"Hard Knocks" - Lions or Raiders? | Bonehead Picks

Who would be more entertaining for “Hard Knocks” between the Lions and Raiders?

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One of the best programming that you can find on HBO is the NFL reality series “Hard Knocks“, which tracks an NFL team’s preparation for the NFL season during their training camp. Every season numerous cameras invade the usually private and secluded areas of a NFL organization while providing information and entertainment for football fans and casual sports fans. This year’s “Hard Knocks” will be one of five teams, including potentially the Detroit Lions or the Oakland Raiders because neither team features a first year head coach, both have been absent from the playoffs the last two seasons, and neither team has been on “Hard Knocks” the in the past 10 years. A couple of weeks ago, many of the Detroit Lions brass tried to deflect the responsibility of being the “Hard Knocks” team on HBO this year towards the Oakland Raiders for numerous reasons but which team would actually be more entertaining and fun for viewers to watch? Here is the tale of the tape between the Lions and Raiders around which team would be more entertaining on “Hard Knocks” in numerous categories.

Head Coach: Detroit’s Matt Patricia vs Oakland’s Jon Gruden

The head coach on any season of “Hard Knocks” is arguably the star of the show. Because much of the show is based around the day to day operations of an NFL organization, most NFL head coaches have some decision making with roster decisions about players including talking to general managers about bringing additions or who to release. Former New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan became even more well known for his boisterousness during “Hard Knocks” back in 2010 and jokes about former Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher’s anger over mediocre habits were significant memories from the show. Based on name and star power alone, Jon Gruden dwarfs Matt Patricia due to Gruden’s longtime TV gig with ESPN prior to returning to coaching last season. However, Patricia is not the conventional head coach at least in terms of appearance and apparently promptness. But Gruden is the face of the entire Raiders organization.

Edge: Oakland

Quarterback: Detroit’s Matthew Stafford vs. Oakland’s Derek Carr

The most glamorous position in all of team sports doesn’t get all of the limelight on “Hard Knocks” but the quarterback is important. Last season, the battle between discarded former Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor and 2018 number one overall NFL Draft pick Baker Mayfield was one of the interesting stories from a surprisingly fascinating Cleveland Browns team on “Hard Knocks”. Both starting quarterbacks for the Raiders and Lions are coming off of disappointing 2018 seasons and normally neither player would be an interesting follow on television but Carr has been under some strange criticism over the past year that has made a man who is normally very docile into a man who seems more fiery. Stafford remains a workmanlike figure who maintains a steady personality even around the Lions’ chaos of the various personnel and coaching changes around him. That’s BORING.

Edge: Oakland

Wild card players: Personalities on the Lions and Raiders

One of the infamous scenes in “Hard Knocks” history is former New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie naming his many children to the camera. Last season, defensive lineman Carl Nassib got some attention for his financial advice while on the Cleveland Browns. Sometimes over the course of filming, the various personalities of NFL players are highlighted who aren’t necessarily household names to the casual sports fan. There is one name on the two rosters of the Raiders and Lions that stands out above all others: Oakland’s Marshawn Lynch. But he likely will not return to the team with the uncertainty around where they will play. The Lions have some sneaky fascinating individuals including crooner wide receiver Marvin Jones, defensive lineman Damon Harrison with one of the best nicknames in sports, and a cornerback, Darius Slay, with a brash personality.

Edge: Detroit

Intangibles: Potentially intriguing situations or people involving the Lions and Raiders

The Raiders find themselves as football nomads right now as they wait to move to Las Vegas permanently. They also have the Mark Davis factor as he is the eccentric owner of the Raiders. The Lions are trying to become the Patriots Midwest led by former Patriot executive Bob Quinn and former Patriot defensive coordinator Matt Patricia so they would want to maintain much of the mystery that the Patriots organization has been famously known for, which could derail fun or informational television clips for the audience. There is a slight edge for the Raiders here.

Edge: Oakland

There is a 3 to 1 edge in favor of the Raiders. HBO should pick the Raiders. There is more entertainment value there even if Jon Gruden would have to carry most of it.


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