Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Morning Stripes: Mike Zimmer's top games
By Coley Harvey
If you've read any of the Internet and newspaper sites that cover the Cincinnati Bengals the past few days, you probably realized that this was the unofficial Mike Zimmer Week for each of them.
For the past three days numerous stories and blog posts have been written about the Bengals' defensive coordinator and with good reason. When a defense you help coach shuts down, I mean completely shuts down, one of the game's best quarterbacks of all time, you better believe you're going to get written about.
I suspect (mainly because of what I know I personally have coming up in the next couple of days) that the Zimmer love fest will slow down in the next day or two.
But on this Wednesday morning, we'll keep it going just a little big longer, as we kick off our Morning Stripes with a nod to some of the 14-year defensive coordinator's greatest games:
Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer was the one specifically taking a look at Zimmer's finest hours as a defensive coordinator. In the post linked here, Reedy and a couple of colleagues from Dallas sat down and tried to figure out which, in their opinion, were the top six defensive performances from Zimmer's teams in both cities. Before coming to Cincinnati in 2008, Zimmer was with the Cowboys from 2000-06. He also spent a year in Atlanta. The list isn't too bad of one. A pair of games from this season made the cut.
Cincinnati's defense has been the talk of the NFL since Sunday, but Buffalo's new starting quarterback, former practice-squad player Thad Lewis, has known how good the unit has been for quite some time. In his extended notebook from Tuesday, Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson has a quick note featuring a quote from Lewis on the Bengals' defense. Spending the past two seasons in Cleveland may help him this week, as he already has a more solid grasp of what Cincinnati likes to do defensively than what you may initially want to give him credit for having.
In keeping with our defensive theme for the morning, the Buffalo News' Jay Skurski writes that Cincinnati's defense also has caught Bills coach Doug Marrone's attention. The fact this game is being played in Buffalo could have a positive effect on his team, the coach said. "The one thing about this league, and you say it all the time, is there anyone that doesn't play real good defense?" Marrone said in the story. "We'll have a great challenge against them, but the great part is we have them at home. That's been a big difference for us right now. Our crowd has been outstanding."
One Bengal who some may have wanted to consider outstanding Sunday, and who others may have called pedestrian, was defensive end Margus Hunt. You've gotten both ends of the spectrum this week in comments from Zimmer and head coach Marvin Lewis. Here's Jay Morrison's quick rundown of their thoughts on the rookie in the Dayton Daily News. Sunday was his career debut.