Coming off a dismal 0-16 season, the Browns have been chosen to appear on HBO’s popular “Hard Knocks” series, which gives NFL fans a behind-the-scenes look at training camp. The Browns have turned down previous opportunities to be on the award-winning series. But with renewed optimism around Cleveland following the recent draft and the selection of quarterback Baker Mayfield, the team is granting HBO unlimited access to its upcoming camp. Cleveland is the 13th franchise to participate in “Hard Knocks,” which began in 2001 with the Baltimore Ravens. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were featured last summer.

Although they’ve won only one game the past two seasons under coach Hue Jackson, the Browns see the show as a possibility to highlight some of their younger players and put a positive spin on their rebuild. And for HBO, Mayfield’s quest to win the starting job is just one of several juicy storylines. HBO’s cameras are certain to focus on Mayfield, the brash Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma that the Browns chose over other quarterbacks. Mayfield is expected to back up Tyrod Taylor this season, but their competition could make for the kind of compelling TV that has made the series a must-watch for football junkies. A 30-person film crew will be at the team’s training facility in Berea to record more than 2,000 hours of footage for the five-segment series, which will debut Aug. 7.

The Browns have some good young players who are not well known outside Cleveland. “Hard Knocks” will give national exposure to budding stars like defensive end Myles Garrett, Mayfield and safety Jabrill Peppers and give the network a chance to tell the well-documented story of former Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon, who has missed most of the past three seasons because of drug suspensions. Jackson and Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams have both been on “Hard Knocks” — Jackson with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013 and Williams with the Los Angeles Rams in 2016. Browns general manager John Dorsey had reservations about the series, but feels the team is equipped to handle the added scrutiny.

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