Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith talks addresses the players during a game. (File Photo)
The Atlanta Falcons will be featured on HBO Sports’ award-winning documentary series “Hard Knocks,” the club announced Thursday.
The Falcons, HBO Sports and NFL Films will team up for an all-access, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make it in the NFL when “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Atlanta Falcons” debuts.
The sports-based reality series kicks off its ninth season on Tuesday, Aug. 5 at 10 p.m. on HBO. The weekly Tuesday series runs through Sept. 2.
The Cleveland Browns opted not to participate in the series, using a league clause that teams with first-year coaches can say no.
In 2012, HBO and the NFL offered the Falcons the opportunity to be the focal point of the series, but the team turned it down.
“We are excited about the opportunity to give our fans a behind the scenes look at what it takes to prepare an NFL team for the rigors of a 16-game regular season and beyond,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement. “This marks the first time that our franchise will be featured on ‘Hard Knocks’ and we look forward to showcasing our great players and coaches to football fans all across America.”
The documentary will focus on the daily lives and routines of Falcons players and coaches.
“We are thrilled that the ninth edition of the ‘Hard Knocks’ series will spotlight the Atlanta Falcons,” said Ken Hershman, president of HBO Sports. “It’s exciting to feature a team, a franchise and a city for the first time on ‘Hard Knocks.’ We are grateful to head coach Mike Smith and the entire organization for agreeing to participate and look forward to what we expect to be one of the few summertime programs that is truly appointment TV and we can’t wait for the premiere on Aug. 5.”
HBO will chronicle some of the Falcons’ high-profile veterans, including quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receiver Roddy White, wide receiver Julio Jones and safety William Moore, along with free agents and rookie hopefuls throughout training camp and the preseason.
“We are looking forward to connecting with our fans across the country as the program chronicles our 2014 training camp,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said in a statement. “The series will give fans a behind the scenes look at the competition between players as we build our roster and prepare for the season. We are looking forward to the start of camp in late July.”
A 30-person NFL Films crew will be at the Falcons’ training camp at team headquarters in Flowery Branch shooting more than 1,500 hours of video over the course of the five-week series.
The Falcons begin the regular season at home at the Georgia Dome on Sept. 7 when they face the New Orleans Saints.