Pacman Jones asked for patience and then made a quick exit.
The former first-round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans took no questions Tuesday following his first practice session with the Bengals, who signed him to a two-year contract Monday.
In a brief statement, he offered a litany of thanks and his assertion that his skills have not diminished over the past five years, during which he played only three seasons. He was suspended for all of 2007, while still a member of the Titans, and sat out last season after the Dallas Cowboys cut him.
His statement, as reported by the Bengals’ website:
“First of all, I want to thank God for putting me in this situation. I want to thank the fans and the media for (your) attention today.
“I still think I have the skill set that made me a high draft choice. I know I have a ton, a ton of work to do. It would be a dream come true to come in here and help the Bengals in any way I can and also help them win the championship. Like I said, I know I have a ton of work to do. To gain your guys’ trust, it’s not going to come overnight. It’s going to take time.
“All I can do is take it one day at a time. Focus in on the things I’ve been focusing in. Come play football. Like I said, I’m happy to be here. I want to thank the city of Cincinnati for giving me and my family a fresh start. I want to thank the guys upstairs. Mr. (Mike) Brown. I want to thank Coach (Marvin Lewis). I want to thank Coach (Mike) Zimmer (the defensive coordinator). I want to thank the whole organization. I’m happy to be here. I look forward to talking to y’all real soon.”
Lewis acknowledged that there are significant questions about Jones’ character and his ability to avoid another suspension for off-the-field missteps, but he said the majority of those are being raised outside the Bengals’ offices and locker room.
“The only hesitancy is the perception of things and I feel comfortable with the things he has talked to me about,” Lewis said. “So we made a decision to do it. We know the downside of it, but I trust he will resurrect his career with this opportunity and get himself going and have an opportunity to be a productive player here or somewhere else.”