LA Story: Rams, Chargers to appear on ‘Hard Knocks’

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FILE – In this Dec. 29, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay stands on the sideline during the first half of the team’s NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals n Los Angeles. McVay wrapped up the Rams’ virtual offseason program this week. He could have kept going for another two weeks, but the head coach feels the Rams got plenty of work done in this unusual NFL spring. He still hasn’t seen most of his players in person this spring, and he doesn’t know when he’ll see them next. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It will be lights, cameras, Los Angeles again for “Hard Knocks” but for the first time the show will feature two franchises.

With the Rams and Chargers both moving into SoFI Stadium in Inglewood this year, HBO and NFL Films announced Thursday that the show will include both teams as they attempt to bounce back from disappointing seasons. The five-week series will premiere Aug. 11.

FILE – In this Dec. 15 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn speaks after an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, in Carson, Calif. The NFL and the Black College Football Hall of Fame will hold a virtual version of their quarterback coaching summit, a third-year project aimed at improving the league’s diversity. Chargers coach Anthony Lynn is among the pro and college coaches planning to participate in the June 22-23 event. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo, File)

The two wouldn’t have been selected if they had not volunteered. Teams aren’t usually eligible if they have appeared on the show during the past 10 years (the Rams did “Hard Knocks” in 2016, their first year back in LA), or appeared in the playoffs the past two years (both were in the postseason in 2018), or have a first-year coach.

The Rams join the Cincinnati Bengals (2009, ‘13) and Dallas Cowboys (2002, ’07) as teams that have done “Hard Knocks” twice while the Chargers are making their first appearance. This will be the 15th season for the show, which started in 2001 with the Baltimore Ravens. HBO and NFL Films also announced Thursday that they have agreed to renew the series through 2024.

The Chargers and Rams usually hold training camp only six miles apart from each other, but that will not be the case this season with the NFL mandating that teams have to hold camp at their own facilities. The Rams, who have held camp at UC Irvine the past four seasons, will be at their home base in Thousand Oaks, about 80 miles from the Chargers’ facility in Costa Mesa.

The Rams made the Super Bowl in 2018 but missed the postseason last year with a 9-7 record. The Chargers were 5-11 in 2019, which was a seven-win decline from two years ago. Rams coach Sean McVay and Chargers coach Anthony Lynn are both going into their fourth season leading their respective teams.

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