Hard Knocks was a great way for Bengals fans to be introduced their players unlike watching numbered jerseys and beautifully designed helmets scampering around the football field.
It was also a great way for a team like the Chicago Bears to scout their opponents this Sunday. Head coach Marc Trestman "ducked" the question from Chicago's media whether Hard Knocks benefited the Bears. Safety Chris Conte believed that it gave "insight into their daily lives," but added "we're not game-planning off HBO's Hard Knocks."
Linebacker Lance Briggs watched a couple of episodes, calling it "a good scouting report" because NFL Films does a "nice little in-depth view on each individual, of the guys we're (going to) be facing." Briggs later clarified that "the tape we turn on here" is game film, not Hard Knocks.
True that opponents can become familiar with the individual players and coaches, but nothing was schematically aired about the Bengals, such as plays or designs. Only a lot of cursing, some
custodian Estonian humor, tons of camaraderie, and tense moments for bubble players hoping to make the 53-man roster.