The news that the Bengals would be featured on this year's season of "Hard Knock" spread quickly across the internet, but it still hasn't cleared up one lingering question. Why?
Frankly, the move to allow film crews into training camp by the Bengals is nothing short of confusing. This isn't a tiny-market team looking for some preseason exposure before the long, empty season begins. This is a team that has a good chance to make the playoffs, and a very real chance to win their own division outright.
Perhaps the Bengals really are looking for some publicity, or maybe they'll use the series as a way to motivate themselves to push harder. It's difficult to conclude anything significant on the topic until the official announcement is made.
On the other hand, the news is great for viewers and football fans. Andy Dalton will be trying to push himself to the next level, and the Bengals as a team will give audiences an example of a well-oiled football machine at work. This isn't an up-and-coming team as we've seen in the past, and it's not a team with a loud group of players and coaches. No. This is a team that works hard, puts in their time, and they simply get the job done. It'll be a different feel for the series that doesn't typically feature such teams.
Unlike 2009, the last time the Bengals were featured on the show, Chad Johnson (Ochocinco at the time) won't be a feature story line, and there is no injury story line at the quarterback position. While the Bengals have been feature by the show before, this team is completely different than the Bengals of 2009.
From a competitive standpoint, there's no benefit for the Bengals to subject themselves to such an up-close and possibly intrusive look into their training camp, but as a fan, there are few teams I'd rather see featured this offseason.