Jones Eyes Rebirth

He was headed toward a solid career, starting for the defending Super Bowl champions. Then came two knee surgeries. Then came the incident. And then came unemployment.

But the Redskins gave him work and now they're giving him a starting job. At least for now, Kenyatta Jones is working with the first unit at right tackle, replacing the injured Jon Jansen.

''This is a great opportunity to re-establish my name and who I am and what I'm able to do,'' Jones said. ''This is a rebirth.''

If anyone's career, and name, needed repairing, it's Jones. Last October, Jones was arrested and charged with assault with intent to maim, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and mayhem. All stemming from an incident in which he threw a cup of scalding water at his personal assistant while he sat on the toilet.

Mark Paul suffered second- and third-degree burns on his back from the incident.

"Kenyatta then opened the bathroom door and twice threw water on me," Mark Paul told the Boston Globe last year. "The first, about half the cup, hit me in the face and shoulder. I screamed and turned away in pain. He then threw the rest at me, hitting me on the back, all the time laughing."

Jones was released a few days later and eventually paid an undisclosed sum as part of a civil suit.

''It was a hard lesson learned, but we all have to learn,'' Jones said. ''I was tormented by it because we were friends. He said it was a prank. We were just horsing around, but everything happens for a reason. To this day I wouldn't change anything that happened on that day. But I don't hate the guy. I'm glad it happened the way it happened. I could have been a wealthier guy and he would have went for more than he got. It's good to get it out of the way and get those guys who I didn't need around me, away from me. It's a new start.''

Jones is happy to return to right tackle, where he started 11 games in 2002 for the Patriots. The Redskins moved him to guard, but he'll obviously stay outside for the time being.

And Jones said the surgeries have helped his game.

''My knees feel great,'' he said. ''I used to have trouble bending down, now everything feels good. . . .I haven't played tackle in a long time so I have to get the steps down. But it's routine. It's like a dance. You just have to get the dance down pat and then you keep moving.''

He's also trimmed down to 301 pounds, which he hadn't weighed since his sophomore season at South Florida. The Redskins are hopeful he can revive his career, and help them at the same time.

In practice Wednesday, Jones didn't have much trouble blocking end Renaldo Wynn.

''He's a very phsyical guy,'' Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. ''He has worked hard in camp . . . We have confidence in him.''

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