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Friday, August 20, 2010
Panthers headed for 'Hard Knocks'

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Carolina’s media relations department just sent out a set of notes about Saturday night’s game with the New York Jets.

One item caught my eye. There will be a 40-person crew from HBO’s “Hard Knocks’’ series at the game. As you might have heard, there’s been a little flap about some of the language the Jets (and coach Rex Ryan) have used in what’s aired so far.

Clips from the Carolina game will be used in the third installment of the show, which is scheduled to run next week. I’m not sure about all the logistics and recording devices that can pick up sounds from the field. But knowing the Panthers, I’m guessing they’ll be as protected from the microphones as possible, even though the show is mostly about the Jets.

I’m not saying this just because coach John Fox usually prefers his players keep a low profile. That’s part of it, but this one goes higher than Fox. I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of mandate from owner Jerry Richardson, who cares very much about the image of his team, telling the players to keep things clean on Saturday night.