It looks like HBO's "Hard Knocks" might have a ready-made story angle awaiting its first visit to Cincinnati Bengals training camp this summer.
Yes, it involves Chad Ochocinco.
Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer took a swipe at Ochocinco's absence from the team's voluntary offseason workouts on Tuesday in an interview on Sirius NFL Radio. He referred to the enigmatic wide receiver in the past tense and heaped praise on other wideouts who have been in camp -- and could take Ochocinco's place in the lineup.
"It's definitely a new look for the Bengals receiver corps but I couldn't be happier with the guys we've got," Palmer said Tuesday during the Sirius NFL Radio "Movin' The Chains" show, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. "T.J. [Houshmandzadeh's] gone and Chad's pretty much gone, he hasn't been here, so we've got guys that want those two spots, guys that compete day in and day out, when we're out there on the field, running, conditioning and in the weight room lifting. They're guys that want to take over for those two spots. They look every bit capable of doing what we're going to ask them to do."
When asked what he expects out of Ochocinco this season, Palmer told NFL Sirius Radio: "Well, I really don't know. I haven't talked to him. I haven't talked to anybody that has talked to him. He wasn't here last year so I'm expecting him not to be here at all this year. Last year I think he was here for the mandatory camp but didn't participate in it. So I'm planning on him not being here just because he hasn't been here yet."
Palmer also complimented receivers Laveranues Coles, Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson. And he made a point of noting that Chris Henry, who has been troubled by legal issues the past few years, has made great strides and could step in for Ochocinco.
"We've got Chris Henry ... He's a guy that's had a great offseason, really turned his life around. I'm excited to watch him play," Palmer told NFL Sirius Radio. "He's a guy that seems like he catches a touchdown every other ball that's thrown to him, he's that explosive. He's kind of taken over for Chad's position and he's a guy that, like I said earlier, does not want to give up that spot right now."
Ochocinco is reportedly training in Los Angeles, and is expected to attend the Bengals' mandatory minicamp June 18-20, the Enquirer reported.