What’s Next: Where Is Justin Blackmon?
By Luke Sims
Before we chat about Justin Blackmon let’s recognize that rookie wide receivers rarely have A.J. Green or Randy Moss type seasons. That said, a lot of teams hope for that type of production from their first round receivers. While the Jags haven’t found anyone in the first round (Reggie Williams, Matt Jones) who can be effective, other teams seemingly pull them out of the hat (Victor Cruz in New York). Blackmon was supposed to alleviate receiving woes for the Jaguars and be the highlight reel wide receiver we all expect him to be.
Sure, maybe not all the time. But we didn’t expect him to be shut out by the Houston Texans.
Last week in this column I speculated about the impact Blackmon would have against the Texans. I said that Blackmon needed to assert himself against the opposing corner. In the four targets toward him, Blackmon came away with nothing. A couple he got his hands on, but he couldn’t make the catch. Kareem Jackson did an especially good job of telling Blackmon how the game was going to go – Blackmon can’t let that happen to him.
There’s a reason Laurent Robinson is the #1 in Jacksonville, but he needs a better #2 in Blackmon to be more effective. Source: US-Presswire
So, two games into the season Blackmon has all of three catches for 24 yards. That isn’t exactly the stat line the Jaguars or Jags fans were hoping for. Coach Mike Mularkey says that Blackmon is still adjusting to the speed of a real NFL game. After dominating in the preseason it appears that the receiver isn’t adjusting and is falling behind. While a preseason doesn’t dictate how a player may play in the regular season – Blackmon’s opposite receiver, Laurent Robinson has done well after having only one catch this preseason – the plays that Blackmon made were athletic and it was anticipated that he could do that in a regular season games. Right now, we’re not seeing the same big-bodied receiver that we saw in training camp or the preseason. The acrobatic catches and ability to snatch the ball out of the air doesn’t seem to be there anymore.
Against the Indianapolis Colts we hope Blackmon can rebound and start to go after the ball in a relatively weak secondary.
I doubt that this will continue throughout his career, but right now Blackmon isn’t the star that we thought we had on our roster. Maybe it’s the quarterback play, maybe it’s the inability of the depleted O-line to give the offense the chance, whatever it is there’s something wrong. Right now it looks like Justin Blackmon is lost.
– Luke N. Sims
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