Lions push for HBO's 'Hard Knocks' to choose Raiders

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
"I think Jon Gruden is an excellent choice for that show," said Lions coach Matt Patricia, advocating for the Raiders to be selected for HBO's "Hard Knocks" instead of his team.

Allen Park — Matt Patricia wants nothing to do with "Hard Knocks."

The Detroit Lions coach won't have a choice if HBO's behind-the-scenes show chooses to feature his team this offseason, but Patricia had a suggestion at Monday's season ticket holder summit. 

"I think Jon Gruden is an excellent choice for that show," Patricia said. "I think the Oakland Raiders and everything they've got going on right now would be fantastic viewing for everybody to watch."

Patricia isn't wrong. The Raiders are a compelling choice given Gruden's larger-than-life personality, three first-round picks, and the fact the team remains without a home for 2019, one year before the franchise is scheduled to move to Las Vegas. 

Then again, maybe HBO wants to roll the dice that the Raiders won't make the postseason this season and will be eligible again next year, their first in the Sin City.

The Raiders and Lions are among five teams that can't decline a request to be on the show in 2019, along with San Francisco, Washington and the New York Giants. Exemptions are given to teams that have done the show in the past 10 years, made the playoffs in the past two or hired a new head coach this offseason. 

The Lions, which have done their best to put up a veil of secrecy under the regime of general manager Bob Quinn and Patricia, who were both groomed for more than a decade in a similar environment working for the New England Patriots, dread the idea of HBO's cameras capturing moments that would otherwise be withheld from public view. 

Quinn, who also trumpeted the Raiders as a better fit, acknowledged the staffs he's worked on have used the show to scout their future opponent, looking for any edge they could find. 

"Is it going to be a matter of a win and loss, I'm not sure," Quinn said. "But we take the stuff that we do behind our doors pretty privately and pretty securely, so that's something that is definitely a factor."

And maybe more than any other factor, Patricia doesn't want his family to be exposed to the colorful language he's known to use on the practice field and in the meeting rooms. 

"I definitely think I would get a lot of phone calls from my mom at night if that show was on."

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers