Bucs Bracing For In-Season Hard Knocks?

May 15th, 2024

The Buccaneers’ Ring Of Honor general manager has evolved.

Joe is a huge fan of the in-season Hard Knocks series.

What a gem of an inside look when the games really count. Heck, the shows almost made Joe a closet Colts and Dolphins fan.

For those who love and crave professional football that haven’t watched yet, Joe suggests you wake up and catch up.

In 2024, the NFL’s in-season version of Hard Knocks on HBO will feature an entire division rather than one team through the second half of the season.

It’s hard for Joe to believe this year’s division will be the NFC East after the Giants will be the featured team on the new offseason Hard Knocks debuting July 2. And it’s unlikely the three other divisions already represented on in-season Hard Knocks (AFC South, NFC West, AFC East) will get the call for 2024. So perhaps the Bucs and the NFC South have a 25 percent shot at being part of the in-season Hard Knocks.

And maybe that’s higher given what Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht told The Pat McAfee Show recently.

Licht explained that he’s changed his feeling about granting behind-the-scenes access to team and league media.

He and the Bucs opened up a lot more this offseason and Joe wonders whether that’s setting the stage for something high profile like Hard Knocks, which the Bucs were part of in 2017.

“I didn’t want to be that antiquated old fart that, you know, ‘No, we gotta keep everything secretive.'” Licht told McAfee.

“So I allowed them [this year] to have full access to our draft meetings, to the Combine, the Combine meetings, during the draft. You know, I saw the content that gets put out and the fans love it. I know my kids love it. My family loves it. But the fans love it, the behind-the-scenes stuff, so I think it’s all part of the thing. … … Really, we’re part of a big show and the goal is to put on a great performance out there at the stadium every week. And our job is to put the talent out there but we’re part of a bigger thing and we need to get fans involved and fans excited. I love the content.”

Licht added that earlier in his career behind-the-scenes access for media “was weird for me for a while.” But that has changed, he said, in part because young players are so comfortable with cameras around.

Joe would be fired up to see the NFC South on the in-season Hard Knocks. And HBO might actually want the often-derided division.

Kirk Cousins gained legions of fans nationally after being on the NetFlix “Quarterback” series last year. Baker Mayfield has fans in multiple cities, as does Derek Carr, and Raheem Morris and Dave Canales are big-personality head coaches sure to deliver compelling and emotional moments.

22 Responses to “Bucs Bracing For In-Season Hard Knocks?”

  1. Bucs 95 Says:

    Looks like jayden daniels gonna make his nfl debut against us week 1 in tampa …………………..

  2. geno711 Says:

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers Full Schedule Rumor

    Probably false but seems some are believing it.

    1 – vs WSH
    2 – at DET
    3 – vs DEN
    4 – vs PHI
    5 – at ATL TNF
    6 – at NO
    7 – vs BAL MNF
    8 – vs ATL
    9 – at KC
    10 – vs SF
    11 – BYE
    12 – at NYG
    13 – at CAR
    14 – vs LV
    15 – at LAC
    16 – at DAL
    17 – vs CAR
    18 – vs NO

  3. A Bucs Fan Says:

    I saw the same Geno!

  4. Mark Says:

    That’s a very front-loaded schedule: @DET, PHI, BAL, @KC, and SF all prior the bye, plus both match-ups against ATL.

    Back end of the schedule is road-heavy, but there might be room to make up some ground if the Bucs stumble.

  5. Bucs 95 Says:

    The nfl screwed us by having too play the two super bowl teams in back too back weeks 😂😂

  6. D Cone Says:

    geno711 Says:
    May 15th, 2024 at 12:00 pm
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers Full Schedule Rumor

    Probably false but seems some are believing it.

    Looks like the NFL would be loading up Tampa’s top half of the season. Worse case 2-8 or 3-7 going into the Bye. Win out for 10 wins. Hate to see it come down to beating the Saints in week 17 to finish over .500.
    If I squint I can see R White’s 12 win prediction..

  7. Bucs Guy Says:

    Weeks 4-10 look difficult. Bucs need to go at least 4-3 during that stretch.

