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Camp report: on guard at right and first kicks


You had to hand it to Dre Kirkpatrick Saturday.

About that right guard spot.

Offensive line coach Paul Alexander wouldn't say it was in play after Saturday's second day practice in training camp before 2,100 on the riverfront. But he did say a lot of people are going to get play in different spots this first week.

Veteran tackle Andre Smith made the switch to guard during the spring and was there Friday. On Saturday he moved to second-team right tackle while Trey Hopkins moved into right guard with the first group. Hopkins has played just one game since they signed him out of Texas undrafted in 2014. He opened up eyes in his first game, the pre-season opener in Kansas City when he blocked the estimable Dontari Poe well. But he broke his leg in the third pre-season game and has been on the practice squad since except for getting called up to play 10 snaps in last year's finale.

Alexander said he wants to get some answers this week because that's pretty much the only time he feels he can move people around.

"Early here in camp we're working with what we have," Alexander said. "We're looking at this, we're looking there, we're looking at matchups. Because usually it's 1s against 1s. So today Trey went with the first group. It doesn't do any good if Trey's always going against the second guy because you don't feel like you know how good he is. So OK, you go against Geno (Atkins) today. So that's what we're doing. We'll move them around so that different guys get a different chance to go against guys."

 Alexander says he'll have to check the film, but he said he didn't see anything that would make him ask, "What is Trey doing?" Smith admitted Saturday before practice that there are several adjustments he's still trying to make in the move from tackle to guard with one of them being patience. In his effort to combat the quicker play inside, his timing is off and he's rushing blocks.

"Obviously it's going to take some work. He got all the reps in OTAs and all that kind of stuff, but right now we have to see what we have," Alexander said. "He probably would benefit from taking every snap at right guard in camp, but for us, we have to see what we have."

 PLAY OF THE DAY: Quarterback Andy Dalton had a very fine 10-for-13 day passing in 11-on-11 and he put one right on wide receiver Cody Core's No. 16 for a touchdown bomb as Core ran past cornerback Adam Jones down the left sideline.

Core was everyone's most improved player in the spring, but it will be recalled on the last day of spring ball he went down with a scary ankle injury and had to be carted off into vacation. It turned out he only turned his ankle and he's been able to resume a very competitive rivalry with Jones.

"I just wanted to let him know I was back," Core said. "I had gone down and I'd come out slow. But I'm back faster than ever."

People see the 6-3, 210-pound Core as this big, physical receiver. But he can run.

"I can go long. I can do whatever they want me to do. I'm just trying to get better every day," Core said.

PLAYER OF THE DAY: Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and against doctor's orders. He spoiled Dalton's bid when he knocked down two balls and picked him for a pick-six when he was all over wide receiver Brandon LaFell's out route in team drills.

"I couldn't resist that one," Kirkpatrick said. "It was clean and I knew there was no way that he could have banged my hand. Those plays I'm going to take. At the end of the day I want to respectful of the team policy."

Team policy, as handed down by team doctor Marc Galloway, is not to stick his right hand out there and make it vulnerable. Kirkpatrick broke the hand in what he called a "freak," off-season accident back in May. Galloway talked it over with him in a half-line drill, but Kirkpatrick also couldn't resist batting away a side-line route for wide receiver A.J. Green.  

"(The doctors aren't saying) Not, don't catch it. Just be smart and be careful," said Kirkpatrick, who admitted it all felt very good. "Especially when you have to deal with the team doctors telling you not to put your hand in there. At the end of the day it was natural instinct. We've got great receivers. They're making good plays. They're making us compete every day and just going out there making plays that's my job."

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Alexander remains quite bullish on fourth-year center Russell Bodine. "I have no worries about Bodine," he said. Here's Alexander on if he thinks Bodine is going to be impacted by playing in a contract year:

"I'm not going to give you the standard answer on that. The standard answer is hey, these guys are pros. But the real answer, the contract's the prize. I mean it really is. You're trying to be the best, and what judges the best? A guy who makes money. So I think all the players rise in a contract year. There's nothing wrong with that. It's like a trophy. That's how I really look at it. I think that's good about the pros. A lot of times people complain 'Oh, they make all this money." So what? So does the best researcher at Procter and Gamble. Is he a lousy researcher because he makes the most money? No. He aspires to be great."

FIRST KICKS: Special teamms coordinator Darrin Simmons offered the first public look at the camp kicking competiton Saturday when he tapped The Veteran (Randy Bullock) and The Free Agent Longshot (Jonathan Brown) while The Draft Pick (Jake Elliott) looked on. Bullock and Brown both hit their extra points and tries from 44 yards, but Brown missed a 40-yarder wide right while Bullock made his with scouts Steven Radicevic and Mike Potts standing by the goal posts making the call on yea or nay.  Most days two will kick in a rotation, but not every day.

"We kind of rotated every day in the spring, with two guys each day," said head coach Marvin Lewis. "Darrin has them work. He has done this for a long time and has been involved with it for longer, so I'm very comfortable with his plan. We sat down and discussed his plan before training camp."

Cincinnati Bengals host Training Camp at Paul Brown stadium Practice Fields 7/29/2017

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