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All in all, I believe the team has fed off of it, and NFL Films Steve Sabol certainly likes where the Bengals are after the show ended!


NFL Films thrilled with Bengals 5-2 start

By Joe Reedy • jreedy@enquirer.com • October 27, 2009

There’s another group besides Bengals’ fans who are thrilled with the team’s 5-2 start – the folks at NFL Films.

After spending six weeks with the team for the “Hard Knocks: Training Camp” series, the Bengals are off to the best start of a team that has appeared on the series. In three previous cases teams have started 4-3 only to stumble down the stretch.

“For us it’s been terrific because we know the coaches and players,” NFL Films president Steve Sabol said. “We all sit around on Monday’s and try to think if there was anything we saw that could’ve predicted they season they are having.”

Sabol selected the Bengals because he wanted to profile a team that was fighting back from tough times. He was also looking for a team that also could have come out of nowhere and been a surprise. He got those right on both counts as the Bengals 45-10 win over Chicago on Sunday gave them more wins than all of last year.

“From seeing the personalities that they had you could see the team coming together,” Sabol said.

NFL Films is also hoping that the Bengals can end the “Hard Knocks” curse in that none of the teams have made the playoffs. The Cowboys had the best chance last year before losing their final three games.

The remaining schedule certainly works in their favor. Of the three contenders in the AFC North, the Bengals’ remaining nine opponents have played to a combined record of 26-34, which is a .433 winning percentage. Pittsburgh’s opponents are 27-31 (.466) while Baltimore’s are 38-27 (.585).

Baltimore and Pittsburgh must still face each other twice while both teams still have to face Denver. Baltimore must also face Indianapolis.

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I loved Hard Knocks and I hope most of the other teams refuse to do it, so the Bengals can appear on the show again. You get to see so many little things that you wouldn't have access to. If it wasn't for this show, we would have probably been scratching our heads when Tom Nelson made the team, we wouldn't have known about the dominating lead blocker we have on the practice squad, and we wouldn't have got to know Palmer's funny side. Plus, I think the show did a lot to rebuild Chad's image in Cinci.

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