The Cincinnati Bengals are in for some more "Hard Knocks."
The pro football team is opening up for the second time in four seasons for an all-access look in "Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Cincinnati Bengals." It's the latest incarnation of HBO's sports-based reality series, which is kicking off its fifth season Aug. 6.
Said HBO Sports President Ken Hershman, "We are delighted that 'Hard Knocks' will be returning this summer and excited for our return to the AFC North and the Cincinnati Bengals franchise."
The cinema verite series will focus on the daily lives and routines of Bengals head Coach Marvin Lewis, who has headed the team for 11 seasons, and a mix of high-profile veterans, emerging stars, free agents and rookie hopefuls through training camp and the four-game preseason schedule.
Said Lewis, "The feedback we got from our experience with 'Hard Knocks' in 2009 was outstanding. Our fans enjoyed it tremendously and we're happy to try and provide that same experience again. Our fans love the NFL and they enjoy seeing things they don't normally get to see."
Lewis added: “Some people say, 'Well, you won the division the last time you did this; is that a reason for doing it again?' I really don't think that matters or figures much into the decision. Every day, every time is a new experience. As coaches and players, we just go into it knowing we have to do our jobs to the utmost."
A 24-person NFL Films crew will live in the city of Cincinnati as the Bengals will hold camp at Paul Brown Stadium, shooting more than 1,250 hours of footage shot over the course of the series. Camera and sound crews will be given unencumbered access to the players’ and coaches’ meeting rooms, training rooms, living quarters and practice fields.
"Hard Knocks" launched with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001, followed by the Dallas Cowboys in 2002. The series resumed in 2007 with the Kansas City Chiefs, then returned to the Cowboys. In 2009, "Hard Knocks" spotlighted the Bengals. Last season, the Miami Dolphins starred in the series.
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post stated that the Cincinnati Bengals were in the AFC Central. They are in the AFC North.