Raiders GM Mike Mayock calls Hard Knocks ‘an intrusion’ team has to deal with
There’s no greater joy for some league followers than the unfiltered access to an NFL training camp provided by HBO’s Hard Knocks. It always went without saying that team management, and coaches in particular, were far less thrilled to allow cameras into official preparations for the regular season than fans were to watch the action unfold.
Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said as much publicly on Friday, though, calling Hard Knocks an “intrusion” he, coach Jon Gruden, and the team at large are dealing with as best they can.
“Jon and I are kind of old school. And the reason you go away to training camp is to get away from all the distractions, get together, bond, learn your assignments. No distractions, no intrusions,” he said, per Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Hard Knocks is an intrusion. But it was handed to us, so it’s up to us to deal with it and I think we’re dealing with it in a professional way.”
Mayock also admitted that Oakland’s hand was forced once the NFL decided it would be the team best-suited to appear on this year’s edition of the documentary series. His long history as an analyst for NFL Network, in fact, seemed to factor into the league’s choice.
“We’re on the record as saying the Oakland Raiders didn’t invite the Hard Knocks cameras in. You guys all know that. That’s where we are,” Mayock said. “What I’d like to tell you is that I grew up in the NFL Films building, basically. I spent weeks, months, years in that building.”
The Raiders were one of five teams obligated to appear on the show if if chosen. Teams are exempt from being forced to appear on Hard Knocks if they either have a first-year head coach, made the playoffs each of the past two seasons, or have been featured in the last 10 years.