Cincinnati Bengals host joint practice with Minnesota Vikings at Paul Brown Stadium practice fields 8/10/2016
With Mike Zimmer bringing his Vikings into Wednesday afternoon's joint workout with the Bengals on the Paul Brown Stadium practice fields, the hope is familiarity doesn't breed contempt.
You can bet it won't, or else Zimmer wouldn't have brought the Vikings and Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis wouldn't have invited him. Lewis has known Zimmer for more than 30 years and hired him to be his defensive coordinator fox six seasons that were the most successful of his run in Cincinnati.
So you can be assured the Lewis and Zimmer have talked about this all before and the Vikes aren't going to bang on A.J. Green and the Bengals are going to be in hands-off mode on Adrian Peterson.
"Obviously they're a good football team and I have a great relationship with Marvin and the Browns," Zimmer said of Bengals ownership Wednesday before practice. "I knew the respect factor for both teams would be here. I anticipate that we'll get a lot of good work. Usually the day before a pre-season game you don't get any work done, so we're going to get some extra work that way (on Thursday). I thought that was good. If it was some other team I probably wouldn't have done it.'
Since Zimmer uses a lot of the elements Lewis uses here in practice, the Wednesday and Thursday schedules before Friday night's pre-season opener (7:30-Cincinnati's Channel 12) were easy to hammer out.
"It was real easy going," Zimmer said. "Marvin and I have been together for so long, I said, 'What do you want to do?' And he said, 'How about we do this?' And I said, 'Fine.' He sent me the script. We changed a couple of things. I said, 'We're doing this, would you want to do some of this?' And he said, 'Sure.' "
The most familiar matchup is in one-on-one pass rush drills, where Bengals sack leader Carlos Dunlap tees it up against Vikings right tackle Andre Smith, the Bengals' No. 1 pick in 2009 playing his first season away from PBS. Dunlap arrived in the second round in 2010 and last season rung up the most sacks by a Bengal in 40 years. In their first preseason apart, they're reunited the next three days.
"We'll get after it a little bit today because he's on a different team now, so we can compete a little more," Dunlap said. "We've always competed since we came in. in. That's how we've been successful. We actually compete.
"Usually we look forward going against other guys. Obviously we know Andre and it will be a similar thing. But he's on the other team so they have different plays, and we're going to have to react to a different scheme and different plays. We can't anticipate."
Smith is known as the classic big, power right tackle at 6-4, 325 pounds, but Dunlap says, "I think he's more athletic than people give him credit for."
CORE VALUES: And then there are competitions like the one between rookie wide receivers Cody Core of the Bengals and Laquon Treadwell of the Vikings.
They were teammates at Mississippi and there were eyes made when the Vikes picked Treadwell at No. 23 just before the Bengals picked No. 24. But truth be told the Bengals didn't have the 6-2, 215-pound Treadwell on their list at that point and you can probably thank his 4.6 40-yard dash.
The Bengals seemed more comfortable taking the 6-3, 210-pound Core with his sub 4.5 40 in the sixth round. The difference? Treadwell caught 82 balls for more than 1,100 yards last year with 11 touchdowns while Core went 37, 644 , four.
If it sounds like Core is taller and faster …
"I'm taller," Core said with a smile before practice. I'm faster than him. We compete about that. We talk about that. He tries to get off the line to say he's faster but he knows he's not faster."
Core says he has no chip on his shoulder. He's not going to say that Treadwell overshadowed him. He says they made each other better.
"The competition level. Getting the ball. Being faster. Who made the most pays, that kind of stuff," Core said.
It's not like their extremely tight. But they talk when they can find each other.
"We do our own thing. When see each other we see each other," Core said. "He changes numbers every week, so you have to catch him when you catch him. We talk on snap chat most of the time."
Asked the status of his cell phone Core said, "I've had the same number since eighth grade. But I've got to change mine, too."
The draft will do that to you. But for three days, Core and Treadwell can compare notes again.
"Things are different now," he said. "We're not in the weight room together anymore."
MAC BACK: Backup quarterback A.J. McCarron, who missed the last two workouts with a stiff neck, said he'll work Wednesday.