Team Discipline – What Will Jags Do With Blackmon?


Alfie Crow over at Big Cat Country brought up an interesting point in the whole Justin Blackmon drunk driving scandal that has caught Jacksonville (and Oklahoma) rather unawares lately.  In a post yesterday, he noted that a team is not allowed to disciple a player for breaking the NFL’s policy on anabolic steroid and substance abuse.  Instead, the power to punish is reserved for the league.

However, the Jaguars can take punitive action against Blackmon for “Conduct Detrimental to the Club.”  In this case, giving poor public awareness to the team, probably losing a lot of deals for endorsements, marring a reputation built on character, etc.  The ist actually seems to be endless when you think about it.

The team can definitely do something though, and we should fully expect them to.

Justin Blackmon became famous in college and has had the national spotlight on him since his draft selection.  He is not some run of the mill, two year receiver out of college.  He is the top receiver of his class and probably one of the best of the past three years.  He made General Manager Gene Smith look like a genius for only trading away a fourth round pick to move up and take him ahead of the St. Louis Rams.  A lot was resting on this guy.

Like any good early 20 year old, he let it slip through his fingers due to dumb action.

Two days after OTAs ended, Blackmon was back in Oklahoma flirting with a law that is designed to save lives.  DUI laws are not in place to protect the person driving.  If you’re dumb enough to drive while drinking then it isn’t the job of the state to do anything other than pick up your car after you total it into a tree.  Instead, DUI laws are designed to get drunk drivers off the road so that families, pedestrians, and other people driving the same street(s) will be safe from the drunk driver.

DUI laws should be respected.

So much so that in Oklahoma they have an aggravated DUI charge for anything over .15 (almost double the legal limit of .08).  Justin Blackmon blew a .24.  I don’t know about you, but it takes a bit of time (and some steady drinking) to get that drunk.  A .24 doesn’t just represent bad decision making from driving, it represents a commitment to sitting down and not getting up until the floor is swaying beneath you.

A commitment to sitting down and getting drunk.  Driving while clearly intoxicated (it’s tough not to tell you’re that drunk unless you’ve already blacked out).  A disregard for state and federal law.  Reckless Endangerment….

It’s not looking good for Blackmon.

All of those things are conduct that is detrimental to the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The team prides itself on having a locker room of leaders.  A locker room of men who play a boys’ game.  A locker room of men who hold themselves to a higher standard than the average football player.

I’ve advocated for the team suspending him.  I’d do it right after signing him.  And if the league doesn’t let him play for another two or three games after that….well it’s all fine by me.

Team discipline is far more impactful than a league mandate handed down from on high.  Head Coach Mike Mularkey is well liked by his players.  His respect must be earned.

Blackmon will be struggling to gain it back all year long.

– Luke N. Sims

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