|Pacman's 6-pack shows return interest for Cowboys|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 31 July 2008 13:39|
Dallas Cowboys coach Wade Phillips watches Jones before a training camp practice, shaking his head in amazement when he turns to onlookers standing behind the end zone.
Impressive, but still not Jones' record. ``Nah, I've done eight,'' he said.
``It's easy to fit in when you've got one,'' Jones said. ``But when you have two or three of them, it just really helps you focus in a little bit more.''
After missing all last season with Tennessee while serving an NFL suspension, but expecting to be fully reinstated before the Cowboys open the regular season, the multi-catching drill is another way for Jones to get ready to get back in the game.
``When we were at (offseason workouts), I was having a couple of problems just because of my repetition,'' Jones said. ``Well, I feel that I'm back to where I was with catching the punts.''
The Cowboys were willing to take a chance on Jones, acquiring him in April with an exchange of draft picks, in hopes that he could provide depth at cornerback and help in the return game.
``Which one do I like the most? Both,'' Jones said. ``Obviously I love touching the ball. ... You get a little bit more joy when you run back a punt or get a touchdown. For the most part I get the same joy on third-and-4 when my receiver can't catch the ball.''
With the Titans in 2006, before his NFL-imposed hiatus because of off-field issues, Jones returned 34 punts for a 12.9-yard average and three touchdowns after having a 9.4-yard average with one touchdown as a rookie. Jones also averaged 26.2 yards on 63 kickoff returns those two seasons. All of those averages are better than the Cowboys' best last season.
Jones has spirited one-on-one matchups against Terrell Owens in practice to prepare him for covering receivers again. He is also getting work at both cornerback spots since Pro Bowler Terence Newman went out for at least three weeks because of a groin injury, providing welcomed extra snaps while he tries to learn the defense.
The fielding drills before practice, with teammates Patrick Crayton and Danny Amendola trying to match his feat, get Jones ready to return kicks.
``Did y'all see Adam catch those six footballs?'' owner Jerry Jones asks, suddenly changing the subject of his conversation. ``Seeing his abilities, we'll coach to what he gives us a chance to do. Wade was pointing out how very interesting it is when you have a guy that can change direction like that and move around.''
Jones was suspended in April 2007 following an accumulation of arrests and legal problems. He has been arrested six times and involved in a dozen incidents requiring police intervention since the Titans drafted him in the first round in 2005.
Commissioner Roger Goodell cleared Jones to participate in practices and preseason games, but hasn't said yet if Jones will be allowed to play in the regular season. That decision might not come until the week of the Sept. 7 opener at Cleveland.