CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 27: Adam Jones #24 of the Cincinnati Bengals points to the sky in between plays against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium on November 27, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
+ Bengals cornerback Adam Jones spoke to a room full of rookies during a discussion panel on Monday, not so much advising what they should or shouldn't do, but using his experiences as a lesson for those willing to listen.
"If I could tell them anything, I just want them to realize this is a business. When you sign your contract, you are the head CEO of your company. The Adam Jones Company -- whatever it is. We can't go running down a field for the rest of our life.
"Every decision you make is critical. It might not get you now. But it will get you later."
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick similarly spoke during the NFL Rookie Symposium, on a personal level that rookies may relate to.
"The game is going to go along, with or without you," Vick said. "You control your destiny. You dictate how long you're going to play in the league. It's all up to you. It's about commitment, dedication, preparation.
But will the message be heard?
Many people will have an issue with guys like Vick and Jones speaking to NFL rookies. Why on Earth would you have two guys, who are the poster children of bad decisions in their careers, speak to impressionable young men about the decision-making process? Additionally why would you have two guys, who have made some of the worst choices, appear on stage as an example of second chances? Wouldn't rookies believe that, despite getting into trouble, a second chance is already around the corner so it's no big deal. Aren't there better options, more inspiring characters that could cite more inspiring stories?
Truth be told Jones and Vick aren't there to mentor these kids. There not big brothers, nor are they guidance counselors; nor are they expected to. They're there to tell their stories. Sure there will be a few kids that won't listen, or fail to grasp the meaning of their stories, generating their legendary stories in time. But many will. Either way it was a good decision by the NFL to allow those that have faced the greatest adversity to speak with the future of the NFL. Not as mentors, but as examples of how your actions will have consequences in life.
+ Keith Rivers is chirping again about joining the New York Giants. Originally calling the trade to send him from the Bengals to New York a steal, the former Bengals outside linebacker recently said that it's "exciting to be apart of a team that contends every year." As much as didn't mean to make it sound on Monday, it did appear like a shot across the Queen City bow.
But I don't think Rivers had any malicious or malcontent mindset when he was quoted. His time in Cincinnati was over and adversity had rained on him from a dark cloud with no sunshine in the forecast. It was just time for the two sides to separate and given the fact Rivers was starting anew in a new city with a new team, we're fairly certain he's just excited about his change in scenery.
And frankly, so are we. The ending of a tiresome debate regarding the classification of "bust" is always a relief, despite the fact I never viewed him as such. Save for his final year in Cincinnati where he spent the season injured, Rivers was always one of the team's top tacklers (similarly his rookie season before his season-ending injury). And according to one Football Outsiders report that I recall (but can't cite right now), Rivers generated the least amount of yards allowed per tackle on run plays during the 2010 season by Bengals linebackers.
+ Sticking with the news of former Bengals players, running back Cedric Benson appears likely to sign with the Oakland Raiders within a couple of weeks.
+ Our own Anthony Cosenza offers up a commentary asking if we "trust Paul Alexander's coaching prowess."
+ ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton lists six playoff teams from last year that won't make the playoffs in 2013.
+ Football Outsiders talks multiple-back sets and how the Bengals were largely "ineffective". [Editor's Note: The story originally cited Pro Football Focus by mistake, which has since been corrected]
+ Matt Williamson includes two Bengals players in his list of top pass rushers in the 2015 season.
+ Of the 175 targets that have gone to Jermaine Gresham in two seasons, only 18 are classified as deep passes.