DK: “I’m just honored to be here. I visited the Bengals a couple weeks ago and felt very relaxed. The whole organization welcomed me with open arms. I’m just here and ready to work.”
How big were the similarities between the defense you played at Alabama and the Bengals defense?
DK: “There are a lot of similarities. We played hands-on and they play hands-on. They play a little zone too, and we play a little zone. I’m used to both of those. Pretty much I’m flexible with the things they want me to do.”
Coach Lewis was talking about how you want to start. Where does your mentality come from?
DK: “First off, I want to be a team player. I’m not trying to come here and step on anybody’s toes. I want the veterans to teach me everything that they know. If coaches feel I’m mature enough and I know the right things, maybe I’ll touch the field.”
You’re now the sixth first-round draft selection in the Bengals secondary. How much are you looking forward to learning from those guys?
DK: “I’m going to be very honored. They’ve been through adversity. They know how to handle adversity, and I haven’t had those challenges yet. When I do get those challenges, I’ll have somebody to go talk to and maybe they can fill me in on some of those things.”
Which cornerbacks did you emulate when you were younger?
DK: “Deion (Sanders) was my favorite of all time, but Charles Woodson would be the one who I tried to modify my game off of. He’s big and can play the pass and the run. Those are some of the things I feel that I bring to the table.”
The running game is big in the AFC North. Are you ready to face your old teammate Trent Richardson (drafted by Cleveland) and to play the run?
DK: “I told (Richardson) last night that we had to break our ‘contract.’ We had a contract signed with each other (to be allies). Now he’s on the other side of the bandwagon. But he’s still my brother, he’s still my best friend and every time I see him at the end of the game it’s going to be nothing but love.”
A lot of teams threw away from your side in college, but you have to expect to be challenged as a rookie cornerback:
DK: “That’s what I want; I want to be challenged. I’m a competitor. If I get beat, I’m not going to be the one that hangs my head or complains to the coaches and makes excuses. I’m going to sit back, re-evaluate what happened, what went wrong, and hopefully I can fix it.”
Are you ready to play special teams?
DK: “I took pride in what I did on special teams. Those were serious moments for me at practice. It showed in the games. Hopefully when I get here, I’ll do the same thing.”
You’ve got some charisma and self-confidence, something a corner needs. Where does that come from?
DK: “You can’t teach it. It’s just something you’ve got to have. Some people don’t have it. My dad blessed me to have it, (and so did) the good man above. I like to have a lot of swag about what I do, confidence in what I do. When you see me out there, you don’t have to worry about, ‘Is he nervous?’ I’m not nervous, because I know what I’m supposed to do. I’m just going to try to trust my technique.”
So you won’t have nerves in the season opener on Monday Night Football?
DK: “That’s what I want to do. I’m used to the big crowd. I played at Alabama. We have one of the top fan bases in the country. So I’m going to be used to the crowd, and used to the people doubting you, trying to tell you that you’re not going to end up being anything. I’m just going to let my game speak for itself.”