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Cincinnati Bengals quickly graduating from school of ‘Hard Knocks’

They finished last season as one of the worst in the NFL. But five games and four wins later, the Bengals are quickly gaining the respect of all around them…

Summer workout: The Bengals in training camp, where every move was followed by the cameras...

Summer workout: The Bengals in training camp, where every move was followed by the 'Hard Knocks' cameras...

With the 2009 NFL regular season hitting its stride, storylines abound. Picking the biggest one is virtually impossible.

Is it Brett Favre, alienating Green Bay Packers fans as he searches for success with arch-rivals the Minnesota Vikings?

Is it the 5-0 Denver Broncos under preposterously young head coach Josh McDaniels, despite trading away star quarterback Jay Cutler in the off-season?

Or is it future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning once again putting up Most Valuable Player numbers with the impressive Indianapolis Colts?

The answer depends greatly on the fan you speak to. Some might even eschew those three options to suggest that it is actually the Cincinnati Bengals that are the story of the season so far. After all, the Bengals are 4-1 and atop the AFC North so far this season, an impressive turnaround from 2008’s disappointing 4-11-1 effort.

Their improvement is all the more notable for the obstacles and issues they have had to overcome since the off-season, a charge-sheet of problems that made the Bengals’ storyline attractive to HBO as they looked for potential teams on which to base the fifth season of the popular series Hard Knocks.

“This is a story perfect for our times,” said Ken Rodgers, one of the show’s producers, when the Bengals agreed to be filmed. “[Football] is not about getting knocked down, but how you get back up.”

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October 14, 2009 Posted by | NFL, Sport | , , | Leave a comment