I don’t know if you guys have been paying attention lately, but the Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper has provided quite the spark for his team out in the MLB (yes, I’m watching baseball). The notable thing about Harper isn’t his age (19) or his brash fearlessness (though others would argue that is precisely what sets him apart), but that he has the ability to motive others with his play.
Before the season, I doubt the Nationals thought Harper was going to be that catalyst for the team. But there he is, slugging it out and making it look excellent.
Who on the Jaguars roster will be that man? Who can provide the catalyst for the Jaguars?
No offense to Maurice Jones- Drew, but I believe that Blackmon is that man.
Blackmon may not be the best rookie receiver this year. He could end up not being the best receiver on the team – which I doubt. But he makes catches that nobody else on the team is able to do. It isn’t just about setting record numbers, it’s about the effort being put into every play. The effort to find a way to catch that ball. The effort to make every errant pass turn into a positive.
Blackmon provides a spark because he plays the game the way it was meant to be played. Run first? He can block pretty well. Pass happy modern era? The guy can catch pretty well. Need some speed? His game film is much faster than his 40 time. Need to beat that corner? He’s got it.
There weren’t any circus catches for Blackmon during the rookie mini-camp this past weekend, but it’s not all about show. We’ll see our fair share of circus catches from the athlete, but it isn’t all about the grace and showboating. It’s also about him getting his hands dirty, coming up with dirt clogged into his facemask, smiling like Hines Ward.
Blackmon plays the game with a level above in his mind. He doesn’t think he can be covered. He knows he can make plays.
And when Blackmon is making plays this season, he’s providing a spark for the entire team.
He is Jacksonville’s Bryce Harper.
He is the Jaguars’ Catalyst.
- Luke N. Sims