Its that time of year again. NFL training camps are underway and HBO has selected the team it’s going to follow for the latest season of Hard Knocks. This year, it’s the Cincinnati Bengals.
And as I have the past two years, I will be selecting a classic rock artist whose song titles I will use to name each weekly recap. Why? I’m not sure. It’s just something I did for no good reason a couple of years ago and now I’m sticking with it. Two Hard Knocks ago, It was Elvis Costello. Last season, it was Tom Petty. This year, I’ve decided to go with Steely Dan, the only group named after a dildo in a William S. Burroughs novel.
Let’s do it
-I think it’s important for me to note, at the outset, that I enter this season of Hard Knocks knowing a grand total of three (3) players on the Cincinnati Bengals. They are Andy Dalton, AJ Green and Benjarvis Green Ellis. I also think that continually spelling Cincinnati will be a real problem,
-I’m incredibly excited about the upcoming HBO Sports Documentary “Glickman” about Marty Glickman. There was a commercial for it right before Hard Knocks started.
-What I remember from the last time the Bengals were on Hard Knocks is that Marvin Lewis seemed like a genuinely good man. This season starts with him hosting a party at his home for the organization’s staff. Still seems like a genuinely good man.
-Pac Man Jones is Adam Jones now. He’ll be an interesting guy to watch. He’s supposedly matured now and is a mentor to younger players. He also let his car run out of gas on day 1 of training camp.
-James Harrison is on the Bengals now. He was a filthy dirty player in Pittsburgh. He already seems like a humorless dick on the first day of practice, refusing to joke with Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden about how he covers AJ Green in practice. Gruden was funny though, “We don’t touch the merchandise.” Later, they showed Harrison sitting apart from his teammates at a position meeting.
-Rookie running back Giovanni Bernard looks like he’s incredibly fast. I don’t usually notice things like this, but he was juking left and right through a drill and I was very impressed.
-At about 10:35, the Bengals began doing Oklahoma drills in practice. Completely unrelated, this is the first time I nodded off on the couch. It’s 10:35 at night on a Tuesday and I am getting old.
-Adam (not-PacMan) Jones broke a passing truck’s window while he was playing golf at a country club. It was an accident, which I guess is a sign of progress.
-Andy Dalton wears a black rubber wedding ring. All of his teammates and coaches hate it. With good reason. It’s idiotic looking. Sometimes I keep a rubber band on my finger if I take it off a package. How is this different?
-Rookie defensive lineman Larry Black suffers a season ending ankle injury. He’s a local kid who was undrafted but showing promise. He cries in the trainer’s room. The entire team and a number of the coaches get emotional. To me, that’s a great sign of team unity. Though its a rough way to end the first episode of the season.