It’s pretty common for members of the fan base of opposing teams to feel some type of animosity toward the players of their chief rivals, but when it comes to the Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals, there are a couple of people who bring out a more sustained level of contempt than simply anybody in an orange and black striped helmet.
Vontaze Burfict is the headliner, but cornerback Adam Jones is up there as well, and, quite frankly, Jones has a much more checkered history off the field, while Burfict has kept his nose clean in that regard.
Still, both players—among others—have been a source of frustration for Head Coach Marvin Lewis, who has been forced to answer a barrage of questions about them and their conduct over the years.
Jones was arrested in January on charges of assault, disorderly conduct, and obstructing official business, one night while intoxicated, with the starting point of the ordeal, if I recall correctly, being a nightclub.
Over the course of the proceedings, Jones was placed in the back of a squad car, the video footage of which from the dash cam was subsequently released by TMZ. In the video, the cornerback was heard verbally berating the officer, at one point even saying, “I hope you die”. He also spit multiple times in the back seat.
Since then, the Bengals have been forced to address the issue a number of times, frequently being asked the question of whether or not they intended to release him. Doing so would save the team several million dollars, and he is also on the wrong side of 30, but he is still a quality starting cornerback.
Lewis was asked once again to address Jones’ situation, and he appears to have grown weary of it. In fact, he doesn’t even seem to think it was all that big of a deal. “As time has come out”, he told reporters when asked about Jones, “other than his language, what did he do?”. There are, of course, a number of crimes that can be committed through using only language.
“That’s up to whatever happens. The case is still under review, we’ll see how it plays out”, he continued. This has been the refrain from every level of the organization thus far about the situation, waiting for the court case to play out before being forced to give a decisive comment, let alone an action, on Jones.
A number of members of the coaching staff have been put in positions in which they have had to respond to questions about their players’ conduct, either on or off the field, in recent year for Cincinnati. Many of their comments have seemed to go beyond defending their players and instead trivializing their actions as of no consequence.