TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to appear on the 12th season of "Hard Knocks." HBO's producers will spend the next few weeks scouring locations and story ideas, preparing to shoot more than 1,500 hours of footage. Here's a look at some potential stars and storylines:
Head coach Dirk Koetter
"I like watching the show, but I wish I wasn't on it," Koetter said, laughing. "I did a good job of staying out of the camera line in Atlanta. I'll try to do the same thing here."
Koetter won't be able to escape the limelight this time, which is good because his dry sense of humor and raw honesty can be entertaining.
After a loss to the Dallas Cowboys last season, he nearly rescinded the cupcakes he'd brought in for reporters, saying he should have given them "turd sandwiches" instead after a couple of critical pieces emerged about his offensive line.
After a Week 17 win over the Carolina Panthers, Koetter interrupted his news conference to address his wife, Kim, who was in the room. "Honey, are you OK? Are you winking at me, or is your eye messed up?" he asked.
She responded, "My eye is messed up."
He flashed a big grin and chuckled. "I was hoping you were winking at me," he said.
Quarterback Jameis Winston
The show could do nothing but follow Winston around for five straight episodes. He's a walking sound bite. "Lions do not accept opinions of [expletive] sheep, OK?" "I'm not a loser; we're winners in this building." "We some dogs! We ain't no puppies!"
And while his troubled history off the field is well-documented, there's a side to Winston that not many people get to see up close -- the side that sends out personalized video greetings from his iPhone to terminally ill children, who recently won a 5K for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in memory of his late grandmother, Myrtle Winston, and set up an Instagram account in honor of his pup, Tootsie Winston.
"There's nothing that's not pure about Jameis Winston," said Koetter. "I think ["Hard Knocks"] would be a great opportunity for people who maybe aren't as familiar with the Bucs to see what Jameis is like on a day-to-day basis."
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy
McCoy donned a Santa suit for the plane ride to New Orleans and covered his cleats in Christmas wrap last year. He also showed up to training camp with a bright red streak in his hair in 2015 and in a bathrobe and slippers in 2014. A five-time Pro Bowler, he's got the talent and charisma to be a star on the show. He's obsessed with comics and superheroes, to the point where he has bought out entire theater showings of Marvel movie premieres to enjoy with fans.
There's also a serious side to McCoy, even if he always seems to be smiling in practice, and viewers will appreciate that, too. This week, he told reporters, "I haven’t done enough to lead this team." He also said, "If I want to be considered one of those guys when my career is over, I have to figure it out. My knees hurt. I’ve played a lot of snaps, taken a lot double-teams. Time is ticking. I’ve got a lot of work to do in a short period of time.”
Defensive end Robert Ayers
Ayers brings an edge, a certain hint of nastiness to the defensive line. He is the guy who will have your back in a bar brawl, or the guy you can count on to start one, which is why he was kicked out of high school for fighting. The New Jersey-bred defensive end, known for being a straight shooter and for dropping curse words in news conferences, melts like butter in the presence of his two little girls, his "princesses," and he enjoys chronicling the perils of fatherhood on his Instagram account.
Wide receiver Mike Evans
Evans made headlines last year when he chose to sit during the national anthem in protest of President Donald Trump. Between his desire to speak out against racism and his undying love for Harry Potter, Evans has a lot of layers, and he's coming off the best season of his career. The film crew really should follow him to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. After all, he had a Potter-themed groom's cake at his wedding last year.
Wide receiver DeSean Jackson
The Bucs' newest addition could be the difference-maker on an offense that's averaged 20 points a game the last two seasons. As a free agent this offseason, he wanted to go to a team that was a contender with a top quarterback, so much of his success will depend on Winston's ability to get the ball to him. A behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to build their chemistry, which doesn't always happen overnight, would be intriguing.
Supporting cast ...
Tight end Cameron Brate: Who doesn't love a Harvard grad who gives financial advice to teammates and gets heckled by roommates Adam Humphries and Ryan Griffin for not taking out the trash and doing dishes? It should also be noted that these three have a small Christmas tree set up in their living room year-round.
Offensive linemen Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet: They're inseparable, which is why the two got a radio show together last season. Producers should raid Marpet's closet with Smith doing play-by-play, counting every pair of khakis and polos he owns. Marpet's signature fashion style even inspired the entire offensive line and Doug Martin to dress up like him on a plane ride to San Francisco.