Smith misses Bengals’ minicamp; ‘Pacman’ works out
CINCINNATI (AP) — Right tackle Andre Smith missed the start of the Cincinnati Bengals’ mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, drawing a fine from the club.
Smith skipped the team’s voluntary workouts the past three weeks for personal reasons, but was expected to be in Cincinnati on Tuesday for the mandatory minicamp. Coach Marvin Lewis said he’ll miss all three days.
Lewis said Smith’s absence was unrelated to his arrest last January for having a .38-caliber handgun in his carry-on luggage at an airport in Atlanta.
“He’s really dealing with something he’s got to get through,” Lewis said. “We would have hoped he would have been here and picked up on some of the things we felt like were good to work on at this point in the year for himself personally with football.”
Lewis said Smith should be able to catch up on what he misses during the first week of training camp in July. He decided that Smith would be fined for his absence.
“I have to be fair,” Lewis said. “I mean, we are not necessarily dealing with a death in the family or something like that, or your wife is having a baby or so forth. In this case, this is something there has to be ramifications from this.”
Left tackle Andrew Whitworth figured that Smith, who signed a three-year deal to stay in April, will get up to speed quickly when he rejoins the team. Smith, a first-round pick in 2009, is coming off one of his best seasons.
“He will be prepared,” Whitworth said, “and when it is time to be with us, he will be ready.”
Cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones worked out with the team on Tuesday afternoon, a day after he was arrested on an assault charge. Jones declined to answer questions. His attorney entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf Tuesday.
Jones could be punished by the league for his latest arrest.
“The situation Adam Jones is in obviously is not something you want to get involved in,” Lewis said. “It’s unfortunate that he’s in this situation. That’s really about all I can add to it.”
Jones has revived his career in Cincinnati. The cornerback was the sixth overall pick in 2005 but repeatedly got in trouble off the field with Tennessee, resulting in repeated suspensions. He missed the entire 2007 season on suspension and sat out the 2009 season when no team was interested.
The Bengals gave him another chance and he has taken advantage of it. He started five games last season and played in all of them, becoming a valuable third cornerback. He also returned punts and ran one back 81 yards for a touchdown.
Jones could be punished by the league for his latest arrest. He wasn’t suspended for an arrest in July 2011, when he was accused of being disorderly, shouting profanities and trying to pull away as officers arrested him at a bar in downtown Cincinnati.
As part of an agreement to settle that case, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct in Hamilton County Municipal Court and was sentenced to one year of probation and 50 hours of community service.
He’d stayed out of trouble until his arrest this week.
“It’s not going to change how I look at Adam,” safety Reggie Nelson said. “Adam’s a great guy. He’s my friend. It’s not like I’m going to stop being friends with him because of the situation he’s in right now. He’s got to stay focused and let it take care of itself. What’s done is done.
“He can’t go back and change it.”
NOTES: CB Dre Kirkpatrick won’t fully participate in minicamp as he recovers from an injured left knee that forced him to miss training camp last year and the end of the season. “Dre is not completely ready to go yet,” Lewis said. “He’s doing well though. He’s just got to get some final clearance from the (doctors) that did the work with him.” … RB Bernard Scott, who tore the ACL in his left knee last October, also isn’t ready to practice. Lewis said the team should be close to full strength when training camp begins.
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