Cincinnati Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick: "I Will Start"

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick confidently told beat writers during phone calls this afternoon to thank season-ticket holders that he'll start in 2013.

With cornerbacks flying off the shelves at the free agent farmer's market on Thursday, a significant number of well known free agents remain such as Aqib Talib, Antoine Winfield, Charles Woodson, DeAngelo Hall, Nnamdi Asomugha and Brent Grimes, not to mention Cincinnati's own free agents in Adam Jones, Terence Newman (visiting the Oakland Raiders) and Nate Clements.

But in a way the Cincinnati Bengals will get a new cornerback to start the new league year.

Dre Kirkpatrick, last year's No. 17 overall draft pick out of Alabama. After spending his rookie season with various injuries, limited to 43 total defensive snaps all season, the now second-year cornerback is recovering from his latest procedure designed to clean out his knee and give him a fresh start for 2013.

And he's ready to prove himself.

"I feel like one of the best things that could have happened to me was for me to sit there and watch,"Kirkpatrick told Bengals.com. "Watch the speed of the game. Watch how guys try to get guys out of their routes. Just go out there and really having a sense of how to attack the game and know how the game is played out there."

He's certainly not lacking confidence.

"I'm going to start. That's my goal. That what I believe and that's what I stand behind."

Currently he would be the team's starting cornerback opposite Leon Hall. Adam Jones and Terence Newman, two possibilities that would start over Kirkpatrick, are currently free agents. Either way this is a good, fresh, start for Kirkpatrick, who will be ready for training camp.

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