As a Bengals broadcaster, I'm often asked to name my favorite player to interview on the team.
People usually seem surprised when I tell them it's Adam Jones.
The veteran cornerback is unfiltered. His answers are honest, insightful, and often hilarious.
Jones is entering his eighth NFL season and has become a durable and dependable member of the Bengals secondary. After appearing in only 22 games between 2007 and 2011 due to injuries and off-the-field issues, Adam has played in all 17 games (including playoffs) in each of the last two years.
"God has been on my side," said Jones. "I enjoy being out there and I'm going to take advantage of it while I can."
Jones was obviously blessed with rare athletic ability, but the Bengals new defensive backs coach Vance Joseph is impressed by Adam's work ethic.
"Guys who play in this league for a long time want to get better every day so that they can keep their job," said Joseph. "He understands that so he's been very receptive and willing to learn new things. That's tough for older players who have been in systems for a long time. They get stubborn in their techniques, but he's been open-minded. He's willing to try different things and that's what I'm asking him to do."
With the return of a healthy Leon Hall and the addition of first round draft pick Darqueze Dennard, it's been suggested that Jones might get fewer snaps at cornerback and more opportunities to return punts. But that's not what he has in mind.
"I don't plan on giving up my spot at corner," Adam told me. "I'm training to be a starter. I would like to return punts too, but I want the corner snaps because I feel like I'm at the point in my career where I'm playing my best football.
"I've been getting better technique-wise with coaching. I've done a good job of studying, taking care of my body, and competing."
At the Bengals recent OTA and minicamp practices, Jones was among the most vocal and enthusiastic players on the field.
"He's had a great spring," said Joseph. "He's in great shape, he's healthy, and he's ready for the season."
"I like to compete and I like to go out there and have fun," said Jones. "The day that it stops being fun I'm going to hang it up."
That isn't likely to happen soon. Jones, who turns 31 in September, is entering the second year of a three-year deal with the Bengals and hopes that it's not his final contract.
"I think I probably have another six or seven years in me," said Jones.
He wouldn't say it if he didn't mean it.
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