NFL: Bears for first time the subject of HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’

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The Chicago Bears, with the top overall draft pick in Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Caleb Williams, will be the subject of the long-running “Hard Knocks” documentary series for the first time, HBO, NFL Films and the team announced Thursday.

The franchise had not been interested in being the subject of “Hard Knocks,” which since 2001 has chronicled NFL teams at training camp with behind-the-scenes access.

“We’re told there is some interest in other teams being on the program and we welcome that interest,” Bears chairman George McCaskey said at the NFL team owners meetings in March.

The organization does not appear to have changed its tune since then, judging by coach Matt Eberflus’ brief statement in a press release.

“Our players, coaches and staff are excited to continue the process of building for the 2024 season,” Eberflus said.

The five-episode series will premiere Aug. 6 on HBO and will stream on Max. New episodes run each Tuesday through Sept. 3.

“We are honored to feature such an iconic NFL franchise on ‘Hard Knocks,'” Shannon Furman, NFL Films senior director and supervising producer, said in a statement. “The Chicago Bears have a talented roster, coaching staff and front office all determined to match the expectations of a hungry fanbase. We are thankful to the entire organization for opening their doors to us for what is sure to be an exciting training camp this summer.”

“‘Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Chicago Bears” will provide our passionate fans across the world the ability to experience this unique and critical time in the history of our franchise,” team president & CEO Kevin Warren said in a statement.

The Bears improved after an 0-4 start last season in finishing 7-10. Quarterback Justin Fields was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers, opening a clear path for former Southern California star Williams to be the new starter.

Chicago also drafted wide receiver Rome Odunze of Washington to join veterans DJ Moore and Keenan Allen — the latter a notable new edition along with running back D’Andre Swift as the Bears bolstered the offensive side of the ball to complement a solid defense.

The Bears play four preseason games, including the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game against the Houston Texans on Aug. 1. Chicago also has the Bills, Bengals and Chiefs on its exhibition schedule.

The series has expanded to three versions this season. The training camp coverage will follow a five-week run of a new spinoff endeavor, “Hard Knocks: Offseason with the New York Giants,” which was announced earlier this month.

The in-season version will follow all four teams in a division for the first time. The specific division has yet to be chosen.

–Field Level Media

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