Even if the Bengals end up not signing corneback Adam Jones, it shows you how much faith they have in defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
Here’s a guy that has had no problem going to the scrap heap for his unit’s remarkable rise from No. 27 to No. 4. He plucked safety Chris Crocker off the street nearly in November and revived his career. He took troubled Tank Johnson off the street in April and saw what no one ever thought would happen. He played well enough and flourished enough in the locker room to get another multiyear deal. Zimmer also went and got safety Roy Williams in April and even though Williams only played four games before re-breaking his arm, he looked better than he had in years.
Zimmer likes to say he came off the scrap heap himself, a victim of the Bobby Petrino fiasco in Atlanta that suddenly left him on the street after the 2007 season. So it’s not all that surprising that Zimmer mentioned Jones’ name back in February about a possible look-see. Like he said Tuesday, there was talk about getting a cornerback in the draft because “you can never have enough good corners. There aren’t a lot of them.”
He says he has put it all on the line to Jones and told him exactly what the story is, which is why his players love Zimmer.
He’s not coming in to start, Zimmer told Jones. He has to play with more discipline than he has shown in his career. He won’t put up with anything that hurts the chemistry of a defense that has grown so far so fast.
“He looked me in the eye and shook my hand,” Zimmer says, and in his world of a man’s word, that means a lot.
Zimmer has spent a lot of time talking to one of Jones’ patrons, former cornerback Deion Sanders. The two remain close after Zimmer coached Sanders in Dallas. Zimmer has liked what he has heard. Sanders has told him, “He’ll play for you.”
Sanders, it can be assumed, has told Jones what to expect.
“If we sign him,” Zimmer said, “I’ll be on him at all times.”
Hard to argue with the track record.
Tags: Adam Jones, Jones
Posted in Hobson's Choice | 20 Comments »