Posted: 5:15 p.m.
Colts quarterback Peyton Manning won't play in Thursday's preseason finale (7 p.m.) in Indianapolis, but unhappy Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is still going to keep an eye on the passing game after three Saints receivers caught four passes of at least 25 yards.
The lack of coverage surprised Zimmer because up until Saturday night receivers hadn't been running free. He felt it stemmed from an overall lack of effort and he let his players know it this week.
Zimmer "They just weren't flying around the football the way they had all camp," Zimmer said. "I don't know what the reason was, but that was disappointing. So that's what I'm looking for this week. I want to find out guys when they get punched a few times, who wants to punch back. We got punched a few times in that game the other night. Who wants to punch back? Who wants take it and who wants to stand up?"
Zimmer also wasn't pleased with more missed tackles, which started on Saturday night's first snap when left end Robert Geathers whiffed on a sack when he bounced off quarterback Drew Brees.
"Obviously we didn't do well enough in the passing game, Zimmer said. "Everybody is saying the (lack of a) pass rush, but their quarterback gets the ball out quick ... we (missed) a free hit two or three times. We probably should have had five or six sacks."
Zimmer says his players are sill adjusting to his scheme and calls. And even though No. 1 pick Keith Rivers has led the team in tackles in two of the three games, Zimmer is looking for more.
"You forget a guy like Keith Rivers missed 10 practices," Zimmer said. "He's still adjusting to formations. (At times) he's just a little unsure of what's going on. We've got to go back and get him a few more reps."