Though he is far away in Minnesota, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer will always be near and dear to Marvin Lewis' heart. The former Bengals defensive coordinator, who lost his father recently, and the Bengals' head coach remain in contact.
It's assumed that Lewis and his family paid condolences to the Zimmer family following the death of Zimmer's father. The coaches' most recent contact might have been to talk about football.
The Bengals play at Tampa Bay for their second preseason game Monday night. The Buccaneers played Minnesota in their preseason opener, so Zimmer got a good look at Bucs rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, the No. 1 pick in this year's NFL draft.
The former Heisman Trophy quarterback from national championship winner Florida State finished 9-of-19 passing against the Vikings for 131 yards and was sacked twice.
Lewis said Wednesday that he had not yet seen tape of Winston. But it sounds like Zimmer might have shared a scouting report among two close friends.
When asked if he had started looking at the Bucs and Winston’s first game, Lewis said: “I didn’t look at their offense yet. I talked to Coach Zimmer, but I didn’t look at it yet.”
Lewis expects his defense to see its share of Winston, before the QB makes an exit Monday.
"You have the rookie quarterback, the first pick in the draft. It’s really important for them to get him playing so they can have an opportunity to win football games," the coach said.
Lewis was asked to make a comparison between Winston and former Bengals No. 1 draft pick Carson Palmer, now in Arizona. “I think they would ease Jameis in if they felt they like had another quarterback that they felt that way about," said Lewis.
"That’s up to the team, the head coach, and so forth. I think when you have that pick, you want to gain the value that comes with the pick. It’s up them to make a decision on who becomes the starting quarterback. I don’t think you can compare situations. There is no doubt Carson was just as talented as any of the guys who have come out and done this. It’s nothing on Carson’s abilities at all that we didn’t play him as a rookie.”