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NFL Films producer says Dolphins were the only choice for Hard Knocks

Joe Philbin

Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, left, watches players run through drills during a voluntary minicamp practice for veteran players of the NFL football team, Tuesday, April 24, 2012, in Davie, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)


The talk in the aftermath of the selection of the Dolphins as the 2012 subjects of HBO’s Hard Knocks series has begun to mirror in duration the chatter and speculation that emerged before the Dolphins got the gig.

And that’s good for the Dolphins, HBO, NFL Films, and the NFL generally, since the more that people are talking about the show now, the more likely those people -- and more -- will be to watch the show come August.

On Wednesday, at a joint Dolphins/HBO/NFL Films press conference, a producer from the league-owned camera-and-microphone shop made a somewhat surprising declaration.

"[D]espite what you read, we did not offer the show to any other team but the Dolphins,” NFL Films senior coordinating producer Ross Ketover said, via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Jim Harbaugh approves of this message.

But Ketover at least acknowledged that, even though an offer was made only to the Dolphins, other teams were approached. “We cast a wide net,” Ketover said “We talk to a lot of teams to gauge their interest. Some are very interested. Some are interested with caveats that are not acceptable with us. Others say we’ll do it in future years. Others are not interested.”

Though Harbaugh would say that those teams were “evaluated” and not “pursued,” it’s likely that many of the teams who said they turned down Hard Knocks had merely been contacted in an effort to determine whether they would be interested, that they said they aren’t, and that it wasn’t an offer, per se.

That said, it was widely reported that the Falcons had been offered the assignment, and that they turned it down. It’s probably a matter of semantics, with HBO/NFL Films simply asking teams, “If we offer, would you accept?” before actually making the offer. That would explain the Jets’ position that no offer was made this year.

Thus, regardless of whether the Dolphins were the only choice, they will continue to be perceived as something other than the first choice.