Warm welcome likely

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

Adam (Pacman) Jones may have out-lived his latest second chance in the NFL, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are apparently willing to give him yet another crack at it in the CFL.

Although the Bombers have yet to officially sign Jones, the players are willing to accept the cornerback/kick returner, warts and all.

Jones has been suspended by the NFL and NFL teams for a number of run-ins with the law and other indiscretions and no NFL team seemed to be willing to risk a roster spot on him this season.

"My past isn't storybook, either," Winnipeg cornerback Keyuo Craver said yesterday. "It's all about redemption. He's a great athlete and being in the public light, you always get judged and looked at differently. But he's a human just like anybody else. He's going to make mistakes just like anybody else and hopefully, he can come up here and get it going."

Craver, too, was once suspended for an entire season for substance abuse.

"That was a hard thing to deal with but it taught me a lot about the game -- about the business aspects of it -- and about myself," said Craver, 29. "And thank God, I'm still here.

"A lot of us have turned our lives around (in the CFL) ... (Jones is) a great athlete. I feel, if we were to get him, he could definitely help us get better."

And he is not worried about losing his job to Jones.

"It's a business so, you can't get too caught up with it personally," he responded. "As long as we're winning, they can bring anybody in."

Although the players were apparently advised not to discuss the possibility of Jones coming, they still responded to hypothetical questions.

"If it is true, maybe the coaches are trying to get someone to come in and help us," said linebacker Ike Charlton, another ex-NFLer. "Any time you can get athletes that have talent that come in and help us, you've got to take a look at it but I'll believe it when I see it and if it happens, I'll welcome him."

And he is also willing to give Jones a break.

"Everybody has a past," Charlton said. "Not once am I condoning what he may have done a long time ago. He's a kid. He's still young (25) and a lot of times, a guy makes mistakes. But you've got to be able to look past that stuff."

Like Craver, fellow cornerback Jovon Johnson --who is enjoying an all-star campaign -- is not worried about his job should Jones come to camp.

"It makes me no difference," he said.

"Regardless of whether he comes here or not, it's not going to change my role at all. If he does come here, it's a great addition, he's a good player and we hope he keeps his attitude in check and go from there if he is part of our team."

None of the Bombers expect Jones to poison the locker-room.

"It's pretty strong in there," said defensive tackle Doug Brown, a player rep. "You know us older, tenured players don't take no guff from anybody. But we've got a good bunch of guys and are ... asshole light. I think we could handle any personality."

Centre Obby Khan concurred.

"So far, we've got a great group of guys and we've had lots of guys come in with shady histories and we've done a great job with them ... If (Jones) can make us better, he's welcome."

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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