Rams 'unlikely' for 'Hard Knocks'

Updated: May 20, 2014, 1:05 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Michael Sam is out of the TV spotlight, and the St. Louis Rams are hopeful of avoiding being the subject of another high-profile show.

Coach Jeff Fisher told The Associated Press on Monday that it's "probably unlikely" the NFL will choose the Rams for HBO's "Hard Knocks."

The Rams are among teams eligible to be chosen for three reasons: They haven't appeared on the show for the past decade, haven't hired a new head coach and haven't reached the playoffs in either of the past two seasons.

The other teams eligible for the show, under those criteria, are the Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders.

The Rams have never been picked and are coming off seven-win seasons in Fisher's first two years in the rugged NFC West.

Fisher said last week's announcement by the Oprah Winfrey Network to film a documentary about Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team, came as a surprise. On Friday, the network said the project will be postponed.

"I think the Oprah thing, it caught us off-guard," Fisher said. "Whenever it takes place, I think it'll be a positive piece."

Just not this summer.

"Not good for the locker room nor Mike to get involved at this point," Fisher said.

Fisher has a longstanding relationship with the NFL as a prominent member of the competition committee. If indeed he doesn't want the "Hard Knocks" camera crews rolling into Earth City, perhaps that could help his cause.

But there are some in the Rams organization who likely wouldn't mind the exposure from a marketing standpoint.

ESPN's Darren Rovell, ESPN.com Rams reporter Nick Wagoner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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