Bucs turn down 'Hard Knocks'

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declined the opportunity to be the team featured on HBO's "Hard Knocks" this summer, the team announced Monday on its Facebook page.

As far back as March, the Bucs were considered to be a strong candidate to be profiled in the annual reality show that provides an in-depth look at a team during training camp.

The Bucs, who failed to sell out a home game this season, pondered how the exposure on "Hard Knocks" might help them.

The team also weighed the possible negatives and distractions that could come with being featured so prominently. Last year, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan stirred controversy by using profanity while his team was featured on the show.

A Buccaneers team official said the team ultimately decided it wants to keep the focus on the field this season, but said "Hard Knocks" could be a possibility in 2012.

Pat Yasinskas covers the NFC South for ESPN.com.