CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 12: Dre Kirkpatrick #27 of the Cincinnati Bengals works out during a rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium on May 12, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Cincinnati's newest first-round cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick struggled on Friday, beaten by unlikely undrafted free agents in Kashif Moore and Armon Binns. The physical cornerback's biggest challenge entering the NFL is open-spaced coverage, sitting off the receivers in zone rather than his more comfortable bump-and-run.
A day later and he's already applying what he's learned.
"I was a little shaky yesterday. Nervous. Today I came out relaxed," Kirkpatrick said. "Right now, what they don't put in so far, I pretty much know it. Taking the time to get into my playbook."
Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer noted the improvement.
"He likes to press and the things he has to get better at are his off-coverage and those are correctable things," Zimmer said. "If a guy understands technique, it's easy to do if he's in the right position. That's what we're trying to get him to understand. Where he's supposed to be. His speed doesn't worry me.
"He was better today than yesterday and that shows you something."
As Zimmer noted, Kirkpatrick's development "doesn't worry me yet." That's what rookie minicamps are for.