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A Clear Path To Winning In 2011: Bengals Need To Do Hard Knocks

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The Detroit Lions have become the third team to turn down HBO's Hard Knocks, joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos. The series opened with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001 and the Dallas Cowboys in 2002 before taking a hiatus until 2007 when the show covered the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007, the Cowboys again in 2008, your Cincinnati Bengals in 2009 and the New York Jets last season.

This gets us thinking. Why not the Bengals again?

Aside from the fact that the Bengals followed up a four-win season in 2008 with the AFC North Championship the same season they were featured on Hard Knocks, the Bengals have plenty of storylines that could be of interest.

Such as the drama between the team and Carson Palmer's demand for a trade or else he'll retire. Incorporating rookie Andy Dalton into a starting quarterback. More Carson Palmer. The awesomely trivial battle of words between head coach Marvin Lewis and Chad Ochocinco. More Carson Palmer. Contract negotiations between cornerback Johnathan Joseph and running back Cedric Benson. Even more Carson Palmer. Outside Linebacker Rey Maualuga's move to the inside. Introducing the team's newest offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

Alright, we're not sure if the storylines would be that interesting outside of Bengals fans. But it doesn't matter. Other teams, except maybe the Atlanta Falcons, aren't willing to open themselves up so why not the Bengals, who, like 2009, are coming off a four-win season.