Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o said Saturday that he would be speaking with 20 teams during the NFL Scouting Combine. One of them ended up being the Bengals.

Te’o had his 15-minute session with coaches and the front office Saturday night. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said the discussions were mainly about football but that everything was covered. Overall, Zimmer said Te’o was “good, solid, pretty sharp.”

When asked how much you can learn from someone in 15 minutes, Zimmer said: “Some guys you can tell when they get excited talking about certain things and if they don’t. When you go back and start watching the tape I will have known a little bit about his background, watched a little more tape. He can tell you about some of the games he played good and bad in.”

Teams are allowed to interview as many as 60 prospects during the combine. Some are mainly to clean up final details on scouting reports, but others are an introduction going into pro days and possible team visits down the road.

SPEAKING OF LINEBACKERS: Count Zimmer among those who have publicly stated that he would like to see Rey Maualuga return. Maualuga is one of 23 Bengals unrestricted free agents who could hit the market March 12.

For the last two seasons, including this past year, Maualuga has been a source of disappointment among fans for his struggles. The one group that has mostly stood behind him is the coaching staff.

“He is, as you will find out when this free agency period starts, that he’s a lot better than what a lot of people give him credit for,” Zimmer said. “I think that’s going to be what people are going to find out if he goes. If he’s not here people are going to miss him and say we should have had him. That’s how it works, like Justin Smith.”