Adam Jones on turning life around: 'Nothing happens overnight'

Adam Jones says he's made a lot of changes in his life. (USATSI)

An arrest earlier this month outside a Cincinnati bar wasn't reason enough to keep Bengals cornerback Adam Jones from speaking at the NFL Rookie Symposium last week.

Jones led a troubled existence even before he was the Titans' 2005 first-round pick. But he's also tried to walk the straight and narrow in recent years, something he has done with some success despite the occasional misstep.

Now Jones is using his life as a cautionary tale for those who come after him. And last week, that meant talking to the NFL's 2013 rookie class.

Discussing his most recent incident, Jones was charged with punching a female patron. Jones says he was provoked and that the woman struck him in the face with a beer bottle. (You can see the video here.)

Jones addressed the incident during a Sirius XM interview with's Alex Marvez and Jim Miller.

“Me being confronted or touched with a particular object, that’s an area I have to work on,” he said. “If it had been anything else, I probably would have walked away. But when I’m being physically touched.

“Nothing happens overnight. I’ve made a lot of changes," Jones continued. "I don’t go out to the places I used to. I don’t hang with the people I used to hang with. The only thing I can control is what I’m doing in the community. Being a great father at home. My fiancée is very happy. I’m good with my teammates. I’m not out getting drunk all through the night. I’m not out at 3 or 4 in the morning. If you recall, the incident happened at 10:15. I didn’t have a drink. The young lady that was in the party was drinking.”

Troy Vincent, a former NFL player who is now the NFL’s senior vice president of player engagement, says that Jones' impulsivity gets him into trouble.

“We talked about it, and (Jones) admitted it in his (speech to the rookies). He struggles with resolving conflict,” Vincent told “His reactions are so spontaneous he doesn’t even think about what the long-term outcomes are. We have to work on that every single day.

“It’s like reps on the field. We’ve got to practice, practice, practice patience and how to resolve conflict without physical harm. It’s like an addiction.”

Jones, meanwhile, continues to try to escape his past.

“It seems like every time you’re trying to do so good, if you have a speed bump it’s, ‘Oh, let’s bring up the past,’” he said. “For me, when I hit a speed bump, I look back at my past and evaluate everything. Am I doing the same thing that I used to do or what got me back on this path of righteousness of being a good father and husband? Do I take accountability for this or that?

“It really is an emotional roller coaster if you don’t have some kind of grounding with God or your family and if you don’t know who you are as an inner person.”

Regarding his latest arrest, Jones could face disciplinary action from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who suspended the cornerback for the 2007 season following multiple off-field incidents.

Follow Ryan Wilson on Google+

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories
    All Access