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Darqueze Dennard expects to start and "smells blood in the water"

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Former first-round cornerback Darqueze Dennard showed up on Monday for the first day of voluntary workouts. After spending his rookie season on the bench (and playing on special teams), Dennard expects to start this year.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

"Damn it", says Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard. "It's my time."

These are the comments that we imagine that Dennard is expressing today, without actually saying them. Dennard, selected in the first-round of the 2015 NFL draft, only played 61 snaps on defense last season and he began to express frustration (though he understood the situation):

"It is kind of frustrating, but at the same time, everything happens for a reason. I'm big on that," Dennard said via ESPN last November. "Of course everybody wants to come in and be the Deion Sanders and play a full game and have a number of interceptions, but that's not how it is. Everybody has different learning experiences. I just have to continue to control what I can and put all my faith in the man upstairs."

Now that Terence Newman has signed with the Minnesota Vikings, Dennard "smells blood in the water" and Bengals.com adds that "he expects to start."

Newman's departure is setting the stage for an intense training camp battle with cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick -- perhaps one of the most intense battles we've seen for some time. Kirkpatrick replaced an injured Newman late last year and produced two fourth quarter interceptions against Peyton Manning, helping to secure Cincinnati's win over the Broncos on Monday Night Football.

Much like Dennard, Kirkpatrick is looking to secure his opportunity to replace Newman.

If Leon Hall is starting at cornerback, that leaves the second spot open while Adam Jones comes into the game as the third cornerback. If you're asking me, the Bengals should consider starting Dennard and Kirkpatrick while leaving Leon Hall as the third cornerback and making Jones a full-time returner.

Either way, there's blood in the water and two sharks are looking to be fed.

We're just wondering, where are the Jets? Get it?