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Update: Jones challenged; Jeanty returns; Ravens court Graham; Big vote

Posted Mar 23, 2010

Updated: 6:50 p.m.


Jones
ORLANDO, Fla. - Matt Jones’ old head coach in Jacksonville is pulling for him, but Jack Del Rio says he’ll have to change his stripes if his comeback with the Bengals is going to come back. After talking with Jones, Del Rio thinks he’s determined but is running out of time.

“I thought when I spoke to him if he’s ever going to do it, the chance he has is to do it now,” said Del Rio as he finished up at Tuesday’s AFC coaches media breakfast. “I hope he does well. I think he’s a good young man that got mixed up and headed down the wrong road. He’s determined to get back on track. Dedication, commitment, resolve. Those are the things he has to exhibit in order to have a chance to do it. Talent alone won’t get it done in this league.”

After the Jags took Jones in the first round in 2005, he gained a reputation as an underachiever and a drug arrest contributed to his problems. He sat out all last season, but the Bengals signed him back in February to a no-risk one-year deal.

Lewis and Del Rio coached together in Baltimore, but Del Rio said he hasn’t spoken to Lewis about Jones. The Jags offensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter, is one of Lewis’ closest friends in the business and you have to figure they talked. Koetter played with Lewis at Idaho State.

JEANTY RETURNS: The agent for Bengals backup SAM linebacker Rashad Jeanty tweeted Tuesday that the restricted free agent plans to sign his one-year tender of $1.2 million to stay in Cincinnati. Jeanty is one of the club's most physical players and key special-teamers. He had interest from the Dolphins and Eagles and it sounds like David Canter thinks they will be there in 2010.

"He is flattered by all of the teams that showed interest.C U NEXT YR," Canter tweeted. 

RAVENS MEET GRAHAM: The Ravens are interested enough in Bengals kicker Shayne Graham that not only did head coach John Harbaugh meet with him here at the NFL meetings, but so did general manager Ozzie Newsome and owner Steve Bisciotti.

“I know he knows the kind of kicker he is. He would be an interesting possibility,” Harbaugh said Tuesday. “We like Shayne Graham a lot. Shayne’s a guy the Ravens have gone against and he’s made a lot of field goals against the Ravens. Shayne’s a guy who’s a highly sought after guy, too. He’s had a lot of success. Obviously, they had some operational issues last year that hurt him a little bit, but he’s a hard worker and I think he’s determined to prove himself again.”

Graham set the Bengals record with seven field goals in a 2007 victory in Baltimore, the year before Harbaugh took over. Both the Bengals and Graham said Monday they would consider him rejoining the club, but vice president Troy Blackburn’s meeting with David Dunn late Monday afternoon didn’t seem to yield much.

Harbaugh says the Ravens are content to stick with Billy Cundiff but they put a pretty good press on Graham.

LANDSLIDE: Like Lewis and wife Peggy, Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn and her daughters broke away from the NFL reception here Monday night long enough to watch wide receiver Chad Ochocinco dance with the stars. Blackburn then got a phone call from her mother to remind her to vote all 11 times callers are allowed.

“I  thought it was very fun to watch. I thought he represented himself well,” Blackburn said. “I voted once. I think most of my family was voting all 11.”


 

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