The Cincinnati Bengals are notorious for taking chances on players with troubled pasts.
Joe Mixon is simply the latest example.
The Bengals invested a second-round pick on the former Oklahoma running back – and they will assume the PR nightmare that comes with it. Mixon assaulted a woman in 2014 and was suspended for the entire season. The incident, which was captured on film, has been shown repeatedly in recent months.
Which is why Mixon needs to lean on A.J. Green, Andy Dalton, and the rest of the Bengals’ locker-room leaders.
“We’ll always be here if he needs somebody to talk to or needs some pointers in life,” Green said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “For me, I feel like he’s just got to keep a low profile. He made a mistake when he was 18 years old that he wishes he could probably take back, but you can’t. The biggest thing for him is you got to move on and embrace it and learn from it.”
In other words, do what Pacman Jones hasn’t. The Bengals cornerback was arrested in January and charged with one felony (harassment with a bodily substance) and three misdemeanors (assault, disorderly conduct, and obstructing official business). Jones, who is under contract for the next two seasons, has had numerous runs-ins with the law.
Green, though, insists that’s not the real Pacman.
“Pacman’s a great guy,” Green said. “I think he just gets caught up in the moment sometimes and he gets mad sometimes. He just needs to chill out sometimes. But Pac’s a great guy on and off the field. He does so much for us, so much for the Bengals community, but he just gets caught up in some of these situations that he wishes he could take back that has already happened. The biggest thing for him is he’s just got to keep his cool. A lot of people don’t know Pacman like I do, but he’s a great guy, man. A great father, great husband. It’s tough. It’s a tough situation. He’s the kind of guy that really don’t take stuff from people. The biggest thing for him is he’s just got to keep his cool, but he’s great.”
Brandon Tierney isn’t so sure. Jones, 33, often seems volatile, unpredictable, and unnecessarily confrontational, no?
“It’s tough,” Green said. “It’s tough when you’re a pro athlete and have been in some situations like he was in and you just feel like everybody, the media, is always trying to get a headline story or trying to attack him for something that he done in the offseason, which is really not the case. Y’all are just doing your job (by) asking (questions to find out) what’s happening. The biggest thing for him is he has to keep his cool. That’s something that, you put yourself in that situation, and now you got to answer and stand up like a man and face it. I feel like he just feels like the media sometimes is trying to attack him and he’s just trying to defend himself, which, you can’t do that. It’s going to get out of hand. In situations like that, you just keep your cool and answer the questions.”
While Mixon and Jones have dominated headlines for the Bengals this offseason, that could change this fall, especially with the addition of rookie wideout John Ross, who ran a Combine-record 4.22 in the 40-yard dash. The Bengals drafted the Washington prospect ninth overall.
“That keeps everyone honest,” Green said of Ross’ speed. “John’s the type of guy that just needs the ball in his hands. He gives another dynamic (element) to our offense.”