Jaguars coach Gus Bradley says that he was taught while growing up to “trust people right from” the moment you meet them because they haven’t done anything wrong to you.
As you might expect, Bradley’s comment came while talking about wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Bradley said earlier this month that he trusts Blackmon, who will serve a four-game suspension to start the 2013 season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy, and he reiterated that on Tuesday by saying that Blackmon’s “never done anything wrong with me.” Bradley said he and Blackmon frequently meet in Bradley’s office at Blackmon’s request for conversations that have reinforced his trust.
“I base it on my dealings with him. We’ve had extended conversations. He looks me in the eye when he’s talking to me. When I talk to him about trust and things like that, I feel it hits home with him. He responds the way I hope he responds,” Bradley said, via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. “I understand it’s a process. I’m not naïve to that, but I love the challenge. When he comes in the mornings and visits with me, it’s been great.”
It is in the best interest of the Jaguars offense to help Blackmon avoid further “poor decisions” any way they can and Bradley’s comments since the suspension make it clear that he believes this is the best way to do that. He’s less clear about what a violation of that trust would mean for Blackmon, but chances are it wouldn’t be met with the same level of kindness.