Bengals’ first opponent, the Bucs, kick off HBO’s “Hard Knocks” tonight

Quarterback Jameis Winston of the Buccaneers looks for an open receiver during a Jan. 1 game against the Panthers in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

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Quarterback Jameis Winston of the Buccaneers looks for an open receiver during a Jan. 1 game against the Panthers in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

The Bengals will open the preseason Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Paul Brown Stadium, but they don’t have to wait that long to see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or their charismatic quarterback, Jameis Winston.

HBO will begin featuring the Bucs tonight at 10 p.m. with this year’s version of, “Hard Knocks.”

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Not every NFL team enjoys being the subject of Hard Knocks,  which followed the Bengals around in the 2013 training camp and preseason, but Tampa Bay Times sports columnist Tom Jones suggests that the Bucs have been quite cordial with HBO.

"This team, more than any we've ever been around, accepted us with open arms,'' Hard Knocks director Matt Dissinger told the Times. "We've found the team's stars have been very accessible. They have been very charismatic and compelling. Not to say teams we've done in the past haven't been, but this one more than most.''

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