He isn't Pacman any longer. Adam Jones has a 6-year-old daughter. He has regrets. But by all accounts, Jones is making the most of his third opportunity.
"Adam?" Bengals coach Marvin Lewis asked Wednesday when a Cowboys' beat writer asked how "Pacman" Jones was faring in Cincinnati. "Pacman got left in Dallas or wherever."
Jones, who is in his third season with the Bengals, is third in the league in punt return average at 15.3 and has an 81-yard touchdown return. He has four starts at cornerback and has been targeted 37 times, allowing 19 catches for 223 yards and a touchdown, according to STATS, Inc.
"Adam’s doing fine," Lewis said. "He’s really done well, and I think just all the athleticism and all the ability he has it’s been great to see it come to the forefront. He’s obviously turned his life around in a lot of ways, and it’s fun to see him as a dad, and doing the things he’s doing here. He’s really helped a lot of the young players, Dre Kirkpatrick, who we drafted No.1 this year. Not many people get to live through what he’s lived through and still be standing to play in the National Football League. So his story is one that will be written for a while of a guy who football was that important to him that he realized that a lot of the things going on his life were not benefiting him to play football. They were taking football away from him, and you could tell how important football was to him."
Jones' off-field problems are well documented. He spent two seasons in Tennessee before being suspended for the 2007 season, and he lasted only one year with the Cowboys after they traded for him. He played nine games in Dallas, missing six games for a violation of the league's player conduct policy for a scuffle with a team bodyguard at a Dallas hotel. He sat out another with an injury.
This summer, a judge ordered Jones to pay $11 million to two Las Vegas strip club employees injured in 2007 when a gunman opened fire inside the club. The gunman claimed Jones ordered the shootings, a charge Jones has denied.
Earlier this summer, Jones spoke at the league's rookie symposium, hoping to help other NFL players learn from his mistakes.
-- Charean Williams