Pro Bowl cornerback Adam Jones had a Paul Brown Stadium news conference Thursday to mark his new three-year deal where he grew a bit philosophical about a contract that makes him a Bengal for a total of nine years after much of the NFL left him for football dead in 2010.
Later he told Bengals.com he owes much of his comeback to Bengals president Mike Brown, head coach Marvin Lewis, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, and secondary coach Kevin Coyle.
"The only thing I can pay them back with is the confetti. To win the Super Bowl," Jones said. "I'm just willing to do whatever I have to do to make sure I'm doing my part leading the guys."
Jones allowed he had the same offers on the table (reported to be for a total of $20 million) that were the same as the Bengals' arrangement, but "I was content to be here . . . This place is good for me."
Despite losing wide receivers Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, Jones looked at the Bengals bringing back many of the defensive regulars during free agency and says they're still play-off contenders.
"We've got a lot of guys that can step up," Jones said of the receivers. (Mario) Alford will get his feet wet now. I'm sure we'll do something in free agency or the draft to get a receiver. We have a great group. You lose them, that means more balls for (Tyler) Eifert. That's trouble for another team. So have fun with that."
Jones says his closest friend on the team, free-agent Pro Bowl safety Reggie Nelson, is going to be "hard," to replace if he doesn't come back.
"He's my brother," Jones said. "At the end the day we all get paid to do a job. I think everybody is a true professional and we'll find a way to move on."
At the moment the Bengals seem to be thinking about looking at other teams for receivers before re-signing some more of their backups. While Jones met the press, the Bengals continued to check out former Patriots wide receiver Brandon LaFell, among a list of several candidates.
HIT DISCUSSED: The NFL Competition Committee has studied and discussed Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier's controversial helmet hit that knocked Bengals running back Giovani Bernard out of the Jan. 9 Wild Card Game with a concussion. The play is going to be part of the committee's report to ownership and if the comments of NFL vice president Dean Blandino the week after the incident are any indication, the play is going to cause some new points of emphasis.
But Rich McKay, co-chairman of the committee of which Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is a member, wouldn't say if it will be included in the upcoming season's points of emphasis for officials that are unveiled at next week's league meeting in Boca Raton, Fla. It's not listed among the proposed rule changes but the fallout showed that a helmet hit has to be better clarified.
Blandino said as much a week after the play in the league's weekly officiating video, according to profootballtalk.com. Even though Shazier used the crown of his helmet to hit Bernard in the head to also cause a lost fumble as well as a concussion on the play late in the third quarter, it wasn't ruled a penalty because the league said Bernard had established himself as a runner after the catch and that Shazier didn't have time to "line up," Bernard.
Yet Shazier had time to hit Bernard in the head with the crown of his helmet and Blandino said back on Jan. 15 that the rule could be expanded to discourage using the crown. There was no rule change, but it may come up in the points of emphasis revealed next week.
NO COMMENT: Troy Vincent, the NFL's vice president of football operations, wouldn't confirm an NFL Media report that Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak's $10,000 fine for pulling the hair of Bengals safety Reggie Nelson in the same game has been rescinded. But he did say coaches fall under the same category of players when it comes to the proposed ejection rule.
The competition committee has proposed a rule for an automatic ejection for a player that gets two 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the same game. Munchak was penalized 15 yards on the play. Vincent did say the league heard Munchak's "argument."
ENTER CED: Let the Cedric Ogbuehi Era begin.
Andre Smith, the Bengals' right tackle for the last five play-off runs, signed a one-year deal with old friend Mike Zimmer Thursday in Minnesota. That paves the way for Ogbuehi, last year's first-round draft pick, to move in as the starter.
Smith, 29, the Bengals' 2009 first-round pick, is earmarked to start in front of Phil Loadholt, the starter for the past few seasons whom had his deal re-worked recently.
Ogbuehi, who turns 24 next month, played in the last five games as a rookie after starting his career on the physically unable to perform list (PUP) rehabbing an ACL tear. He played 68 snaps, largely as a big tight end who was an extra blocker and occasionally an eligible receiver.
Smith has 73 Bengals starts. He missed two last season when he was replaced by Eric Winston and they re-signed Winston last week.