By: Eric Serna
Oh Justin Blackmon. You are a professional NFL football player. No, your more then that. Your a kid who came out of college and immediately became a STAR in the city of Jacksonville. Through an up and down rookie season, when he put up 236 yards on the Texans and even on plays it looked like he wasn’t even trying, we loved having Blackmon here. We said “FINALLY, WE HAVE SOME TALENT!”, even after the first arrest (DUI) as a Jaguar. But now, things have changed.
Somehow, Justin Blackmon has been so immature, so irresponsible, and worst of all, so disrespectful to the fans who cheer his name. He’s been arrested twice for a DUI, once at Oklahoma State in 2010, and the much more public DUI in June of 2012. Now he has been suspended by the league for the first 4 games of the season because of a direct violation of the substance abuse policy put in place by the league. The substance has not been verified as of this writing, but this is a crippling blow to a Jaguars team who was starting to hold out hope that this season was not going to be a total loss. Just from what I’ve seen and heard, people having been calling for him to be cut, no longer wanting the player we all cheered for a savior to a position that hasn’t been filled since Jimmy Smith. Well I agree that, Blackmon HAS to put up or shut up. But cutting him is not the answer. This is a Top 5 pick from a year ago. This isn’t Titus Young, who as of this writing, just got arrested twice in 15 hours. Blackmon is a guy I would compare to a young Terrell Owens. You don’t cut a guy like that. All seriousness, he wouldn’t even make it off the waivers because a team like the Patriots will grab him. The only thing the Jaguars can do is keep him, and whip him into a professional athlete, as well as a responsible adult.
Before I continue, here are some statements made in regards to the suspension.
STATEMENT BY AN NFL SPOKESPERSON:
“Justin Blackmon of the Jacksonville Jaguars has been suspended without pay for the team’s first four games of the 2013 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Blackmon will be eligible to return to the Jaguars’ active roster on Monday, September 30 following the team’s September 29 game against the Indianapolis Colts. Blackmon is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games.”
STATEMENT BY JAGUARS GENERAL MANAGER DAVID CALDWELL:
“Coach Bradley and I have spoken with Justin, and he is well aware of our disappointment. I don’t think there is any question that Justin is embarrassed and remorseful, and Coach Bradley and I are both confident he understands the obligations ahead of him, to himself, the franchise and the fans. We will support him throughout the process and continue to work to educate him and all of our players on making the right decisions. The Jaguars have made a lot of progress over the past three months, and we will not allow this news to slow us down.”
STATEMENT BY JUSTIN BLACKMON:
“I’ve made a mistake and I have no excuse. I am truly sorry and disappointed in myself for putting the Jaguars in this situation, and I look forward to putting this behind me and maturing and growing as a person. I will have a productive training camp and pre-season with my team, and during the suspension I will work hard to stay in top football shape and be ready to help the Jaguars when I return. I have chosen to be accountable for my poor decision, and I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches, the front office and Jaguars fans for the impact of my mistake on the team.”
The Jaguars now have to live without Justin Blackmon for the first four games. That means we will play the Chiefs, the Raiders, the Seahawks, and the Colts with Cecil Shorts being the only proven receiver. Without Blackmon, and maybe even with, I say the Jaguars will unfortunately start the NFL season at 1-3, with the win coming against the Raiders. The Jags have a tough schedule this year, and soon we will have an article on our predictions for the Jags season will be. But Blackmon will be missed. I am worried about the use of Denard “Shoelace” Robinson. I think they may overuse him in Blackmon’s absence, which will make him more prone to injury. Hopefully guys like Ace Sanders, Jordan Shipley, and Mohamed Massaquoi can come in and contribute to avoid that situation from happening. Blackmon obviously has talent. If you don’t see that, you don’t know talent then. It’s that simple. But he obviously has some problems, with that said I’ll finish on this note. Our own writer Gage, his fiancée, and my wife went out to the beach bars not too long before this happened. Guess who they ran into? Maurice Jones-Drew and Justin Blackmon. They were guarded by security just having a good time out on the night. But at a bar? Less then a year after your second DUI? Obviously this kid does not have his priorities straight, and is still really unfazed at his past mistakes. Stop the bar scene, stop hanging around whoever could help you get into substance abuse, and stop being the kid out of college. Your in a man’s world now, and finding out the hard way is a good way to get kicked out of it. The NFL is a privilege. Stop abusing it and go play ball.