3 Teams Better For ‘Hard Knocks’ Than Cincinnati Bengals

Scott Chandler (Bills Training Camp) – Courtesy WikiMedia

by Dustin Raymond

Each year HBO’s reality sports documentary, “Hard Knocks”, gives NFL fans an in-depth look into a team’s training camp and their preparations for the upcoming season. The Cincinnati Bengals have will be featured on the for a second time beginning this August.

However, outside of a few offensive draft picks, Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard, the Bengals don’t have much dramatic flair that would captivate an audience. There’s a few teams in the league that have bigger stars and coaching changes that would elevate the documentary.

Top three teams that would make a better fit over the Bengals:

Philadelphia Eagles – A lot of focus would be on Chip Kelly and how he’s taken the reigns over as the new head coach. Is his offensive style of play from Oregon able to hold up against pro-level defenses? It would be interesting to watch his fast-break system be implemented with Michael Vick at quarterback.

As for quarterbacks, the Eagles have three potential starters which any of them could win the starting job, including rookie Matt Barkley. Once considered the top prospect in the draft, now he will try to prove himself at camp. Other interesting rookies to keep an eye on would be Lane Johnson and Zach Ertz; to see if they can help address concerns on offense from last season.

There’s a lot of changes that have happened from the coaching staff to the roster with the Eagles and it would be interesting how it all pieces together. Also, will Kenny Phillips injury cause any concern at training camp?

Seattle Seahawks – Last year, the Seahawks stormed through the NFC to secure a spot in the playoffs only to fall to the Falcons in the “Battle of the Birds”. They dominated on both sides of the ball, especially in the second half of the season when Russell Wilson came into his own. Now, going into the 2013 season, the Seahawks have retained most of their roster and added a few more play makers.

Head coaches always steal the spotlight on “Hard Knocks” and Pete Carroll would be no exception but a lot of attention would be on Russell Wilson. Will he be able to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump and continue his dominance on the field? As for the defensive side of the ball, Richard Sherman is known for being outspoken which would make for some interesting commentary.

Also, it’d be interesting to see how newly acquired Antoine Winfield and Percy Harvin fit into the scheme. The Seahawks are already being heralded as one of the toughest teams in the NFC and getting an inside look on how a team of their caliber handles training camp would surely make for a great documentary.

Buffalo Bills – Constantly on the outside looking in, the Buffalo Bills hold the title for longest active playoff drought at 13 seasons but through new coaching, they hope to end that streak this season. Staying within upstate New York, the Bills hire Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone who hires Nathaniel Hackett, his old offensive coordinator, to be the OC for the Bills.

In the first round of the draft, they chose EJ Manuel which came as a shock, even to Bills fans. Will he be able to take the starting job away from Kevin Kolb or will he require more time studying the playbook and adjusting to the speed of the NFL? As with any new coach, will any of the veterans like Steve Johnson or CJ Spiller, have an issue with Marrone’s and Hackett’s approach? It could become conflict between coaches and veterans.

There will be a lot of position battles this season for the Bills at training camp and a lot of new headlines such as; who will prevail as the premier back between Spiller and Jackson? A lot of intriguing changes happening in Buffalo and having an inside look could be fascinating to watch.