Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Speakers had just warned Blackmon, Jags
By Paul Kuharsky
Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey’s been having speakers visit with his team at the end of OTA weeks, people in position to spell out the consequences of bad decisions.
Last Friday, two Jacksonville lawyers were Mularkey’s guests.
“Two attorneys from town … talked about not just alcohol but guns, speeding, all the things that if you don’t do it right, these are the consequences of your actions,” Mularkey said Wednesday as the Jaguars and Justin Blackmon discussed the draft pick's DUI arrest. “That’s what’s frustrating. It was just presented that Friday morning, and we had an incident over the weekend.”
It’s got to be a helpless feeling for a coach, to offer such specific warnings and still get the sort of phone call everyone in the profession dreads and few are able to totally avoid.
The transcripts provided by the Jaguars read as if Blackmon was quite contrite. He said he doesn’t believe he has an alcohol problem, but indicated he’s done drinking for the foreseeable future. He and the team are ready for whatever penalty the league hands down.
Said Blackmon: “I want to apologize to fans or people that looked up to me, that because of what I did, the decision I made over the weekend, that might be questioning who I am now. I just want to apologize for that and just let people know that it’s not who I am, it’s not who I am going to be. Just like I talked with Coach yesterday and Gene (Smith), I’m looking to make things better, and I will continue to try to do that, starting yesterday on.”
Mularkey made a good point about those late-week talks -- while they didn’t work for Blackmon, there is no telling who they did work for.
“(Players) have got to make good judgment on what they do, and maybe we hit some guys in that meeting,” Mularkey said. “Maybe some guys got the word. Those guys will never be talked about. Those guys will never be sitting in front of the media.
“But maybe those messages are getting to some of our players when they have to make a decision on whether I should drive under the influence. Those are the guys I’d like to pull in here and go, ‘Hey I am doing it the right way,’ and talk about them for once.”