Thanks to the Cincinnati Bengals stepping up, Hard Knocks will have a home this year. This will be the second time Cincinnati has been featured, joining the Dallas Cowboys as the only organizations with multiple appearances. Teams like the Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, and Miami Dolphins have also taken part.
However, it's becoming increasingly difficult for NFL Films to find takers and one reason is due to the refusal to cut scenes involving a player being released. Writes Alex Marvez with FoxSports.com:
The Bengals also are willing to provide unfettered access to their training camp. Ketover said other franchises would have agreed to participate but only if certain protocols such as player cuts weren’t part of the show.
"For us, it’s all or nothing," Ketover said. "What it comes down to is what teams have interesting storylines and which teams give us unlimited access to go wherever we want in their facility."
One specific example was the legendary Jim Lippincott meeting with fullback J.D. Runnels. And when we say meeting, we mean Lippincott waking Runnels up at 5:30 a.m. and telling him to hand over the team's playbook.
Although a wake-up cut may be extreme, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis explained Tuesday to FOX Sports why his team opts for breaking the bad news to players being released sooner rather than later. Like all NFL squads, Cincinnati has to pare its training camp roster from 90 to 53 players before the start of the regular season.
"There is no easy way to release players," Lewis wrote in a text message. "It's always easier early in the morning so they don't have to face their peers. Generally, this is done around the breakfast hour. Otherwise, it's more awkward."