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Lowery: 'Hard Knocks' can aid with focus

By Vaughn McClure | June 12, 2014 8:40:01 PM PDT

New Atlanta Falcons free safety Dwight Lowery knows firsthand all about the HBO series "Hard Knocks."

And Lowery knows things can get ugly.

Lowery was a part of the award-winning documentary in 2010 while a member of the New York Jets. He was a spectator for what they called the " King Ugly" competition between the rookies.

"That thing was hilarious," Lowery recalled. "Pretty much the players voted for who the ugliest player on the team was. You had to put money in as your vote. Whoever got third place, they got 75 percent of the pot. Second place got 25 percent of the pot. And first place didn't get anything, because they were so ugly. Some defensive back won, too ( Brian Jackson).

"I just watched it the other day. And watching it, knowing that I was in those seats, it brings back a lot of memories."

Maybe Lowery's second appearance on "Hard Knocks" will be memorable as well. The Falcons were chosen as this year's team to be followed throughout training camp. It seems like a curious choice, considering how Mike Smith is a no-nonsense head coach. At the same time, it should be great exposure for team owner Arthur Blank as he prepares to open a new stadium in 2017.

It's fair to wonder if this could be a distraction for a team coming off a 4-12 season. Well, the "Hard Knocks jinx" was dispelled by Lowery's Jets, who went 11-5 and made it to the AFC Championship Game after finishing 9-7 the season before the filming.

"Honestly, my point of view is this: If you're not able to function when there are cameras around at the facility or practice or wherever, how are you going to go out and win a football game with 60,000 people in the stands?" Lowery posed. "You're on national TV. Cameras are rolling. If you're a team that's fortunate to go all the way, Super Bowl week has become crazier and crazier as the years have progressed. There is going to be a lot of that kind of hoopla and jazz going on that you need to focus in that type of situation as well.

"Hopefully, it will be something that we can use for energy on those days in camp where it gets hard and long; kind of keep the mood light, I guess. I honestly don't think it will be a distraction. If it is, I think only at first because it's brand new. I think three weeks into training camp, guys will get accustomed to them being there and actually kind of get sick of it."

Lowery might be part of the storylines if a competition evolves between himself and rookie Dez Southward. So far, Lowery had solidified his role as the starter next to strong safety William Moore with a strong offseason.

As far as the rest of the players, the cameras are sure to capture Julio Jones' return to practice from season-ending foot surgery, the addition of Jake Matthews to the offensive line, and likely the progress of rookies Devonta Freeman and Ra'Shede Hageman based on their stories of overcoming humble beginnings.

Lowery was asked which player he believes will evolve as the star of the show.

"I don't know if there will be one guy, you know?" he said. "I think the receiver group is pretty entertaining. They have good energy. They have confidence. And it's a strength of the team, obviously.

"I think there are other individuals that could [emerge]. But it's hard to say because I don't really know how guys are going to be with the cameras on. Literally, you'll be sitting there eating or you'll be in your dorm and then the crew will just ask and come in your room. ... I know at first guys are going to be like, `What the ****?' It's weird. But you'll see characters develop as the time goes on and people settle down and start to be themselves."

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Not sure if ever posted I just thought it was funny Lowrey says it can aid with focus rather than distract.

i tend to agree....how can cameras distract when they perform in front of 60,000 people and millions across the world every single week since college...this is nothing new....I think bringing in a Tony G or trading for a Julio Jones is more of a distraction than HBO cameras being around

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I keep seeing the rationale that if you play while 60,000 people watch, you should be comfortable with a camera down your throat when you're going about your day-to-day preparation.

I don't think those two situations are equivalent

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i tend to agree....how can cameras distract when they perform in front of 60,000 people and millions across the world every single week since college...this is nothing new....I think bringing in a Tony G or trading for a Julio Jones is more of a distraction than HBO cameras being around

Now I do believe Smith will set some pretty strict rules too. We all know how secretive he is. That aspect should be very interesting. Watching how Smith deals with constant eyes and questions. Smith might just go postal. After this not much can be said about his secrecy any longer.

