How this Harvard grad circumvented screen time on HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’

Bucs tight end Cameron Brate figured out how to avoid getting featured on the TV program.

Cameron Brate Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cameron Brate hauls in a 14-yard touchdown pass in October 2017. –Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

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When HBO and NFL Films arrived to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ training camp to film “Hard Knocks” – the popular television show showcasing the ins and outs of NFL training camp – tight end Cameron Brate had no interest in being on camera.

Brate, a 2014 Harvard grad, discovered a simple tactic to turn away the producers.

“I figured out if you wave, they won’t put that on — ever,” he recently revealed on SiriusXM Radio’s “The Blitz.” “So you have to start waving at the cameras.”

Although Brate did not want to be included on the show, he noted he did not find the filming to be “invasive.” He said the majority of the team was “excited” about being featured on the program, adding “some of the guys maybe could have hammed it up too much for the cameras.”


“We are kind of a smaller market down here in Tampa, and we thought it would give America a chance to see some of the personalities we have on the team,” he said.

Brate played three seasons of varsity football at Harvard. As an undrafted free agent, he signed with the Buccaneers in 2014 and, after a brief six-day stint with the New Orleans Saints practice squad, has remained with the team since. Brate became the team’s starting tight end in 2016, notching a career-best 57 receptions for 660 yards and eight touchdowns.

“Hard Knocks” will focus on the Cleveland Browns this season.

Cameron Brate Harvard
Cameron Brate hauls in a 36-yard reception against the Yale Bulldogs in November 2013. —Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff