Will Justin Blackmon make it?
Sometimes idiot is too harsh of a word and sometimes it is the best description possible. That word could very well apply to Justin Blackmon, second year Wide Receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Blackmon is a talent, when he’s not screwing things up. In his rookie year, he flashed a lot of talent that made him worthy of the number five overall pick. That also came with some baggage.
Before his rookie year even got off the ground, even before he signed a professional contract, he got busted for DUI back in his college hometown. That DUI cost him money, time and put him on notice to the NFL’s drug and alcohol programs. Another slip up and it would be a much stiffer suspension. So what does he do? Goes out and gets busted for something again! No one knows what this one was for, the NFL won’t release the information, but he is currently serving a four game suspension for the beginning of this season stemming from those charges.
That’s where idiotic can apply with this guy. The guy is brilliantly talented, can go up and seem to make any catch, and could be the best receiver here since Jimmy Smith if he can stay out of trouble. Now it seems, even his teammates have taken notice of his immaturity. During the Jaguars and Miami Dolphins preseason game, an injured, non-suited up Blackmon reportedly started to talk trash with a Miami player along the sidelines. Usually no- harm, no-foul in most cases. Not with Blackmon. His antics were so noticeable that it distracted Head Coach Gus Bradley so much that he had to focus his attention on getting Blackmon under control and two veterans, Jason Babin and Maurice Jones-Drew had to physically escort Blackmon off the sidelines and into the locker room. Of course everyone downplayed it and said that it would be handled internally, but the idiot side of Blackmon made an appearance again.
Count them up and that is two DUI’s, one suspension and one very big distraction on the sidelines. All in only two years of professional football under him. It’s been well documented that he does a lot of charity work with under privileged kids, and he deserves all the praise for that he can get, but if he doesn’t keep his head on right, the opportunity to help those kids out even more, will be gone. The meal ticket that is the NFL tolerates a lot. But repeatedly making the same immature, dumb mistakes, over and over, is a sure-fire way to lose your career and all the millions that come with it.
I really think it’s just immaturity that is leading him down his current path, and I think he can turn it around. With the right leadership to guide him, Blackmon may be able to stay focused and be the type of player the Jaguars absolutely need. If he doesn’t do that though, you can just chalk him up to another first-round wide receiver bust along the likes of Reggie Williams, Matt Jones, and the infamous R.J. Soward. The Jaguars have had more busts there than breakout players. Blackmon could break that mold. If he’d just quit being an idiot.