CALIFORNIA—Before their inaugural season as co-tenants in the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams will also share headlines for HBO’s 15th season of “Hard Knocks,” the show announced on Thursday, June, 18.
“We are looking forward to having Hard Knocks in our camp this year,” said Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay. “Hard Knocks always offers a rare opportunity for our fans to see our players’ hard work to prepare for the season, as well as gives them a peek behind the curtain to observe these guys off the field, too. This year will be special because the show will also get an unprecedented look at SoFi Stadium, Stan Kroenke’s vision for professional football in L.A.”
With training camp set to start on July 28 when veterans are scheduled to report, this season of Hard Knocks will premiere on August 11, two weeks following the start camp. The show will document the daily-lives and occurrences of the teams’ players and personnel during their training camp periods.
Despite concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL has remained steadfast that the season will continue as planned with proper health and safety precautions being set in place. It is expected that a portion of the series will be focused surrounding the number of testing required for personnel and the myriad of obstacles teams must navigate through in regards to the coronavirus.
HBO crew members working on the set of the show will also be following similar precautions with the NFL, working with them step-by-step to ensure the safety of all those involved if any changes were to occur.
Both Los Angeles squads will look to bounce-back this season after both failed to make the playoffs last season.
The Ram’s are just a season removed from their Super Bowl appearance after finishing 2019 with a 9-7 record. They will be moving on without All-Pro running back Todd Gurley along with linebacker Clay Matthews who were both released this offseason. The Rams will also be without former wide receiver Brandin Cooks who was traded to the Texans for a pair of draft picks. The Rams still boast high-profile players in quarterback Jared Goff as well as Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey holding down the defensive side of the ball.
Despite having a talented roster, the Chargers are seeking to rebound from an injury-plagued 2019 season that saw them go 5-11 after finishing the previous season tied for the best record in the AFC. It will be their first season without their quarterback for 16-years, Phillip Rivers, as they allowed him to walk away in free agency. Veteran starter Tyrod Taylor is expected to take the helm this season after sitting behind Rivers last year, but it is important to note that the Chargers will be continually watching the development of rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, who Los Angeles selected with the sixth overall selection in this year’s draft.
The Rams were the featured team for “Hard Knocks” 11th season in 2016 when they first moved to Los Angeles. That year the team finished 4-12 with the league’s worst offense under former head coach Jeff Fisher.
This will be Chargers’ first season on the series, but head coach Anthony Lynn was previously on set when the series featured the New York Jets when Lynn was a running back coach.
“Having been part of Hard Knocks before when I was with the New York Jets, my biggest takeaway from that whole experience was that you get out of it what you put into it. There’s a reason that season was probably the most popular Hard Knocks ever. If you’re going to do a show, do it right. You can’t fake it,” said Lynn. “Broadcasting your internal business all over the world isn’t something you regularly want to do, but in a year with as many challenges as this one has had, I’m glad we can be part of bringing football back to the fans this summer.”
In addition to unveiling a new stadium, both teams will also debut new logos and uniforms for the upcoming season. The Rams and Chargers are scheduled to meet for a preseason matchup on August 22 at SoFi Stadium.