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Justin Blackmon Done Drinking 'For Now'
Justin Blackmon 'done drinking'
Updated: June 6, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars rookie receiver Justin Blackmon says he is done drinking for now.
His bold statement comes three days after he was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI in Stillwater, Okla.
Blackmon adds he doesn't have a drinking problem and that he just "made a poor choice and put myself in a bad situation." Nonetheless, he swore off alcohol for now.
Jaguars general manager Gene Smith and coach Mike Mularkey flanked Blackmon at his news conference Wednesday and expressed disappointment with the former Oklahoma State star's behavior.
It was the second DUI arrest for Blackmon, who had his previous charge reduced following an October 2010 incident.
Blackmon declined to answer some questions because of the pending legal process. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the misdemeanor charge.
Re: Justin Blackmon Done Drinking 'For Now'
Hmm, if he doesn't have an alcohol problem, why stop drinking? And "for now"?? I can only imagine the firestorm if someone snaps a picture of him with a shot glass or beer in hiis hand. Hope he knows what he's doing.
Re: Justin Blackmon Done Drinking 'For Now'
It's not that his drinking is the problem, it's his poor judgment to drive while intoxicated.
Re: Justin Blackmon Done Drinking 'For Now'
The AP piece was rather skimpy; here are some actual transcripts of the event, which wasn't televised...
Jaguars' Blackmon transcript about arrest, alcohol issues
Submitted by Gene Frenette on June 6, 2012 - 3:49pm Gene Frenette's Blog
Jaguars’ wide receiver Justin Blackmon answered various questions during an 18-minute press conference about his aggravated DUI arrest in Oklahoma and how he intends to respond going forward.
Here’s a transcript of what Blackmon said at his Wednesday press conference, with head coach Mike Mularkey and general manager Gene Smith at his side.
Opening statement: “First off, I want to openly apologize to Gene [Smith], to Mr. Khan [owner Shad] and his family and Coach Mularkey and the whole organization, teammates, everyone that with my poor judgment over the weekend brought bad press to. 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 talked with Coach yesterday and Gene, I’m looking to make things better and I will continue to do that, starting yesterday on.”
Do you have a problem drinking alcohol: “I do not. I just think I made a poor choice. I put myself in a bad situation. It’s completely my fault, and I just gotta make better judgment on that.”
Is this incident any different from the incident in 2010 on previous arrest for DUI that was reduced to minor in possession of beer: “I really can’t talk about what happened there. It’s the same thing. I’m going to have to grow from it. I can’t go back and change the situation. I’m just going to have to build on it from here.”
Will you seek any professional help or counseling: “I’m going to seek whatever I need to seek to build from there.”
Did you have an opportunity that night to get a ride home with someone else: “I can’t talk about that.”
Are you up to the challenge of dealing with this incident and being a major part of this NFL team: “I know they put a lot of pressure on me, but I put more pressure on myself to make this right. I’m going to put more pressure on myself, continue to do that and to get out of this situation and make it right.”
How do you plan to change your lifestyle: “It’s all about growing from your mistakes, learning from them and maturing and trying not to make the same ones over.”
Less night life?: “That’s what it is, yes.”
Can you talk at all about what happened that night: “No, I cannot.”
Will you quit drinking for a while?: “I’m done as far as right now, I’m done with all of that.”
What was it like to talk to Fred Taylor: “It was very educational. Somebody that’s been here and been in the league for as many years as he has, just to hear his input on things and how to overcome certain adversities.”
You said you’re done drinking right now, is that indefinite: “I can’t promise you ten years down the road that I’m going to be done. I just know as of right now, and for what I can speak of, I’m looking forward to getting ready to play football and put this in the past.”
How do you feel knowing you let everyone down?: “I feel terrible. Not only letting down this organization, but my family and friends back home with the decision that I made, the selfish decision that I made that could have all been changed.”
What would you say to people that say this sounds a lot like what we heard two years ago: “People are going to think what they are going to think. Words are words, I guess. It’s my actions that are going to show.”
What was the conversation with your mother like after all of this: “She’s very supportive. She wanted me to know that they were there for me and loved me and they were always going to have my back.”
Will you accept certain stipulations in your contract as a result of this incident: “I’ll let my agent [Todd France] take care of that. Whatever the contract comes out to be, I’m here.”
Here's a transcript of the Jaguars GM answering additional questions...
Jaguars' GM Gene Smith addresses Blackmon DUI arrest, alcohol issues
Submitted by Gene Frenette on June 6, 2012 - 3:08pm
After an 18-minute press conference in which Jaguars' wide receiver Justin Blackmon apologized "for the decision I made over the weekend" that led to his arrest on an aggravated DUI charge, general manager Gene Smith addressed a variety of issues relating to the incident.
The following is a transcript of what Smith said in response to a number of questions from various members of the Jacksonville media:
About background checking the team does on draft picks: "I can tell you I don't work for the FBI, but we try to emulate some of the things that I think it takes by people who do investigative work to get some of the answers to your questions done. It's a process that we go through with every player. Certainly, it's done in-depth. You try to know everything on every player, especially the ones you're going to target to take. But again, there's a league process, the security checks, and then there's the team process."
Would you have drafted Blackmon had this happened two months ago: "Again, I'd have to evaluate the situation at the time, take all things into consideration. Certainly you know from my history, I look at patterns of players coming out of college. Not just off the field, but on the field. We want positive patterns of behavior and performance."
You've taken players off the board for less than what Blackmon did, correct?: "What we do in our process is we determine guys who we consider take-able for the Jaguars, for character reasons and for medical reasons, but I'm not going to get into the specifics of how we do that."
Is owner Shad Khan out of the country: "Yes." Where? "He's in Paris."
