Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been up and down in practice through rookie mini-camp and OTAs so far. Naturally, Blackmon is going to have a steep learning curve as he transitions from college to the NFL. This shouldn't be much of a surprise, as outside of quarterback, wide receivers generally have the steepest learning curve when making the jump. The big problem so far however, is Blackmon doesn't always know what he's supposed to do on each given play.
"When he knows what he's doing, he's very good," Mularkey said after practice on Tuesday. "When he doesn't, he's lost."
"He's more frustrated at that situation that he hasn't grasped it as fast as he would like to but there's a definite difference between knowing it and not knowing it," Mularkey said. "There's two different speeds. He's had a ton thrown at him, he's been put in there more than anybody else so he's had more chances to have mistakes, but I think he knows our feelings on it."
Blackmon's route tree at Oklahoma State was likely very, very different than the route tree he's going to be learning in the Jaguars offense. Again, this shouldn't be that much of a surprise or really an area of concern. All Blackmon really needs to do at this point however, is just ask for help.
"Well the one thing I tell players the very first day, we all do, all phases, if you're unclear of what to do when you come out of the huddle please don't go to the line of scrimmage without knowing what to do. That's not a good thing," Mularkey said in regard to Blackmon being further behind than any other rookie at this point. "I would prefer you say "Hey, I'm not sure what to do" and ask so the play doesn't get totally blown out of proportion. I'd much admire and respect a player that doesn't know what he's got and turns around and asks than I do a guy that walks out there and stands at the line of scrimmage where he's in a three point and doesn't know what to do."