Updated: 2:30 p.m.
It is a testament to how his players feel about him that as they trooped off the practice field Monday, the Bengals defenders let coordinator Mike Zimmer know they saw him holding court with the media.
That's because they know he'll give it as straight to the public as he does to them. And they won't be disappointed as he noted:
» He says
But "it's too early for stuff like that," Zimmer has been saying the three weeks the on-field practices have taken place. He did say Monday, "I'll play the best 11 and that may be linemen."
As for safety he said, "We've got to find out who is going to be the most consistent. Who can make the decisions on the run. ... The guy that gives me the most confidence for the other 10 guys on the field (is going to play)."
» He likes the looks of the linebackers, particularly some of the young ones like rookie middle linebacker
"He looks dependable so far," Zimmer said of Burfict.
But Zimmer wishes he could get fewer mistakes out of backup SAM
A foot injury and a space of migraine headaches kept Moch from appearing in a game last season and media reports last month said he's facing a league suspension. But even if it doesn't get overturned, Moch can still practice and play in games until the regular season starts and they feel like the more reps he'll get the better he'll be.
"Newman looks good. I can't figure out what's wrong with him," Zimmer said. "I've been watching seven days now."
Asked if Newman looks circa 2005 and 2006, Zimmer said, "He does some good things. I like him. I like him. So we'll see."
» Zimmer says starting middle linebacker
"Vinny is Vinny. A smart guy from Duke. He's doing the right things. Good kid," Zimmer said.
Another guy impressed with the kid backers is
"These guys don't make any mental mistakes. They get it," Howard said.
BOBBIE CLOSE TO PLAYING: It doesn't look like incumbent right guard Bobbie Williams is going to re-sign, but there he was on the Paul Brown Stadium field going through drills at the direction of rehab director Nick Cosgray after Monday's practice. Williams, who turns 36 in September, is coming off ankle surgery and says he plans on playing this year somewhere and that he's 85 percent back.
Asked if there have been any talks with him and the Bengals, he said he's been concentrating on getting healthy.
UPDATE: The Bengals opened their third week of organized team activities Monday with the first of four sessions that featured the return of rookie cornerbacks
Kirkpatrick got hurt after the rookie minicamp and even though Zimmer said Monday he was "lost mentally," he thought he looked better than he did a month ago.
Prater said he's been dealing with a bout of knee tendinitis that cropped up in the weeks before Iowa's bowl game and as he prepped for the NFL scouting combine and other workouts, he didn't have time to strengthen it until he got here.
"I don't think I'm behind (in the playbook) because I've been in the meetings," he said.
Two more rookies, second-rounder
Veteran cornerbacks Leon Hall (Achilles),
TWO PLAYS: Whatever happens in an OTA should be like what happens in Vegas. It ought to stay there because it's not real.
But sometimes it can tell you something.
Like arm strength.
And mindset. Nelson picked off a ball that backup quarterback
"I ticked off Marvin by lateralling the ball back," Nelson said. "He's kind of mad at me, I'll hear about it tomorrow."
Then Nelson admitted he already has.
"He gets like that a lot of times," he said.