Cornerback Adam Jones was involved in an incident earlier this year that unfortunately brought negative attention back to the Cincinnati Bengals. Jones was charged for assaulting a female patron at a local drinking establishment. Though some of the facts, reports, and perspectives are questionable and judgment deserves some restrain, it's the resumption of negative attention that's grown intolerable; in fairness, that's a league-wide interpretation as much as the Bengals.
But for Jones, we're being led to believe that those miscalculations are aberrations of a man with greater character; far more matured from what he was. Since that incident, Jones spoke with NFL rookies about his experiences at the rookie symposium, hoping to shed light on how one can travel down a difficult road.
"I wouldn't want any of those guys to go through what I've gone through," Jones told NFL.com "It's not fun being on the news everyday for this mistake or that mistake because your boy did this or you did that. At the end of the day, my oldest girl is six right now, and she can read. She can type my name into a computer. You don't want her to see all of those negative things."
Several days later, Jones spoke with over 200 kids at a Cathedral City football camp about the merit of hard work, staying in school, staying out of trouble, and learning from one's own experiences.
However that single assault hovers over him like a black eye.
Cincinnati Bengals President Mike Brown spoke at Tuesday's media luncheon, decreeing that the team will no longer take risks on players.
"Over the years we dug ourselves into a hole, and I'm probably the one who did it," Brown told Bengals.com. "We would bring in guys and work with them. Sometimes they came around, sometimes they didn't. Yet, I think we did the right thing. Certainly it was good for them. We gave them opportunity when some of them didn't have opportunity and a lot of them proved that they deserved that opportunity."
However, when asked about Adam Jones, Brown wasn't fire and brimstone. In fact, Brown only knows what he sees and what he sees is a hard worker and family man.
"I'll say this about Adam; it's uncertain what's going to transpire with him. You don't know and I don't know. I can tell you that in the house, when he's here, he shows up on time, he works hard, he's focused on his job and the people enjoy working with him," Brown said. "Now, as to what happened out of school, I guess that will play out. But don't prejudge him."
"When I think of Adam Jones, the picture that's in my mind, it's not of a guy running back a punt or a guy making a play on a pass," Brown said. "The picture that's in my mind is a guy standing where you're standing holding a little baby, his baby, and trying to make a life for him and his family. That's the guy I see. But we'll find out how this is going to turn out. It's up to the court and it's up to the league office. It's out of our hands."
Truth is, I believe that Brown believes Jones' values has matured over the year and most of us have believed that. But he also finds himself caught in troublesome scenarios, like earlier this summer, or during the summer in 2011 when an incident broke out at another bar while celebrating his wife's birthday.
All in all, I can appreciate Brown's philosophical change. I'm love the idea of the team distancing themselves further from the question marks that many avoid; especially teams weak with talent looking for a quick fix, using high-risk players with great talent at a fantastic price.
It's nice to interpret that those days in Cincinnati are over.
And that's the best news that came out from Tuesday's luncheon.