Picking up a four-game suspension for a substance abuse violation less than four months after a new head coach has taken over isn’t the best way to make a first impression.
Yet, that’s exactly the situation Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon has found himself in after getting a four-game suspension handed down by the league this week. It’s not exactly the best first step to take in building a relationship with your new head coach. However, Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is willing to give Blackmon some benefit of the doubt.
According to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, Bradley still trusts the second-year wide out. He said he’s had “six or seven conversations” with Blackmon already since the suspension was levied earlier this week.
“I told Justin I do trust him,” Bradley said. ““We both have to earn each other’s trust and I don’t want trust to be mistaken for being naïve.”
“He understands we’re disappointed in what took place. I really try to maintain my focus on making sure he has a clear vision of what we expect from him. We’ve had great conversations since this came out.”
Bradley intends on using the issue with Blackmon as a barometer to set the discipline for the team going forward. With a four-game suspension, Blackmon is now just one more offense away from a full season suspension. The Jaguars will need to hope Bradley’s trust in Blackmon will be rewarded or they could be playing without their former first-round pick for an extensive amount time.
“That’s the challenge that’s been placed in front of him,” Bradley said. “I have confidence in Justin. He knows our expectations and he has those same expectations. It’s a process for him and for us, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”