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Erickson and Kirkpatrick went to the ground to catch the ball, and with no referees to award possession, the players took matters into their own hands with a lengthy wrestling match.
“We would have stayed there all day if coach (Marvin Lewis) wouldn’t have pulled us off,” Erickson said. “Marv already said I got it.”
Kirkpatrick claimed otherwise.
“Coach came in and gave me a little referee help, so I’ll take that,” Kirkpatrick said. “We both got our hands on it. It was a bang-bang play. I was just able to pull it out. I’ve been on my weight real good. I’m 10 pounds heavier than I’ve ever been. I’m feeling pretty good.”
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Kirkpatrick, who got beat by John Ross on a deep ball for the second day in a row, had an undisputed interception earlier in the practice in 7-on-7 drill as when he victimized Matt Barkley on a pass intended for Brandon LaFell down the sideline.
Linebacker Hardy Nickerson also came up with an interception of a Jeff Driskel pass that ricocheted in the air after whistling through coverage and hitting George Iloka in the chest.
For the second day in a row, receiver John Ross beat Kirkpatrick on a deep ball in a one-on-one drill. The one Thursday came when Ross just ran past Kirkpatrick. Friday, the receiver used a double move to get separation.
“That was bull(crap),” Kirkpatrick said. “They scheming us up right now one-on-one. When we can press it’s going to be totally different.”
Cody Core had the catch of the day when he beat corner KeiVarae Russell and safety Jessie Bates and made a diving grab on a deep ball from Matt Barkley.
And Josh Malone made an impressive catch on a deep shot from Barkley on the third play off 11s, which resulted in cornerback Tony McRae rolling his ankle and leaving on a cart.
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In the unfair fight category, A.J. Green got matched up one-on-one with backup safety Clayton Fejedelem and ran so far past him that all Fejedelm could do was watch as Green hauled in an Andy Dalton bomb in stride.
After working on the punt unit Thursday, special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons ran his players through kickoff and field goal drills Friday.
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The kicker competition isn’t near as compelling this year as it was in 2017 when Randy Bullock edged out rookie Jake Elliott. Bullock’s competition this year is former University of Louisville soccer player Jonathan Brown, who has never attempted a kick in a game at any level.
Both kickers got off to a strong start, going 3 for 3 on field goal tries of 33, 40 and 44 yards.