Jags' Blackmon says he's 'done drinking for now'
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Sitting between his coach and general manager, Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon stared at the ground for much of the 18-minute news conference Wednesday.
He looked every bit like a kid in trouble.
Blackmon apologized for his "poor judgment," vowed to learn and grow from his latest alcohol-related arrest and insisted he doesn't have a drinking problem. Nonetheless, he swore off alcohol for now.
"People are going to think what they are going to think," Blackmon said. "Words are words. It's my actions that are going to have to show."
The first-round draft pick was arrested during a traffic stop in Stillwater, Okla., early Sunday after a breath test allegedly showed his blood alcohol content to be three times the legal limit. He appeared in an Oklahoma courtroom Monday and pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence. Blackmon was allowed to remain free on $1,000 bond. His next court date is July 24, three days before training camp.
In the meantime, he has plenty of work to do to restore his image.
"I just want to apologize and let people know that it's not who I am, that's not who I'm going to be," he said.
It was Blackmon's second alcohol-related incident in less than two years. He was arrested on a misdemeanor DUI charge in Texas in 2010 after officers caught him speeding on a suburban Dallas highway. The charge was later reduced to an underage alcohol possession charge.
He might not be so lucky this time around.
Although jail time is unlikely, Blackmon could end up on probation. He also could be suspended by the NFL, and Jaguars general manager Gene Smith said the arrest could affect contract negotiations.
Jacksonville traded up to select the former Oklahoma State star with the fifth pick in April's NFL draft.
"At the time that we made the selection, we felt very good about the selection," Smith said. "And I still do because I feel like I've got to take a man for his word. We have a chance to get him right. He's a young player and he's got to do his part."
Blackmon declined to answer several questions about that night, citing the pending legal process.
But he made it clear he doesn't feel like he has a drinking problem.
"I do not," he said. "I just think I made a poor choice. I put myself in a bad situation. It's completely my fault. I've just got to make better judgment on that."
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