Justin Blackmon denies substance-abuse problem


Despite repeated off-field issues, the new Jaguars wide receiver claims to be in control.

Justin Blackmon will miss the first four games of the 2013 season due to a violation of the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. He was also arrested twice for DUI before signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars following the 2012 NFL Draft. Despite all that, Blackmon told the media Monday that he doesn't have a problem with substance abuse.

"No, I would say I don't. Out of this whole thing one of the main things I would say that I had a problem with was just making a poor decision, making a selfish decision at that and not thinking about the long-term of it and just thinking about at the time. If you want to ask if I have a problem? I have a problem with making a poor decision."

Blackmon certainly has a problem with making poor decisions, but those poor decisions always seem to involve alcohol or other substances. When his suspension was announced, Blackmon apologized in a statement and said he would take responsibility for his decisions.

"I've made a mistake and I have no excuse. I am truly sorry and disappointed in myself for putting the Jaguars in this situation, and I look forward to putting this behind me and maturing and growing as a person. I will have a productive training camp and preseason with my team, and during the suspension I will work hard to stay in top football shape and be ready to help the Jaguars when I return. I have chosen to be accountable for my poor decision, and I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches, the front office and Jaguars fans for the impact of my mistake on the team."

The Jaguars selected Blackmon with the fifth overall draft pick last year, hoping to add a big-play threat to their passing game. The 23-year-old put up huge numbers in his final two seasons with the Cowboys, compiling 3,304 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns. While he brings plenty of talent to Jacksonville, if Blackmon can't stay out of trouble off the field, he won't be of value to the Jags.

In his rookie season, he caught 64 passes for 865 yards and five scores.

"I'm very confident," Blackmon said when asked how sure he was this would be his last mistake. "I don't think anybody wants to be in the position that I'm in right now and I don't think anybody wants to be in a position that can be any worse. I'm not going to go into it and say I want to be in this position because that's not where I want to be. All I can do is come out here and work every day and get better each day."

Blackmon is saying all the right things, but he still has to prove that he can back words up with the right actions.

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