Coming into week 11 the Jaguars have some major questions on offense. Is Blaine Gabbert going to pan out? Who should stay on the offensive line? Which receivers will emerge like Cecil Shorts has? What the hell is wrong with Justin Blackmon?
Remember back in the preseason when Blackmon was the highlight of the offense? The guy was grabbing balls out of the air, outplaying defenders, had all the confidence in the world, and looked like a game changer. These days Blackmon is more like an afterthought.
While all of us are contemplating firing Gene Smith, whether Mike Mularkey is worth it, or if Blaine Gabbert is worth pinning our hopes to, Blackmon is quietly surviving a very mediocre rookie season. On the season Blackmon has 26 receptions for 250 yards. That’s less than three receptions per game.
Sometimes he looks like the guy we thought we were getting. Yet other times he can’t beat second and third string corners to get open. While it’s too early to give up on a talent like Blackmon, it’s not too early to ask if he’ll ever show up this season. In fact it may be a little late.
While Cecil Shorts has come on lately, Blackmon has languished in his shadow (and the shadow of a terrible offense). Sometimes I think it is about getting him more involved in the offense, but that isn’t simply solved by chucking more balls at him. No, that would probably just lead to more interceptions since it appears Blackmon can’t beat his man half the time. This may require a full offseason of work for the Jags’ first round pick.
I don’t have any answers, but as some fans contemplate blowing things up and I look to next week, I’d really really like to know when Blackmon gets his game together and starts to make the plays we expected.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims