edition of “Hard Knocks,” there’s no choice better than Washington.

The Skins will feature a plethora of juicy storylines entering the 2018 season. The quarterback will be a fabulously wealthy Kirk Cousins or the replacement trying to fill his shoes. Coach Jay Gruden will shoot for postseason success like his famous brother, who’ll be back on the sidelines with the Raiders or still grimacing in the Monday Night Football booth.

Senior VP of player personnel Doug Williams will stamp the franchise after his first draft without groundwork from the former GM. Team president Bruce Allen will fight the narrative that he’s just a suit and not a real football guy. Team owner Dan Snyder will stay in the background and hope no one highlights the bountiful lowlights of his tenure.

Unless the league and HBO executives are skittish about weeks of saturation coverage drawing attention to the franchise’s nickname, Washington is a perfect subject for their in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at training camp.

According to Pro Football Talk, the Skins are one of six teams eligible for compulsory participation if no other team volunteers. The others are Baltimore, Cleveland, Denver, the Los Angeles Chargers and San Francisco.

With all due respect to those franchises, who cares? They pale in comparison to Washington.

Unfortunately, in August 2016, when we thought Scot McCloughan was just getting started as the team’s GM, he told NBC4’s Carol Maloney that the Skins would “never” appear on the show.

“No, no, no, no, no,” he said, adding it wouldn’t happen as long as he, Allen or Snyder were around. “It’s tough enough as we go through the process of training camp, trying to get down to 75 [players], trying to get down to 53. It’s really hard. People don’t need to know our business.”

People don’t NEED to know any team’s business.

But the NFL essentially is show business, and HBO’s show is welcome, giving viewers a different glimpse that’s interesting and entertaining.

There’s nothing special about Washington, and I don’t just mean in the win-loss sense.

I mean the team can be forced to do the show just like any other team that 1) hasn’t appeared once in the last 10 years; 2) doesn’t have a new head coach; or 3) hasn’t been to the playoffs in the last two years.

Allen and Snyder don’t want HBO’s cameras around during training camp?

That might be the best reason for sending the “Hard Knocks” crew to Richmond next summer!

— Follow Deron on Twitter @DeronSnyder and email him at

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