Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon addressed the media on Wednesday, for the first time since his Sunday arrest on drunken driving charges. While team officials expressed their disappointment in their first-round pick, Blackmon shared his remorse for his actions.
Blackmon was "very solemn" and therefore very regretful for the incident in a joint press conference with general manager Gene Smith and head coach Mike Mularkey, according to Sporting News correspondent Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union.
"I want to apologize to Gene (Smith), (owner Shad) Khan, Coach Mularkey, the whole organization and teammates for my bad judgment over the weekend," Blackmon said, per Frenette. "I want to let people know that not who I am and that's not who I am going to be."
Blackmon was arrested on a charge of aggravated DUI back in his college town of Stillwater, Okla., on June 3. Reports from the breath test administered to him by police had his blood-alcohol level at 0.24, three times the legal limit.
Blackmon starred at Oklahoma State before the Jaguars drafted him fifth overall in April.
Smith called Blackmon's behavior "unacceptable," while Mularkey similarly deemed it "not tolerable." Both men made it clear they want Blackmon to take home a hard lesson from his ill-advised decision.
"A mistake is an opportunity to learn," Smith said. "I trust with Justin's personal commitment and the support of team and family, he can turn it around."
Back in 2010, Blackmon was arrested in a DUI incident in Texas, which led to a one-game suspension from Oklahoma State.
Although Smith said the Jaguars are leaving it up to the league to determine whether counseling is required for the receiver, Blackmon said he was committed to seeking the necessary rehabilitation and vowed to stop drinking "for right now."
"He has the chance to correct this," Smith said. "We felt his pattern after college was an isolated incident."
Considering the team has yet to sign Blackmon to the guaranteed four-year deal he is line to get as a rookie, there are millions of reasons for Blackmon to keep in line well beyond the near future. After their history of troubles with first-round wideouts, Jaguars officials have good reason for their concerns.
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