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Preseason schedule could set up Zimmer-Lewis August reunion

Mike Zimmer

Mike Zimmer


Now that the preseason schedule is set, teams can start making their late July and early August calendars.

With the Vikings heading to Cincinnati for their preseason opener against the Bengals, it seems logical that the head coaches -- old friends Mike Zimmer and Marvin Lewis -- might set up a couple days of joint practices ahead of the preseason opener, which will be played sometime between Aug. 11-15.

Zimmer was the Bengals defensive coordinator under Lewis from 2008-13 before becoming the Vikings head coach.

For now, the idea of the Vikings and Bengals together is nothing more than something suggested on Twitter, more than once, and now in this space because Zimmer and Lewis have a relationship, because both were playoff teams last season and because it just seems to make sense.

The Bengals hosted the Giants for two days of joint practices ahead of a preseason game last summer. The Vikings did not practice with another team last summer but they played an extra preseason game after opening against the Steelers in the annual Hall of Fame Game.

Last year, 16 teams practiced with another team. Ten did it in the week between their first and second preseason games. Some coaches always want to test themselves in such situations, while some prefer to focus on their own teams in training camp.

The Cowboys and Rams aren’t practicing together this year because too many fists flew last year. And it’s not just about taking advantage of a preseason schedule; the Browns and Bills scrimmaged in Rochester last August, then both flew to Cleveland for an actual preseason game.

So, maybe Zimmer and Lewis will work out a deal for some extra full-speed work, and maybe they won’t. But the preseason schedule makes it at least worth talking about.