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If the Eagles Were on Hard Knocks: Reality Show Archetypes

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HBO and NFL Films follow a pretty obvious guideline when it comes to subjects on their show, Hard Knocks. BGN writers Mike Kaye and Dave Mangels take a look at the archetypes for each season of the series,

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HBO's annual look into the drama of NFL training camps is set to take on a new subject this season. The Falcons are the latest team to open their doors to the HBO Sports and NFL Films cameras and the Hard Knocks series will feature several of their popular and unknown players.

While Atlanta is the subject of this year's Hard Knocks, series-long fans Dave Mangels and myself have taken it upon ourselves to preview this season's show. The series has a formula that is seemingly unbreakable with several "can't miss" archetypes popping up throughout the show's six-episode runs. Mangels and myself have decided to highlight the many different characters that typically turn up in every season of Hard Knocks as well as the possible candidates for each role if the Eagles were involved this year.

Below is a list of "characters" you can expect on this season of Hard Knocks:

Head Coach

This one is simple: He is the most important person in the organization.

Past Subjects: Marvin Lewis, Wade Phillips, Rex Ryan, Joe Philbin, Herm Edwards

Possible Eagles Candidates: Chip Kelly

Likely Falcons Subject: Mike Smith

Zany General Managers/Owners

Typically, the owner/general manager combo is highlighted because the owner almost always uses the show as a marketing piece for his business. The general manager is typically involved if they come off as zany or unconventional.

Past Subjects: Jerry Jones, Mike Brown, Mike Tannenbaum, Jeff Ireland

Possible Eagles Candidates: Howie Roseman, Jeffrey Lurie

Likely Falcons Subject: Thomas Dimitroff

The Most Obnoxious Coordinator(s) or Assistants (typically 1-3 per show)

This character's role is to show how tough and incredibly unprofessional the NFL can be. These guys are loud, annoying and at times, cruel by means of any other work place.

Past Subjects: Mike Sherman, Mike Zimmer, Jonathan Hayes, Jim Turner, Mike Westhoff, Gunther Cunningham

Possible Eagles Candidates: Jerry Azzinaro

Likely Falcons Subject: Mike Tice, Mike Nolan

Quarterback Battle

This is either for the backup quarterback position or for the starting spot. Hard Knocks typically pays more attention to the player with the better looking or more involved wife.

Past Subjects: Quicy Carter vs. Chad Hutchinson, Brody Croyle vs. Damon Huard, David Garrard vs. Ryan Tannehill vs. Matt Moore, Kellen Clemons vs. Mark Brunell, Josh Johnson vs. John Skelton

Possible Eagles Candidates: Mark Sanchez vs. Matt Barkley, Matt Barkley vs. G.J. Kinne

Likely Falcons Subject: T.J. Yates vs. Sean Renfree vs. Jeff Mathews

Veteran Leader (1-2 per season)

This is the player that takes on the leadership role in front of the camera and on the field, which makes him interesting by some measure. This is not always the case.

Past Subjects: Reggie Bush, Karlos Dansby, Terrence Newman, Roy Williams, Chad Johnson, Pacman Jones, Bart Scott, LaDainian Tomlinson, Reggie Kelly, Emmitt Smith, Andrew Whitworth

Possible Eagles Candidates: DeMeco Ryans, Brent Celek, Trent Cole, Todd Herremans, Connor Barwin

Likely Falcons Subject: Roddy White, Matt Ryan, Steven Jackson

White Player With Little Shot of Making the Roster or Playing Time

This is self-explanatory as it's the scrappy "gym rat" that must compete for a spot or snaps. We don't make the rules at BGN, but HBO apparently finds this role to be either more relatable or compelling than say a star player.

Past Subjects: Danny Amendola, Dane Sanzenbacher, Tom Nelson, Danny Woodhead, Boomer Grigsby, Chad Hutchinson

Possible Eagles Candidates: Jeff Maehl, Travis Lewis

Likely Falcons Subject: Sean Baker, Mickey Shuler, Jr., Sean Renfree

Hero, Redemption or Foreign Born (1-3 per season)

This subject is typically a player with either something to overcome or prove that he can have the same success on the field as off the field.

Past Subjects: Corey Lynch (saved a woman in a car crash), Tank Johnson (multiple arrests), Pacman Jones (multiple suspensions and arrests),Margus Hunt (from Estonia), Les Brown (college basketball player turned accountant turned training camp body), Jorvorskie Lane (overweight, undrafted and out of football for a couple of years), Chas Alecxih (lost at sea after falling off jet ski), Antonio Cromartie (too many children to remember), Priest Holmes (retirement comeback and injuries), Quincy Carter (apparently being Quincy Carter)

Possible Eagles Candidates: Alejandro Villanueva (former military member and position switch), Jeremy Maclin (ACL injury), Arrelious Benn (ACL injury), Jason Phillips (ACL injury)

Likely Falcons Subject: Julio Jones (season-ending injury), Gabe Carimi (cut twice after being a 1st round pick)

UDFA or practice squad player trying to make the team at a position of strength (1-3 per show)

The starter is an established star, but these players are competing for a spot behind him.

Past Examples: Todd Lowber, John Connor

Eagles Candidates: David Molk, Henry Josey/David Fluellen

Likely Falcons Subject: Freddie Martino, Bernard Reedy, Jordan Mabin, Kemal Ishmael

Rookie Punching Bag

This is a rookie who is guaranteed to make the team but is interminably yelled at by his position coach and we are made to believe he might get cut.

Past examples: Turk McBride/Tank Tyler, Martellus Bennett, Michael Egnew, Chase Coffman

Eagles Candidates: Taylor Hart/Beau Allen (see: Jerry Azzinaro)

Likely Falcons Subject: Ra'Shede Hageman, Devonta Freeman

Second or Third Generation NFL Talent That Can't Live Up to Profile

This is a young player that you only know about (if you do) because of his brother, father, uncle or cousin. This creates a lot of pressure for the player and it rarely works out well for them on the series.

Past Examples: Keon Lattimore, Chase Coffman, Jeff Ireland (front office exception)

Eagles Candidates: Casey Matthews, Joe Kruger

Likely Falcons Subject: Jake Matthews (father is a Hall of Fame lineman Bruce Matthews, cousin of Clay Matthews and nephew of Kevin Matthews)

Hard Knocks with the Atlanta Falcons will debut on Tuesday, August 5 at 10 p.m. ET. on HBO.