The 5 Twitter handles You have to Follow During Hard Knocks

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HBO’s critically acclaimed Hard Knocks is beginning its 8th season featuring the Cincinnati Bengals. The season premier was last night, August 6th – if you missed it you should be able to watch on HBO On Demand. For all of you internet savvy watchers, HBO Go does not own the digital rights to the show so you’ll need to find it elsewhere.

The reason why Hard Knocks has been so successful is because it demonstrates year after year why it is so hard to make a NFL roster. Teams begin each training camp with 90 players, cut to 75 players after the 3rd preseason game and then must finalize their 53 man roster before the regular season begins.

Hard Knocks follows all 90 players, whether they are a team all-star, back up quarterback or sixth string center. Each of those athletes has a chance to make a name for himself, whether it will be for the practice squad, for another team or for the opening game’s roster. The artistic videos and humanistic interviewing has brought fans closer to the athletes more than anything else.

Besides Twitter.

Many fans enjoy following their favorite athletes on Twitter because of the behind the scenes point of view, or maybe for a player’s humor, and even to see what an athlete does on their days off. Digital Sports Voice has narrowed down the Bengals preseason roster to five.

Here are the 5 Twitter handles you have to follow while watching Hard Knocks:

@jharrison9292

James Harrison was a hated athlete in Cincinnati. Bengals fans booed him after every crunching hit. Carson Palmer still has trouble sleeping at night from all of the sacks. Fans will need to adjust their boos to cheers for the 2013-14 season because Harrison will be wearing Orange and Black for the first time in his career. Harrison is a new player on the team, and many NFL fans didn’t notice the offseason transaction. Also of note, Harrison has already played for a team in Ohio in Kent State where he won a MAC Title. Need one more reason to follow Harrison? There’s this:

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@lbj97whatsgood

Larry Black Jr. was a featured story in the season premier for all of the wrong reasons. Black was the unfortunate recipient of a season ending injury. This is devastating for any athlete, but for an undrafted free agent it could mean his career. Professional sports is a tough business, and Black is personifying the ugly end of it. This might be an interesting account to follow throughout the year for fans. He will quickly fade into the forgotten world of the NFL, so it might be nice to see his injury updates or sideline cheers on your timeline.

@ajgreen_18

If you aren’t already following one of the most dynamic wide receivers in the NFL than this is a good excuse to start. AJ Green is the major building block for the Bengals franchise. His tweets aren’t really exciting, but Cincinnati fans can enjoy this change of pace from their star wide receiver – OchoCinco still manages to haunt them from time to time. His Instagram is linked through Twitter and Green occasionally shares cool photos from it.

@andydalton14

He’s the starting quarterback, do you need more of a reason to follow Andy Dalton? If you’re a local fan to the Cincinnati Bengals this is an account you’ll want to follow. Dalton spends his time at Reds games, eating at local restaurants and seems to tweet his love for the city frequently. Dalton posts pictures frequently and displays good leadership tweets (if there is even such a thing). Look out for too many #whodey on this account.

@Hawk

Andrew Hawkins snuck his way onto the Bengals 2012-13 starting roster. The Bengals list the wide receiver as 5′ 7″ which some have claimed is an exaggeration. No matter his height, Hawkins became a fan favorite from his steady hands and quick routes across the middle. Hawkins’ older brother Artrell Hawkins not only played at the University of Cincinnati but also started at cornerback for the Bengals for 5 years. Andrew Hawkins is a fun person to follow on Twitter: he interacts with fans, posts photos and can certainly steal the show.

BONUS: SOMEONE TEACH HUE JACKSON HOW TO TWEET!

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The Bengals running back coach and “special assistant to head coach Marvin Lewis” stole the show last night. Hard Knocks was made for people like Jackson. He was run out of town as the head coach in Oakland and returned to Cincinnati as a saving grace to his career. Now, Hard Knocks has put on full display the intensity Jackson uses while coaching. He became a fan favorite overnight. Now, someone go teach the man how to use Twitter!