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Hard Knocks helps younger players gain attention

The Cincinnati Bengals can't keep everyone on their talented roster. So as Chris Pressley recalls, Hard Knocks can help those players gain attention from other teams.

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

When Hard Knocks arrives in Cincinnati next month, it'll be like an old friend returning from a four-year walk-about. Fifteen players and several coaches have experienced the intrusive cameras -- two are former Cowboys when Hard Knocks documented Dallas' training camp. One player that was featured from the Bengals '09 documentary was fullback Chris Pressley, who became a primary storyline during the fullback position battle with names like Jeremi Johnson, Fui Vakapuna and J.D. Runnels.

Four years later, he believes that Hard Knocks can help younger players.

“It’s something a lot of people can take advantage of,” Pressley told the Cincinnati Enquirer at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday. “It can be a win-win. HBO will get some great stories, the audience is going to win and some of the players they feature, like me, I was a winner for that season. I feel like I was able to get noticed by a few more teams.”

And he did. Cincinnati waived Pressley during final cuts in 2009, but returned to team's practice squad. Two months later, he was signed by Tampa Bay to joined the Buccaneers 53-man roster. Pressley spent parts of two seasons and played 10 games in Tampa Bay before he was waived in 2010. Pressley returned to the Bengals practice squad that year, promoted to the 53-man roster four games later.

In a bit of irony, Pressley could be facing another position battle with the converted tight end Orson Charles, who is being groomed as an H-Back. And if the team chooses Pressley over Charles without any room available at the crowed tight end position, it could be Charles that benefits from the exposure.