Bears Can Learn a Lot from Watching Hard Knocks


July 28, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (top left) calls a play during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Hard Knocks day.  The fantastic HBO Sports series which profiles one NFL team’s journey through training camp and the preseason premieres tonight.  This season, they’re featuring the Bears’ Week 1 opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals.  

I don’t know if they get HBO on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University, but the Bears should be watching Hard Knocks very closely.  They can learn a lesson from Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt, who attributed his huge season opening game against last season’s Hard Knocks team, the Miami Dolphins, to watching Hard Knocks:

"“You can’t really pick up too much from that show, but I got their snap count,” the second-year pro said on NBC’s Pro Football Talk. “It’s something you can really pick up from any TV copy but I watched (“Hard Knocks”) and that’s one thing I picked up, so I used that a little bit. But once the game gets going, you pick it up anyway. It wasn’t a huge advantage but any little thing can help.”"

In the season opener in 2012, the Texans sacked Ryan Tannehill three times, including 1.5 sacks by Watt, during the Texans’ 30-10 win over the Dolphins.

I would hope the Bears have Chris Harris or some other quality control coach dissecting that tape.  Any little edge the Bears can gain could certainly be useful on September 8th, when the real action begins.  The first episode premieres tonight at 9PM Central on HBO.

Enjoy Hard Knock and …