Monday, April 2, 2012

Woody Johnson: Jets considering a 'Hard Knocks 2'

Could the New York Jets be bringing Tebow-mania to HBO's "Hard Knocks" this summer?  If you heard team owner Woody Johnson correctly today— he didn't rule out the possibility.

Johnson, appearing at the opening of the NFL's new mid-town Manhattan pop-up store, said he heard rumors that the network was interested in having the Jets back on the documentary-type TV series for the second time in three years.

The rumors began getting louder— not  surprisingly— after the Jets traded for media sensation Tim Tebow.

"Ive heard that, but we have yet to receive a formal invitation," said Johnson about the speculation.  "When we do, we will take a look at it."

Did the cable network actually have informal discussions with the Jets?

"Yeah but... nothing... ," Johnson said, clearing the situation up a little.  "It's a formal invitation that we can respond to, not an informal [one]."

Johnson mentioned that the last time the team participated in the show, the  Jets reached the AFC Championship Game and brought "tremendous value."

The Jets became a nationwide phenomenon and made Rex Ryan— and his potty mouth— a household name.

This sequel would have some new cast members, but the real star would be Tebow.

Would the Jets consider being followed by cameras throughout training camp again— after all of the team's locker room issues and general dysfunction?

"It's something we would take a look  at with Mike(Tannenbaum), and the coach, and the (director of media relations) Bruce (Speight), and I and others that we think would add value to that discussion, to see whether it is something we want to do."

Jets tight end Dustin Keller, who was greeting fans at the store, said being on the show in 2010 was "pretty easy" for the players.  He joked that, if anything, the cameras made him work harder.

"We would be good for Hard Knocks, especially with Rex's personality, the Tebow trade— I definitely see how we would be appealing," said Keller.  "With everything that's going on right now, there couldn't be any more exposure. If it's something that could be good for the team, why not do it?"

Asked about a report that said suggested  the Jets plan to limit Tebow's outside appearances, Johnson said Tebow will be managed the same as the other 52 players on the team.

Hard Knocks 2 may not get the Jets to another championship game but it will give the Jets another jolt of the publicity Johnson seems to crave.

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