Like everything else surrounding the NFL, the HBO series "Hard Knocks", chronicling training camp of one NFL team, has grown increasingly popular in recent years. If it involves football, then the fans care and Hard Knocks provides a unique insider perspective that fans cannot pass up. From stories involving both veterans and rookies, to training camp battles, the HBO cameras manage to catch all the action. The Cincinnati Bengals were featured in 2009--a training camp that featured Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco, and an intriguing battle for the fullback position--and underwent a truly unique experience.
In an interview with ESPN 101 in St. Louis, head coach Marvin Lewis was asked about this experience and whether he would consider doing it again.
Lewis: We've done our time for the NFL right now.
Host: So no?
Lewis: I think it's a great thing for your fans and I think they get a great perspective behind the scenes, they really get a look at your football team and if we were doing this right now we'd be sitting there and the camera would be on us right now as I'm making this call so it's really a 24-7 deal. No matter what you do there's a camera there.
Lewis' vague answer surely leaves the door open for another stint with the HBO series, but this is by no means a full-fledged endorsement. Lewis implies a lack of privacy in his statement by saying there is "always a camera there" and that the experience is a "24-7 deal". However, he also mentions the fans and seems to understand just how terrific Hard Knocks was for Bengals fans in 2009. It really heightened the excitement that followed with the division title that they won later that season.
At this point, it is neither a yes nor a no from Lewis. We've heard these type of "we'll see" answers from Lewis before, so it's difficult to say how he truly feels about it. There's also the fact that Lewis might not even be in Cincinnati next season, given that his current contract is set to expire after this season. The 2012 season of Hard Knocks will feature the Miami Dolphins, but who will be featured in 2013 remains a mystery.