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Arkansas Bengal
06-20-2014, 07:51 PM
It might be time for Bengals to consider Dre Kirkpatrick at safety

By Jason Marcum (http://www.sbnation.com/users/Jason%20Marcum) @JasonB_Marcum (http://twitter.com/JasonB_Marcum) on Jun 20 2014, 1:03p 38 (http://www.cincyjungle.com/2014/6/20/5812506/time-bengals-dre-kirkpatrick-safety#comments)
http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/34379031/460803207.0_standard_783.0.jpg John Grieshop


It's been a rough transition for Dre Kirkpatrick to the NFL. After missing nearly his entire rookie year due to a knee injury and concussions, Kirkpatrick played in 14 games (including playoffs) in 2014. He notched three interceptions to go with 30 tackles and five pass deflections.
Still, he had a -9.8 grade by Pro Football Focus (https://www.profootballfocus.com/data/by_player.php?tab=by_player&season=2013&surn=Kirkpatrick&playerid=7023&pre=REG), and his -3.2 pass coverage grade was second only to Rey Maualuga as the worst coverage grade by any Bengals defender. Stricly playing cornerback is something Dre has struggled with to this point in his career.


There's still time for him to improve, but indications in OTAs are he's not improving as much as he should be (http://www.cincyjungle.com/2014/6/17/5811056/dre-kirkpatrick-strugglingadjust-role). If he continues to struggle playing corner this year, it may be time to find another role for him, and safety could be one to consider.
Going back to the 2012 draft process, Kirkpatrick was mentioned as a player who could move to safety at the NFL level (http://www.cincyjungle.com/2012/3/2/2838633/bengals-draft-2012-dre-kirkpatrick-scouting-report-roll-tide-alabama) if cornerback failed.
It just so happens the Bengals gave Kirk some looks at safety last year. Following their Week 13 win over the Chargers Marvin Lewis revealed the Bengals were giving Kirk reps at safety in a similar role to that of Chris Crocker (http://www.bengals.com/news/article-1/Hits-keep-coming-from-the-kids/8ee1c1f1-38fd-4373-95e6-8423efe8a0b6).
“Early on in the season we were training him as a safety in practice,” Lewis said. “As an emergency safety in practice, but as a corner and he’s learned to play the nickel spot and all of the variations we have in there, which he’s done a very good job of when Chris was out. He’s got to keep doing that because obviously there’s a lot of comfort with Chris having been in the scheme for so long and being so smart as a veteran player. Dre’s got a lot of those things to overcome. It’s nothing to do with ability. It’s just time on task.”

Crocker was used as a safety/slot cornerback, a role he played very well. Perhaps, the Bengals think Dre could be that kind of player if strictly playing at corner doesn't work for him.
If Leon Hall is healthy and ready to start when the regular season opens, that means he, Terence Newman and Adam Jones will likely be ahead of Dre on the depth chart.
Oh, and rookie corner Darqueze Dennard has a had a very strong summer (http://www.cincyjungle.com/2014/6/5/5782256/darqueze-dennard-continues-to-impress-bengals) and could pass Dre on the depth chart as well.
If that's the case, getting Kirkpatrick some reps at safety during the preseason to see what he can do there might not be such a bad idea.



http://www.cincyjungle.com/2014/6/20/5812506/time-bengals-dre-kirkpatrick-safety

Tigris
06-20-2014, 09:01 PM
Didn't like Kirkpatrick when we drafted him and still don't like the dude. I didn't see any improvement last year. I know he had a couple picks one game. One pick he should have never caught it to begin with and the other, well, it was a gift. I did like the INT or FR or whatever it was against Gates. I just don't think he'll ever blossom. Hopefully I'm wrong and he's All-Pro this year but man, I don't see the football player some of you guys see.

Bengals1181
06-20-2014, 09:40 PM
debated posting this earlier today. It's clearly just Cincyjungle fishing for something to talk about during the dead period.


I don't think the Bengals even consider it unless 2 or more safeties get hurt. And even then, they'd go to the retirement home and grab Crocker first.

Bengals1181
06-21-2014, 07:38 AM
Didn't like Kirkpatrick when we drafted him and still don't like the dude. I didn't see any improvement last year. I know he had a couple picks one game. One pick he should have never caught it to begin with and the other, well, it was a gift. I did like the INT or FR or whatever it was against Gates. I just don't think he'll ever blossom. Hopefully I'm wrong and he's All-Pro this year but man, I don't see the football player some of you guys see.

I just don't get how one can look at the secondary stats and think he was so bad.

Tigris
06-21-2014, 09:05 AM
I'm not looking at stats. I'm using my eyeballs. I have no idea what his or the secondary's stats were. Coming out, he was a zone corner who read a lot of underneath stuff and would come up and make a play on the receiver or ball. When we drafted him, I thought it was a horrible fit because of how much man we run.

I have a couple theories here:

1) Kirkpatrick isn't a bad guy but he's a flashy guy always looking for the big play. It's not his fault; he's been conditioned to do this for years. In high school, a player of his talent doesn't play man very often unless te opposing team has a beast player. You let him read, react, and get to the ball. At Alabama it was essentially the same thing. Read, react, get the ball. What's that? 7-8 years of making big plays for his team? Now he's on a team where he's not going to make a ton of "game changing plays" but he's still trying to be that zone corner in HS and college where he killed it, making big play after big play. This is evidence by him biting on the double and intercepting passed when he shouldn't. Another thing, he doesn't seem like te smartest guy to me. The way he talked in a couple interviews, he wasn't well spoken which leads me to believe his mind races. Someone who watches more interviews than me could probably shoot that down pretty quickly if they felt different as I've only watched a handful early in his career.

2) The second theory is he just can't cut it. There's really no super crazy issue going on. He just may not be as good as his peers. Him battling injuries doesn't help his cause. He has to be on the field to be a player.

I'm not writing him off. He went to Alabama so you know the skillset is at least half there. The Bengals like something enough to make him a 1st rounder. This will be a big "judging" year for him IMO. He has 2-3 older guys in front of him that they need for him to take one of ther spots (I'm guessing Pacman). There's a younger guy right behind him who could jump him real quick in Dennard and send Kirk to no playing time quick.

I'm torn on the dude. Do you put him in there right off the bat, take the bumps and bruises, and see if he develops or do you stash him and hope he can develop in practice? Is he even athletically better than Newman or Pacman? I really don't know. I kind of don't think so. You would think of those 30 something corners would eventually tail off but they haven't and it's forcing Kirk to rot. He could be a buried and forgotten dude by the end of this year unless we have an injury... but then again what about next year when Pacman and Newman are like 50?

I bet he's a tough coaching call to make.

texbengal
06-21-2014, 01:49 PM
I did see improvement with Dre last year, but I'm not ready to say he's going to be a starter. He still struggles some with route recognition, as we saw, but I think last year his coverage was tighter overall, and he's a solid tackler - and as an aside, one heck of a gunner on STs. With the injuries he had in years 1 and 2, last year was really his "rookie" season as far as getting significant snaps.

I think the point about him being a star in HS and at Bama is accurate - he needed to swallow a bit of humble pie as a pro - and given his career to-date, I think he's done some of that. I think having Quez around and reportedly with his intensity and study habits, maybe that will also rub off a bit, too. Additionally, there is Vance Joseph who is a big add on defense, and he's more of a CB coach. He's had good things to say about Dre this spring, so I'll hang my hat on the fact that Vance knows a lot more about Dre's progress than Cincy Jungle does. :)

Bunghole
06-23-2014, 01:34 AM
Tied with the team lead for INT's last season with 3....with the one he should have dropped...