Wallace Gilberry suits up.
Everyone wants a piece of the Bengals now. But you have to wear white gloves because they are a bottle of the finest champagne on ice or a V.I.P. admission to the hottest clubs in town.
Whatever it is, they are red-hot and stone-cold.
Andy Dalton is on the cover of ESPN The Magazine. A.J. Green is roaming NFL commercials with The Gronk and Odell Beckham. Even Bengals president Mike Brown has been seen on national TV in his Paul Brown Stadium box watching them go to 8-0.
The 2015 Bengals officially went from the sports pages to pop culture this week when Dalton got more questions about his hair than J.J. Watt's hair-raising pass rushes.
Cincinnati Bengals travel to Oakland California to take on the Raiders 09/11/20158
And then there is defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry, the future commissioner of Baldwin County in Alabama and the keeper of the Bengals' fashion style points. Gilberry has more local businesses in his hometown than a Kiwanis lunch and he's about to add a clothing store to suit his discerning tastes.
"Put me about four or five with Andre Smith," Gilberry said this week as he ran through his team fashion rankings to a cadre of media that was actually interested.
To give you an idea, Gilberry is one of these guys that plans his suits to road games before the season. Ask him where he shops and he doesn't say Kenwood or Rookwood. He says, "L.A., Atlanta . . ."
"If you're going to L.A., you want to wear a lot of colors. If you're going to Pittsburgh, it doesn't really matter,' Gilberry said. "It's going to be wet and muggy and you don't want to waste your good shoes on one of those trips."
Gilberry says the top guys are purveyors of urban fashion "with a little L.A. Swag," thrown in. His No. 1 is Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green, a guy he says is "very stylish, a Balmain, European guy. He has expensive tastes for rags."
No. 2 is cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick: "He's a little out there. He takes chances. A lot of guys don't have the guts to do it."
He puts safety George Iloka at No. 3 and then it is Gilberry and Smith, the right tackle, going for the next spot: "Andre tends to fit into clothes you don't think he can get in."
Gilberry also has a separate category for suits, where cornerback Leon Hall is one of his main men.
"When it comes to suits, he's No. 1. Get him out of his suits and he's kind of up in the air," Gilberry said. "Put him in a suit, he's top 5."
And there seems to be no doubt about the guy that ranks last. Nose tackle Domata Peko.
"Peko is big, it's by default," Gilberry said. "It's hard to get three pairs of jeans and sew them together. No one wants to go through that trouble."
Apparently not even a big and tall shop can help: "You can't get saucy in there. It's not possible."
The Bengals are rolling and so is Gilberry.
"Next week, the coaches," he said.
SMITH SITS AGAIN: With right tackle Andre Smith (concussion) not on the field for Friday's practice, it looks more and more like Eric Winston is going to get the start against his old team Monday (8:30 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 5 and ESPN) when Houston comes to Paul Brown Stadium.
Winston, a third-round pick of the Texans in 2006, ended up starting 87 games in Houston through the AFC South title season in 2011 before stints in Kansas City and Arizona. He started in place of Smith in last Thursday's victory over Cleveland and while he gave up a sack he played well on a night Cincinnati rushed for 152 yards.
Texans sack ace J.J. Watt lines up primarily on the right side on early downs, but all over the place the place on third down. The Bengals are trying to stay on the field against the NFL's No. 1 third-down defense.
Starting WILL backer Vontaze Burfict (knee) went limited for the second straight day. In Houston Friday, a pair of starters, outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (back) and cornerback Kareem Jackson (ankle) sat for the second straight day.
TIGHT END SPOTLIGHT:Bengals radio analyst Dave Lapham went to the TV booth to get ready for Monday's game. He sat down to interview the tight end who began it all, Bob Trumpy, and the tight end who is repeating history, Tyler Eifert, in two segments to air on Cincinnati's Channel 12.
One segment of the interview debuts Sunday at 11:30 p.m. and the other one is part of Channel 12's pre-game show at 7 p.m. Monday. Trumpy, a four-time Pro Bowler taken in the 12th round of the Bengals' first draft, is generally viewed as the first of the modern pass-catching tight ends. Eifert, who leads all NFL receivers with nine TD catches, has already tied the club record for TD catches by a tight end set by Trumpy in 1969 and Rodney Holman in 1989.
CED WORKING IT: Rookie left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi hasn't been short of work since he started practicing this week. On Wednesday he took the first-team snaps with Andrew Whitworth taking a rest and on Thursday he took the scout team snaps. He says his conditioning is getting better with each day and so is his technique. This week is the first time he's tried out his new stance against the defense. He's now working with a wider base compared to the more vertical set he used at Texas A&M.
"I'm starting to get used to it and it's beginning to feel more comfortable," he said.