Owner: Jets would consider TV show

Updated: April 3, 2012, 3:42 PM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

If "Hard Knocks" knocks again, the New York Jets will listen.

The Jets, who became reality-TV stars during their 2010 training camp, will consider another run on the popular HBO series if they receive an invitation, owner Woody Johnson said Monday.

The Jets would be a logical choice because of the team's locker room turmoil in 2011 and recent acquisition of quarterback Tim Tebow.

"I've heard [the speculation], but we've yet to receive a formal invitation," Johnson said during a promotional appearance to launch the NFL's new pop-up store in Manhattan. "And when we do, we will take a look at it."

Johnson said there have been informal talks with HBO, but he declined to speculate on an outcome because "we can't react to anything unless it's a real invitation." But he suggested the Jets would give it strong consideration, saying he'd discuss the matter with general manager Mike Tannenbaum, coach Rex Ryan and other team officials.

"I think all those concerns, the positives and negatives, we'd have to look at, sit around the table and say yay or nay," Johnson said. "It's not a perfect science. But we'd use our best judgment at that point."

HBO said there will be a "Hard Knocks" before the 2012 season begins following a hiatus last year because of the lockout. HBO spokesman Greg Domino said "we do not discuss the process."

Johnson said there was "tremendous value" to the team's 2010 exposure on "Hard Knocks," claiming fans got to know the team better. Many critics predicted the show would be a distraction, but the Jets wound up in the AFC Championship Game for a second straight season.

Tannenbaum backtracked from the comments he made on SiriusXM. He released a statement Monday night through the team that said, "When I made that comment, I never had an expectation that we'd be asked to do it again. Obviously, if we're asked, we'll sit down and talk about it."

This time around, the Jets are loaded with storylines, ranging from the Mark Sanchez-Tebow dynamic at quarterback to the Sanchez-Santonio Holmes feud to the locker-room dysfunction from last season.

"With everything that's going on right now, there definitely couldn't be any more exposure than there already is," said tight end Dustin Keller, who also attended the store launch. "If there's something that's good for the team, why not do it?"

Keller With everything that's going on right now, there definitely couldn't be any more exposure than there already is.

-- Jets TE Dustin Keller
on appearing on "Hard Knocks" again

Keller said it's "not something that would affect us in a negative way. If anything, when you have all those cameras pointed at you, it makes you want to push yourself that much more ... It definitely can't hurt."

The Jets have been criticized for the Tebow trade, with some suggesting they did it as a marketing ploy in an attempt to steal attention away from the Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Former Jets great Joe Namath called the deal a "publicity stunt."

Johnson said the Tebow trade was purely a football decision, saying his arrival hasn't generated any significant additional revenue.

"Not that I'm aware of that's anything extraordinary," Johnson said.

The Jets have stated that Sanchez is the starter, and there is no competition between him and Tebow. But Keller expects a competition to emerge.

"Obviously, [Tebow] isn't coming in just thinking, 'I'm the backup quarterback,' " said Keller, one of Sanchez's closest friends on the team. "He wants to ... every quarterback wants to be a starter, so he's definitely going to push Mark and I think it's going to be a friendly competition there.

"[Mark] understands the whole thing, that a lot of people have been saying he needs a backup quarterback that will push him. This may be that."

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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