Did you talk to him: "Yes, on a conference call."
So you've talked to him: "I've talked to him multiple times. He's one person that, no matter where he's at, he answers his phone. He immediately returns his texts. He's got a tremendous line of communication with people in this building. So that's a real positive because he is so responsive."
What is Khan's attitude toward this: "I'm not going to disclose our conversation. That will be a question for him when he comes back. I think he trusts our judgment in how we're handling it. Obviously, he's disappointed. But I think we tried to convey the message here that we do want to be an extension of the player's family because a lot of them do not have family here. We do want to help people when they have a problem. Certainly when you're going to make a decision [on drafting players], there's a calculated risk to it. Like I say, there's different degrees of risk. At the time we made the selection, we felt very good about the selection. I still do today because I feel like I got to take a man for his word. We have a chance to get him right. As a young player here, he's got to do his part."
Talk about the importance of the support system Blackmon has in place with an entire NFL organization and a solid family: "When you come out of college, you're coming out of a very structured environment. Every minute of your day is almost planned, between classes, meetings, practice, maybe study table, and then whatever your activity is on the weekend, based on what sport you play. They come to the NFL, they have more time, they're going to have more money. And a lot of times, they have a lot more people pulling on them. I would say the other thing is, depending on where you come from, you become more high profile. So you have to people in the city [where the player lives] that can provide support. I'm talking about primarily in your building. These players don't have that structure and that support system. And in most cases, don't have their family here. So at an early stage in their career, and there are some cutbacks on time with the new [Collective Bargaining Agreement] with players, we have to do a better job on our end of providing more support in the best way we can in the future. I feel like we've got a good plan now with things that do come up. We have a director of player development [Bahati Van Pelt] that's got experience in the league, very good working with our players. We have other people in the building, other professional people in the city we can utilize, and we have. But we have to continue to do a better job when things come up like this, to try to educate and get people to become who we want them to be on this football team."
How would you describe your emotions when you learned of Justin's arrest: "Very disappointing. I'm a parent, so I probably look at things a little different. Just on Terrance [Knighton's] situation, same thing, first thing I'm thinking of is his health. First thing, I'm thinking of with Justin is, 'Is anybody hurt?' That's a tough one. I get both of them on Sunday after church. But again, it's something as an organization, we have to support him. I'm confident if he makes the personal commitment, and I got to take a man for his word, he can get it right for the rest of his career."
A lot of players don't get it right when issues like this come up: "That's accurate. I think every family can talk about an alcohol problem with someone. I think from our end, there's ways for people to get help. But they got to recognize, though, that they have an issue. Obviously, if you're not using good judgment and you're drinking, alcohol is going to impair your judgment. It's going to impact the type of judgment that you can make. So, from my standpoint, I think we got to try to find a way to support him, support other players that have issues. A big part of it is the player doing their part as well."
Do you and the Jaguars believe Blackmon has an alcohol problem or a judgment problem: "Well, I'm not a professional, to say what problem he has, as it relates to substance abuse. I can tell you there was a lapse in judgment. And like I said, if alcohol is involved, it certainly impaired his judgment, so that's a problem. He'll certainly go through a process here of evaluation and counseling, and there's certain things mandated by the league. There's certain things that we'll do. Again, we'll try our best to have a positive outcome here."
Are you hopeful that Blackmon will avoid an NFL game suspension: "I'm hopeful that he'll avoid a suspension, but that's not in my hands. I trust what our commissioner [Roger Goodell] decides based on their evaluation."
Is this your biggest challenge to make sure Blackmon gets his life straightened out: "It's our challenge. But again, I think how you respond to a challenge defines you as a person, so we'll see how he handles it."
"At this point, certainly we're going to try to get him right. I'm going to go back to what I said multiple times, he's got to do his part. I have to take a man for his word. He's got to make some changes. It's obvious. When you look at a player's history, what they've done in college, maybe prior to college, if you start to develop a pattern, you better correct it. Because if you don't, it can become destructive. We got examples here of that happening to players. I got to draw some trust that [Blackmon] will do his part."
You seem pretty confident in Blackmon's character that he will get this right: "I do. But again, it's because I've done so much work on him, our organization, scouts and coaches have done so much work. Other people in this building, too. And I see the family support system. I see what we have in place here, and I see a young player that's got to learn from this mistake and change the way he leads his life. If he does that, he's got a letimiate opportunity to, like Mike Mularkey said, have a happy ending to all this."
Has Blackmon reacted the way you'd expect someone who made a mistake to react: "[Tuesday], very remorseful. What we're going through right now [with press conference] is obviously a very emotional period. The true tale of the tape will be, let's say, a year from now, two years from now, [after] a two or three touchdown game, let's be positive here. . . played exceptionally well, we won. How is he going to respond in that situation? It's not so much now, it's for the long term. That's the big thing from my end. You got to be able to sustain it. And that takes a lot of discipline to do that."
Does it concern you when Blackmon says he doesn't think he has a problem with alcohol: "I think sometimes people don't know if they have a problem. I think when you go through evaluation, you go through counseling, sometimes you find out you actually do [have a problem]. And that's when you can get better."
Apparently Chris Mortensen doesn't see a suspension coming...
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Re: Justin Blackmon Done Drinking 'For Now'I just want to apologize for that and just let people know that itís not who I am, itís not who I am going to be.Itís all about growing from your mistakes, learning from them and maturing and trying not to make the same ones over.
Do you have a problem drinking alcohol: ďI do not. I just think I made a poor choice. I put myself in a bad situation. Itís completely my fault, and I just gotta make better judgment on that.Ē
Will you quit drinking for a while?: ďIím done as far as right now, Iím done with all of that.Ē
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