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Darqueze Dennard feels "more explosive" after changes

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"I feel more explosive," Dennard said after making changes to his diet and losing weight. "I feel more fluid in my breaks, coming into my breaks, and just playing - I feel more comfortable."

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard is applying veteran advice from Terence Newman and Vance Joseph -- change your diet and "play lighter in 2015". In a story filed by Jim Owczarski with the Cincinnati EnquirerDennard has lost nearly 10 pounds dating back to his rookie season with the Bengals. The investment has been worth it.

"I feel more explosive," Dennard said. "I feel more fluid in my breaks, coming into my breaks, and just playing - I feel more comfortable."

To drop eight pounds but not suffer any strength loss, Dennard found himself having to eat six meals a day - more than he's ever eaten - but in smaller portions. But, as someone who admittedly ate whatever he wanted up until this offseason, Dennard allows himself one "cheat day" to satisfy any lingering cravings for carbohydrates he no longer can consume regularly.

During Tuesday's OTA practice last week (the only one available to the media last week), Dennard picked off an overthrown Andy Dalton pass. Later during the same session, Dennard squeezed an interception against backup quarterback AJ McCarron. Competition is obviously brewing to find Terence Newman's replacement. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said this epic battle will be an open competition.

"The job's wide open," said Guenther. "You can never have enough good corners to go. [Dennard] is battling his ass off for a spot, and it's good competition for everybody."