Adam Jones interview transcript

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[Editor’s note: Bengals cornerback Adam Jones appeared on Tuesday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio and NBCSN. The full transcript of the substance of the interview appears below.]

Q: “I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with you with this free agent market. Bengals have the exclusive opportunity to get you signed between now and next week. Do you think you’re going to be a Bengal in 2016?”

Jones: “As of now I don’t know, to be honest. I know there’s a lot of other teams that have been contacting my agent saying that if I don’t get re-signed there is going to be other places I can go. The Bengals haven’t reached out yet with a number but you know how Mrs. Katie [Blackburn] and Troy [Blackburn] are they normally wait around the 5th or 6th [or March] to start issuing contracts and stuff. I’m just eager to see how it goes, man. I’ve done my part as a player on the field and off the field, so all I can do is sit back and keep working out and being a good dad and worry about the things that I can worry about.”

Q: “You have had an incredible career, ups and downs and you’ve really turned it around the past six years. Is there one word that you would use to describe your entire NFL experience?”

Jones: “One word, if I had to use one word I would use. . . .”

Q: “A word that we can say on the radio. . . .”

Jones: “I’m trying to think of a good word, because I want it to be. If I could use one word for my career. I would just say ‘The Comeback Kid,’ man, I would say. I’m the kid that never gives up, who’s been through a lot, knocked down and at the end of the day got back up, you know? Don’t mind telling my story. Don’t mind telling my mistakes. I learned every day. I look at my past. I dig through my past a lot to make sure I don’t go back there, but I’m just one of them kids that didn’t give up. That enjoyed and loved the process and I really truly love my family and love playing the game of football. So if you could sum all that up I would just say I’m the kid that didn’t give up, man, and I’ve been down in a lot of different holes and I’ve got a lot of praying people and good people around me. It’s been a hell of a ride but I wouldn’t change it because it really has changed me as a person. Opened up my eyes of how to treat people, how people should treat you, and just doing doing the little things you know.”

Q: “When was that moment for you, Adam? Was there a moment that you can remember where you decided, ‘This is it, I’m turning it around, I’m getting the most out of my talent and I am going to be in the NFL for as long as I can physically be here’?”

Jones: “I had a couple moments. I would say the time I hurt my neck. Nobody knows I had two surgeries on my neck so that was kind of hard to go through after the first time my neck didn’t heal. But I would say when my daughter was born. My wife’s water broke at 23 weeks and my daughter was born I think at 24 weeks, so going through that process and having the whole year to reflect on all that. My daughter was in the hospital for six months and, you know, you get to the point it’s out of your control and then when things get better you sit down and look in the mirror. Like, man, what can I do to make sure that these little girls got whatever they need and to do what I have to do to be successful? But I would say to sum it up and all of that. . . . In 2012, I had a lot of stuff going on. My father was sick, he ended up passing away in 2014. It was a whole bulk of things but I would say the main thing, man, just me wanting to do good and my kids you know. Nobody wanna be the f–king villain the whole time of their career, you know, at some point you wanna be like, ‘Damn, OK, the kid grew up, he understands what life is about. He’s moving forward as a father and a husband, like he gets what the main point is,’ you know? He don’t got twenty guys around with him, you know. Every time I see him he’s only with his wife or his kids so you live and you learn, man, when you go through those hard times. Sh-t, when I went through my hard times I can’t even find not one of the dudes that was around me all the time that was there so you go through stuff and you learn, man. It makes you way more mature and the ones that don’t make [you] mature you just don’t get it at some points. I’m just happy that I’m one of the ones that really got it. I love what I got here as a family and I wouldn’t want to mess that up for nothing in the world.”

Q: “You’ve spent the last six seasons with the Bengals. That’s where a lot of this growth has happened, a lot of this turnaround and during that time that team has been to the playoffs five straight years and you’re right in the middle of it, you’ve seen what’s happened. What do you think the biggest reason is that the Bengals continue to struggle to get over that hump when they get to the post season?”

Jones: “Well, injuries was one of the main things. This year was the first year we really was kind of healthy besides Andy, you know what I’m saying? But before that you go back. All the receivers were hurt and then a couple guys on the defense were hurt but if we could ever just all be healthy at the same time, I think the sky is the limit. I think Coach Lewis and Mr. [Mike] Brown have done a great job with bringing the talent in that we have over there, you know. If you look at the roster, the roster is a deep roster, you got a lot of guys that can play football over there. I’m talking about ones, twos, and threes, so I think they’ve done a good job. I think besides the health, I know I lost my cool the last game and that won’t happen again. I won’t say discipline though because discipline didn’t lose [it for] us, well I would say it lost us one game, which was the playoff game. Besides that I think Coach Lewis did a good job of making sure everybody was on the same page.”

Q: “If Adam Jones is not a Bengal in 2016 what team do you want to play for?”

Jones: “I knew you were going to do that to me. I want to play for any team that wants me. I’m a guy that really wants to win. I love the game of football, I’m passionate about it. I study hard, I play hard. There’s not a guy that’s around that’s gonna tell you I don’t study hard, don’t practice hard, don’t play hard. I’m open, man, I don’t have one team that I have to go to this team. I’m pretty much open as long as we got a good chance of winning.”

Q: “Would you play for the Steelers?”

Jones: “Would I play for the Steelers? I wouldn’t say I wouldn’t play for the Steelers. I don’t have no problem with the Steelers but that would be hard for me to do that though. I would prefer to play [for] a team that play against the Steelers.”

Q: “Have you buried that hatchet with Antonio Brown?”

Jones: “Oh yeah, man. We cool. I have no problem with A.B.”

Q: “Did you text him during the Oscars on Sunday night and ask why aren’t you on here?”

Jones: “No, I texted him the other day joking with him, though. We’ve had several conversations since he had his little outburst at the Super Bowl, but there’s no hard feelings for A.B., man.”