Some teams could see hosting HBO's Hard Knocks series as a distraction. But linebacker Kourtnei Brown saw it as a positive, saying he believed that the being on the helped him land a spot on the Bucs' 53-man roster.
Brown was one of the featured players on the series, which followed the Houston Texans through training camp. Promptly after being waived, he was claimed by the Buccaneers. Brown was one of five players claimed by the Buccaneers after final cuts on September 5th.
"It was fun," Brown said of being on the show. "It was new. I think that helped my case, it was a good opportunity."
He continued, "Once you're playing in a game and making plays, not everybody gets to see it. But when you're on the TV show Hard Knocks that gets aired, (you get) a lot more publicity than normal."
Brown's play didn't hurt his chances of being signed, either. In addition to being a quasi-TV star, he was the NFL's top 3-4 outside linebacker in pass coverage, according to Pro Football Focus. He also recorded seven stops, the seventh-most of any player at his position.
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Head Coach Lovie Smith said he hasn't seen Hard Knocks, but likes what he's seen of Brown on film, and during his first practice with the Buccaneers on Monday.
"I haven't seen any of the show," Smith said on Monday. "I've seen the game video. That's what we did see. What we saw from him out there on the field [we saw] today too, same thing. I know he had a long interception for a touchdown. He has good numbers, good athletic ability, good traits. You want to see that out on the field today and even though we are in shells today we are able to see that. Excited about him being on the team."
The final episode of this year's Hard Knocks airs on Tuesday night on HBO. Despite being cut in the episode, Brown said he'll be watching.
"I just want to see how they put it together," he said, "what they made it look like."