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Adam Jones says programs work, but players don’t use them

Adam Jones AP

In the wake of the big-picture issues the NFL has faced in successive weekends, more attention has been paid to the programs put in place by the league to protects its players.

Less focus, however, has been put on the role of individual responsibility, and players’ willingness to take advantage of them.

With the league still reeling from Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shooting his girlfriend and then himself, followed by the death of Cowboys linebacker Jerry Brown in an car wreck which resulted in the arrest of teammate Josh Brent on intoxication manslaughter charges, the problems continue to pile up.

And when the question becomes whether the league can prevent any of these problems, few are more qualified to talk about it than Bengals cornerback Adam Jones.

“I think the league does a great job offering resources. We just don’t use them,” the artist formerly known as Pacman told Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com. “I know I didn’t use mine when I was younger.

“This happens to a lot of young guys who come into the league. The first four years happen so fast, you never really get to catch up and realize the resources you have.”

Jones had a record when he was drafted, and piled up four arrests in his first two seasons, along with an incident when a member of his party was charged with attempted murder for a shooting at a strip club (for which Jones was found liable for $11.6 million in damages by a Nevada jury this year).

Jones has even become a speaker at the league’s rookie symposium, and said now that he’s 29 years old, he’s learned to take advantage of the amount of help he was offered, such as the Bengals safe-ride program when he goes out for a drink.

“A bunch of guys use it,” Jones said. “If I have over two drinks, I’m gonna use it. I feel like I’ve worked so hard to get back to where I’m at that I refuse to let a lack of judgment after two drinks affect that. I’d rather call 3-2-1 RIDE.

“This didn’t come overnight. It took a while to trust and believe and really just wise up that this was put here by the team to help you and not because they were trying to see what you were doing or why you were drunk or why you had this-many drinks.

“You have to put that aside. It’s not easy to do.”

If Adam Jones learned, there aren’t many excuses for the rest of the league. But his realistic assessment of why the programs aren’t used more often are more of a concern, and point to the truth that the league can’t reach everyone no matter how many programs are in place.

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19 Responses to “Adam Jones says programs work, but players don’t use them”
  1. nyyjetsknicks says: Dec 14, 2012 5:27 PM

    Sounds like someone has finally grown up.

  2. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 14, 2012 5:27 PM

    I am really happy for his turnaround and realizing some of his potential without impediment.

  3. dayumyou says: Dec 14, 2012 5:31 PM

    Good for him!!!

  4. thekiller678 says: Dec 14, 2012 5:32 PM

    Im actually shocked this guy turned his career around. When I saw Adam Jones on the Bengals I didn’t even make the connection to Pacman, I thought it was another player all together lol

  5. manningbowl88 says: Dec 14, 2012 5:40 PM

    i remember saying to myself a few years ago theres 2 places pacmans gonna end up..dead or in jail and to my surprise hes switched his life up for the better and its good to see.

  6. patswhatsup says: Dec 14, 2012 6:09 PM

    It’s kind of weird to say but Adam Jones is kind of a good role model for young players now. He can speak to them from experience and show them how it can turn out if you make bad decisions. Glad he has gotten his life together.

  7. pascalswager42 says: Dec 14, 2012 6:19 PM

    Well played, Adam. Keep walking the walk!

  8. brianforster says: Dec 14, 2012 6:22 PM

    never thought these words would come out of my mouth.. but adam (pacman) jones makes a good point. how much incentive is there to use a team operated safe ride, if you are going to be grilled on what you were doing out drinking at 3 am in the morning, the friday before a game.

  9. nathpz says: Dec 14, 2012 6:55 PM

    “This didn’t come overnight. It took a while to trust and believe and really just wise up that this was put here by the team to help you and not because they were trying to see what you were doing or why you were drunk or why you had this-many drinks.”

    Considering the Bengals’ track record of signing players with conduct problems and rehabilitating them, I imagine they must be very good at this and other teams should take notice. You can only help these players reform if you can gain their trust by showing you’re looking out for them.

  10. bengalguy says: Dec 14, 2012 7:13 PM

    Well spoken Adam! Keep walking the line. Your a hell of a player, and , by the way it sounds an even better person! LESSON LEARNED!!

  11. larrybrown43 says: Dec 14, 2012 9:10 PM

    Sounds like Pac has a purpose far greater than football; and this, to change lives.

  12. chris728 says: Dec 14, 2012 9:27 PM

    I can’t get passed the first line of the third paragraph.

  13. abninf says: Dec 14, 2012 10:15 PM

    Wish he had this maturity in Dallas. What could have been.

  14. cincyfan1987 says: Dec 14, 2012 11:46 PM

    Me too chris728

  15. silvercutlery says: Dec 15, 2012 12:15 AM

    It warms my heart that Adam turned his life around AND that most people are happy and supportive of him that he turned his life around.

    Good on you, Adam. Hopefully you can continue to grow into a counselor role as you get older, even after you finish playing.

    And it’s good to see a 29 year old CB playing nickel at a high level.

  16. screamingsheep69 says: Dec 15, 2012 6:47 AM

    Good for Pacman. But damn, those were some hard years. Looking about 57 years old in that pic.

  17. patsfan13 says: Dec 15, 2012 9:02 AM

    Congratulations to Adam Jones. If he can be an inspiration to younger players, it would be great. His is a great story about turning one’s life around, and I hope he maintains it. Anyone can change. THEY HAVE TO WANT TO.

  18. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Dec 15, 2012 9:21 AM

    Evidently rookies need to be educated on the programs available and strongly encouraged by veterans to use them in order to avoid tragedys like what happened.

  19. remyje says: Dec 15, 2012 11:13 AM

    anybody can turn their life around when they snitch.. that’s why people are going to continue “live that life” because they know its simple to get out of it by just throwing someone else under the bus..

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