Hard Knocks Preview

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Here at PrePlay, we love sports and we love TV. When we’re not watching sports, we’re probably binge watching TV, but that’s normal, apparently. With that being said, we’re excited for the upcoming season premier of Hard Knocks, a gritty NFL Films/HBO special. This show is a perfect pairing of our interests and comes right as we are preparing for the upcoming NFL season. I’ll be breaking down and reviewing every episode as soon as the show begins tonight at 10 p.m.

This year the show features the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have suffered two straight playoff losses to the Texans, and will surely have something to prove this season. In anticipation of a preseason full of training camp battles, roster cuts, and budding camaraderie, here are some of the things I’m looking forward to seeing this season on Hard Knocks:

Running back position battle between the veteran Law Firm, Benjarvus Green-Ellis and rookie Giovani Bernard, the 1st running taken in the 2013 draft

  • Since the Law Firm entered the league in 2008 he had never fumbled (589 touches without a fumble) but last season as the workhorse and starter for the Bengals, he fumbled 3 times. Sure he rushed for over 1000 yards but his yards per carry average was a mediocre 3.9. The Bengals know what they can get out of him and they wouldn’t have taken a running back in the second round of the draft if they were perfectly content with Green-Ellis.
  • Giovanni Bernard is a rookie running back with a lot of potential. Bernard rushed for 1,228 yards on 184 carries at UNC. That’s 6.7 yards per carry. He also is an established pass catcher with 47 receptions for 490 yards, which could start him off as the change of pace third down back to Green-Ellis, which to me makes the most sense.
  • My prediction is that Law Firm will be the starter specializing in goal line situations and short yardage, whereas Bernard will be the scatback third down option.

There could be a battle for the number one tight end spot between Jermaine Gresham and first round pick Tyler Eifert. Ultimately, there won’t be much of a position battle because I think we all expect to see two tight end sets on the field. Our prediction is that both will start.

Who is Andy Dalton?

  • I don’t know a whole lot about this guy other than he seems pretty smart in interviews. I’m sure he knows all the teams in his division unlike some other Hard Knocks quarterbacks that we’ve seen…I want to know about his work ethic and dedication to the team as he tries to make the third year jump that most good players tend to make.

Off Field Drama – Has the team changed how they tell players that they are getting cut?

  • In 2009 during the cuts throughout camp, a personnel worker would knock on a players door at around 4:30 in the morning and jam and camera in their face with a blinding light attached to it and tell them that they’re fired and they need to get out. To me that sounds like one of the worst ways to let someone go. I guess that’s football life vs. the real world.

We’re looking forward to another training camp, another season, and another filler until the real football season starts. We will have more predictions to come about what Hard Knocks tells us about the Bengals.

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