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Now I do believe Smith will set some pretty strict rules too. We all know how secretive he is. That aspect should be very interesting. Watching how Smith deals with constant eyes and questions. Smith might just go postal. After this not much can be said about his secrecy any longer.

yeah...I think they have to approve whatever actually goes on air

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I keep seeing the rationale that if you play while 60,000 people watch, you should be comfortable with a camera down your throat when you're going about your day-to-day preparation.

I don't think those two situations are equivalent

He obviously disagrees with you.

"Honestly, my point of view is this: If you're not able to function when there are cameras around at the facility or practice or wherever, how are you going to go out and win a football game with 60,000 people in the stands?" Lowery posed. "You're on national TV. Cameras are rolling. If you're a team that's fortunate to go all the way, Super Bowl week has become crazier and crazier as the years have progressed. There is going to be a lot of that kind of hoopla and jazz going on that you need to focus in that type of situation as well.

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Let's be honest. This will be a distraction.

That being said the vets are professionals and the rookies need to learn things are different in the NFL. Now they both have added pressure to perform.

We didn't have any distractions last year and we all know that turned out.

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He obviously disagrees with you.

"Honestly, my point of view is this: If you're not able to function when there are cameras around at the facility or practice or wherever, how are you going to go out and win a football game with 60,000 people in the stands?" Lowery posed. "You're on national TV. Cameras are rolling. If you're a team that's fortunate to go all the way, Super Bowl week has become crazier and crazier as the years have progressed. There is going to be a lot of that kind of hoopla and jazz going on that you need to focus in that type of situation as well.

thats why they are professional...if you have performance anxiety, being a professional entertainer is not for you, perhaps you need to work in a warehouse...if cameras are an issue for you, you can give them the Marshawn Lynch treatment...james harrison did the same thing....the camera will find the ones that want to be on TV

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thats why they are professional...if you have performance anxiety, being a professional entertainer is not for you, perhaps you need to work in a warehouse...if cameras are an issue for you, you can give them the Marshawn Lynch treatment...james harrison did the same thing....the camera will find the ones that want to be on TV

They probably just follow around Roddy all day. lol

Maybe SJax too.

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They probably just follow around Roddy all day. lol

Maybe SJax too.

Gonna be wild to see how Smitty and TD cut guys ..........." sorry son, but kicking you to the curb is all part of the process " ...." I'm sure you will catch on with another team, I tip my cap to you " ....laugh.png Gonna be a couple surprise vet cuts, bring a box of Kleenex to the finale ....
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i tend to agree....how can cameras distract when they perform in front of 60,000 people and millions across the world every single week since college...this is nothing new....I think bringing in a Tony G or trading for a Julio Jones is more of a distraction than HBO cameras being around

I don't like Tony's attitude and so far Lowery seems cool so I'm gonna go with his opinion. I could see it affecting the rooks but they need to cut their teeth in front of cameras anyway... might prepare em more
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my concern here is Smitty. watchin' him on camera ALWAYS leaves me with the thought, 'how can this man possibly motivate anyone?'????? i have a strong feelin' that Hard Knocks will expose his lack of motivational leadership even more! i read earlier where Smith avoided the HK cameras at all costs when in BAL...well WTF is he gonna do now?? only outcome in my mind is MAJOR FAIL for Smitty!!! hope i'm wrong tho!! Nolan, Tice, and Cox will come across as stud coaches tho!!

Edited by sanfranfalcon
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my concern here is Smitty. watchin' him on camera ALWAYS leaves me with the thought, 'how can this man possibly motivate anyone?'????? i have a strong feelin' that Hard Knocks will expose his lack of motivational leadership even more! i read earlier where Smith avoided the HK cameras at all costs when in BAL...well WTF is he gonna do now?? only outcome in my mind is MAJOR FAIL for Smitty!!! hope i'm wrong tho!! Nolan, Tice, and Cox will come across as stud coaches tho!!

I think it does the opposite as far as Smiths concerned. I think it shuts a few folks up. The players love and listen to him. It's just the fans whom only see him give pressers who have this wild idea he's a timid man.

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I think it does the opposite as far as Smiths concerned. I think it shuts a few folks up. The players love and listen to him. It's just the fans whom only see him give pressers who have this wild idea he's a timid man.

i don't think he is timid per se...just comes across as unmotivating as a HC...

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