Jacksonville Jaguars first-round draft pick receiver Justin Blackmon was arrested on an aggravated DUI charge Sunday after authorities in Oklahoma said he had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system.
The former Oklahoma State star smelled of alcohol when an officer pulled him over shortly after 3 a.m., Stillwater police spokesman Capt. Randy Dickerson said.
Blackmon agreed to take a breathalyzer test and blew a .24 — three times the legal limit of .08, Dickerson said.
Blackmon struck me as someone who had it together heading into the draft, so this boneheaded mistake seems out of character. The Jaguars can’t be happy about it. Let’s hope it’s an isolated incident.
Creating competition is apparently overrated in Mike Mularkey’s book.
When speaking to NFL.com’s Albert Breer on Monday, the new Jaguars head coach said that his quarterback position is not open for competition.
“No, it’s not (a competition),” Mulakery said. “Blaine’s our starting quarterback…I’m a big body-language reader, and on the practice field, the cafeteria, in meetings, he has a confidence about him. We feel good about him.”
It’s understandable that Mularkey wants to instill confidence in Gabbert right from the start. If it walks, talks, and acts like a duck, it’s probably a duck. Thus, if Gabbert is entrusted to be the starter from Day 1, then the hope is that he’ll embrace the leadership role and enter training camp brimming with confidence.
That said, considering how poorly Gabbert played last season as a rookie, it’s interesting that Mularkey has committed to him so quickly. Chad Henne isn’t a great starting option, but one would have thought Mularkey would have at least left the position open to competition. Most coaches want to create competition at every position so that players don’t become complacent – not award starting jobs in May.
Then again, Mularkey was one of the coaches in Atlanta who did a great job easing Matt Ryan into the NFL. His offense is quarterback-friendly because it relies on power running and a passing game that works the short-to-intermediate zones. Thus, Gabbert, who doesn’t have to worry about the lockout ruining his preparation time this offseason, shouldn’t have an issue grasping his role in Mularkey’s offense.
It’ll be interesting to see how the former Missouri star fares in Mularkey’s offense and to watch him try to bounce back from a brutal rookie campaign.
Jacksonville Jaguars Blaine Gabbert gets hit by The New York Jets Bart Scott in the fourth quarter in week 2 of the NFL season at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on September 18, 2011. The Jets defeated the Jaguars 32-3. UPI /John Angelillo
Mike Florio isn’t convinced. He makes a good point about Wayne Weaver’s credibility, as Weaver insisted repeatedly that the Jaguars were not for sale. There’s no provision requiring Shahid Khan to keep the team in Jacksonville as part of the sale, and while the lease extends to 2029, there may be ways to get around it. Given the amount of money at stake and the specter of Los Angeles looming out there as a possible destination, anything is possible at this point.
As a Browns fan, I’m sympathetic to any situation where a community might lose a team. But Jacksonville just doesn’t support the team. Let’s see if the community can rally around the new owner and convince him to keep the Jaguars in Jacksonville.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) throws a pass while playing against the New England Patriots in the first quarter of a preseason game at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts on August 11, 2011. UPI/Matthew Healey
Jack Del Rio has already seen enough of Luke McCown.
Following a nasty performance in New York over the weekend, Del Rio has decided to bench McCown and will start rookie signal caller Blaine Gabbert against the Panthers this Sunday. Gabbert, the 10th overall pick in April’s draft, will oppose fellow rookie quarterback Cam Newton, who has already thrown over 800 yards in his first two NFL games.
It was easy to see this move coming when the Jags dumped David Garrard shortly before the season. Del Rio and the front office had seemingly wanted to get rid of Garrard for years but they never had a suitable backup to make the move. When Gabbert was drafted back in April, he was viewed as a raw prospect but that was okay because he could learn behind Garrard for a year…or so everyone thought. But a year was apparently too much for Del Rio and Co., as Garrard was released rather abruptly on September 6.
McCown played fairly well in the team’s season opener against Tennessee, but understandably struggled miserably against Rex Ryan’s stout defense last week while throwing four nasty interceptions. Gabbert will face a Carolina defense that has struggled against the run in its first two games, so expect the Jaguars to largely keep the ball on the ground this Sunday and let the rookie be a “game manager” in his professional debut as a starter.
Washington Redskins’ Albert Haynesworth is seen on the sidelines as the Redskins play a pre-season game against the Buffalo Bills at FedEx Field in Washington on August 13, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
Players and owners in the “red zone” in terms of labor talks?
A league source tells SI.com that the players and owners are “in the red zone” with regard to the labor negotiations. The source says that back in March, “we weren’t in the same stadium.” But now the two sides are apparently inching closer to wrapping up a deal thanks to the momentum that has been created over the last couple of weeks. The two sides will continue talks on Thursday and Friday, with five players and DeMaurice Smith conversing with Roger Goodell and five owners. While these discussions remain fluid, talks continue to progress.
Redskins won’t release Haynesworth
Mike Shanahan and the Redskins appear determined to leave Albert Haynesworth in NFL purgatory. Philadelphia Sports Daily says that the Skins will not release the DT quickly after the lockout and if any team wants him, they’ll have to trade for him. Apparently Washington doesn’t want to give into what Haynesworth wants, which is to be released. I can’t envision a scenario in which Haynesworth is still a Redskin by the start of the season, but you never know. Shanahan has proven time and time again that he can be stubborn.
MJD: The Jaguars are scared of my knee
In an interview with the Florida Times Union, running back Maurice Jones-Drew says that the Jaguars are “already kind of scared of my (surgically repaired) knee” and are “anxious to throw Rashad (Jennings) in” for more carries. As Rotoworld.com points out, Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter insists that there have been no discussions in the offensive staff room over MJD’s knee, although the team’s official website did run a story earlier this week about how the coaching staff wants to get Jennings more involved. Seeing as how the NFL is largely a two-back league now, it wouldn’t be surprising if Jennings did get more touches next year – regardless of whether or not there is concern about MJD’s knee.
Asomugha to receive $19 million a year?
NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora seems to think that free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha could receive a contact that approaches $19 million a year. If so, it would make Asomugha the highest paid player in NFL history. La Canfora believes that the Bucs could be serious bidders for the cornerback, which makes sense given Aqib Talib’s legal troubles. The Texans are also reportedly interested in Asomugha, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Lions also got in the mix once the lockout lifts. The Eagles, Ravens and Jets have also been mentioned as possible suitors.