After Bengals cornerback Pacman Jones removed the helmet of Raiders receiver Amari Cooper and then slammed Cooper’s head against it, Pacman wouldn’t rule out doing something like that again.
“Again” could come today, when the Bengals visit the Ravens and receiver Steve Smith Sr.
Jones, as PFT reported, simply was reacting to a punch in the throat from Cooper. Smith could be dishing out throat punches and more on Sunday. For Jones and the Bengals, the goal will be to not take the bait.
“If he plays physical, I mean, we pretty much know that’s how he’s going to play because he’s done that his whole career,” Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said this week, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We just gotta stay smart. Me and Pac, sometimes, can get over anxious and over aggressive. We just gotta stay poised when all the noise happen[s]. That’s one thing that me and him are going to be working on this week.”
No amount of work can fully prepare Jones and Kirkpatrick for their final Baltimore encounter with one of the toughest receivers the NFL has ever seen. Last year in Baltimore, Smith applied a stiff arm to Jones that resulted in Jones being thrown to the ground by his facemask. (Smith was neither penalized nor, amazingly, fined.)
Our only hope is that, this time, NFL Films slaps a microphone on everyone involved.