CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals’ defensive coordinator has told cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones to put the lid on his trash talk.
Jones went off on Browns receiver Terrelle Pryor after a 23-10 win in snowy Cleveland on Sunday, using a garbage can as a prop during an extended diatribe to reporters. He called Pryor’s name into the garbage can, pretending the Browns receiver was inside.
“Terrelle Pryor is garbage,” Jones said.
Coordinator Paul Guenther knew that Jones and Pryor — who tried out for a quarterback spot with the Bengals last season — had an on-field exchange during pregame warmups, but he didn’t realize that the cornerback kept it going afterward in the locker room.
“I had no idea what that was about,” Guenther said on Monday. “But we don’t want to deal with that (trash talking). We’re not like that. We just play football.
“Typically you’ll have some guys that are competitive guys that know one another that — in a good, competitive spirit — are two guys going at it.
“But to take it to the extent that Adam did … We need to move on. Adam’s too old for that stuff right now. And I told him that after the game.”
The 10th-year cornerback wasn’t available on Monday during the team’s open locker room session. Coach Marvin Lewis also said on Monday that Jones was out of line with his postgame comments.
“It’s not the thing we want to get into, and Adam knows that,” Lewis said.
The Bengals (5-7-1) finished a series sweep of their winless intrastate rival, keeping them temporarily in contention for the playoffs.
They needed to win the rest of their games and have Baltimore (7-5) to lose at New England on Monday night and beat the Steelers (8-5) in Pittsburgh on Dec. 25.
The Steelers and Ravens then need to lose their other games to give Cincinnati a chance at winning the division with an 8-7-1 mark.
The Bengals host the Steelers on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, a game that was originally scheduled for the night, but has been moved to daytime.
The defending AFC North champions lost at Pittsburgh 24-16 in the second week of the season, when Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict and Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell were serving three-game suspensions from the NFL.
Burfict has rounded back into form in the past two months, and Bell rushed for a Steelers-record 236 yards during a win in Buffalo on Sunday.
Last January, the Steelers ended the Bengals’ season by rallying for an 18-16 win at Paul Brown Stadium in the first round of the playoffs.
Burfict and Jones each had personal fouls that moved Pittsburgh into range for the winning field goal in the final minute.
Although players from both teams continued to go at one another on social media in the offseason, there were no incidents during their matchup in Pittsburgh on Sept. 18.
“I think the last game in Pittsburgh was cleanly played,” Guenther said. “I think we’re over all that stuff at this point.”
NOTES: Lewis said there’s a chance that WR A.J. Green could return to practice this week. Green has missed the past three games with a strained right hamstring, but is hoping to play again this season. He’s been working out on a side field during practices. … Rookie Jeff Driskel was active for the first time this season against the Browns as the No. 3 QB but didn’t get into the game. Lewis said Driskel has also practiced as a receiver and as a special teams player and could have been used in those roles on Sunday if needed. The Bengals had six players hurt.
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