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Dre Kirkpatrick praises AJ McCarron, but says Andy Dalton is the starter

Dre Kirkpatrick won a national title with AJ McCarron at Alabama, but he thinks his best shot at winning in the NFL is with Andy Dalton.


You thought we'd go a week without hearing about AJ McCarron?

Silly rabbit.

Sports Illustrated interviewed Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick this week, yet somehow managed to center the interview around his former Alabama teammate and current Bengals backup quarterback.

You know, the one everyone seems to love talking about more than the guy who's actually the starting QB in Cincinnati, is the guy who is his assumed No. 2. However, Kirkpatrick played it perfectly by saying McCarron was, "doing a great job of competing for the (starting QB) job," but that Dalton, "is getting the job done. He had a great season last year. He didn't have any help in the playoffs last year."

Kirkpatrick was spot on. As much as Dalton detractors want to point to last year's shortcomings to fuel their case, you simply can't expect a QB (outside of Peyton Manning or Tom Brady) to consistently play well with Mohamed Sanu, Brandon Tate, Dane Sanzenbacher and Kevin Brock being his top pass-catchers for stretches last year.

Here's the full interview:

Kirkpatrick may have won a national title with McCarron at Alabama, but it's clear he thinks his best shot at winning in the NFL is with Dalton, for now at least.

Here's some other segments of Kirkpatrick's interview with SI: