Bengals cornerback Pacman Jones made waves Saturday night when his personal foul helped gift the Steelers a win, and made news Monday morning when he accused Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown of faking a concussion.
But back in the comfort of his own stadium later in the day, a calmer Jones sounded short of contrite, but defended himself regarding the altercation with Steelers coach Joey Porter that led to his penalty.
“I’m not going to let that one situation take away from everything I’ve done for the team and for myself the last couple of years,” Jones said, via Geoff Hobson of the team’s official website. “Everybody knows I’m a passionate person in everything I say or do. I wear my heart on my sleeve.”
For all the headlines he’s made over the years, the Bengals point out that it was just his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in six seasons there, and his first since 2013. But there were the two unnecessary roughness calls this year, including the one for slamming Amari Cooper’s head to the ground.
But Jones said he understood he should have walked away from Porter, though his jawing and offensive line coach Mike Munchak pulling Reggie Nelson’s hair are things he doesn’t think have been focused on enough.
“He has no reason to be on the field,” Jones said of Porter. “Coaches are supposed to be held to a high standard when it comes to stuff like that. Even with Mike Munchak grabbing Reggie’s hair. Thank God that wasn’t me. I wouldn’t have just walked away in the heat of the moment. If one of their kids came over to our sideline and I snatched them down by the hair, I’m pretty sure I’d get kicked out of the game and fined over $2,000,000. A coach should have been kicked out for grabbing Reggie’s hair. No reason for him to do that if you’re talking about safety. . . .
“Everybody talks about how Vontaze got a warning. Joey Porter got a warning from the NFL, too. This stuff didn’t just start. It’s been going on. You guys sweep everything under [the rug] and attack the players. That’s not right. I haven’t seen one report from you guys talking about Reggie and the other stuff. But every time Vontaze hits somebody, it’s like he’s trying to kill people.”
Well, Burfict’s actions stand alone, and his three-game suspension for his repeat offenses is warranted. Whether the Steelers’ penalties are serious enough for Jones is doubtful, regardless.
What will be interesting is whether the Bengals bring Jones back for another round, as he’s 32 and a free agent. He can still play, but as they doubtless try to spend the offseason working on their image as much as their roster, he might be a casualty for reasons that don’t include his play.