Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon spoke to the media for the first time on Monday since being suspended the first four games of the 2013 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Blackmon did not say anything out of the ordinary, but admitted to having a problem with making poor decisions off of the football field. His four-game suspension is the second off of the field incident since the Jaguars made him a top five draft pick in last April’s draft and the third total incident dating back to his college days at Oklahoma State.
The Jaguars are counting on Blackmon emerging into a consistently productive weapon for a passing game that has struggled in recent seasons, but if he cannot take care of his issues off of the field it is hard to envision him having any sort of success on the field. Despite all of the setbacks, Blackmon is confident that this will be his final slip up.
“I’m very confident,” Blackmon said when asked how sure he was this would be his last mistake. “I don’t think anybody wants to be in the position that I’m in right now and I don’t think anybody wants to be in a position that can be any worse. I’m not going to go into it and say I want to be in this position because that’s not where I want to be. All I can do is come out here and work every day and get better each day.”
Obviously Blackmon is going to say all of the right things this offseason as he prepared to serve his suspension, but he said all the right things last offseason after his DUI arrest. I expect Blackmon to be on his best behavior now that the Jaguars are starting their offseason training program and he is going to need to lean on his coaches and teammates to keep him away from whatever is causing him to make such poor decisions.
Blackmon obviously has the talent, he just needs to get his head screwed on straight if he wants to have a long and productive professional career.