Following a historic(ly bad) season, the Cleveland Browns are the newest centerpiece of Hard Knocks, the ever-popular annual series that follows an NFL team through the ups and downs of training camp and preseason.
Episodes of Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cleveland Browns will air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT, starting with the premiere on August 7. If you don’t have cable, don’t have HBO or can’t get to a TV, you can still watch new episodes live (or on-demand) on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
If you have Amazon Prime or want to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch all HBO content through the HBO Amazon Channel, which also comes with a free 7-day trial.
Once you’re signed up for both Amazon Prime and the HBO channel, you can then watch Hard Knocks either live as it airs or on-demand (episodes are available on-demand as soon as they air live). With either option, you can watch on your computer via the Amazon website, or you can watch on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Amazon Video app.
Whether you already have Hulu or you want to sign up for a new subscription, HBO is available as an add-on to Hulu or Hulu With Live TV.
Once signed up, you can watch Hard Knocks episodes live as they air, or you can watch them on-demand anytime after. With either option, you can watch on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
The Browns were bad in 2017. In fact, as bad as literally possible for a group of players whose goal was to win football games. They were just the 12th team in NFL history to go winless in a season, and the second (shoutout 2008 Lions) since the regular season was expanded to 16 games.
But that doesn’t mean they won’t be a compelling team to follow for Hard Knocks.
“The great combination of the old school legacy of the Browns and their recent struggles make this team such a lightning rod for Hard Knocks,” said coordinating producer Ken Rodgers. “It’s a very popular, historically blue-blue franchise, yet in recent years, they’ve been as low as they’ve been in their history.”
OK, those things are interesting, I guess, but what’s exciting about this particular Browns team is how much it improved over the offseason.
It starts with Baker Mayfield. As the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 and a polarizing figure who stirred a lot of pots during his days at Oklahoma, Mayfield is an obvious centerpiece for Hard Knocks.
“Baker certainly is going to be the focus of everyone at camp,” Rodgers said. “It would be much less interesting if he was the de facto starter. But there’s going to be a competition between him and Taylor. More people have heard Baker’s name than know who he is. This is an opportunity to see who he really is on and off the field. We look forward to getting to know him through the course of five episodes.”
There’s plenty more going on with this team, too. You’ve got a bevy of new additions for one of the busiest teams of the offseason: Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry, Carlos Hyde, T.J. Carrie and Damarious Randall, just to name a few. You’ve got other top-level rookies such as fellow top-five pick Deznel Ward, and Nick Chubb and Austin Corbett. You’ve got the ongoing story of Josh Gordon, who missed the first part of training camp for his “overall health and treatment plan.” You’ve got the continued development of Myles Garrett, one of the most frightening young defensive players in the NFL.
Overall, with all the changes and all the young talent, the arrow is pointing up for the Browns in 2018. That makes them a decidedly compelling feature for this year’s Hard Knocks.