June 12, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon (14) on the sidelines during minicamp at Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE
With Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver and first-round pick Justin Blackmon now in training camp, his first order of business is going to be catching up with the offense. It didn't take long for wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan to get on Blackmon's case in practice, as the media let head coach Mike Mularkey know it took just eight seconds for Sullivan to get into him.
"Eight? I would have expected much sooner than eight seconds," Mularkey quipped. "He’s been wanting to coach him and get him going. We all have. Jerry’s going to be with him and basically be his shadow until he gets it. I don’t know how long that’s going to be. Hopefully the sooner the better for all of us but Jerry’s been given permission to get out of meetings and spend on- on-one time with him. It will come."
In mini-camp back in June, Blackmon was notably behind and looked like a guy on the field who was swimming in information. "That’s a position that you really have to know a lot before it happens and react fast and execute the play," Mularkey said on Tuesday. "The guys that can do that consistently are the guys that know the offense better than the other ones."
It's going to take a lot of hard work for Blackmon to get acclimated however, something that the coaches raised an eyebrow about before his DUI arrest.
"Before that incident there were some issues that I didn't think he was working hard enough and getting it, said Mularkey. "I felt better when he left. Again, that's something I have to see as we go along. We still have time."
Blackmon did look a bit overwhelmed back in June, but with the ability now to get some extra face time with Jerry Sullivan and five weeks and three preseason games to get into the swing of things, it should be plenty of time for Blackmon to be ready by opening day.
It's been noted before that the new Jaguars offense isn't friendly for the wide receivers and it will take a lot of hard work for Blackmon to get acclimated to the point in which he'll be in the starting lineup on gameday.
"He'll have to study, work at it, understand the guy across from him, know what the guy eats for breakfast in the morning across from him, everything to make it easier," said Mularkey. "Know the answer before the question. That's what he's got to learn how to do.
"I'm hoping he's kept his book. He had a lot of information when he left out of here."
In college football, guys can get away on talent alone because the talent pool is spread out and mismatches are abound. As we all know, that's not the case in the NFL and raw talent doesn't get you by in the league. "I think he will figure that out on his own," Mularkey said about Blackmon not being able to get by on talent. "Once you go against our corners and corners in the league you'll find out real fast that that's not how it works."