- Rich Cimini, ESPN New York Jets reporter
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"Hard Knocks" is knocking, and the New York Jets are ready for their close-up. Coach Rex Ryan is eager for the country to see every aspect of his team's training camp -- well, almost everything.
"I hope my shower will be off limits," Ryan cracked on Wednesday in a conference call with HBO executives. "I think everybody is banking on that."
The Jets will report Sunday to training camp in Cortland, N.Y., where every practice and every meeting will be monitored by 11 HBO cameras, six robotic and five manned. By the end of camp, they will have taken approximately 1,000 hours of footage for the popular reality show, which debuts Aug. 11.
While many teams would be reluctant to let the TV-watching nation see behind their closed doors -- paranoia is prevalent in the NFL, in case you haven't heard -- Ryan said he welcomes the exposure.
"We have nothing to hide," Ryan said. "I've mentioned it as a goal of ours to have every player in the NFL want to play for the Jets, and every coach want to help coach the Jets ... I think this will provide us with the opportunity to show the whole league what we're all about."
The Cincinnati Bengals were the subject of last summer's "Hard Knocks" show, drawing an average of 3.4 million viewers per episode -- HBO's highest rating for the series. With Ryan and his cast of characters -- young (quarterback Mark Sanchez) and old (running back LaDainian Tomlinson) -- the Jets figure to shatter the ratings record.
But it may not be all positive publicity. With star cornerback Darrelle Revis threatening to hold out, and with other players unhappy with their contracts, the storylines could cast a less-than-flattering light on the Jets.
And Ryan isn't bothered by that.
"No, because it's a depiction of who we are as an organization," he said. "We hope we don't have any holdouts, but if there is, that's just part of doing business, and that's fine."
"Some will call him, 'Old Crusty,'" Ryan said of Westhoff.
What diehard Jets fans want to know is this: Will "Hard Knocks" distract the team from its stated goal of winning the Super Bowl?
Consider: Only two of the previous six "Hard Knocks" teams made the playoffs, including the 2001 Baltimore Ravens. Ryan was an assistant coach on that team. The combined record of the teams is a mediocre 47-49. But a year ago, the Bengals became the first "Hard Knocks" team to win a division title.
The Bengals would be good theater this summer, with wide receiver Terrell Owens joining Chad Ochocinco in Cincinnati. The Jets placed an exploratory call to Owens' agent, resulting in a flood of e-mails to HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg, an unabashed Jets fan.
It would've been crazy -- T.O. and the Jets.
"I don't think we need anymore excitement," Greenburg said. "We have our cast of characters. We don't need anymore."
Rex Ryan says the Jets are ready for their HBO series.