The Cincinnati Bengals were able to avoid the dreaded "trap game" that presented itself on Thursday when the lowly Cleveland Browns came to Paul Brown Stadium. It was a tightly-contested game at halftime, but the Bengals were able to make a number of adjustments, score 21 unanswered points and secure their eighth consecutive win of 2015.
In the aftermath of the win came much conversation on whether Johnny Manziel, who made the start for the injured Josh McCown, should continue to take the quarterback reigns for the rest of the season. The argument for the proposed move stems from the ongoing quarterback issues the Browns have had since re-entering the league in 1999 and the ongping quest to find out if Manziel can be a long-term solution.
Along with the aforementioned topic of conversation, Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick joined the nationally-syndicated Rich Eisen Show to also talk about the team's success this year. The video of the interview is below and we've partially transcribed portions for you. Enjoy!
RE: (Referring to Kirkpatrick's dropped interception) I'm in dire fantasy football straights here, Dre. What happened last night? (Eisen played the Bengals defense)
DK: I don't know--maybe the lights were a little too bright or something (all laughter). But, no, there's no excuse. I have to make that play, I've got to catch that ball. It's not about me anyway, it's about the defense and the team and we played well as a unit.
RE: Absolutely....just make me feel a little bit worse--was there just green in front of you?
DK: There was nothing but green. Reggie (Nelson) was ready to block for me and the O-lineman was not about to tackle me. I couldn't have walked into the locker room if he had tackled me. I actually had to go to the hospital last night, I was that sick (laughter).
RE: Well, look man. It's 8-0 and it's a great world that you're living in, in the football world. And it just looks different to me. It looks different, it feels different with everything clicking as it is. How is it for you inside that locker room and inside the helmet, Dre?
DK: Man, it's a special feeling, you know? Like I said, start from the top and Andy's (Dalton) at the top because he's the quarterback and the energy and swagger he's bringing...he's relaxing now and by him relaxing, everybody else is getting more relaxed because he's the leader and everybody feeds off of the leader's energy.
RE: Defensively, last night, what adjustment did you make in the second half to make it work against Johnny Manziel?
DK: We were playing a lot of man and cover 3, you know? Every time we had our back turned on him, he was breaking out and getting out on us, so one of the adjustments was to zone him up, keep our eyes on him--you know, pretty much the same game plan we had with Russell Wilson. We know he likes to extend plays with his feet and he likes to get outside of the pocket. So, it was causing us some problems in the first half, but coaches did a great job of adjusting.
RE: So, was he improved as a quarterback from the last time you saw him?
DK: I feel like he improved but I feel like they (the Browns' staff) don't let him be Johnny, you know? I feel like they want him to be a pocket quarterback, which I don't think Johnny's a pocket quarterback. He made a completion on me, I think it was like the first play of the game on a slant. I didn't even see him, I just saw the ball. I just feel like, just let him be Johnny and he'll be alright. But, I'm just happy we got the win last night and he wasn't Johnny.