- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Adam Jones' first words at this month's rookie symposium should be: Do as I say, not as I do. In fact, do the opposite.
The Bengals' cornerback is scheduled to address the league's newest players in 11 days, and the NFL couldn't have gotten a better speaker to talk about the wrong way to start a professional career. It's up to the rookies to follow his advice and not his path.
In five seasons in the NFL, Jones has been arrested seven times, has had at least a dozen run-ins and has been suspended by the league for 22 games. He tried to ditch the nickname "Pacman" four years ago, but his bad-boy reputation will remain with him for the rest of his career. You only need to Google "Make it rain" and "Pacman" to see how actions can ruin an image. If you need a refresher on his troubled past, a good read on Jones is a 2009 piece by ESPN's John Barr.
He's lucky to still be in the league, although his mistakes forced a cameo appearance in the CFL, and he has to use this opportunity to educate rookies.
"What you do on the field, what you do off the field, it's all a reflection of you," Jones told the Bengals' official website.
Jones' latest legal trouble came in January when he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. A second misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest was dismissed in a plea agreement with prosecutors.
But, by all accounts, Jones has been the consummate teammate. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer repeatedly said last year how Jones has bought "all in" to what the team is trying to do. Special teams coach Darrin Simmons said last year that Jones is "a focused guy right now. He wants to do it for everybody else. He doesn't want to do it for himself."
Jones' talk to the rookies is another step in that direction.