'Pacman' accepts suspension, tears up over owner's support
By JOE KAY
Jul. 27, 2017
CINCINNATI (AP) — Cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones accepted his one-game suspension for an offseason misdemeanor conviction, and he got emotional Thursday over the unwavering support he's received from Bengals owner Mike Brown.
Jones is suspended by the NFL for the season opener as a result of his confrontation with a hotel security employee and an obscenity-filled tirade against arresting police officers. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge as part of an agreement, and other charges were dropped.
In his first public comments since the suspension, Jones accepted responsibility.
"I take all accountability for what I did and my actions and my words," Jones said. "So I accept it, the one-game suspension. I'm ready to move on, man."
The Bengals apologized publicly after Jones was arrested in January and video of his comments to police were released. But Brown stood behind Jones and decided to keep him rather than release him, which had been discussed in the front office.
Brown unwaveringly defended Jones during interviews at the team's annual preseason lunch on Tuesday, saying the cornerback inspires him.
Several times on Thursday, Jones got emotional when Brown's support was mentioned. He teared up and ended the interview when asked what it meant to have such strong support from the owner.
"Words can't explain," Jones said. "I can't explain. I'm just deep from my heart that I have somebody that understands me as a person and that's not quick to judge."
Tearing up, he said, "See you all," and he walked away.
Brown intimated to reporters earlier in the week that there was a discussion about releasing the cornerback after his arrest, but the owner was against it.
"We'll see how it turns out in the end," Brown said. "If it turns out well, then I'll be pleased. If it doesn't, then blame me."
Deciding who will replace Jones for the opener against Baltimore on Sept. 10 at Paul Brown Stadium is one of a few things to start watching when the Bengals hold their first training camp workout on Friday in Cincinnati:
— The offensive line is the biggest focus, having lost left tackle Andrew Whitworth and right guard Kevin Zeitler in free agency. The Bengals currently plan to start two inexperienced tackles — Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher — on a line that struggled to protect Andy Dalton last season.
— Running back Giovani Bernard is still working his way back from reconstructive knee surgery, giving second-round pick Joe Mixon a chance for a significant role immediately. The bigger question is whether he'll supplant Jeremy Hill as the starter.
— How long will it take Mixon and speedy receiver John Ross to blend into an offense that lacked a big-play threat last season because A.J. Green was hurt? Ross was severely limited this summer while recovering from shoulder surgery.
— Incumbent Randy Bullock competes with fifth-round pick Jake Elliott for the kicking job, with Elliott the favorite going in. Mike Nugent's struggles last season led to his release and were a factor in their 6-9-1 finish.
— Darqueze Dennard — a first-round pick in 2014 who has been injured — and William Jackson III — their top pick last year who missed all season with a torn chest muscle — will compete for the chance to fill Jones' spot as a starting cornerback in the season opener.