For the second time in five years, the Cincinnati Bengals will be the featured team on HBO's Hard Knocks, a documentary-style show that takes fans inside the training camp of an NFL team. The Bengals previously hosted HBO in 2009, drawing the highest-ratings the show had earned with any team to that point.
In recent seasons, the show has struggled to find interested teams, as many teams are wary that the invasion of cameras could be a distraction and that the airing of meetings could be a disadvantage.
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is reportedly looking for a big payday with the team, to the tune of $9 million per season. After signing his first-round tender, Cruz is under contract for the 2013 season but is set to hit unrestricted free agency in 2014, as is Hakeem Nicks. Without much room on the salary cap, $9 million per year is a tough bill for the Giants to pick up without making significant cuts on the roster.
The Philadelphia Eagles will be a team to watch in 2013 with head coach Chip Kelly at the helm, as he attempts to brings his up-tempo Oregon offense to the NFL, but Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell isn't concerned. In fact, he thinks the read option will be stamped out before the Eagles even get started, as Fewell said that defensive coordinators will be able to stop the offense by the time the fall comes.
Sam Spiegelman of Big Blue View recapped Fewell's comments on the read option:
"I think the college system has kind of taken hold in the National Football League. We have a lot of quarterbacks that have the ability to run and do that and I know that is coming into our league. It will be interesting to see," Fewell said during the recently-concluded mini-camp.
"I look at that offense kind of like the Wildcat. The Wildcat took us by storm and then until you can see it, understand it; then you can defend it."
A second-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans believe that defensive back D.J. Swearinger will be an important player for the team sooner rather than later after an impressive start in minicamp. Head coach Gary Kubiak said he expects Swearinger to be a "big contributor early" after taking first-team reps in OTAs and minicamp.