It was head coach Mike Smith who announced that, after internal discussions, the Falcons decided to decline an invitation to appear on HBO's "Hard Knocks" this season, and there is a perception that most coaches are not enthusiastic about inviting cameras to follow their team's every move. Falcons owner Arthur Blank told PFW last week that he is open to considering an appearance on "Hard Knocks" in future years and he doesn't think Smith will automatically dismiss doing the show.
"It's really a decision for the organization, but it's one that primarily affects the coaching staff," Blank said. "I certainly would support whatever Smitty really wanted to do, but Smitty understands the importance of the shield of the NFL, the exposure, the national branding, the importance of the franchise.
"He's wonderful that way. He's not only a great football coach, but he reaches beyond the immediacy of just the team and understands what's right for the franchise. I think he would consider ("Hard Knocks") for that reason."
Smith has a pretty good idea of what goes on when the cameras are allowed into a team's facility — he was on the Ravens' staff when they appeared on "Hard Knocks" in 2001 and he was the Jaguars' defensive coordinator when the NFL Network did a spin-off of the show in '04.
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