The "star" of last year's season was IMO James Harrison. Sure, he was a big name guy, but he was by no means a good player anymore. But why was Harrison the star? Because his no-nonsense personality always avoided the HBO cameras like the plague, but every now and then he'd slip up and we'd see glimpses of him and it was great television (the rookie talent show episode comes to mind). But what else were the memorable moments from last year? Margus Hunt being a foreigner? Hue Jackson ripping into Gio Bernard? Geno Atkins vs. Jermaine Gresham in the Oklahoma drill? AJ Green getting hurt in a practice? Vontaze BUrfict starting a fight with Steven Jackson? Andy Dalton being Andy Dalton?
The Bengals are/were a very young team with the vast majority of their best players still on their rookie contracts. Thus they're all guys that are a little more vibrant since they're 24 or 25 years old. as well as a team full of guys that other teams thought were character risks, thus having their locker room full of people that had a bit more personality and edge to them.
The Falcons in contrast have a lot more veteran players, that outside Julio Jones, their "stars" are much more established players. Older veterans that like to sit at home with the wife and kids, and living relatively boring lives. Not to mention their focus on good character guys makes them a bunch of choir boys in contrast to other teams.
We don't have a Reggie Bush that was a regular in tabloids when he was involved in a relationship with Kim Kardashian. We don't have Chad Johnson, who is a great soundbite waiting to happen every time he opens his mouth. We don't have a fresh young rookie QB like Ryan Tannehill learning the ropes of being a starting NFL QB. And we didn't a ton of competition in camp this year because again, we have an established roster, so there wasn't a lot to feature some of the UDFAs battling for jobs because the reality is that very few of them would make it. Instead, Hard Knocks decided to focus on the rookies that we knew were going to make the roster (Shembo, Freeman, Matthews, Hageman) and some that were somewhat on the bubble (Allen, Starr).
This is why our season may have not been as compelling. And unfortunately, our head coach was as boring as punch. Joe Philbin was just as boring back in 2012, but at least it was his first year, so the fact that he was new made him a much more compelling watch.
None of these things have to do with the quality of players we have. It has everything to do with the personality of players we have as well as the fact that we were a pretty stable team. It's why they kept inserting ROddy and the other WRs goofing off because they were the least boring players on the team.
If Hard Knocks really wanted to have a truly compelling show, they would have played up the fact that Mike Smith is on the hot seat. But I'm sure the Falcons would have nixed that.
Remember in the last 2 eps when we saw the cuts, they kept showing clips of guys saying how classy the organization was and how open and welcoming it was? That was exaclty how Arthur Blank wanted it.
I think the bolded part is more likely. It's not because we have more 'veterans', it's what the team wanted shown. As I've said before, the deal with HBO is the team AND the league get to vet the show. What you see is what they want you to see.
To be honest, I was unimpressed. But, I haven't had years of watching, so I cant really judge how it stacks up against the past.....