  8. Bucs Guy Says:

    Need to be 5-5 or better by the bye week and be able to finish 5-2 for a 10-win season at least.

  9. stpetebucfan Says:


    Hope that rumor is correct. Hard to imagine a better schedule. As DCone points out the first half is tough…2 big Division games on the road…a return to Detroit for a strong Lions team and the rest of the real toughies before the BYE.

    A BYE that is at the perfect spot. If the Bucs are .500 or even 4-6 and then have a BYE to regroup and finish with 2 Division home games looks good to me.

  10. A Bucs Fan Says:

    That schedule leak came from a source that was 100% correct last season so there is a good chance it’s the correct schedule this season!

  11. SlyPirate Says:

    geno711 Says:


    1. We could knock Atlanta out of the race by mid-season.
    2. Late Bye
    3. Practically every game after the bye is a layup. Sets up a great playoff run.

  12. heyjude Says:

    Thank you for the reminder about Jason’s interview on McAfee’s show. Jason is no longer the “get off my lawn” guy! Hoping to see our Bucs on Hard Knocks too. Love that series!

    Thank you for the schedule, geno711. Six home games before the Bye, and only three after the Bye. One Thursday and one Monday night. It not great, but it’s not horrible either.

  13. Dewey Selmon Says:

    3 time division champ only gets 1 primetime game? Thur doesn’t count.

  14. Buc That Says:

    I’d love to play a rookie QB in his debut game. Commanders are a hard team to evaluate right now after major turnover. Hard to imagine they’ll come out of the gate hot.

  15. A Bucs Fan Says:

    A different source also leaked commanders @Bucs week 1!!! That’s exciting. Hopefully the weather cooperates.

  16. heyjude Says:

    Agree with Buc That, Jayden Daniels on the Commanders seems to be impressive. They released a QB. Kingbury coaching. Yes, a hard time to gauge right now.

  17. Bojim Says:

    No. White talks enough already.

  18. Let em bake Says:

    5 and 2 after the bye…

  19. Dave Pear Says:

    I would never want the Bucs on hard knocks. It’s a sure fire way to guarantee a train wreck. It sucks.


  20. unbelievable Says:

    AFC West or NFC North seem more likely to me, but who knows? Apparently the entire NFL world is completely infatuated with and slobbering all over everything that is the Falcons and Kirk Cousins, so I could see the NFC South being picked.

    Honestly don’t need the distraction though.

  21. stpetebucfan Says:

    As a fan I would love to see it. As a fan I also dread it.

    No team has won the Super Bowl in the same season as appearing on “Hard Knocks,” seven of the 18 teams to be featured on the show made the postseason.

    That’s less than a 50-50 chance of even reaching the playoffs much less winning a 4th consecutive NFC South crown.

    In the first 11 years the NFC South had different champs each season. It was a very competitive Division. Then Carolina took over winning 3 in a row. Atlanta won the following year before the Saints started a run of 4 in a row.

    The Bucs have now matched the Panthers 3 in a row with the Saints record now in sight.

    I LOVE consecutive championships!!! I don’t care how people wish to devalue that accomplishment with talk of a weak division.

    I’m like Al Davis. “Just win baby”. The Bucs have WON… three in a row.

    Wait for it…wait for it…in just a minute @teamnegative will be here to devalue winning 3 in a row because of the perceived “lack of competition”.

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    I don’t know if I like the schedule at all…if that’s it. I would rather the tough games be spread out more.

    My concerns on the schedule are injuries. With that many tough games, there is a higher likelihood of injuries.

    I think those predicting we win out 10 games after the bye week are delusional. That just doesn’t seem realistic.

    Maybe that puts me firmly as @teamnegative, but I have concerns.

    Also…I’m purely guessing, but I don’t know if the new Oline will be up to par for at least 4-5 games to start the season…so our defense is going to have to be incredibly strong.

    If we have Hard Knocks…well…bummer.

    I think there is just as strong a chance of losing 10 games as winning 10 games this year….but…I hope things gel sooner rather than later.